Maple, Bacon, Bourbon Cupcakes

By: Missy Sorg

Some of you are loving this conceptualization.  Some of you are hating this conceptualization.  I assure you, it’s a pretty sweet thing.  (Get it?  Cupcake.  Sweet thing.  I know.  I know.  I have a keen concept of “funny,” right?)

How?  How did I come up with this one?  Those are the questions I have been asked most over the past week or so.  The answer?  It sounded good!  And, I did some research on flavor profiles.  And, then I baked.  Thankfully, I have honed that whole baking thing to a pretty good science at this point.  My first batch turned out better than I could have ever imagined.  
Why?  Well, that’s another question I get asked more than you would imagine.  The answer?  Because I can.  (Thanks, Mom and Dad.  That answered seemed to work well when we were kids, right?)  All kidding aside, because I wanted to see how it would turn out.  I’ve come to find that doing creative things is something I enjoy doing.  Doing creative things in cupcake form?  That’s a skillset I’ve apparently honed.  Why not use that creativity for some good?
So, here you are, for all the world to share:

Cupcakes

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 Cups Flour
  • 1 2/3 Cups Sugar
  • 2/3 Cups Baking Cocoa
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla
  • 1 Cup Bourbon
  • 4 Tablespoons Maple Syrup
  • 1/4 Cup Water
  • 1/2 Cup Oil
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 Pound Bacon*

*Cooked extra crispy.  Half pound should be cut into bit-sized pieces to add to the cake batter.  Half pound should be reserved to chunk into large, bite-sized pieces to place on top of the cupcakes.  

Instructions:

  • Combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, salt, and baking powder.
  • Add vanilla, bourbon, maple syrup, water, and oil and mix well.
  • Add eggs.
  • Mix until well combined.
  • Stir in bacon bits.
  • Place in lined cupcake pan and bake at 350 for 18-20 minutes.

Icing

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup Vegetable Shortening
  • 1 1/2 Ounces Bourbon
  • 1 Tablespoon Maple Syrup
  • 1 2-Pound Bag Confectioner’s Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Water (Cold)

Instructions:

  • Beat together shortening, bourbon, and maple syrup to form a paste-like consistency.
  • Add 1/2 bag of confectioner’s sugar to combine.  
  • Add water 1 tablespoon at a time and beat to a creamy consistency, being sure not to thin the icing too much.
  • Add remaining confectioner’s sugar.
  • Add additional water, again to thin to a spreadable consistency.
  • Beat on high speed until icing is light and fluffy.

Once the cupcakes are cooled, pipe (or spread) icing on top of the cupcakes – making sure that the icing is thick enough to hold the bacon chunks.  Insert a chunk of bacon into the icing on top of each cupcake, and lightly drizzle the finished cupcake with maple syrup.