Maple Bacon Cupcakes

What could be better than maple cinnamon cupcakes? How about maple cinnamon cupcakes filled and topped with candied bacon? I know this recipe won’t be for everyone, some people find the idea of mixing bacon with dessert to be absolutely absurd. I will admit that I was initially skeptical, but these little cupcakes are so delicious! I made these and brought them to my ‘guinea pigs’ at work and they were a huge success! The combination of sweet and salty flavors in this dessert is perfect with a cup of coffee.

 

Adapted Recipe Courtesy of Mary Thurston

For the Candied Bacon:

  • 1lb uncooked maple bacon
  • 1 1/2 cup brown sugar

 

  1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees and line two baking sheets with tin foil.
  2. Coat two wire racks with non-stick spray and place them on each baking sheet.
  3. Pour the brown sugar onto a plate and coat each piece of bacon with brown sugar. Press down on the bacon to make sure both sides of each piece are coated well with the sugar.
  4. Lay the bacon flat onto the greased wire rack in a single layer. (You may not have enough to completely fill both racks depending on how much bacon you’re using)
  5. Place the baking sheets into oven on the center rack and bake until crispy, you may have to do two batches depending on the size of your oven. (approx. 20-25 minutes, watch it so the sugar doesn’t burn)
  6. Remove bacon from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes on the racks.
  7. Place the bacon on a cutting board and roughly chop into small pieces.
  8. Reserve half of the candied bacon for the garnish, the rest will be going inside the cupcakes!

For the Cupcakes:

  • 1 package (18.25oz) yellow cake mix (with added pudding)
  • 3/4 cup of water
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs (room temperature)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar (loosely packed)
  • 1 tsp maple flavoring or extract
  • 1 cup of the reserved candied bacon pieces

 

  1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees and line two, 12 cup muffin tins with paper liners.
  2. Combine all of the ingredients (**except for the bacon**) in a large mixing bowl and beat until the batter is thick and smooth.
  3. Fill each paper liner about 2/3rd of the way up with the batter.
  4. Sprinkle the tops of the batter-filled liners with about a spoonful of candied bacon, then use the back of the spoon to slightly press the bacon into the batter.
  5. Bake the cupcakes on the center rack for about 20-25 minutes, or until the tops spring back when lightly pressed.
  6. Remove the cupcakes from the oven and put the muffin tins onto wire racks to cool for about 5 minutes. Then carefully remove the cupcakes from the tins to let them finish cooling completely on the wire racks. While they are cooling you can make the frosting.

Maple Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 1 package (8oz) neuchâtel or cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/4 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 3 cups of powdered sugar
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • remaining candied bacon pieces

 

  1. In a large bowl, beat together the neuchâtel/cream cheese and butter until it is light and fluffy.
  2. Add the maple syrup, powdered sugar, cinnamon and vanilla extract and mix until everything is well combined. (The frosting will be a little on the thin side)
  3. Generously frost your cupcakes and garnish with candied bacon pieces.
  4. Die from the delicious bacon-y maple goodness. ^_^