After posting so many healthful, New Year's Resolution-friendly recipes, it's about time for something naughty, right? I think so. This past week we celebrated The Stallion's 30th birthday. Every year for his birthday, I make a treat for him to take to 'school'. Last year, it was slider cupcakes. They were chocolate and vanilla cupcakes from a box - the inventiveness came in the decoration. They really looked like little cheeseburgers.
This year's ask from the birthday boy? Red velvet cupcakes with bacon as a garnish. Someone else had brought them into work a few months before, and he still had them on the brain. Now, to be honest, I couldn't send something inventive yet not original. So I had to come up with my own baking randition involving bacon. One of The Stallion's favorite combinations is french toast and bacon. And those two flavors come together in one glorious cupcake.
Mini-sized cupcakes are best for this recipe - just one bite of absolute bliss.
Make these the next time a tasty treat is in order. They'd be a very welcome addition at any Superbowl party - The Stallion can attest to that. He formed many friendships and grew others just by being the one offering up these little slices of heaven.
French Toast and Bacon Cupcakes
Makes about 2 dozen mini- or 14 regular-sized cupcakes
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 t baking powder
- 1/2 t cinnamon
- 1/8 t heaping, ground nutmeg
- 1/4 t salt
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted then cooled
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 1 t maple extract*
- 1/2 t vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup milk
- 10-12 slices bacon
- Preheat oven to 375℉. Place a cooling rack on a rimmed baking sheet and lay the bacon strips on the rack in one even layer. Bake for about 15-20 minutes, turning once. Turn the strips out onto paper towels when done and set aside to cool. Cut a couple of strips of bacon into 1 inch pieces on a diagonal, to be used as garnish. Finely chop the remaining bacon (yield approx 1/2 cup or less).
- Turn oven down to 350℉.
- Sift flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt into a small bowl.
- In a large bowl or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together butter, sugar and eggs on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Feel free to sub bacon fat for a small portion of the butter. I did. I'm a rebel. Add the maple and vanilla extracts. With the mixer running at medium speed, alternately add in flour mixture (3 additions) and milk (2 additions), starting with the flour mixture; beat until smooth. Fold in chopped bacon until evenly distributed.
- Scoop batter into muffin tin lined with paper cupcake liners. These cupcakes don't rise as much, so they can be filled a bit fuller. I typically use 1 tablespoon for minis, and 1/4 cup for regular cupcakes. For this recipe, I just used heaping measurements of the above.
- Bake minis 12-14 minutes; regulars 22-25 minutes, rotating halfway through baking. After passing the toothpick test, keep baking until the tops turn golden brown. Let cool completely before icing.
Frosts 24 cupcakes
- 2 cups confectioner's sugar
- 2 sticks butter
- 4 oz. cream cheese
- 2 T pure maple syrup
- 1/2 t vanilla extract
- 1/2 t maple extract*
- pinch salt
- In a bowl with an electric mixer or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add maple syrup, vanilla, maple extract, and salt, and beat until fully incorporated. Add confectioner's sugar, one half cup at a time until reaching desired consistency. Beat until smooth and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
- Frost or pipe onto cooled cupcakes. Garnish with inch-long bacon pieces.