These fluffy and moist cupcakes are flavored with real maple syrup, topped with the silkiest brown butter cream cheese frosting, and are decorated with pieces of maple candied bacon. Was there ever a more perfect dessert!
Why you’ll love this recipe:
- Maple Cupcakes – These fluffy cupcakes are flavored with real maple syrup!
- Candied Bacon – The candied bacon tastes incredible and is the perfect salty sweet compliment to the maple cupcakes.
- Maple Buttercream Frosting – This maple frosting uses cream cheese, brown butter, and real maple syrup for an incredible amount of flavor!
- Salted Butter – I always use salted buter for the best flavor, but feel free to use whichever you prefer.
- Cake Flour – Be sure to use cake flour rather than all-purpose flour here, as it keeps the cupcakes extra moist and light.
- Pure Maple Syrup – Please promise me you’ll use real maple syrup for this recipe! The other stuff just can’t compare. Once you taste real maple syrup, you’ll never go back.
- Sour Cream – Use full fat for the best result. Be sure to bring this to room temperature before baking.
- Sour Cream – You can use full-fat greek yogurt in place of sour cream.
- Bacon – Feel free to omit or use a vegan bacon if you need to keep this recipe vegetarian.
- Dairy-Free – Use your favorite dairy-free products for the sour cream, milk, butter, and cream cheese to make this recipe dairy-free.
How to Make this Recipe Step-by-Step:
Step 1: Make the Candied Bacon. What is candied bacon? Candied bacon is bacon baked in a mixture of maple syrup, brown sugar, and a little bit of black pepper. The outside of the bacon gets caramelized, so it’s nice and sweet with a crisp crunch. It’s incredibly easy to make & a must-try for a bacon lover! Break it into large or small pieces to decorate your cupcakes.
Step 2: Make the Maple Cupcakes. In a large bowl, cream together your butter and sugar. Add the wet ingredients next – the egg whites, vanilla, sour cream, and maple syrup. Add the dry ingredients last, mixing until just combined. I’ve added just the right amount of maple so the cupcakes really do taste like maple, without being overly sweet.
Step 3: Fill the Cupcake Tins. Fill your cupcake liners about 2/3 full, and bake the cupcakes as directed in the recipe card below. Let them cool for a bit in the pan, then let them cool completely on a cooling rack before frosting them.
Step 4: Make the Brown Butter Frosting. This frosting is so dreamy and delicious – and it all starts by browning your butter. This is a simple step that takes just 5 minutes, and adds so much depth of flavor! Chill your brown butter until it is back to softened butter consistency, then cream it with cream cheese, powdered sugar, maple syrup, & vanilla.
Step 5: Frost & Decorate your Cupcakes.
You can do this a few different ways! Swoop the frosting on with a butter knife, or use a piping bag and tip. This is actually a simple way to make your cupcakes look bakery worthy, and you’ll get more comfortable using a piping bag each time you try it. Once your cupcakes are frosted, add the candied bacon pieces on top.
Expert Success Tips:
- Bacon – Buy good quality bacon for this recipe, since it’s the star of the show.
- Room Temperature Butter – Be sure to bring the brown butter back to room temperature softened consistency so that the frosting doesn’t turn out runny.
- Room Temperature Ingredients – Don’t skip bringing the cold ingredients to room temperature, or the texture of your cupcakes won’t come out right.
- Frosting – You can skip browning the butter in a pinch. The frosting will still be very delicious!
- Vegetarian Option – Feel free to use your favorite vegan bacon or omit the meat to keep this recipe vegetarian.
- Cake Mix – In a pinch, use your favorite cake mix for the cupcakes and then decorate with the homemade maple frosting and candied bacon.
Serving + Storing this Recipe:
Cupcakes can be made a day ahead, cooled at room temperature, and stored in an airtight container for a day before frosting. Frosted cupcakes can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for a few days. Bring them out to room temperature before enjoying, as the frosting will solidify in the fridge.
- Piping Bag – I like to use a reusable piping bag like this one.
- Piping Tip – I used a Wilton 2A tip, but you can also try an Ateco Open Star #849 piping tip for swirls.
- Cupcake Pan – You’ll need a standard size cupcake or muffin tin for this recipe.
These cupcakes are the fall dessert to end all fall desserts! And they’re so much better than a maple bacon donut. Even if you’re not a fan of maple bacon, I’m confident these cupcakes will change your mind. These are a must-make for the fall season! It’s practically a breakfast cupcake, with the maple and bacon heh.
Did you make this recipe? Snap a photo and leave a comment!
Maple Bacon Cupcakes with Brown Butter Frosting and Candied Bacon
For the Candied Bacon
- 12 slices bacon
- 3 tbsp real maple syrup
- 3 tbsp brown sugar
- sprinkle of black pepper
For the Maple Cupcakes
- 1/2 cup salted butter, softened at room temperature
- 1 cup brown sugar packed
- 3 large egg whites, at room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup full fat sour cream, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup real maple syrup, at room temperature
- 1 and 3/4 cups cake flour, spooned + leveled
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
For the Brown Butter Frosting
- 1 and 1/2 cups salted butter, softened at room temperature 339 grams
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened at room temperature
- 6 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tbsp real maple syrup
- 2 tbsp heavy cream
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- Prep: Brown your butter ahead of time so that it has time to chill in the fridge. In a nonstick pot or pan over medium heat, melt the butter (3 sticks or 1 and 1/2 cups). Turn the heat to medium-low and continue cooking the butter – stirring constantly. The butter will get foamy, then turn golden, then start to turn brown and develop a nutty/caramely sort of aroma. Once it reaches a deep golden color, remove from the heat and pour into a container. Let it chill in the fridge so that it can come back to the consistency of room temperature softened butter. Make-Ahead Tip: The brown butter can be made up to a week ahead and stored in the fridge until ready to use.
- Make the Candied Bacon: Preheat the oven to 375° F. Line a baking sheet with foil and lay your bacon slices down on it. Pour the maple syrup over them, and sprinkle on the brown sugar and pepper. With clean hands, rub this around (coating just the side facing up) so it's evenly coating the bacon. Bake for 16-20 minutes, until crisp and candied. Lightly spray a clean plate or pan with nonstick spray (this will stick to a paper towel, parchment paper, etc.) and transfer the candied bacon to it to cool. Make-Ahead Tip: The candied bacon can be made a day or two ahead and broken into pieces, and stored in the fridge until ready to use.
- Make the Maple Cupcakes: Reduce oven temperature to 350° F. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter with an electric mixer on high speed until creamed. Add the brown sugar and mix until well creamed with the butter, 1 minute. Add 2 of the egg whites and mix on low speed until just combined, then repeat with the last. Add the vanilla, sour cream, and maple syrup, and mix until just combined. Add the dry ingredients last, and mix until just incorporated and the last streaks of flour disappear into the batter.
- Bake: Line a cupcake tin with papers, and fill each about 2/3 full with batter. Bake for 14-18 minutes. The tops will be set when lightly touched and a toothpick inserted into the center will come out clean, or with moist crumbs – not wet batter. Let cupcakes cool in the pan a few minutes, then let cool completely on a cooling rack. Never frost warm cupcakes – the frosting will completely melt.
- Make the Brown Butter Maple Cream Cheese Frosting: Cream the browned butter and cream cheese together in a large mixing bowl until creamy. Ad the powdered sugar, 2 cups at a time, mixing between each addition. Add the maple syrup, heavy cream, vanilla, and salt, and mix until just combined. Frost your cupcakes with a butter knife, offset spatula, or piping bag and tip. See blog post for notes about the piping tip I used. Note: If your butter has been in the fridge long enough that it's completely re-solidified, you'll need to let it sit out to come to room temp, just like with regular sticks of butter. You can also speed this up gently in the microwave – pop the solid brown butter out of your tupperware and into a large mixing bowl. Microwave 6-8 seconds on each side, just until softened. Note: I went fairly heavy with the frosting because I wanted big swirls on each cupcake. If you like less frosting, you can cut the quantity down to 50-75% of the original amount.
- Serve + Store: Break the cooled candied bacon into smaller pieces or crush into bacon bits , and top each cupcake with a few pieces. Enjoy immediately! Store leftover cupcakes in an airtight container in the fridge for 4-5 days. Let sit out at room temp for a bit before serving.