If you love pancakes with maple syrup and a side of bacon, you will be head over heels for these maple bacon cupcakes with browned butter cream cheese frosting. These maple cupcakes are topped with candied bacon for an incredible sweet and savory flavor combination.
This recipe gives you the taste of breakfast in a cupcake! You can even drizzle maple syrup on top for the full effect!
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Why You’ll Love This Recipe
What’s not to love about a breakfast-flavored cupcake? There are so many great things about this recipe, but here are just a few:
- Two words: CANDIED BACON
- It’s the perfect flavor combo of sweet and savory
- The maple cupcakes are super moist, light, and fluffy
- The frosting is made with rich browned butter
- The various make-ahead options make for a hassle-free assembly
For The Cupcakes
All-purpose flour: We recommend using all-purpose flour in this recipe for the best results.
Cornstarch: The cornstarch helps to thicken the cupcake batter. If needed, you can substitute it with some additional all-purpose flour. Use a 2:1 ratio of flour for cornstarch: 2 tablespoons of flour for 1 tablespoon of cornstarch.
Baking soda: The baking soda produces an immediate leavening effect making the cupcake batter light and fluffy.
Baking powder: The baking powder is activated by the heat from the oven, providing additional leavening while the cupcakes are baking.
Salt: Salt enhances all of the flavors in this recipe and balances out the sweetness.
Butter: We like to use salted butter in this recipe but you can swap it out for unsalted if desired.
Granulated sugar: The granulated sugar not only adds sweetness to these maple cupcakes, but it also provides softness and moisture.
Vegetable oil: The oil helps keep the cupcakes moist. If needed, you can use melted butter or coconut oil, or even unsweetened applesauce as a substitute.
Pure vanilla extract: We like to use a hint of vanilla extract for another layer of flavor in these cupcakes. If desired, you can replace the vanilla with additional maple extract.
Pure maple extract: The maple extract amplifies the deep maple flavor in the cupcakes.
Eggs: The eggs provide structure and assist with leavening. They also contribute additional flavor and color to the cupcakes.
Buttermilk: If you don't have any buttermilk on hand, you can make your own by combining 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice with 1 cup of milk. Gently stir and then let it stand for 5 minutes.
Pure maple syrup: Be sure to use 100% pure maple syrup in this recipe.
For The Frosting
Butter: We recommend using salted butter to make this frosting for additional flavor.
Cream cheese: The subtle tang and creaminess of the cream cheese pairs well with the rich browned butter and maple flavors.
Pure maple syrup: Pure maple syrup is important to achieve the best maple flavor.
Powdered sugar: The powdered sugar contributes sweetness and structure to the frosting.
Pure vanilla extract: You can substitute the vanilla with additional maple extract if desired.
Heavy cream: A little bit of heavy cream makes the frosting extra smooth and creamy.
Pure maple extract: The maple extract adds an extra punch of maple.
Salt: The salt enhances the maple and brown butter flavors.
For The Candied Bacon
Using quality bacon is key to achieving the perfect candied maple bacon. We love using True Story’s Kurobuta pork bacon because it’s perfectly seasoned, thickly sliced, and high quality. Their commitment to humanely producing clean and simple products makes them a brand we trust. Check out their incredible meat products HERE.
Bacon: True Story Kurobuta uncured bacon is our go-to for this recipe.
Brown sugar: We use light brown sugar here but dark brown sugar can be used also.
Pure maple syrup: The maple syrup adds more flavor and sweetness to the candied bacon.
Black pepper: A hint of black pepper subtly offsets the sweetness of the candied bacon. We like to use freshly ground black pepper here but any kind will work.
How To Make This Recipe
Prepare the Ingredients
Before getting started on the cupcakes, bring the cold ingredients to room temperature for a smooth and even batter. You can set the butter, eggs, and buttermilk out on the counter while you prepare the brown butter and candied bacon.
Make the Browned Butter
These maple bacon cupcakes are topped with rich and creamy browned butter cream cheese frosting. Brown butter adds a deep caramel flavor that perfectly complements all the other flavors in this recipe.
There are a few different ways to brown butter but I prefer the stovetop method. All you need is a medium saucepan or skillet pan and a wooden spoon or heat-resistant spatula.
Add the cold butter to the pan and place it over medium-low heat until it turns golden brown and gives off a warm nutty aroma. This process will take about 5-7 minutes. Be sure to stir the butter frequently to prevent it from burning to the pan.
Initially, the butter will melt and then begin to foam up. Be sure to continue stirring and checking the color beneath the foam because it will turn very quickly. Keep a close eye on it and remove it from the heat as soon as the color starts to darken.
As it cools, the foam will go down, leaving you with perfectly golden brown butter. Set the butter aside to cool for 5-10 minutes. Then, transfer the butter to a separate container and allow it to cool completely to room temperature.
You can place the browned butter in the refrigerator or freezer to speed up the process. Just be sure not to let it get too cold if you plan to make the frosting right away – the butter should be at room temperature to properly cream with the sugar for the cream cheese frosting.
Make the Candied Maple Glazed Bacon
To make the candied maple bacon, start by preheating the oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with foil and lay each of the bacon slices on it.
In a small bowl, combine the pure maple syrup and brown sugar. Apply the sugar mixture to the bacon with a spoon or pastry brush. Spread the mixture evenly across each bacon slice to ensure they are all fully coated (just the side facing up).
Bake on the top oven rack for 18-22 minutes, until crisp. Lightly spray a large plate or pan with nonstick spray and transfer the candied bacon onto it to cool. Note: Do not line the plate or tray with paper towels or parchment paper because the candied bacon will stick to it.
Once the candied maple bacon has cooled, chop the slices into small pieces to top the cupcakes with. If needed, the candied bacon strips can be wrapped in foil and stored in the refrigerator until you're ready to use them.
Make the Cupcakes
Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk the ingredients together and set aside. Then, in a liquid measuring cup, combine the pure maple syrup and buttermilk and set aside.
Next, add the butter, granulated sugar, oil, vanilla extract, and maple extract to a large mixing bowl. Beat on medium-high speed with an electric mixer for 3-4 minutes, until the consistency is light and fluffy.
Then, add the eggs and yolk one at a time, beating to blend between each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed.
Then, with the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients in 3 additions, alternating with the buttermilk mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix just until the ingredients are fully incorporated.
Prepare a cupcake tin with liners and fill each one about ⅔ full with batter. Bake the cupcakes for 18-20 minutes, or until they test done with a toothpick. Remove the cupcakes from the oven and let them cool in the tin for 10 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack to finish cooling.
Make the Frosting
In a large mixing bowl, cream together the browned butter and cream cheese until smooth and creamy.
Add the powdered sugar 2 cups at a time, mixing thoroughly between each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
Next, add the maple syrup, heavy cream, vanilla extract, maple extract, and salt, Mix just until fully combined. The consistency should be smooth and creamy.
Assemble the Cupcakes
Once the cupcakes are completely cool, pipe the browned butter cream cheese frosting on top of each cupcake (or you can frost them with a knife or spatula). Sprinkle the chopped candied maple bacon on top of the frosting. Drizzle each cupcake with additional maple syrup if desired.
Recipe Tips & Tricks
- Use high-quality bacon. We love True Story’s high-quality Kurobuta pork bacon, known for its subtly sweet taste and abundant marbling! Sourced from their own family farms in the USA, their products contain no antibiotics, nitrates, or artificial preservatives.
- Bring the cold ingredients to room temperature. Make sure you use room-temperature ingredients when making your cupcake batter. Warmer ingredients combined better than cold ones do for a smoother, more even batter.
- Use 100% pure maple syrup. It’s important to use pure maple syrup in this recipe as opposed to pancake syrup for the best flavor. Pure maple syrup is 100% maple tree sap with no additives while pancake syrup is made with corn syrup and artificial maple extract.
- Accurately measure the flour. The easiest way to measure flour accurately is to use the spoon and level method. Use a spoon to fluff the flour and scoop it into the measuring cup before leveling it off with the back of a knife (or other straight edge). Avoid shaking or tapping the measuring cup to even the top as this will pack down the flour.
Cupcake Tools You’ll Need
These cupcakes are simple to make if you have the right tools for the job! Here are a few things you’ll need to make these maple bacon cupcakes with browned butter cream cheese frosting:
Cupcakes: Omit the maple extract for more subtly flavored cupcakes. The pure maple syrup in this recipe will provide a mild maple flavor - no extract needed!
Frosting: Swap out the browned butter cream cheese frosting for a traditional cream cheese frosting. Just can replace the browned butter with the same amount of regular butter for a simpler flavor.
How To Store Leftovers
Fully assembled maple bacon cupcakes can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days in an airtight container. Because the frosting will solidify in the refrigerator, it’s best to let the cupcakes thaw at room temperature for 15-20 minutes before serving.
The cupcakes can be prepared up to one day in advance and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. For longer storage, the unfrosted cupcakes can be kept in the freezer for up to 2 months.
You can prepare the browned butter up to a week ahead of time. Store it covered in the refrigerator and bring it to room temperature before making the frosting.
The candied maple glazed bacon can be prepared up to 2 days in advance. After baking, let it cool to room temperature, then wrap it in foil and store it in the refrigerator. Be sure to separate each piece of bacon with foil to prevent them from sticking together.
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Maple Bacon Cupcakes + Browned Butter Cream Cheese FrostingFebruary 6, 2023
FOR THE CUPCAKES
- 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ cup salted butter softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoon pure maple extract
- 2 eggs room temp
- 1 egg yolk room temp
- ½ cup buttermilk room temp
- ½ cup pure maple syrup
FOR THE FROSTING
- ¾ cup salted butter cold, cubed
- 12 oz cream cheese softened
- 6 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoon real maple syrup
- 2 tablespoon heavy cream room temp
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon pure maple extract
- 1 pinch salt
FOR THE CANDIED BACON
- 10 slices True Story Kurobuta bacon
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup
- 3 tablespoon brown sugar
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
PREPARE THE INGREDIENTS
- Bring the cold ingredients to room temperature for the cupcake batter. You can set them out on the counter while you prepare the brown butter and candied bacon.
MAKE THE BROWNED BUTTER
- Heat the cold butter cubes in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat until it turns golden brown and gives off a warm nutty aroma, about 5-7 minutes. Stir frequently to prevent burning.
- Initially, the butter will melt and then begin to foam up. Continue stirring and checking the color beneath the foam because it will turn very quickly. Remove it from the heat as soon as the color starts to darken.
- Set the browned butter aside to cool for 5-10 minutes. Then, transfer the butter to a separate container and allow it to cool completely to room temperature before making the frosting.
MAKE THE CANDIED BACON
- Preheat the oven to 375°F and line a baking sheet with foil. Lay each of the bacon slices on the lined sheet.
- In a small bowl, combine the pure maple syrup and brown sugar. Coat the bacon in the sugar mixture with a spoon or pastry brush, spreading it evenly across each slice (just the side facing up).
- Bake on the top oven rack for 18-22 minutes, until crisp. Lightly spray a large plate or pan with nonstick spray and transfer the candied bacon to it to cool. Once cooled, chop the slices into small pieces to top the cupcakes with.
MAKE THE CUPCAKES
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and set aside. In a liquid measuring cup, combine the pure maple syrup and buttermilk and set aside.
- Add the butter, granulated sugar, oil, vanilla extract, and maple extract to a large mixing bowl. Beat on medium-high speed for 3-4 minutes, until light and fluffy. Then, add the eggs and yolk one at a time, beating to blend between each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients in 3 additions, alternating with the buttermilk mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix just until combined.
- Prepare a cupcake tin with liners and fill each one about ⅔ full with batter. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until they test done with a toothpick. Let them cool in the tin for 10 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack to finish cooling.
MAKE THE FROSTING
- In a large mixing bowl, cream together the browned butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add the powdered sugar 2 cups at a time, mixing thoroughly between each addition.
- Add the maple syrup, heavy cream, vanilla extract, maple extract, and salt, Mix just until fully combined.
ASSEMBLE THE CUPCAKES
- Once the cupcakes are completely cooled, pipe the browned butter cream cheese frosting on top of each cupcake (or you can frost them with a knife or spatula). Sprinkle with candied maple bacon pieces and drizzle with additional maple syrup if desired.
- Use room temperature ingredients for the cupcake batter for a smooth, evenly mixed batter
- Use 100% pure maple syrup in this recipe
- You can place the browned butter in the refrigerator or freezer to set up faster, just be sure it's softened when you make the frosting
- Don't place the candied bacon on paper towels or parchment paper because it will stick to the bacon.
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