• *Can cut this recipe in half to make 12 cupcakes
  • For cupcakes:
  • 8-10 strips of bacon (I used Hormel Natural Choice uncured bacon)
  • 1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup cake flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup of buttermilk (make your own by adding tablespoon of lemon juice to regular milk, also added plain Greek yogurt to milk mixture to add to moistness)
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp maple extract (I used real maple syrup)
  • For cinnamon buttercream:
  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp. milk
  • 1 to 2 tbsp cinnamon
  • * this recipe makes a lot of frosting, feel free to make less

This may be one of the most sinful desserts out there, but the pairing of sweet maple and salty bacon is heaven in your mouth. I found a lot of versions of bacon-inspired cupcakes online, but I decided on a recipe from Oprah’s magazine and I’m so happy that I did. I eat bacon very sparingly, but this recipe was definitely worth the splurge.

For all you cake bakers out there, you know how hard it is to make a moist vanilla based cake from scratch. However, I really think the fat from the bacon added to its nice crumbly texture.  My frosting came out a bit sweet, but that was because I added maple syrup to it and probably should have cut back on the powdered sugar, so just be cautious.  I highly recommend using real maple syrup when cooking or baking. Not only does it have a stronger more delicious flavor, but it comes straight from nature. The best deal I found on maple syrup was the Trader Joe’s 8 oz. bottle for $5.99. I followed the directions as follows with a few of my own additions:

Preheat oven to 375°. Lay bacon on a sheet pan and bake for 8 to15 minutes until crisp and golden brown. Set aside 2 pieces of the bacon for topping, and dice the rest.

Lower heat to 350°. Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners.

In a medium bowl combine flours, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. (Of course if you don’t have a stand mixer a hand mixer works as well)

Add the eggs to butter mixture 1 at a time, mixing well after each addition. Slowly add the dry ingredients and milk in 2 alternating batches, mixing well between additions. Then add vanilla and maple extracts (maple syrup works as well, but cut back a little on the sugar) and reserved diced bacon, and mix on medium speed for 2 minutes.

Scoop batter into prepared cupcake pan, filling each cup 2/3 full. Bake for 22 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Meanwhile, make cinnamon buttercream: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter on medium speed until smooth. Reduce speed to low and slowly add the powdered sugar until fully incorporated. Add the milk (or maple syrup) and vanilla and mix until combined. Slowly sprinkle in the cinnamon, adding more to taste.

When cupcakes are completely cool, frost with the buttercream. Chop the reserved slices of bacon into 24 pieces and garnish each cupcake with a piece. If not eating immediately, refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Since it is just my boyfriend and I here, I did cut the recipe in half. I stored the extras in the fridge and found that heating them for 10 seconds in the microwave before eating restored them to the perfect temperature. The bacon garnish on top becomes a bit flimsy over time so if you want the full effect then eat them right away. If you love bacon, butter, and sugar, you will not be disappointed! Even guys that don’t have much of a sweet tooth will devour these masterpieces. This is a definite keeper!

I adapted this from Gayle King’s Favorite Cupcake: http://www.oprah.com/food/Gayle-Kings-Favorite-Cupcake-The-Maple-Bacon-Cupcake-Recipe#ixzz1lpcDLWPX

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