You could also call these, "Cinnamon-Maple-Bacon Cupcakes with a Cinnamon-Maple Buttercream topped with candied bacon." Love it or leave it.
Clearly there are not a lot of men in my life. I live with women, am friends with women, and I work with mostly women. So when it's time to make a cupcake for a dude, I want to go all out! These cupcakes were made in honor of Rob's birthday.
When I last made Bacon Cupcakes, it was definitely an experiment where I just threw bacon into a regular cupcake. Not these babies! These were well thought out and bacon was incorporated three ways; bacon fat inside the cupcake batter, crumbled bacon side, and candied bacon on top. I really wanted to play off of the breakfast-ness of bacon, a breakfast cupcake if you will.
The cupcake is an adaptation of Martha Stewart's snickerdoodle cupcake. The cake itself is very moist and tender with excellent cinnamon flavor. The bacon fat adds a subtle flavor and extra moisture. Using a recipe from a regional cookbook is a little wonky and the buttercream was a bit troublesome, but came out well at the end. It's a sweet and delicious frosting that is perfectly creamy. Candied bacon on top is A-mazing! This is not just a garnish, this is a requirement.
Man Cupcakes (Cinnamon-Maple-Bacon Cupcake with a Cinnamon-Maple Buttercream and candied bacon on top) Yield - 15
Cinnamon-Maple-Bacon Cupcakes Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes, page 151
8 slices of bacon, cooked crispy 3/4 cup flour 3/4 cup cake flour 1/2 tablespoon baking powder 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt 1/2 tablespoon cinnamon 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature 3 tablespoons cooled bacon fat 3/4 cup sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla 2 tablespoons maple syrup, grade B 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons milk
- Preheat the oven to 350 F.
- Cook 8 slices of bacon on the stove top, cook until extra crispy and then cool on paper towel. Pour the bacon fat into a container and set aside. (I put mine in the freezer to cool faster)
- Sift together the flours, powder, salt, and cinnamon onto wax paper, set aside.
- Cream together the butter, bacon fat, and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment. Beat together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs in one at a time and then beat in the vanilla and maple syrup. Scrape down the bowl as needed.
- Turn the mixer on slow and add the flour in three additions with half the milk in between. Mix until just combined.
- Crumble the cooked bacon and mix in by hand.
- Use a standard size ice cream scoop to place the batter in a lined cupcake tin. Bake 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Let cool completely on a wire rack.
Candied Bacon 5 slices of bacon 5 tablespoons brown sugar
- Cover a toaster oven tray in foil. Place the bacon strips on the foil.
- Spread 1 tablespoon of brown sugar over each slice of bacon. Press into the bacon.
- Bake in the toaster oven for about 10 minutes. Watch closely and rotate the pan as needed. Bake until the sugar turns dark brown and bubbly.
- Let the bacon cool slightly and then carefully move to a sheet of parchment paper to cool and harden. Once cool, cut each slice into 3 pieces.
Maple-Cinnamon Buttercream Adapted from The Official Vermont Maple Cookbook, 3rd Edition, page 24
Yield - barely enough for 15 cupcakes, (if you like a lot of frosting, I upped the recipe by 50% in parenthesis & in red - you could always use the extra frosting for pancakes!) 1 cup maple syrup, grade B (1 1/2) 2 egg whites (3) 1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature (18 tablespoons) 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (3/4)
- Place the maple syrup on a small pot on the stove. Boil until it reaches 235 F. It starts heating really fast and then goes slow at the end. Do NOT stir, just leave it alone. Meanwhile, add the egg whites to the bowl of your stand mixer with the whisk attachment.
- Once the maple syrup reaches 235 F, turn on the mixer and whip the egg whites until they have soft peaks and are no longer foamy. This takes about 2-3 minutes.
- When the maple syrup reaches 242 F, turn the mixer on low and slowly drizzle in the maple syrup. Beat on high until you have stiff peaks.
- Add in the butter one tablespoon at a time. Keep beating to combine everything and the frosting becomes stiffer.
My frosting went really liquidy at this point and I freaked out, threw everything in the fridge, and then started beating again. I was about ready to throw it all away and start again, but then everything came together. Sometimes you just need to beat the s&!t out of the frosting.
- Add to a piping bag and frost the cupcakes. Add the candied bacon on top.