French Toast Cupcakes with Bacon

Things have been a bit cupcake-heavy around here lately, no?  I trust that there are no complaints about this.

French Toast Cupcakes with Bacon | A Nerd Cooks

One of the interns in my lab had her last day with us last week before heading off to medical school. One of her great food loves is bacon, so I tried to find a way to incorporate it into a farewell treat for her.

French Toast Cupcakes with Bacon | A Nerd Cooks
Not to toot my own horn or anything (beep beep), but this is definitely one of the better ideas I’ve had lately.

Between baking the cupcakes and cooking the bacon, your kitchen will start to smell like breakfast food.  And that is never a bad thing.

French Toast Cupcakes with Bacon | A Nerd Cooks

And really… they have bacon and all the flavors of french toast.  SO.  These guys are basically an acceptable breakfast food item.  Right?  Right.

The basic yellow cake and frosting used here are variations on the recipes found in Joy the Baker’s cookbook.

You’ll need:

Basic Yellow Cake (makes ~2.5 dozen cupcakes) –

  • 4 cups cake flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tbs vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 2 cups buttermilk

Classic Buttercream (makes ~4 cups – I generally halve the recipe to frost about 2 dozen cupcakes) –

  • 4 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 5-6 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 – 1/3 cup pure maple syrup (taste as you go)
  • 2 tbs – 1/4 cup heavy cream or milk (since the syrup is going to thin things out a bit, be conservative and add it only a little bit at a time until you are satisfied with the consistency of the frosting)
  • 8 strips of cooked bacon, finely chopped, for topping the cupcakes
  • pure maple syrup, for drizzling on top of cupcakes

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners.  Set this aside aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Set this aside for the time being.

In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed for about 3-4 minutes.  Add the eggs, one at a time, making sure to mix well between additions.  Add the vanilla.

Reduce the speed to low, and add half of the flour mixture – Mix well.  Add the buttermilk, until well combined.  Add the rest of the flour mixture and beat until just combined.

Fill the cupcake liners about 3/4 of the way full and bake 20-25 minutes.  Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing them to cool completely on a wire rack.

To make the frosting, add the softened butter to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Beat it on medium speed until the butter is soft (~1 minute).

Add 2 cups of the powdered sugar, the salt, cinnamon, and vanilla extract. Beat on low speed until the powdered sugar is incorporated.

Add another 2 cups of the powdered sugar, along with the heavy cream or milk.  Beat on low speed, and add the additional 2 cups of sugar as needed to thicken the frosting.

Once the frosting is as stiff as you’d like it to be, beat it on medium speed for about 4 minutes, or until the frosting is fluffy and smooth.

Frost the cupcakes in whatever way you’d like. Top with finely chopped bacon.

French Toast Cupcakes with Bacon | A Nerd Cooks

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