I have three darling students that serve as my monitors. Last year they were my students and started helping me with bulletin boards, organization, and other such tasks and this year they asked to come and still help me as seventh graders. These girls are awesome! They keep me on my toes and it is an absolute joy to watch them turn from girls to young women. I have been able to get to know them not only as students, but as people, and I am so excited about what their futures hold. All three of these girls are bright, motivated, talented, generous, and just have a good head on their shoulders! These are the types of girls I hope to have someday as a daughter.
As a thank you treat, I told each girl to pick a day on my calendar and I would bake them something of their choosing. My first girl asked for bacon cupcakes. Weird, I know, but so are middle school girls! I was up to the challenge and I wanted to design a bacon cupcake that was simple and not intimidating. I wanted to create a cupcake that had bacon flavor but wasn't overwhelming.
This cupcake did the trick! I used the ultimate vanilla cupcake recipe minus the vanilla bean seen here and here with a little crumbled bacon added in. The cupcake was moist and tender with beautiful little bacon bits throughout. There was a little cheating going on because I used the leftover vanilla frosting from the tie-dye cupcakes with bacon added. The frosting was light and delicious and again, the little pieces of bacon were perfect! However, I was not finished, this cupcake most definitely needed a garnish. And with this garnish I have found a new love - candied bacon! So simple, so sweet, so delicious! This will not be the last of the candied bacon.
Conclusion? Bacon cupcake success!!! At first people were shy and intimidated, but then once Jackie was brave and took the first bite, the rest followed! The student that requested the bacon cupcakes even proclaimed them "the best cupcake" she had ever had! These puppies are good! And the best part are all the possibilities these cupcakes have opened. I hope to experiment further with bacon cupcakes. There are a lot of ideas in my head! My recent trip to Vermont will help me tremendously is carrying out these ideas!!
Bacon Cupcake adapted Cupcake Project Yield - 16 cupcakes
1 lb bacon 1 cup sugar 1 3/4 cup cake flour 1 1/2 tea. baking powder 1/2 tea. baking soda 1/2 tea. salt 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature 2 eggs 1/3 cup non-fat Greek yogurt 1/4 cup vegetable oil 1 tablespoon vanilla 2/3 cup skim milk
- Preheat the oven to 350 F.
- Place the 18-20 strips of bacon in a large pan on the stove. Fry until the bacon is very crispy. Let cool on a plate lined with several sheets of paper towel. (This will be for the cupcake and the frosting)
- In the bowl of a mixer add the sugar, flour, powder, soda, and salt, mix slowly with the paddle attachment. Add the butter and beat for several minutes until the mixture becomes nice and crumbly.
- While the mixer is mixing, whisk together the yogurt, eggs, oil, and vanilla. Pour this in the mixer and combine.
- Slowly add the milk in and turn on high for a few seconds.
- Crumble 10 slices of bacon into the batter and fold in. Using a standard ice cream scoop, place the batter into lined cupcake pans.
- Bake 14-17 minutes until a toothpick in a center cupcake comes out clean. Cool on cooling rack.
Garnish - Candied Bacon 6 slices of bacon 12 teaspoons of brown sugar
- Lay each strip of bacon on a foil covered sheet pan.
- Spread about 2 teaspoons of brown sugar on each strip of bacon. Press in slightly.
- Bacon for 10-15 minutes checking often for doneness. Rotate once during baking.
- Remove the bacon and let cool on parchment paper and then break into thirds.
Whipped Vanilla Frosting Adapted from Can you Stay for Dinner Yield - enough to decorate 17 cupcakes 1 cups whole milk 5 tablespoons flour 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste (you can substitute extract, but you won’t get the little, adorable and delicious vanilla bean seeds) 1 cups (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature 1 cups granulated sugar, NOT powdered!
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the milk and flour. Keep whisking until the mixture becomes smooth and thick resembling pancake batter.
- Remove from the heat, stir in the vanilla bean paste, and allow to cool completely.
- Beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy - the mixture will stay grainy, it’ll be ok, I was worried at first, too, but it really turns out wonderfully!
- Add in the cooled flour/milk mixture and beat until the entire frosting is light and fluffy.
- Crumble in 8-10 slices of bacon into the frosting, mix with a spatula. Use a spatula to frost the cupcakes and then place a piece of candied bacon on top.