UGH, you guys. So sorry that I’ve been MIA – the worst part about not being a baker as my real life full-time job is that sometimes I have to do the boring corporate stuff more than the fun delicious stuff. I also went away for Labor Day Weekend and, ugh. Here, I made something amazing to make up for it – forgive me?
My best friend/Maid of Honor/moon emoji – also named Nicole – told me of the most incredible cupcake she had ever eaten in her life at the South Beach Food & Wine Festival. That cupcake was a pancake, in cupcake form, with maple and bacon frosting. After months of subtle hints through Pinterest screenshots, escalating into “PLEASE JUST MAKE THESE”, I finally decided that these would be a great “I’m back in the kitchen, get ready to have your face melted” treat. And, oh my damn you guys. These are seriously incredible. It is literally a frosted pancake, and no matter how much you try to prepare yourself for them being the tastiest thing you’ve ever tasted, you can’t. Seeing Nicole and Fiancébot try them was like…watching a baby laugh for the first time, or those adorable Youtube videos when small children gets surprised with pets on Christmas or their birthdays.
They’re really damn good, is what I’m trying to convey. Onward!
Maple Bacon Cupcakes
- 3 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled, set aside
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 cups AP flour
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 5 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled, set aside
- 5 tbsp maple syrup (for frosting)
- 3 tbsp maple syrup (for bacon)
- 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil and arrange bacon on the pan. Bake 15 minutes until very crisp; immediately transfer bacon to paper towels to drain; let cool 5-10 minutes.
- Separate into 3 strips and 5 strips (for cake and frosting, respectively). Crumble bacon and toss with maple syrup. (Note that there is a total of 8 slices of bacon and 5 collective tablespoons of maple syrup in this step.)
- Line a standard muffin pan with paper liners, and spray liners with your favorite non-stick spray (personally I love Baker’s Joy). This is super important because pancake batter is MUCH stickier than regular cake batter and your liners will stick to the cake if you aren’t careful!
- Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Add the 3 strips worth of the cooled mapley bacon that you set aside. In a second bowl, whisk together milk, eggs and melted butter. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and stir just until fully moistened (there may be small lumps). Remember, this is a real pancake batter and not a cake batter.
- Divide the batter evenly amongst the muffin cups (I use a 1/4 cup measuring cup to distribute evenly) and bake in the preheated oven until puffed and firm to the touch, about 10 minutes (they will not brown much). Cool in pan 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack until fully cooled.
- In the work bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment, beat the butter on high until very light and fluffy, about 5 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl every minute or two. Turn the speed down to low and add the powdered sugar a little at a time – only add more once what you’re working with is pretty much totally absorbed. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, turn up to medium-high and beat until fluffy, another minute or two.
- Add maple syrup and vanilla and continue to beat, about another minute. Add about 3/4 of the 5 strips of bacon previously crumbled and set aside, and stir in with a spatula. Frost the cooled cupcakes with an offset spatula. Top with remaining bacon. This frosting can’t be piped on, as the bits of bacon will clog the bag’s tip.
Truly, truly, truly outrageous.