Do you know how to get to a man’s heart arteries?  Bacon. There are a few ways to convince a man to marry you…and while I am sure you can figure out a couple, the biggest one for my husband was bacon. When I want something (hello, new shoes?!), all I have to do is get up early and make some delicious, thick, center cut bacon…and by that afternoon my feet will be sittin’ pretty in a beautiful new pair of shoes. This trick works because he is either slowly dying from his arteries hardening and can’t catch me, or because I sneak out while he is still face down in his plate of bacon. Either way, it works, and that’s all that matters.

Now, how would I top a big plate of bacon? Well, how about a Chocolate Bacon Cupcake with Maple Frosting! I have been dreaming of a bacon chocolate cupcake ever since the bacon/chocolate trend started. But I was nervous just to jump in with out an idea of what I should do. I have googled recipes…and nothing really stood out to me. But after making the 100 Grand Cupcakes where I used the caramel syrup to make the salted caramel frosting, I knew I finally put the ultimate cupcake together in my head! I used that same exact method for the frosting, and substituted pure maple syrup for the caramel! These were amazing and definitely a favorite among the guys!

Chocolate Bacon Cupcakes with Maple Frosting

Yield: 24 Cupcakes

Recipe Notes: There are two important ingredients for this cupcake. First being the bacon, of course. Don't cheat yourself by using turkey bacon...or worse...pre-cooked bacon! Use good, quality bacon. Trust me, it is worth it. And also spend the money and buy the pure maple syrup. I promise you that Aunt Jemima just ain't gonna cut it in this recipe!

Ingredients:

For cake:
3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
3/4 cup hot water
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons coarse salt
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter
2 1/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream, room temperature
3/4 cup bacon, cooked and chopped

For Maple frosting:
2 sticks unsalted butter; room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 pound confectioners’ sugar
1/3 cup pure maple syrup; plus more for drizzling
1 teaspoon salt

Directions:

For the cake:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together cocoa and hot water until smooth. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

Melt butter with sugar in a saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring to combine. Remove from heat, and pour into a mixing bowl. With an electric mixer on medium-low speed, beat until mixture is cooled, 4 to 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add vanilla, then cocoa mixture, and beat until combined. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in two batches, alternating with the sour cream, and beating until just combined after each. Remove from stand mixer and gently fold in bacon.

Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three- quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool 15 minutes; turn out cupcakes onto racks and let cool completely. Frost as desired.

For the frosting:
Cream the butter in the bowl of an electric or stand mixer. Add the vanilla extract, salt and pure maple syrup and combine well.

Begin adding in the sugar and mixing thoroughly after each addition. After all of the sugar has been added and mixed thoroughly, give it a taste and decide if you want to add in more maple syrup. For thicker frosting you can gradually add in a little more sugar.

Garnish with chopped bacon and a drizzle of pure maple syrup if you wish.

Chocolate cake adapted from Martha Stewart
Frosting a Novice Chef Blog Original