Bourbon Horseshoe Cake

Celebrate the Kentucky Derby with a cake where everything is coming up roses! You may be able to find a horseshoe-shaped baking pan, but it’s just as easy to trim standard 9-inch cake rounds according to the template provided here. And the best part? This recipe, which uses boxed cake mix, calls for bourbon – talk about a sweet treat with a grownup twist!

Serves: 16Prep: 45 minutesCook: 30 minutesTotal: 1 hour 15 minutesDifficulty: Easy

Serves: 16


  • 1 box (16.5 oz.) Yellow Cake Mix
  • 1⁄3 cup bourbon whiskey
  • 3⁄4 cup Butter, softened
  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • 1⁄3 cup 2% milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • Green and red food coloring


  • Prepare cake batter according to box directions, using bourbon to replace ⅓ cup water. Divide batter evenly between two 9” round cake pans. Bake and cool cakes according to box directions. Using horseshoe template, carve cakes into horseshoe shape.
  • Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, cream butter on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low; beat in powdered sugar. Add milk and vanilla; beat well. Divide frosting between two bowls with ¾ in one bowl and remaining ¼ in another. Add green food coloring to larger amount and red food coloring to smaller; mix well to achieve desired shades.
  • Place one cake layer on a serving tray. Spread with green frosting; top with second cake layer. Cover completely with remaining green frosting. Using pastry bag and flower tip, use red frosting to pipe “roses” all over horseshoe.