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MAPLE CARAMEL BACON CUPCAKES

MAPLE CARAMEL BACON CUPCAKES

THE INGREDIENTS

FOR THE CUPCAKES:
1 box vanilla/yellow cake mix
3 large eggs
1 stick of butter, melted
1 cup buttermilk

FOR THE FILLING:
11 oz. bag of caramel bits
3 tbsp. pure maple syrup
2 cups bacon, cooked and chopped

FOR THE FROSTING:
2 sticks butter, room temperature
5 tbsp. pure maple syrup
4-1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups bacon, cooked and chopped

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THE PROCESS

  1. Preheat your oven to 350ºF and line your cupcake pan.
  2. Using a paddle attachment or traditional beaters, combine cake mix, butter, and buttermilk. Add eggs one at a time and mix until well-combined, scraping down the sides of your bowl as needed.
  3. Fill cupcake liners with 1/4 cup batter. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean. Allow cupcakes to cool 2-3 minutes in pan, then move to rack to cool completely.
  4. Using a cupcake corer or knife, remove the center of each cupcake and discard the cores.
  5. In a microwave-safe dish, pour 3 tbsp. of pure maple syrup over 1 bag of caramel bits. Heat for 40 seconds and stir. Heat and stir at 15 second intervals until your ingredients are well-combined.
  6. Stir in 2 cups chopped bacon 1 cup at a time. Spoon or pipe the maple-caramel bacon mixture into the core of each little cake.
  7. Using a whisk attachment or traditional beaters, cream together your butter, salt, and shortening. Mix in your powdered sugar 1 cup at a time along with 1 tbsp. of maple syrup each time. Begin mixing at a low speed for roughly 30 seconds (until dry ingredients are incorporated), then mix on high for about 2 minutes until frosting is nice and fluffy. 
  8. Frost cupcakes using a piping bag fitted with your chosen tip (we used a Wilton 1M here). Top each cupcake with a generous amount of chopped bacon and enjoy this sweet and savory combination!
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