Bake Bourbon Maple Bacon Cupcakes to celebrate any occasion! These small batch cupcakes combine elements of sweet, salty and savory and make a delectable dessert! Makes 6 cupcakes.
Love homemade cupcakes? You’ve got to try Fresh Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting and Margarita Cupcakes with Salted Tequila Frosting. They’re small batch cupcake recipes, too!
I have a thing with maple and bacon.
So much so that one morning last fall, two friends who don’t know each other purchased me doughnuts from different shops… and both were maple bacon flavored.
“It’s your spirit animal doughnut,” one said. The other one said, “This doughnut just reminded me of you.”
Neither was wrong, and I am so fortunate to have friends who get me. Also, I now have a Baked Maple Bacon Donuts recipe if you’re into that kind of thing, too.
Why I love this recipe:
This year, I decided that I would make myself a special birthday cupcake that would feature maple and bacon because WHY NOT?
Also, I decided to throw in some bourbon in an attempt to make this taste less like breakfast and a little more like an adult dessert. (That’s not even mentioning the fact that I have been pregnant all year and have been missing out on all things BOURBON.)
And thus, these Bourbon Maple Bacon Cupcakes were conceived.
The maple and bacon give them a breakfast taste upon first taste, but as you chew, you’ll get a hint of oakiness from the bourbon. Oh, the combination is so good, y’all.
Also, these small batch cupcakes are oh-so-decadent and perfect for a small gathering, like the one I’ll be having this weekend with our (newly minted!) family of four.
Maple and bacon in a cupcake with BOURBON? You’re taking it a little far here, Erin.
I’m of the mindset that desserts can and should be decadent from time to time.
These cupcakes are by no means a health food, nor are they something I would suggest making daily or weekly, because they’re not good for you.
That said, they’re delicious, assuming you enjoy the combination of maple and bacon with a hint of bourbon. If not, I suggest making another kind of cupcake. (Might I suggest Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes with Baileys Frosting or maybe Sour Cream Funfetti Cupcakes?)
Other desserts to celebrate with: Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars | Mini Stacked Ice Cream Birthday Cakes | Funfetti Dip | Chocolate-Covered Raspberry Cupcakes with Raspberry Chocolate Cream Cheese Filling and Raspberry Buttercream Frosting | Strawberry Chocolate Cake
Looking for a recipe for your sweet teeth? Check out my Dessert Recipe Index for all kinds of ideas.
What tools do I need to make these Bourbon Maple Bacon Cupcakes?
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- Muffin/Cupcake tin
- Parchment paper cupcake liners.
- Jelly Roll Pan (for baking the maple bacon)
- Silicone Basting & Pastry Brush
- Glass bowls
- Liquid measuring cup
- Measuring spoons
- Open Star Piping Tip with disposable piping bag for decorating the cupcakes
- Glass Cupcake Stand for serving
In addition to these tools, you’re going to need some ingredients to make these small batch cupcakes. I know this list seems like a lot, but they’re all easy things that you probably either already have on hand or very easy to get from your local grocery store.
- Bacon—use your favorite brand. For these cupcakes, I used a thick-cut bacon because I dig that.
- Pure maple syrup—please, please, please don’t use imitation maple syrup. It simply won’t cut it.
- Egg whites—we’re going to separate the eggs at home, so you don’t need to purchase a container of egg whites.
- Granulated sugar—also known as white sugar
- Bacon fat—we’ll reserve some from the bacon that we cook! No need to run to the store looking for this ingredient, either.
- Bourbon—your favorite drinking bourbon. It should be drinkable and tasty, but not be too fancy since we’re baking it.
- Maple extract—this is going to give our cupcakes a little maple flavor punch. A little goes a long way.
- All-purpose flour—we keep unbleached AP flour at our house, but the regular kind works, too.
- Baking powder
- Kosher salt
- Powdered sugar—also known as confectioner’s sugar
- Water or your favorite milk (or non-dairy milk if making these dairy free)
A note on the bourbon and making a substitution for that: If you’re not a bourbon drinker or don’t drink at all, you can leave out the bourbon completely. Replace it with the same amount of water or milk.
How to make Bourbon Maple Bacon Cupcakes
How to cook bacon in the oven
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a jelly roll pan or a small baking sheet with two layers of parchment paper.
Place the sliced bacon on the jelly roll pan. Brush with 1-2 tablespoons of pure maple syrup using a pastry brush.
Place in cold oven, and set timer for 12-15 minutes. (Check on them, as the bake time will depend on the thickness of the bacon, and if your bacon is thinner, it could burn.)
When the bacon is caramelized and cooked through, remove from the oven. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat.
Let come to room temperature. You will use these in the cupcake batter and as a garnish.
Make the Maple Bacon Cupcakes with Bourbon
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place six cupcake liners in a cupcake pan, then set aside.
Mix the wet ingredients. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg whites and granulated sugar. Measure in the maple syrup, bacon fat, bourbon and maple extract. Whisk until all the wet ingredients are combined.
Add the dry ingredients—flour, baking powder and salt—to the bowl. Whisk until the ingredients are combined and smooth.
Chop the bacon, if you haven’t already, and stir into the batter.
Measure the batter evenly into the prepared cupcake liners, filling each about ¾ of the way full. (I used a 2 tablespoon scoop to measure the amount of batter per cupcake, and it worked beautifully.)
Bake for 14-17 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
Let the cupcakes cool and come to room temperature before frosting. (This should take 30 or so minutes, depending on how warm your kitchen is. Be sure to give them enough time! You can speed this process by placing them in the refrigerator.)
Make the Maple Frosting
In a large glass bowl, combine the powdered sugar and salt. Whisk together until combined, then pour in the maple extract and water/milk. Whisk until the mixture is smooth. (It will be relatively thick.)
Transfer the frosting into a decorating bag with a star tip attached.
When the cupcakes have completely cooled, frost them. Add a slice of bacon to the top of the frosting as a garnish, then drizzle with additional maple syrup.
Serve, and enjoy!
Erin’s Easy Entertaining Tips
I’m of the mindset that cupcakes are an excellent party food. Since this is a small batch cupcake recipe, these Maple Bacon Cupcakes are perfect for a small gathering. These naturally dairy free cupcakes are also perfect to serve to guests who can’t eat dairy.
Here are some tips and tricks for making them for a crowd:
- Bake extra if you’re serving more than 6 people. Instead of doubling the recipe, though, I suggest making the recipe twice. (Or three times, etc.) It’ll take longer, but everything will be 100% accurate.
- Not a bourbon drinker or not a drinker at all? You can leave out the bourbon completely. Replace it with the same amount of water or milk.
- If you want to make these cupcakes in advance, bake the bacon and let it cool completely before storing in the fridge. Bake the cupcakes, too, and let cool completely. Leave them at room temperature. Right before serving, mix up the frosting, frost the Maple Bacon Cupcakes, then serve and enjoy.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes! Instead of doubling the recipe, though, I suggest making the recipe twice. (Or three times, etc.) It’ll take longer, yes, but then everything will be 100% accurate.
In the past, when I’ve doubled or tripled a small batch cupcake recipe, I’ve ended up with a weird number of cupcakes and their texture hasn’t been as good.
Yes, you can definitely leave out the bourbon if you’re not a drinker. Replace it with water or milk so that the consistency of the batter doesn’t change.
There will be a little difference in the taste, as the bourbon adds a little bit of oakiness to the cupcakes, but it shouldn’t make a HUGE difference. Also, you’re left with maple and bacon flavors, and those are never bad!
Veggie bacon might be a good substitute here because of its crumbly texture and smoky flavor. That said, I’ve never tried that, so if you do, please let me know how it worked out.
If you don’t eat meat or bacon, you can easily omit the bacon and its fat from this recipe. Yes, it’ll taste different than the original intended, BUT the cupcake texture shouldn’t change. Leave out the bacon crumbles.
Swap your favorite veggie oil or coconut oil for the bacon fat. Leave the rest of ‘em the same, and you’ll have Bourbon Maple Cupcakes, which would be super yummy!
What kinds of occasions can I serve these Bourbon Maple Bacon Cupcakes at?
“What can’t you serve it at?” I ask.
You can make a batch of these beauties for any kind of small gathering, including a birthday party, a bridal shower, a baby shower, etc. Also, you can make them for a random weekday if that floats your boat.
You could serve them at a tailgate, too, though I’d suggest double or tripling the recipe because they won’t last long if you’re feeding a crowd!
I’m planning to make these cupcakes for a party. What can I serve before dessert that will work with these flavors?
- Pear BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Pear Slaw
- BBQ Bacon Crack Fries
- BLT Bruschetta
- Tomato Bacon Goat Cheese Puff Pastry Appetizer
- Maple Bourbon Grilled Peach Salad
- Shredded Applesauce Chicken Sliders with Brussels Sprouts Apple Slaw
- Pumpkin Soup with Bacon Roasted Chickpeas
- Sparkling Bourbon Pumpkin Apple Punch
More bourbon-based desserts:
Now who’s ready to bake some cupcakes?
I know I am!
Scroll on down to learn how I make ‘em…
Bake Bourbon Maple Bacon Cupcakes to celebrate any occasion! These dairy free cupcakes, made with bourbon, pure maple syrup, a little maple extract and a lot of bacon, are perfectly balanced. Making just six cupcakes, this recipe can serve a small group for a family-centric birthday gathering, but can also be doubled or tripled for a crowd. Bourbon Maple Bacon Cupcakes, which combine elements of sweet, salty and savory, are a delectable dessert!
- 5 slices bacon, thick cut, cut in half
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
Maple Bacon Bourbon Cupcakes
- 2 egg whites
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons bacon fat, slightly warmed
- 1 oz. bourbon
- 1 teaspoon maple extract
- ½ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 slices Maple Bacon, recipe above, crumbled
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon maple extract
- 1 tablespoon water
Bake the Bacon
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a jelly roll pan or a small baking sheet with two layers of parchment paper.
- Place the sliced bacon on the jelly roll pan.
- Brush with 1-2 tablespoons of pure maple syrup using a pastry brush.
- Place in cold oven, and set timer for 12-15 minutes. (Check on them, as the bake time will depend on the thickness of the bacon, and if your bacon is thinner, it could burn.)
- When the bacon is caramelized and cooked through, remove from the oven.
- Reserve 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat.
- Let come to room temperature. You will use these in the cupcakes and as a garnish.
Make the Cupcakes
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Place six cupcake liners in a cupcake pan, then set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the egg whites and granulated sugar.
- Measure in the maple syrup, bacon fat, bourbon and maple extract. Whisk until all the wet ingredients are combined.
- Add the flour, baking powder and salt to the bowl, and whisk until the ingredients are combined and smooth.
- Chop the bacon, if you haven’t already, and stir into the batter.
- Measure the batter evenly into the prepared cupcake liners, filling each about ¾ of the way full. (I used 2 tablespoons of batter per cupcake, and it worked beautifully.)
- Bake for 14-17 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
- Let the cupcakes cool and come to room temperature before frosting. (This should take 30 or so minutes, depending on how warm your kitchen is. Be sure to give them enough time! You can speed this process by placing them in the refrigerator.)
Make the Frosting
- In a large glass bowl, combine the powdered sugar and salt. Whisk together until combined, then pour in the maple extract and water/milk.
- Whisk until the mixture is smooth. (It will be relatively thick.)
- Transfer the frosting into a decorating bag with a star tip attached, then when the cupcakes have completely cooled, frost them.
- Add a slice of bacon to the top of the frosting as a garnish, then drizzle with additional maple syrup.
- Serve, and enjoy!
Please note the total cook time includes baking the bacon, as well as baking the cupcakes. Neither will bake for 30 minutes.
Please, please, please use pure maple syrup. (None of that breakfast syrup stuff here, folks!)
Serving Size:1 cupcake
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 288Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 18mgSodium: 586mgCarbohydrates: 42gFiber: 0gSugar: 32gProtein: 7g
Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.
Erin Parker is a Southern gal living in Texas with her husband and two daughters. She started The Speckled Palate to share what she was cooking as a newlywed… and over the years, it’s evolved to capture her love for hosting. Specifically, the EASIEST, lowest key entertaining because everyone deserves to see their people and connect over good food. Learn more about her…