maple bacon cupcake
Photo: Molly Rundberg
"Best thing I ate while judging the Vendy Awards—a cook-off among New York's incredible street food vendors—this fall: the Cupcake Crew's maple bacon cupcake. I knew I liked maple and that I also like bacon, but who knew how much I'd like them together?"— Gayle King


Makes 24 cupcakes

Ingredients


For cupcakes:
  • 1/2 pound thick cut bacon (about 8 to 10 strips)
  • 1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup cake flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 16 Tbsp. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup milk, at room temperature
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp. maple extract (found in the spice aisle)
  • Maple syrup, to garnish
For cinnamon buttercream:
  • 16 Tbsp. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar (a little less than 1 pound)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp. milk
  • 1 to 2 Tbsp. cinnamon

Directions

Active time: 35 minutes
Total time: 1 hour and 10 minutes

Preheat oven to 375°. Lay bacon on a sheet pan and bake for 8 to15 minutes until crisp and golden brown. Set aside 2 pieces of the bacon for topping, and dice the rest.

Lower heat to 350°. Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners.

In a medium bowl combine flours, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.

Add the eggs to butter mixture 1 at a time, mixing well after each addition. Slowly add the dry ingredients and milk in 2 alternating batches, mixing well between additions. Then add vanilla and maple extracts and reserved diced bacon, and mix on medium speed for 2 minutes.

Scoop batter into prepared cupcake pan, filling each cup 2/3 full. Bake for 22 to 26 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Meanwhile, make cinnamon buttercream: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter on medium speed until smooth. Reduce speed to low and slowly add the powdered sugar until fully incorporated. Add the milk and vanilla and mix until combined. Slowly sprinkle in the cinnamon, adding more to taste.

When cupcakes are completely cool, frost with the buttercream. Chop the reserved slices of bacon into 24 pieces and garnish each cupcake with a piece. Drizzle maple syrup over the top and serve. If not eating immediately, refrigerate for up to 3 days.

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