A few simple additions to a boxed brownie mix create the most decadent, festive, and EASY Derby Day Bourbon Brownies! The moist, rich brownies are spiked with Kentucky bourbon whiskey and then topped with a creamy layer of bourbon frosting for a perfectly boozy party dessert!
If you live in the South, then you understand that Derby Day is definitely an occasion to celebrate. But in our family, it’s always been even more special since my mom’s birthday falls on the same weekend as the big race. In our world, that means that there are TWO good reasons to get together and party — and it always involves betting on horses and sweet birthday treats!
Nothing says “CELEBRATE” like some booze in your brownies, right?! Better yet if that booze is some Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey — perfectly appropriate for the Derby (and for a grown-up Birthday Party)!
I’m no baker (hence the BOXED MIX!), but my mom loves a good brownie and she has always had a knack for dressing up a box of mix from the store to make it seem special. I took a page out of Mom’s book for this particular recipe, and kept it nice and easy! A box of mix, some bourbon, and any extra ingredients called for on the box are all you will need to create the base of these rich, dense, and delicious treats.
The bourbon icing on top is a quick recipe that comes together in just a few minutes, but it takes these brownies to the next level! They are the perfect companion for my Kentucky Hot Brown Sliders, and they are sure to WOW your guests!
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Derby Day Bourbon Brownies
- 1 box brownie mix plus additional ingredients called for on the package (I used an 18-ounce box of Ghirardelli brownie mix, but anything similar will work fine)
- 2 tablespoons bourbon
For the Frosting:*
- 3 tablespoons butter softened
- 1 ½ cups powdered sugar sifted
- 2-4 teaspoons bourbon plus additional, as needed
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla
- Pinch of salt
- Optional: Sprinkles
- Spray an 8-inch square baking dish with cooking spray. Prepare brownies according to package instructions, and bake in prepared baking dish.
- While brownies are still warm, poke little holes all of the top of the brownies with a toothpick. Brush 2 tablespoons of bourbon over the top of the brownies, slowly allowing it to soak in.
- Allow the brownies to cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.
To prepare the frosting:
- In a small bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on medium speed for about 30 seconds. Gradually beat in powdered sugar, 2 teaspoons of bourbon, vanilla, and salt. If needed, add another teaspoon or two of bourbon until frosting is spreadable.
- Spread brownies with bourbon frosting and garnish with sprinkles, if desired.
*This recipe gives you just enough frosting for a thin layer on top (and since it’s very sweet, that should be enough). BUT, if you want a rich, thick layer of frosting as shown in the photographs, just double the ingredients!Recipe adapted from Better Homes and Gardens.
Looking for other great additions to your Derby Day festivities? Don’t miss these: