Whether you love breakfast or dinner or bacon on dessert or not, there’s one that’s for sure: Everything is better with bacon. Since these miniature cupcakes are ever so sinful, they had to be made in bite sized portions. A cupcake filled with the flavors of vanilla and maple is topped with a maple buttercream, candied walnuts, and a crispy piece of maple bacon. Let’s just say… It’s a little bite of heaven. One bite and you’ll taste the flavor you get when bacon mingles with syrup while eating pancakes. It’s a wonderful salty-sweet combination you won’t want to miss.

I’m what you’d call a cupcake-aholic. Any cupcake, any flavor, chances are high that I will love it. Although I have to admit, these take the cake and if they are not my favorite recipe, they are pretty darn close. First of all, if it grosses you out to put bacon on your cupcake, just leave it off. This recipe is fabulous even with out the bacon. The vanilla-maple cake is light and fluffy and with the buttery frosting it’s basically a party in your mouth. Like I said above, all I can compare these cupcakes to are a tall stack of warm pancakes topped with syrup. Who new such a tiny bite of cake could be so comforting?

 

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Ingredients: 

For Cake:

2½ c. all-purpose flour

2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

½ tsp. salt

¾ tsp. ground ginger

1 stick unsalted butter

½ c. light-brown sugar

2 large eggs

1¼ c. maple syrup

2 tsp. vanilla extract

½ c. Buttermilk

½ c. walnuts or pecans

For Frosting: 

1 c. unsalted butter

3 oz. cream cheese

.67 c. dark-brown sugar

¼ tsp. salt

¾ c. maple syrup

¾ tsp. vanilla extract

1 c. confectioners’ sugar

For Candied Bacon:

3/4 pound thick-cut smoked bacon (16 slices)

2 tablespoons  good maple syrup

For Candied Walnuts:

1 cup chopped walnuts

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

 

Directions: 

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and ginger. Set aside. Beat the butter and sugar together using a mixer set on medium speed in a large bowl until fluffy. Beat in the eggs, syrup, and vanilla. Stir in flour mixture by thirds, alternating with the buttermilk. Stir in nuts. Fill mini muffin cups and bake until a tester comes out clean, about 11 minutes. Cool completely.
  2. Beat the butter, cream cheese, brown sugar, and salt in a medium bowl with a mixer set on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Continue beating, and add the maple syrup and vanilla. Gradually add the confectioners’ sugar, increase the speed to high, and beat until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Chill for 1 hour before using. Pipe frosting on cupcakes.
  3. In a heavy bottom pan heat to medium high heat. Place nuts and butter, when butter is melted and nuts are coated with the butter sprinkle sugar and cinnamon if wanted over nuts stirring till caramelized. Pour out on parchment paper separate nuts and cool. Once cool, sprinkle on top of cupcakes
  4. To make bacon, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place a baking rack on a sheet pan and arrange the bacon in 1 layer on the baking rack. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the bacon begins to brown. Remove the pan carefully from the oven; there will be hot grease in the pan! Brush the bacon slices with maple syrup and bake for another 3 to 5 minutes, until the bacon is a warm golden brown. Transfer the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels. Cut bacon into small pieces and top cupcakes.