The other day I was feeling particularly gluttonous and this was the end result – a combination of some of my favorite things in life – bacon, beer, and maple. Disclaimer: this recipe is based on, and then modified from, Dave Lierberman’s ever so tasty (but baconless) Stout Cupcakes.
First things first.. make some Bacon Candy. From start to finish it will take ~30 minutes and you’ll need it for the cupcakes. IMPORTANT: do not discard the brown sugar liquid after you cook the bacon – save it for the batter to make things even more gooey delicious.
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup reserved liquid from the Bacon Candy
- Bacon Candy, finely chopped in a food processor
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- Pinch of fine salt (not kosher)
- 1 bottle stout or porter (I used Breckenridge Vanilla Porter)
- 1 stick of butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs
- 3/4 cup sour cream
- 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter (room temperature)
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup maple syrup (NOT the fake stuff)
- Preheat the oven to 350F (..turn down to 350F if you just made bacon candy)
- In a large mixing bowl whisk together the cocoa, sugar, flour, baking soda, & salt.
- In another medium mixing bowl combine the stout, melted butter, bacon candy liquid, and vanilla. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Mix in the sour cream until thoroughly combined and smooth.
- Gradually mix the dry ingredients into the wet mixture. Do not overmix! Only mix until combined. Add pulverized bacon candy pieces to the batter to your liking, but be sure to save some to sprinkle on top.
- Lightly grease 24 muffin tins or use cupcake wrappers. Divide the batter equally between the tins, filling each 3/4 full. Bake for 10 minutes and then rotate the pans. Bake another 10 to 12 minutes (watch them carefully) until risen, nicely domed, and set in the middle but still soft and tender. Cool slightly before removing from the cupcake pan.
- To make the frosting, beat cream cheese and butter in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add powdered sugar (to taste!) at low speed until well blended.
- This is where tasting is important. If you don’t like your frosting too sweet, cut back on the powered sugar. If you like the sweetness, add a little more powdered sugar. I tend to keep mine on the less sweet side (~1 1/2 cups) because the cupcakes themselves aren’t the sweetest cupcakes you’ve ever had and I don’t want like to overpower the smokiness of the bacon.
- Beat in the maple syrup and chill until spreadable (I stash in fridge while the cupcakes cool).
- Once the cupcakes have cooled – frost and sprinkle with the candied bacon.
And now I want to make them again. No joke, these are pretty f’ing awesome.