Oaks Lily Cupcakes

The day before the Kentucky Derby is known as Oaks Day. The Kentucky Oaks is the big race for female horses. People get all done up in lots of pink, there’s a fashion show, there’s an incredibly moving parade of cancer survivors, and it’s just an absolutely beautiful day. 

Not only do I prefer Oaks day to Derby day, but I also prefer the Oaks drink over the Derby drink! Nothing against the Mint Julep, but in my personal opinion, the Lily is a much better drink. A Lily is made with cranberry juice, vodka, triple sec, and sweet and sour. It is served in a stemless wine glass.

Side view of Lily Cupcakes in pink cupcake wrappers


A Lily, the drink, is made with cranberry juice, vodka, triple sec, and sweet and sour, so those same flavors are jam-packed into this delicious cupcake. The cupcake itself has cranberry sauce, cranberry juice, orange zest, and triple sec in it, in addition to the standard butter, sugar, eggs, flour, baking powder, salt, and oil. The frosting pulls in all the flavors with vodka, sweet and sour, triple sec, cranberry juice, and cranberry sauce, in addition to butter and powdered sugar.


As with most cupcakes, you’ll first beat together the butter and sugar. You’ll then add in eggs, and instead of vanilla, we’re going to add in Triple Sec. Usually, I don’t like to use extra bowls, but in this case, you’ll want two small bowls. You’ll combine all the dry ingredients in one and all the wet in the other. I usually add all the wet ingredients to the same measuring cup to try to save on dishes – just be sure you add the cranberry sauce last if you do it this way since it’s a bit more solid and will displace the liquids and cause the measurements to be a bit off.

top down view of lily cupcakes going out of the frame on the left side. cupcakes are on a grey plate on top of a marbled surface

You’ll then add about a third of the dry ingredients – this doesn’t have to be exact, you can just eyeball it – to the butter and sugar mixture, then about half the wet, about half of the remaining dry ingredients, the rest of the wet ingredients, and finally the remainder of the dry ingredients, mixing between each addition. Scoop batter into a lined cupcake pan and bake.

The frosting is super easy – just toss all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and beat! But make sure to wait for the cupcakes to cool before frosting them.

Lily Cupcakes on a round piece of wood with an Oaks Lily to the right in a stemless Oaks Day wine glass


These should be stored in the refrigerator if made in advance. I would suggest keeping them in an airtight container in the fridge for a day or two.  If you want to make them more in advance than a couple of days, you can freeze them, and let them defrost for a few hours ahead of serving. You can also make the cupcakes in advance and store them at room temperature in an airtight container, then make the frosting the day you’re serving them and ice them before serving.

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Lily Cupcakes

Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time35 mins
Servings: 15 cupcakes



  • 1 1/2 sticks butter
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Triple Sec
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt Diamond Crystal
  • 1/2 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1/2 cup cranberry sauce
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 1/4 cup cranberry juice


  • 1 stick butter softened
  • 1 tablespoon vodka
  • 1 tablespoon Sweet & Sour
  • 1/2 tablespoon Triple Sec
  • 3 tablespoon cranberry juice
  • 1 tablespoon cranberry sauce
  • 1 1 lb box powdered sugar



  • Preheat oven to 350 and line cupcake tin with paper liners.
  • Beat together butter and sugar.
  • Beat in Triple Sec and eggs.
  • Combine the dry ingredients in one bowl and the wet in another.
  • Alternate adding dry and wet ingredients starting and ending with dry (add dry in thirds and wet in halves).
  • Pour batter into cupcake liners till mostly filled.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes till golden brown.
  • Remove from oven and cool completely, then frost.


  • Combine all ingredients in a bowl and beat well.
  • Add more cranberry juice (or vodka!) if the frosting is too thick, more powdered sugar if it’s too wet.
  • Beat until desired consistency.

Did you try this recipe?  Review and comment below, and share a photo on Instagram and tag @flourdeliz!

Looking for other Derby recipes? Check these out:

Mint Julep Balls
Bourbon Peach Sweet Tea Cupcakes
Bourbon Molasses Chocolate Pecan Pie

Looking for other cupcake recipes? Check these out:

Guinness Black Currant Cupcakes
Piña Colada Upside Down Cupcakes

This post was updated in April 2021 with new photos and additional information about the recipe.


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