Saturday, October 1, 2011

French Toast and Bacon Cupcakes with Maple Butter Cream Frosting

The Story

Every month or so, we get the chance to serve brunch to the worship team at Hill Country Bible Church.  These guys and gals are absolutely amazing.  They spoil our congregation every week with some of the finest voices, music and technology anywhere.  So when we get the chance to serve them, I do my best to give back to them as extravagantly as I can.  I am constantly looking for new idea, new recipes and new gadgets that allow us to bring our best to them.  So a couple of weeks ago, a Facebook friend shared a picture of some cupcakes that a co-worker had made.  Cupcakes with bacon, now this was something I needed to try.  I also knew they were something the worship team would enjoy.  I was kind of surprised when I did a Google search for the recipe.  There are tons of recipes that I worked my way through.  Some used a cream cheese frosting, which I thought would be way too heavy.  Others had a cupcake recipe that would have turned out more like a muffin, and that wouldn’t do either.  After some “research” last weekend, this weekend I crafted my own version.  I generally try to offer recipes that are easier than they appear, but I have to say, this one is fairly complex.  But man… are they ever worth it.

The Ingredients

The Cupcakes
  • 1 lb. bacon
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup milk, at room temperature
  • 1 ½  teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs, separated
The Frosting
  • 2 Sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 teaspoons heavy cream, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup maple syrup


The cupcake How to

  1. Chop and brown the bacon and set it aside.  I cut my bacon into relatively large pieces, approximately 1/2 to 3/4 inches. 
  2. Preheat your oven to 375, oven rack in center position.  Line a muffin tin with cupcake papers.
  3. Using a paddle attachment for a stand mixer, cream the butter, sugar and brown sugar.  Start slow, until the butter and sugars are incorporated and then increase the speed to high, mixing until the butter is soft and fluffy (about 10 minutes). 
  4. While the butter is creaming, in a large bowl, sift together the cake flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder and salt.
  5. In a another bowl or large measuring cup, whisk the milk and vanilla extract together.
  6. Slow the mixer speed to low and add the egg yolks, one at a time.  Wait until one yolk is fully incorporated before adding another.
  7. In the stand mixer bowl, on low, combine the dry ingredients with the creamed butter, and the milk.  To do this, alternate adding about a third of the dry ingredients, half of the milk, another third of dry, the rest of the milk, finishing with the last of the dry ingredients.  Let the ingredients become fully incorporated before adding more.  Once fully incorporated, increase the speed to medium until the a smooth batter is formed. 
  8. Remove the bowl from the mixer and transfer the batter to a large mixing bowl.  Stir in about 3/4 of the bacon bits into the batter, reserving the rest to top the frosted cupcakes.
  9. Clean and dry the mixer bowl thoroughly, and then using the whisk attachment, whisk the egg whites until they reach stiff peaks.
  10. Fold the egg whites into the batter in thirds. 
  11. Spoon the batter into the lined muffin tin (about 3/4 full) and bake for 20 minutes, turning them once after 10.  The cupcakes should be lightly browned, and a toothpick inserted in the center should have dry crumb when they are done.
  12. Once they have cooled completely, frost with the maple cream frosting and top with remaining chopped bacon.  For the topping, I minced the remaining bacon.  I didn’t want these pieces to be as large as the pieces inside the cupcake.

The frosting how to

  1. Using the paddle attachment on a stand mixer, or a handheld mixer, cream together the butter, syrup and confectioners sugar on high until fluffy and light (about 10 minutes).
  2. Add heavy cream and mix again until completely incorporated.

The Wrap up

Nobody will confuse these cupcakes with diet food.  Certainly lots of butter, sugar and bacon goes into this recipe.  But if you are looking for a decadent treat to add to a brunch, then by all means, make enough to share!  Remember, everything in moderation, and that includes moderation, right?!  Seriously, don’t keep a dozen of these around to tempt you.