Maple bacon cupcakes with maple drizzle on plate
Breakfast,  Cupcakes

Maple Bacon Cupcakes

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These maple bacon cupcakes are fluffy and topped with cream cheese frosting and candied maple bacon pieces. The cupcakes taste like pancakes covered in maple syrup! They’re moist, fluffy, and a perfect complement to the sticky and crispy candied bacon. All of your favourite breakfast foods in one cupcake. Just add the coffee on the side!

Why you will LOVE this recipe:

  • Maple: The cupcakes have maple syrup in the batter, making them taste like pancakes. The cupcakes are also drizzled with some maple syrup at the end for more maple flavour. 
  • Bacon: They’re topped with a sweet and salty homemade maple candied bacon! It’s delicious and easy to make.
  • Frosting: They’re topped with a luxurious fluffy cream cheese frosting that is perfectly pipeable and works so well with the maple bacon flavour. 
  • Fluffy: The cupcakes are so fluffy and tender, just like your favourite pancake recipe!
cut in half maple bacon cupcake

The best pipeable cream cheese frosting

The cream cheese frosting is fluffy, perfectly pipeable, and doesn’t require loads of icing sugar to keep it stable. It works so well with the bacon and maple flavours! I didn’t want to use a traditional American buttercream for these cupcakes because it would’ve been too sweet with the candied bacon.

To make a perfectly pipeable cream cheese frosting, you want the butter to be pretty firm. Not cold, but not room temperature. If you poke the butter, it should make an indent while still being firm. It shouldn’t melt away and look greasy at all. Beat the butter and powdered sugar until light and fluffy (about 5 minutes).

The cream cheese obly needs to be softened for about 5-10 minutes at room temperature. It should still be cold to the touch. This is what helps keep the frosting thick and pipeable. Room temperature (softened) cream cheese frosting tends to melt in the frosting, giving you a gloopy texture. With the mixer running, add in the cream cheese piece by piece – allowing enough time for it to blend completely so that you don’t get a lumpy frosting.

Lastly, add the vanilla and cold heavy whipping cream gradually, and beat well. The frosting is going to become fluffy and will increase in volume. Before frosting the maple bacon cupcakes, mix with a spatula or wooden spoon to beat out any large air pockets, creating a smoother frosting.

How to make candied maple glazed bacon

It’s so easy to make candied bacon! Start off with your bacon. The thinner the bacon, the crispier it will be when cooked. Spread the bacon with a drizzle of maple syrup and coat generously with some brown sugar. Lay onto a single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake until a deep golden brown colour. 

After 20 minutes of baking, be sure to check them every 3 minutes to make sure that the bacon doesn’t start to burn. It can burn pretty quickly once the sugar starts to caramelize so be careful. 

The bacon should be eaten slightly warm or room temperature because when the fat is cold it doesn’t taste as good. I recommend topping the cupcakes with bacon as soon as the bacon is a little warmer than room temperature (so the frosting doesn’t melt) – right before serving! 

Cupcake with bacon on top

Key ingredients:

Full steps and ingredients in recipe card below. But read through these for all the tips you will need for success!

Bacon: the thinner the bacon, the crispier it will be when it’s cooked! You can choose a maple bacon for more maple flavour.

Maple syrup: These maple bacon cupcakes are loaded with maple syrup. Be sure to use the real deal (not a “pancake syrup”) for the most maple flavour! It needs to be 100% pure maple syrup. 

Butter: There’s butter in the batter and the frosting. Make sure the butter is pretty soft for the batter so it incorporates smoothly. It needs to be more firm for the frosting (less time at room temperature). Be sure to use a good quality real butter for the best result.

Vegetable oil: The cupcake batter has a touch of vegetable oil which keeps the cupcakes moist and not dry. 

Brown sugar: The batter and bacon both have brown sugar. I use an old fashioned brown sugar. Pack it tightly for the most accurate measurements.

Buttermilk: I recommend a store bought buttermilk because it’s thicker, but you can make your own. Add ½ tablespoon white or apple cider vinegar to ⅓ cup of room temperature milk, stir, and set aside for 5 minutes. It should become thicker in texture. 

Cream cheese: Use a full fat cream cheese for a creamy frosting that holds its shape. Do not use a low fat cream cheese because they have a higher moisture content and will result in a cream cheese frosting that is impossible to pipe and will be too thin.

Heavy whipping cream: Choose a cream that is 35% or higher. Do not use milk or half and half cream. It will thin the frosting too much, making it melt and become gloopy. 

All purpose flour: Weigh the flour to get the most accurate results. If you don’t have a scale, measure properly by stirring the bag and spooning gently into a measuring cup. Scrape the excess off the top with the flat edge off a knife without packing it into the cup.

Maple bacon cupcake with cupcake liner lowered

Step by step

Step 1 – Start the cupcakes. Beat butter, oil, and sugar until light and fluffy. A sturdy whisk attachment on a stand mixer (or electric hand mixer) works best here. Add vanilla and eggs, one by one, beating well in between. Add maple syrup and buttermilk, beating well. It’s ok if the mixture separates.

Step 2 – Dry ingredients. Sift flour and baking powder right into the bowl of wet ingredients. Fold until a smooth and creamy batter forms. You can use the paddle attachment on your stand mixer and mix on medium speed for 7 seconds. 

Step 3 – Bake in preheated oven for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool in baking tin for 5 minutes before transferring to cooling rack.

Step 4 – Coat the bacon. Place bacon onto parchment lined baking sheet and drizzle maple syrup. Flip the bacon to evenly coat each side with syrup. Place each piece of bacon into a plate filled with brown sugar, turning it over to coat each side. Arrange back onto baking sheet.

Step 5 – Bake the bacon. Place into oven and bake for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, check the bacon every 3 minutes so that the sugar doesn’t burn. It’s ready when the bacon is golden brown and crisp. The sugar will turn a deep golden colour. It is burnt when it turns a dark brown/black colour. Remove from oven and let cool completely on the baking sheet. Once cool, cut into 1” pieces.

Step 6 – Make the frosting. The butter needs to be only slightly softened. It should still feel a bit cold to the touch but will make an indentation if you press your finger into it. Beat butter, sugar, and salt until very light and fluffy with a paddle attachment – about 5-7 minutes. It should become very pale in colour. Add in the cold cream cheese, piece by piece, beating well in between each addition. Beat until smooth. Add the vanilla extract and add the whipping cream, tablespoon by tablespoon until the frosting becomes light and fluffy but still holds its shape.

Step 7 – Decorate. Fill a piping bag fitted with a star tip with cream cheese frosting. Pipe swirls of frosting onto the cooled maple bacon cupcakes and place bacon pieces on top. Drizzle with more maple syrup (optional). Enjoy!

FAQ

How do I make pipeable cream cheese frosting?

Make sure your butter isn’t too soft and the cream cheese has to cold. This will keep the frosting colder and thicker as you work with it without needing to add too much sugar. Finish off the frosting with heavy whipping cream to make it fluffy and creamy without thinning it out too much.

What do I do if my cream cheese frosting is too runny to pipe?

If the frosting turns out too soft and doesn’t hold its shape, pop it into the fridge for 15 minutes to firm up. Beat it again. If it’s still too thin, add more powdered sugar – gradually – until it becomes as thick as you need it.

Can I use table syrup instead of maple syrup?

I tested this recipe only with pure maple syrup for the best flavour. I don’t know how it would turn out with a thicker syrup and I do not recommend using it because the flavour won’t be there.

Why are my cupcakes dense?

A couple of things can cause dense cupcakes. Beat the butter, oil, and sugar until very light and fluffy. Once you add the flour in (weigh it for the most accurate results), fold the batter well so that it is pretty smooth. DO not overmix because you will develop too much gluten, causing a dense cupcake. Lastly, don’t overbake the cupcakes! They’re done as soon as a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

What attachment should I use for making frosting?

I highly recommend using a paddle attachment for making frosting, especially cream cheese or american buttercream. It makes for a much smoother frosting that pipes so beautifully. I find that whisk attachments often add too many large air pockets, creating a frosting with too many bubbles. If you have too many bubbles, just run the mixer on low with a paddle attachment for a few minutes or fold with a spoon/spatula at the end. This won’t deflate the frosting – it’ll just make it more smooth.

bitten maple cupcake with glazed bacon

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Maple bacon cupcakes with maple drizzle on plate

Maple Bacon Cupcakes

Mary
These maple bacon cupcakes are fluffy and topped with cream cheese frosting and candied maple bacon pieces. The cupcakes taste like pancakes covered in maple syrup! They’re moist, fluffy, and a perfect complement to the sticky and crispy candied bacon. All of your favourite breakfast foods in one cupcake. Just add the coffee on the side!
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Baking, Breakfast, Brunch, cupcakes, Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12 cupcakes

Equipment

  • cupcake tin
  • cupcake liners

Ingredients
  

Cupcakes

  • ¼ cup butter softened
  • cup vegetable oil
  • teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs room temperature
  • cup maple syrup room temperature
  • cup buttermilk room temperature
  • 1 ¼ cup all purpose flour 150g
  • 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder

Candied Bacon

  • 6 slices uncooked bacon thinner bacon for crisper result
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons maple syrup

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • ¾ cup butter softened slightly
  • teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 ½ cups powdered sugar sifted
  • 4 oz cream cheese cold
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3-6 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

Instructions
 

Cupcakes

  • To make the maple cupcakes, preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line a 12 hole muffin tin with muffin liners.
  • In a stand mixer or in a large bowl with electric mixer – beat together the butter, oil, salt, and sugar until light and fluffy. A whisk attachment works best here.
    ¼ cup butter, ⅛ cup vegetable oil, ⅛ teaspoon sea salt, ¼ cup brown sugar
  • Add vanilla and eggs, one by one, beating well in between. Add maple syrup and buttermilk, beating well. It’s ok if the mixture separates.
    1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, 2 large eggs, ⅓ cup maple syrup, ⅓ cup buttermilk
  • Sift flour and baking powder right into the bowl of wet ingredients. Fold until a smooth and creamy batter forms. You can use the paddle attachment on your stand mixer and mix on medium speed for 7 seconds.
    1 ¼ cup all purpose flour, 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • Bake in preheated oven for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool in baking tin for 5 minutes before transferring to cooling rack.

Candied Bacon

  • Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). I like to make candied bacon right after baking the cupcakes. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread out brown sugar in a large plate and set aside.
    ¾ cup brown sugar
  • Place bacon onto baking sheet and drizzle maple syrup. Flip the bacon to evenly coat each side with syrup.
    6 slices uncooked bacon, 4 tablespoons maple syrup
  • Place each piece of bacon into the plate with brown sugar, turning it over to coat each side. Arrange back onto baking sheet.
  • Place into oven and bake for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, check the bacon every 3 minutes so that the sugar doesn’t burn. It’s ready when the bacon is golden brown and crisp. The sugar will turn a deep golden colour. It is burnt when it turns a dark brown/black colour.
  • Remove from oven and let cool completely on the baking sheet. Once cool, cut into 1” pieces.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • The butter needs to be only slightly softened. It should still feel a bit cold to the touch but will make an indentation if you press your finger into it. Beat butter, sugar, and salt until very light and fluffy with a paddle attachment – about 5-7 minutes. It should become very pale in colour.
    ¾ cup butter, 2 ½ cups powdered sugar, ⅛ teaspoon sea salt
  • Add in the cold cream cheese, piece by piece, beating well in between each addition. Beat until smooth.
    4 oz cream cheese
  • Add the vanilla extract and add the whipping cream, tablespoon by tablespoon until the frosting becomes light and fluffy but still holds its shape.
    1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, 3-6 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • Fill a piping bag fitted with a star tip with cream cheese frosting. Pipe swirls of frosting onto the cooled cupcakes and place bacon pieces on top. Drizzle with more maple syrup (optional). Enjoy!

Notes

The cupcakes need to be stored in the refrigerator because they contain cream cheese and bacon. Let them come to room temperature before eating so that the frosting could become soft and creamy again. The cupcakes can keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
The bacon is tastiest served within a few hours of making it because the fat isn’t solidified. I like to top the cupcakes with the frosting and bacon right before serving.
Make ahead: You can bake the cupcakes and make the frosting a day or two ahead. Make sure that you keep them in the fridge. Before decorating and serving, make sure both cupcakes and frosting sit out for about 30 minutes to soften. Beat the frosting until smooth and creamy, adding more powdered sugar or heavy cream as needed.
Keyword bacon cupcakes, candied bacon, maple glazed bacon

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