What you will need:
For the cupcakes:
3 cups all-purpose flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon, ground
Pinch of nutmeg, ground
½ tsp salt
2 cups sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
2 tsp maple extract
1 cup 2% milk
For the icing:
2 sticks butter, softened
2 Tbsp brown sugar
3 Tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp maple extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
5 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons heavy cream (if needed)
For the candied bacon:
Pam Cooking Spray
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 pound bacon, thinly sliced is better
Steps to yummy goodness:
For making the cupcakes:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a standard cupcake tin with paper liners.
2. Whisk the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt until thoroughly mixed. Set Aside
3. In a large mixer bowl , beat the sugar, butter, eggs and maple extract together until well blended and mixture is smooth. Add in the flour mixture and milk alternating between additions, starting and ending with the flour. (Add 1/3 of the flour, then ½ of the milk, then 1/3 of the flour, last of the milk, and then remainder of the flour.)
4. Mix all ingredients just until mixed, being sure not to over beat the batter once the flour has gone in.
5. Spoon the batter into the paper liners until they’re ½ full, approximately ¼ cup batter each. Bake for 18-23 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (or with a few moist crumbs) and the tops bounce back when touched. Let cool on a wire rack.
For making the icing:
1. Beat the butter, brown sugar, maple syrup and extracts on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Then turn mixer on slow, add in the confectioners’ sugar ¼ cup at a time. Once all of the sugar has been added turn the mixer up to high and beat until the icing is nice and creamy.
2. If needed add the heavy cream but only use as much of the heavy cream as necessary to get to the desired consistency. Turn the mixer back on high and beat the icing for an additional 2-3 minutes to get the smoothest consistency.
For the candied bacon:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Cover a large cookie sheet with aluminum foil (don’t skip this step as the foil will make clean up much much easier) and place a wire cooling rack on top of the foil. You can also use a broiler pan and rack for this, but since I don’t have one I use my cooling racks and they work just fine.
3. Spray the wire rack (or broiler rack) with a healthy coating of Pam (or rub with veggie oil).
4. Mix the brown sugar and cayenne pepper in a shallow dish until well combined. Then press one side of each piece of bacon down into the sugar mixture and make sure it’s coated well.
5. Place each piece of bacon on the rack sugar side up. When all the bacon is coated and arranged on the rack, take all the leftover sugar mixture and sprinkle it over the bacon coating it all evenly.
6. Bake in the preheated oven for 18-22 minutes or until the bacon is crispy and the sugar mixture is bubbly. Transfer the bacon to paper towels to drain. Let the bacon cool and then serve.
This can be made several hours in advance and can be served warm or at room temperature.