chocolate mint julep pudding

Derby Cheese Spread & Chocolate Mint Julep Pudding Parfaits

Happy Derby Week!! if you’re hosting a party this weekend, heading to a tailgate at the races, or just feel like making something festive to share with friends or coworkers, I’ve got the perfect recipes! While I don’t love drinking a mint julep, I love a julep inspired dessert like these tiny pudding parfaits with a hint of mint and bourbon. Because it’s a crowd favorite, I almost always make pimento cheese to serve for Derby. This version is inspired by a hot brown, made with white cheddar, bacon, and (sun-dried) tomatoes. 

Derby cheese spread

Derby Cheese Spread

Course Appetizer
Cuisine American


  • 1/2 lb bacon, diced
  • 1 lb white cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes, packed in oil, finely chopped
  • 1 green onion, finely minced
  • ½ cup plus 2 tbsp mayonnaise
  • black pepper, freshly ground
  • crackers, crostini, or phyllo cups , for serving
  • grape tomatoes, halved, for garnish


  • Cook diced bacon in a skillet over high heat until crisp and browned. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Meanwhile, combine cheese, sun dried tomatoes, and green onion in a medium bowl. Add mayonnaise and pepper, then stir in bacon. Serve with crackers or crostini or spoon into small phyllo cups and top with a halved grape tomato.
Keyword Derby Day
chocolate mint julep pudding

Chocolate Mint Julep Pudding Parfaits

Course Dessert
Cuisine American


Chocolate Pudding

  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder
  • pinch salt
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1/2 cup good quality semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tbsp butter

Bourbon Vanilla Whipped Cream

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp bourbon, or more to taste
  • pinch salt


  • mint chocolate cookies, chopped (grasshoppers, mint Oreos, mint Milanos, etc.)
  • mint chocolate candies, chopped (Andes mints or peppermint patties)
  • fresh mint leaves, optional


  • Whip the cream, pudding mix, sugar, bourbon, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until stiff peaks form. If desired, add a touch more bourbon. This will keep in the refrigerator for several days.
  • To make the pudding, bring the milk to a simmer over medium heat in a saucepan. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, cocoa powder, salt, egg yolks, and egg. Once the milk simmers, temper it into the egg mixture by slowly streaming in the hot milk and whisking continuously. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and bring it back to a simmer, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon or whisk. Once it thickens, remove from heat and add the chocolate chips and butter, stirring until both are melted. Cover the surface with plastic wrap to prevent skin from forming and allow it to cool.
  • For assembly, I use small cups for easy portioning and pastry bags to neatly pipe both the pudding and whipped cream. Put a layer of chocolate pudding at the bottom, followed by a sprinkle of cookies, a layer of whipped cream, and a sprinkle of mint chocolate candies. Repeat layering to fill the cups and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Keyword Derby Day

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