There are things in life that are so wrong together but yet they feel so right.
I’m talking about purple and lime green as a color combination, Kid Rock together with the Bee Gees, pouring M&Ms into a bowl of hot popcorn. The list goes on and on and it also includes the most delicious pairing of all, maple and bacon.
I will admit that when maple bacon anything first hit the streets years ago, I was quite skeptical. Why would anyone think bacon and maple would go together like PB&J was beyond me. Until I tried it and then the Universe made sense and It was wise. The salty crunchiness of the bacon being used as a backdrop against the sweet, rich maple flavor automatically turns whatever that culinary creation is into edible gold. I was a believer.
These days there is maple bacon EVERYTHING… cookies, donuts, cakes and cupcakes. Everyone seems to have a recipe and I will be honest, I wasn’t sure what I could bring to the party that hadn’t already been brought. No one likes two identical taco salads at a potluck, get my drift? What makes these cupcakes different from the others is sheer amount of maple flavor packed into a little paper cupcake wrapper. The first batch of cupcakes I did were delicious and then I was told by my official cupcake tester (aka Big Scary Mike) MORE MAPLE. So back I went and added more maple and laid out another sample for him and I was told MORE MAPLE. Somewhat discouraged, I began thinking Mike was just trying to stockpile 6 dozen cupcakes all for himself. But I went back and added yet more maple and once again brought him his sample and was finally rewarded with a big thumbs up.
My job was done.
Maple Bacon Cupcakes
You will need:
1 box butter pecan cake mix and all ingredients box calls for
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
3 tsp maple extract
2 tbl maple syrup
1⁄4 cup butter
1⁄2 tsp salt
1⁄3 cup maple syrup
2 tsp vanilla
3 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoons milk
1 tbl maple extract
6 pieces of well cooked bacon
The first thing I do is get the bacon out of the way. Place bacon on a cookie sheet covered in foil and back for 15-20 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Once your bacon is crisp, remove from the pan and set aside.
Next, preheat your oven as the cake mix box instructs and prepare your cake mix as you normally would. Add in your extra spices, extracts and syrup and mix to combine. Pour into a well greased cupcake tin or one lined with paper wrappers. Bake in the oven for the suggested amount of time on the box and when your cupcakes are done, remove from the oven and from the pan and place your cupcakes on a rack to cool.
For your frosting, add your butter to a bowl and beat on low until creamy. Add in your salt, syrup, vanilla, milk and extract and continue mixing. Add in your in small batches and mix to combine.
Once your cupcakes are cool, spoon your frosting into a piping bag or a food storage bag with the corner snipped off and frost those bad boys up!! … or do what I normally do and just grab a knife. When your cupcakes are frosted and simply couldn’t look any more delicious, crumble up that bacon, sprinkle it on top and wait for every man in your household to suddenly find a reason to be in the kitchen.
These cupcakes are a little off the beaten path but I promise you will not be disappointed. Take a little walk on the wild side and your day will look a little brighter… plus you will have cupcakes and that is never a bad thing.