Award Winning Bacon Cupcakes

Looking for a fun and different cupcake recipe? How about Bacon & Brown Sugar Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting? When I heard that the Easton Farmers’ Market was planning their first annual Bacon Fest my immediate response was “Count me in!”. As an Easton, Pa Bed & Breakfast owner, I know from bacon – one of my favorite ingredients! Then they announced the Hog Heaven Bacon Cupcake Contest and I knew I had to enter. I started with a very basic, but delicious cupcake recipe. I wanted something on the plain side so I could let the bacon be the star of the show. My favorite frosting of all time is a maple cream cheese combo that I thought would be the perfect complement. The first trial led to some happy staff and family members but nearly everyone said – more bacon! So the final entry has bacon incorporated three ways. Since I came home with the judges’ prize, I guess everyone was right. Want to make bacon cupcakes at home? Here’s my how-to:

One pound of bacon – the better the bacon, the better the cupcakes. I like an all-natural, hickory smoked variety sliced fairly thin. Bake bacon slices on rimmed cookie sheets at 350 degrees until crisp and lightly browned. Drain on paper towels. Reserve several slices for decorating the tops of the cupcakes and chop the rest into small bacon-fetti.

Prepare cupcake batter (see below). Fold in 1/3 cup of the bacon bits. Fill papers about two-thirds full and sprinkle additional bacon bits on top. Bake at 350 until lightly brown and set in the center – about 10 minutes for minis, 15 minutes for full size. Frost with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting (see below) and decorate with remaining bacon. Enjoy!

Brown Sugar Cupcakes
Makes 12 large, or 36 mini cupcakes
1 cup loosely packed brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup whole milk
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl, beat brown sugar and egg until smooth. Add vanilla and milk, mix to combine. Slowly pour in melted butter, continuing to beat. Add in the flour, soda and salt, mixing until batter is smooth.
Ready to be frosted!

Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
1/2 stick butter, room temp
8 oz cream cheese, room temp
1/4 cup maple syrup
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Beat butter & cream cheese until smooth. Beat in remaining ingredients until smooth. Keep refrigerated.
Laura Di Liello