Happy Bourbon Day! This year on bourbon day, I’m going to pay homage to my husband. Two years ago he was given a bottle of bourbon as a congratulatory gift. He only drank wine and margaritas at the time. Now he is officially a whiskey snob – with a shaker, specialty glasses, only fresh lemons, homegrown mint, homemade syrups, molds for spherical ice cubes – I could go on.

My husband’s go-to whiskey drink is the classic Whiskey Sour. But simple lemon and bourbon didn’t seem interesting enough for a cupcake. So I did some research on other bourbon drinks. I wanted honey and lavender as well.

I found a fairly recent drink called the Coal Miner’s Daughter. The Coal Miner’s Daughter is a Gold Rush (whiskey, lemon and honey), with ginger syrup and a lavender spring. That sounds great.

Honey and bourbon did not make for a moist cupcake. But a few tweaks to a lemon cupcake recipe, gave me a really moisture Whiskey Sour base. I added the honey and ginger to a buttercream frosting. Somehow the honey makes this whole cupcake taste more alcoholic than it actually is. If you want a Gold Rush cupcake, simply leave out the ginger and lavender garnish.

As an added bonus to my husband, I made a secondary lemon frosting just for the whiskey sour. He now wants to try a Coal Miner’s Daughter cocktail. He just has to figure out how to make homemade ginger syrup.

I’m really proud of these cupcakes, so I hope you enjoy them! Please give me your feedback.


Base Bourbon Cupcakes:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 3 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 Tablespoons bourbon whiskey
  • 1 ¼ cup flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Frostings & Garnishes:

  • Coalminer’s Daughter (Honey Ginger) Frosting
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger (or more to taste. Note: fresh ginger is too strong for this recipe.)
  • ½ cup powdered sugar

Lavender Garnish

  • ¼ teaspoon food quality dried lavender flowers (or more to taste.)
  • 3 Tablespoons decorative colored sugar
  • Secondary colored sugar for accent (optional)
  • Note: For a Gold Rush cupcake, leave out the ginger and the lavender garnish.

Whiskey Sour Frosting

  • ¼ Cup Unsalted butter
  • 2 Tablespoons Sour cream
  • 1 ½  teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 Cup Powdered sugar

Mint Garnish

  • 4 Fresh mint leaves (or more to taste.)
  • 3 Tablespoons decorative green sugar



Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat granulated sugar and unsalted butter together. Add eggs one at a time. Add vanilla, sour cream, lemon juice and bourbon.

In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Slowly mix the dry ingredients into the sugar and egg mixture. Fill 12 lined cupcake tins, half way to top.

Bake for 15 minutes. Do not let the cupcakes golden on the sides or top. Check for doneness with a toothpick. Check every 5 minutes if additional time is needed. If baking mini cupcakes, check after 10 minutes of baking time.


Mix the wet ingredients (Either the butter, honey, or butter, sour cream and lemon juice) in a mixer.  For the Coal Miner Daughter’s frosting, add the ground ginger to the butter and honey.  Slowly add the powdered sugar. Taste each type of frosting to adjust the amount of ginger or lemon to your taste. Frost the cupcakes with a pastry bag or knife.


Use a small food processor, or a chef’s knife to chop the lavender or mint. Crush each these ingredients with the food processor or mortar and pestle, to create a finer mixture. I used purple and green decorative sugars. But any, or no sugar is alright. Sprinkle a small amount over frosted cupcakes. Note: be sparing with the lavender – it can be an overwhelming flavor.

Leslie Gayle

Leslie is a one time CPA, wife and mom of twins. She’s an over thinker who loves karate, thunder, and travel. Her sweatpants are yoga pants and she takes her coffee with milk.

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