Bacon. How can you go wrong with bacon?! While I’m sure some of you are cringing at the thought of a cupcake topped with it, others will understand the perfect salty and sweet combination that is bacon on a cupcake.

I have been contemplating doing a savoury/sweet cupcake for a long time, and have had this recipe sitting on my shelf just waiting to be made. So, when one of the guys at work mentioned his birthday was coming, I knew this was the perfect excuse to try this one out. I mean, what guy doesn’t love bacon?

These were a total hit! The dense cake base tasted like flavourful french toast and when combined with the maple buttercream and bacon, it was like breakfast in a cupcake wrapper. The only thing that would have sent this one over the top would be if I had candied the bacon with maple syrup.If I make these again, I will be doing that for sure!

I made the buttercream and bacon in advance  – but my recommendation is to not do that if you can help it. These were delicious, but the icing is far better freshly whipped and I prefer my bacon to be fresh and crispy.  (I made these on a week night to take into work the next day and I had no interest in getting up at 5 a.m. to make icing.)

French Toast Maple Bacon Cupcakes
Makes 12

Cupcakes:

¾ cup unsalted butter (1½ sticks), room temperature
1 cup sugar
1½ cups cake flour, sifted
1½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
¼ cup milk, room temperature
¼ cup light cream (5%), room temperature
1½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tsp fresh grated nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
3 large eggs, room temperature, separated

Maple Syrup Buttercream:

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2¾ cups icing sugar
2 tsp heavy cream, room temperature
2 tbsp real maple syrup

bacon, cooked and crumbled, garnish*
extra maple syrup, garnish

*I bake my bacon at 350 degrees F on a wire rack on a cookie sheet. I cook until the bacon is crispy (anywhere from 15-25 minutes depending on the thickness of the bacon).

Preheat to 375 degrees F. Line the cupcake pan with liners.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Set aside. In a small bowl, whisk together the milk and vanilla and set aside.

In a standing mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and sugar and mix on low speed until well incorporated. Add the egg yolks to the creamed butter one at time, waiting for each one to be fully combined before adding the next.

Reduce the speed of the mixer to low. Alternately, add the flour mixture in 3 additions and the milk in 2 additions, ending with the flour mixture. Continue mixing until batter is smooth. Set aside.

In a different bowl, whip the egg whites on high speed, using the whisk attachment, until stiff peaks are formed. Working in 3 batches, using a rubber spatula, fold the egg whites into the cupcake batter, until just combined.

Fill cupcake liners about 1/2 full. Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean, about 20 minutes.

Remove the cupcakes from the oven and cool completely before frosting.

To make the buttercream:

In a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the butter and icing sugar on low speed until combined. Continuing mixing until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.

Reduce the speed of the mixer to low. Add the heavy cream and maple extract. Raise the speed to high and mix briefly until fluffy (scrape down the bowl occasionally). Using a piping bag fitted with a large tip, pipe the buttercream onto the cupcakes. Garnish with crumbled bacon and a drizzle of maple syrup.

**The buttercream is best if made and piped on immediately before consuming. I made mine in advance and it lost it’s light, fluffy factor.**

Source: adapted from I Heart Cuppycakes (adapted from Life With Cake)

Enjoy!

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