Maple Bacon Cupcakes

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Jan Gautro

This cupcake is without a doubt most men's favorite. You can see the smile as soon as they spot that crisp bacon strip resting on top of the golden maple frosting. It's the wonderful combination of salty and sweet together. We describe it as the flavor you get when bacon mingles with syrup while eating pancakes. We suggest about half a slice on each cupcake, but feel free to add as much as you want.

Yield: 24 cupcakes
Recipe from Southern Living Big Book of Cupcakes

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Ingredients

  • Butter Cake:
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3 cups all-purpose soft-wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Paper baking cups
  • Vegetable cooking spray
  • Maple Frosting:
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 (16-oz.) package dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons maple flavoring
  • Toppings:
  • 12 cooked bacon slices, broken to pieces

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat butter and sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt; add to butter mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed until blended after each addition. Stir in vanilla.
  2. Place paper baking cups in 2 (12-cup) muffin pans, and coat with cooking spray; spoon batter into cups, filling two-thirds full. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks, and cool completely.
  3. To prepare frosting, melt butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add brown sugar; bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Stir in evaporated milk, baking soda, and light corn syrup; bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, and let cool. Transfer caramel mixture to a large bowl. Gradually add powdered sugar to caramel mixture; beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Stir in maple flavoring. Beat at high speed 2 minutes or until creamy. Icing firms up quickly, so use immediately. Makes 3 cups.
  4. Frost each cupcake with Maple Frosting using metal tip no. 2D. Top each with bacon.
Note:

The experts at Dreamcakes say that it's the baking soda in the frosting helps prevent the caramel from becoming grainy.

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