Award-Winning Bacon-Wrapped Maple Cupcakes

The bacon-wrapped maple cupcake! A modern marvel.

Hi everyone! After a crazy-busy couple of months full of life changes–including marriage, name changing and laundry consolidation–it’s good to be back in the blogosphere. I’m excited to put all this new kitchen gear to work and share some more recipes!

The cake was delicious. Thanks for not smashing it in my face, Paul.
The wedding cake was delicious, by the way. Thanks for not smashing it in my face, Paul.

Now, on to the main event: Bacon-Wrapped Maple Cupcakes. This recipe came about as our entry into Iron Chef: Battle Bacon at Paul’s office. I had looked at a number of different bacon-maple cupcakes when it dawned on me: While all used bacon as a garnish and some even put it inside the cupcake, I couldn’t find ANY that featured bacon wrapped around them. After an afternoon of experimenting with different cupcakes, frostings and bacon-wrapping methods, this is what Paul and I came up with.

The bacon-wrapped maple cupcake! A modern marvel.
The bacon-wrapped maple cupcake! A modern marvel.

As the title of this post suggests, it was a winner! We took home first place as Dominators of Dessert.

The cupcake recipe comes from Will Cook For Smiles, while the maple buttercream is from this recipe on Food.com. I got the idea for the garnish and stovetop method from this candied bacon recipe.

(Click here for a printer-friendly PDF.)

Award-Winning Bacon-Wrapped Maple Cupcakes

Makes 12

Ingredients

For the garnish

  • 4-6 slices of bacon
  • 1 tbsp real maple syrup
  • 3-4 tbsp brown sugar

For the cupcakes

  • 12 slices of bacon, for wrapping
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup white granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup real maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp bacon drippings (from cooking bacon)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt (I used Fage 2%)
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt

For the frosting

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 tbsp real maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Steps

  1. Start by cooking up the bacon for the wrapping. Fry 12 slices in batches on medium heat until they are just beginning to crisp. You want to render off most of the fat but keep them flexible–they’ll be at the “chewy” stage. Drain on paper towels, and save 2 tbsp of the pan drippings for the cupcakes. When cool, wrap each bacon slice around the inside edge of a muffin cup (no need to grease the pan!).
    Step 1: Cook bacon. Lots of it.
    Step 1: Cook bacon. Lots of it.
    Cook the bacon until it is beginning to brown, but try not to let it crisp. Cool and drain on paper towels.
    Cook the bacon until it is beginning to brown, but try not to let it crisp. Cool and drain on paper towels.

    Wrap each slice of bacon around the inside of a muffin cup. Piece together any that break when you bend them (or make extras just in case!).
    Wrap each slice of bacon around the inside of a muffin cup. Piece together any that break when you bend them (or make extras just in case!).
  2. Fry the remaining bacon for the garnish on medium in a nonstick pan for 5-6 minutes until they begin to brown but are still flexible. Drain the bacon on paper towels and remove the grease from the pan. Place it back on medium heat. Brush bacon strips with maple syrup on both sides and dredge them in brown sugar. Return to the pan in a single layer and continue to cook, flipping as needed until crispy. Cool on parchment paper and crumble into pieces. (Tip: Add water to the pan and bring it to a boil to loosen the sticky residue before washing!)
    Cook the bacon for the garnish in a nonstick skillet. I didn't want to use my cast iron for this, because I wanted to boil water in it for cleanup afterward.
    Cook the bacon for the garnish in a nonstick skillet. I didn’t want to use my cast iron for this, because I wanted to boil water in it for cleanup afterward.
    After coating in maple syrup and brown sugar, return the bacon to the pan over medium heat. Flip as needed until crisp and caramelized.
    After coating in maple syrup and brown sugar, return the bacon to the pan over medium heat. Flip as needed until crisp and caramelized.
    Now you're talkin'! Let it get nice and browned, but remember that the candied bacon will continue to cook a bit as it cools.
    Now you’re talkin’! Let it get nice and browned, but remember that the candied bacon will continue to cook a bit as it cools.

    Cool the candied bacon on parchment paper (it will stick to paper towels). Once cool, it will crumble easily.
    Cool the candied bacon on parchment paper (it will stick to paper towels). Once cool, it will crumble easily.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  4. Prepare the cupcakes. In an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugar for the cupcakes on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  5. Lower the speed to medium and add the eggs one at a time. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  6. Beat in the maple syrup, vanilla and bacon drippings.
  7. Beat in the yogurt.
  8. Add the flour, baking powder and salt, and beat on low just until combined.
  9. Use an ice cream scoop with a lever to fill the muffin cups. Try to drop the batter right inside each bacon ring so that it will be visible after baking. Bake the cupcakes for 18-20 minutes until the tops are golden. Let cool for a few minutes in the pan, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
    Drop cupcake batter into the bacon rings using an ice cream scoop with a lever. The batter is fairly thick and will generally stay inside the bacon.
    Drop cupcake batter into the bacon rings using an ice cream scoop with a lever. The batter is fairly thick and will generally stay inside the bacon.
    Use a toothpick or press the top of a cupcake gently with a clean finger (it should spring back) to check for doneness. Cool the cupcakes for a few minutes in the pan.
    Use a toothpick or press the top of a cupcake gently with a clean finger (it should spring back) to check for doneness. Cool the cupcakes for a few minutes in the pan.

    Remove the cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely. Check out that bacon wrapping!
    Remove the cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely. Check out that bacon wrapping!
  10. Prepare the frosting: Use a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment to whip the butter on high until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Turn the speed to low and add the salt and powdered sugar a little at a time. Once incorporated, turn the mixer up to medium-high and whip the frosting until fluffy, about 1-2 minutes. Add the maple syrup and vanilla and whip for 1 minute.
  11. Frost the cooled cupcakes and top with crumbled candied bacon. Store covered in the refrigerator.

    Paul whipped up the maple buttercream frosting in no time! Frost the cooled cupcakes and top with candied bacon.
    Paul whipped up the maple buttercream frosting in no time! Frost the cooled cupcakes and top with candied bacon.

0 thoughts on “Award-Winning Bacon-Wrapped Maple Cupcakes

Leave a comment below!