Friday, March 9, 2012

Maple Bacon Cupcakes with Maple Buttercream Frosting

Today is a VERY special day. It's my hubby's birthday!

He is such a wonderful guy and I am so incredibly blessed and proud to call him mine. He is one of the most positive people I know. Aside from also being smart, sweet, and a little shy, he's secretly hilarious, but only those super close to him would ever know that. He never has a bad word to say about anyone, his outlook on life is something to be admired, and he's just gorgeous in every way. There aren't enough pretty words to say about him. He's simply an amazing person.

Today is also our 4th Annual World Vision Charity Soccer Tournament. World Vision is a charity that is very close to our hearts. What other person would plan, organize, and execute a tournament on the day of his birth? God love his beautiful soul.

A fabulous guy like him deserves a spectacular man treat - and what screams 'man' more than bacon? Plus, it's totally maple syrup season, so this cupcake was meant to be.

Oh, and just for the record, REAL men eat cupcakes. 

Happy Birthday lover. You are my hero, my confider, my very best friend, and so much more. You are loved more than you will EVER know.

Recipe adapted and slightly modified from Life is Better With Cake

2½ cups flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ cup unsalted butter, softened
½ cup brown sugar - I used ¼ cup dark brown and ¼ light for a richer flavor
2 large eggs
1½ cups REAL maple syrup - NOT pancake syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
½ cup buttermilk


1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2¾ cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons heavy cream
3 tablespoons REAL maple syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon 

6 strips bacon, cooked
Real maple syrup

Fry bacon in a pan until crispy - the crispier, the better. Drain fat and rest on paper towels. Finely chop bacon; set aside. 

Preheat oven 350º. Line two 12-cup muffin tins with cupcake liners. (Cupcake batter yields about 18 cupcakes, so you won't actually need all 24 cups) In a bowl, add flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon; set aside.

Beat butter and sugar in another bowl until fluffy. Add in eggs, syrup, and vanilla. Mix until blended.

Mix in flour mixture, alternating with the buttermilk in one-third increments. The batter will be fluffy.

Fill cups about ¾ of the way. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Mine were good to go at 18 minutes. Remove cakes from tin and cool completely.

To make frosting:

Beat butter and sugar until creamy. Add maple syrup, cream, cinnamon, and vanilla and mix until incorporated. Slowly beat in powdered sugar. Mix until frosting is fluffy - and it will be fluffy!

Frost or pipe cupcakes and sprinkle bacon bits over top. Drizzle with maple syrup if desired.

Yields: About 18 cupcakes.

Happy Baking!

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