Thursday, April 8, 2010

Bacon's Final Frontier

Nope, this is not a joke. There are actual, real-life pieces of bacon on those cupcakes. It seems bacon has crossed some culinary boundaries into dessertland.

I like bacon. I use it quite a bit. I didn't realize how much I used it until a friend gave me this recently:

Clicking on the photo will take you to the shop this comes from.

She said she saw it and it reminded her of me. It makes me smile every time I see it. It got me thinking though. . . do I really talk about bacon that much? I don't think I'm obsessed or anything. (If you are, you'll enjoy that link. I thought it was hilarious, so I guess that means I am obsessed.)


OK, back to the subject at hand. I found the recipe for these cupcakes in a Food Network Magazine several months ago. I made them for a little get together, and I'm pretty sure they were a hit. Even one of my Celiac friends ate a couple, knowing full-well she'd probably be sick later. They were that good.

I actually made them in my mini muffin pan so I'd have more to go around -- about 40 or so.


However, I do have a couple of qualms with this recipe. Maybe I'm splitting hairs. Or being a whiner. I'll let you decide. . .

1. These don't taste like maple french toast. This recipe won a contest in which the participants had to incorporate maple syrup into a recipe. There's maple syrup in both the cake and the frosting, but I didn't notice the flavor in either, despite using 100% pure Grade B maple syrup -- the dark, flavorful stuff. (I have been congested lately, so my tastes have been a little wonky. If anyone who ate these disagrees, please let me know.) Next time I'd use maple flavoring in both the cake and the frosting.

2. The recipe was overly fussy without being spectacular. This recipe calls 2 types of flour, 2 types of sugar, divided eggs, half-and-half and potato starch. Who has potato starch on hand all the time? (I do, but I'm weird.) For such a fussy recipe, I expected the taste and texture to be amazing. Yes, they were delicious, but it would have been just as good using a standard vanilla cake recipe and adding cinnamon, nutmeg, and bacon -- essentially a baco-fied spice cake. I added some comments at the bottom of the recipe of what I would do if I were to make these again.

Like I said, though, they were great. I loved the different reactions when I brought these out, ranging from a skeptically raised eyebrow to an enthusiastic high-five.


Maple French Toast and Bacon Cupcakes
adapted slightly from Kara Scow via Food Network Magazine

For the Cupcakes:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup cake flour
1 3.9-ounce box instant vanilla pudding mix
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon potato starch
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 large egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup half-and-half, at room temperature
1 cup chopped cooked bacon (about 10 strips)

For the Frosting:
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, at room temperature
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
6 strips bacon, cooked and chopped for garnish (optional)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Place paper liners in a 12-cup muffin tin.

Combine the flours, pudding mix, baking powder, potato starch, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a bowl with a whisk.

In another bowl, cream the butter and sugars with a mixer on low speed until combined, 6 to 8 minutes. Gradually mix in the vanilla and egg whites. Scrape down the sides of the bowl; continue mixing until light and fluffy. Add the flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with the maple syrup and half-and-half, mixing after each addition and ending with flour. Mix until the ingredients are just combined; do not overmix. Fold in the bacon.

Pour the batter into the prepared muffin tin, filling each cup about three-quarters of the way. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Cool completely.

Meanwhile, prepare the frosting: Beat the cream cheese and butter with a mixer on medium speed until creamy. Add the confectioners' sugar cinnamon. Add maple syrup a couple teaspoons at a time until the desired consistency is reached. Spread on the cooled cupcakes; top with chopped bacon, if desired.

Nat's Notes:
1. The amounts of bacon listed above is doubled from the original recipe. The most frequent comment I got about these was that they needed more bacon.
2. If I were to make these again, I would. . .
a. Omit the potato starch. I don't think it added anything.
b. Use 2 whole eggs.
c. Replace the maple syrup in the cake with 2 T of maple flavoring + either 2 T of half-and-half or water to compensate for the lack of moisture.
d. Replace the maple syrup in the frosting with 1 T of maple flavoring. Add a little milk until you reach the desired consistency.
3. If you use a mini muffin pan, reduce the baking time to about 15-18 minutes. To prevent the bottoms from getting too dark, place a couple of cookie sheets under the muffin pan while it's baking.

Print Recipe Text Only

Originally Posted HERE


  1. mmmmmmmm..these sound makin them!!!!!!

  2. I seriously have to try these. I might make them for a family party and weird everyone out, just because. But I'm sure they will be gone in no time!!

  3. I stumbled upon your blog today ... (that happens), and I am DEFINITELY going to try this recipe!

    When I was 18 I helped an elderly lady one summer as my job and she always had me make her peanut butter and bacon sandwiches. She said, "Everything tastes better with bacon on it." I guess she was right!

    I LOVE peanut butter and bacon sandwiches!!!

  4. pollydove... peanut butter with bacon?! That might actually convince me to love peanut butter. (I tolerate it occasionally.) Thanks for the idea!


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