I love a good cupcake. I don’t eat them very often except for my kiddos birthdays, but when I do, it is a glorious occasion and I am a happy, happy girl. One of my favorite shows to watch when I want a good raunchy laugh, which is about every day, is 2Broke Girls. I love the comedian who writes for the show Whitney Cummings. She’s one of the best female comedians today, in my opinion. On the show, the girls who are the stars of the show played by the beautiful Kat Dennings and Beth Behr, who waitress by day and run a struggling cupcake business by night, and one of their claim to fame cupcakes, is what they call a Spring Break Maple Bacon Cupcake. It’s marketed as a stoner cupcake, with it’s unique salty, sugar combination. So I wanted to pay homage and take the 2Broke Girls cupcake, and put my spin on it.
With Fall just at our door, sorry summer lover’s, I wanted to make a spice cupcake to take the edge of the sweetness from the maple syrup. I am using a box cake mix because it’s all about the frosting and toppings today. You can vary the cupcake, but the star of the show is my famous Buttercream frosting.
For the last 20 years this has been my go to frosting. It’s a variation on a recipe that my aunt shared with me that was her signature buttercream, only she used all butter. I varied it sometime ago, when I read that vegetable shortening can help stabilize baking with butter, and I have been making it this way ever since for the last 20 years. I have perfected this frosting over the years as I make so many versions of this, chocolate, vanilla, rum, this is my first crack at maple so we will see how it plays out! I am reluctant to share, because well Chefs get that way sometimes, but I will because it is unique in that it is a mix of butter and vegetable shortening that holds up in the heat and won’t break down easily and it gives it a professional bakery taste. You can cut the sweetness down by decreasing the amount of powdered sugar, you can also eliminate the solid vegetable shortening or decrease it and add more butter, however, the reason I love this frosting is that it is stable and doesn’t break down the way almost all butter buttercreams do. One more important thing, do not think about making this without using pure maple syrup. This is one thing you cannot skimp on. Extract will not yield the same results.
I hope you give this a try and let me know what you think!
Maple Bourbon Cupcakes with Candied Bacon
A salty sweet treat that is a sinfully sensational, cupcake experience!
- 1 box of Spice cake mix, made according to cupcake directions. I added homemade crabapple sauce that I made from our property in Upstate NY, it’s so heavenly, in place of the oil, much lighter and less fat! Let cupcakes cool completely before frosting. I also added a splash or two of Jameson’s in the batter. It’s all about balance baby!
- 1 stick of softened unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup of solid vegetable shortening (Crisco preferred)
- 2 tbsp. of heavy cream or half and half just until butter loosens a bit.
- 1 tsp. of maple or vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup of pure maple syrup
- 3 tbsp. of your favorite bourbon I used Jameson
- 3 cups of powdered sugar
For the Candied Bacon
- 1 lb. of bacon
- cracked black pepper
- 1/3 cup of brown sugar
For the Frosting
- In a stand mixer bowl, combine softened butter and solid vegetable shortening. Cream on high about 4 or 5 min. Scrape down bowl. Add in heavy cream, one tablespoon at a time. Beating well after each addition.
- Begin to add in maple extract, maple syrup, and bourbon. Mix well to incorporate.
- Add in powdered sugar one cup at a time, mixing for about three minutes or so after each addition. Scraping bowl before adding the next cup. Taste to see if you have achieved desired sweetness. You may add a bit more heavy cream if frosting is too thick, but add slowly.
- Continue process until frosting is thick and all the powdered sugar has been incorporated. You can use immediately or store in an airtight container in the fridge for later use. This frosting will keep in airtight container for about three weeks.
- When cupcakes are completely cool, frost or pipe frosting with a pastry bag. Top each cupcake with half a piece of bacon. Devour!
For the Candied Bacon
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large bowl combine brown sugar
- Sprinkle bacon with cracked black pepper on each side, then dredge in brown sugar, one piece at a time to coat.
- Lay bacon on parchment lined baking sheet, bake for about 20 minutes, checking frequently after about 10 minutes.
- Remove from oven, lay on paper towels to drain. Cool completely before placing on cupcake. I like to use a half a piece on each.