French Toast and Bacon Cupcakes
You’ve heard the expression, “everything is better with bacon” – well, who knew that this included cupcakes. Frankly, I don’t believe I have ever met a person who can resist the magical powers of bacon. The scent, the flavor, just thinking about bacon makes my mouth water. It’s funny how bacon plays well with so many other flavors and types of foods. Bacon can instantly take the everyday sandwich or salad to a new level. Bacon wrapped steak, scallops, chicken livers, or dates…the possibilities seem to be endless.
Anthony Bourdain’s show “No Reservations” on the Travel Channel did a episode on Portland, Oregon. Voodoo Doughnut was a strange local shop that specialized in unique donuts, one being a maple cream stick with crisp bacon. This is where the idea of the French Toast and Bacon Cupcake was born. Savory and sweet work so well together, and since I already drown my bacon in maple syrup, why not? Cinnamon, nutmeg, and a bit more vanilla are the key extras in this yellow cake recipe that give it a French Toast feel. I should note, these cupcakes smell amazing while baking!
I whipped up a Maple Buttercream to frost them with and finished them with the crown jewel…crispy bacon. For aesthetics I left the bacon in one piece, but would prefer it crumbled for easy eating! Enjoy!
French Toast Cupcakes
What You’ll Need:
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), at room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 cups cake flour, sifted
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
- 1/2 cup milk, at room temperature
- 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature, separated
- Maple Buttercream Frosting, recipe follows
- Crisp Bacon
- Equipment: A six cup jumbo muffin pan or 12 cup regular muffin pan
1.) Place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees F. Line the muffin pan with paper cupcake liners.
2.) In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and sugar and mix on low speed until just incorporated. Raise the speed to high and mix until light and fluffy, about 10 minutes. (Occasionally turn the mixer off, and scrape the sides of the bowl down with a rubber spatula.)
3.) Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Set aside. In a small bowl, whisk together the milk and vanilla, and also set aside.
4.) Add the egg yolks to the creamed butter one at time, waiting for each one to be fully incorporated before adding the next.
5.) Reduce the speed of the mixer to low. Alternately, add the flour mixture in 3 additions and the milk in 2 additions, waiting for each to be fully incorporated before adding the next (scrape the bowl down occasionally). Raise the speed to medium and mix briefly until a smooth batter is formed. Transfer the batter to a large bowl.
6.) Thoroughly clean the bowl of the mixer and put the egg whites inside. Whip the egg whites on high speed, using the whisk attachment, until stiff peaks are formed.
7.) Working in 3 batches, using a rubber spatula, fold the egg whites into the batter, until just incorporated. Divide the batter evenly among the cups in the muffin pan. Bake, rotating the pan once, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean, about 30 minutes.
8.) Remove the cupcakes from the oven and cool completely.
Maple Buttercream Frosting
Yield: about 1 2/3 cups, enough for 6 large or 12 regular cupcakes
What You’ll Need:
- 2 Sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 2 teaspoons heavy cream, at room temperature
- 3/4 teaspoon maple extract
1.) In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or with a hand-held electric mixer in a large bowl, mix the butter and sugar on low speed until incorporated. Increase the speed to high, and mix until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. (Occasionally turn the mixer off, and scrape the down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.)
2.) Reduce the speed of the mixer to low. Add the heavy cream and maple extract.. Raise the speed to high and mix briefly until fluffy (scrape down the bowl occasionally). Store in the refrigerator until somewhat stiff, before using. May be stored in the refrigerator for 3 days.
Bacon works well for me baked in an oven at 425 degrees on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake 12-15 minutes, drain grease, and bake another 5-7 minutes or until crisp. You can do it in a pan as well.
Finally – Frost the cooled French Toast Cupcakes with the Maple Buttercream Frosting and top with a Crisp piece of Bacon!