In a drama-filled final at Wembley, Liverpool were taken all the way to penalties, by a Cardiff City side deserving of enormous credit, before the Merseysiders finally prevailed following Anthony Gerrard's missed spot kick.
It was a cruel end for Cardiff, who gave a great account of themselves, taking the lead and then coming back to equalize late in extra time when it looked like Liverpool had finally put them to the sword. But a 3-2 victory in penalties gave Liverpool their first trophy since 2006.
It looked like it might be a long afternoon for Cardiff when Glen Johnson came desperately close to giving Liverpool the lead after only two minutes, as his curling shot bounced back off the cross bar.
Cardiff had clearly not read the script, though. Despite spending much of the time on the back foot, the side from England's second tier took the lead in the 19th minute. Striker Kenny Millier played a perfectly-weighted ball through to find Joe Mason, who was being played onside by the lax Martin Skrtel. The Irishman coolly slotted his shot through the legs of Liverpool keeper Pepe Reina to shock the expectant Liverpool fans.
If Skrtel was partly to blame for Cardiff's goal, then the Slovakian central defender made amends by grabbing the equalizer on the hour mark. Luis Suárez's header from a corner ricocheted back off the post straight to the feet of Skrtel who was able to adjust his feet sufficiently to turn the ball home.
The game became increasingly open late in normal time and it was the underdogs who had the best chances to settle the contest.
First Center back Ben Turner managed to get his head on the ball from only a few yards out at the back post, but despite having the corner of the net at his mercy, he could only direct his header wide of Reina's post.
And the Bluebirds were to have an even better chance to get their hands on the trophy with only three minutes of regulation time remaining. Miller was played clean through on goal by Don Cowie, but the Scot blasted the ball over the top of the crossbar.
Liverpool did not waste anytime trying to grab a winner as extra time began. But they were again thwarted by some desperate Cardiff defending as Andrew Taylor cleared off the line from Suárez's header.
The now eight-time League Cup winners were not to be denied for too much longer, though. Kuyt looked like he had wasted the opportunity when he badly scuffed his shot when in good position down the right of the box. But a fortuitous ricochet saw the ball come straight back to the Dutchman who did superbly well to strike it first time into the net despite falling to the turf.
Just then it looked like the drama was over, Cardiff once again demonstrated their steely reserve. Turner turning the ball in from close range in the 118th minute after a goal mouth scramble to take the game all the way to penalties.
In a shootout riddled with misses, it was Anthony Gerrard, cousin of Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard, who missed the crucial kick, dragging his shot wide of Reina's post to send the Liverpool players and fans into raptures.