Bacon Maple Cupcakes Recipe with Chocolate

These bacon maple cupcakes are just the dessert for any bacon lover. This delicious gluten free recipe combines maple, bacon, chocolate, and peach whiskey flavors.

A bacon maple cupcake in colorful cupcake liners on a dotted tablecloth with a serving fork.

Why this recipe works

This maple bacon cupcake recipe is made from gluten-free chocolate cake mix and canned frosting. So it’s simple to make.

Customizing the cupcakes: You “cake doctor” the cupcake mix by adding peach whiskey, bacon grease (trust me!), and pieces of candied bacon.

Frosting: Adding maple syrup and peach whiskey to the frosting is an amazing combination!

Bacon maple cupcakes with chocolate garnished with candied bacon on a polka dot tablecloth.

Ingredients

For the candied bacon

thick cut bacon

real maple syrup – Grade A is the best to use in the recipe since it’s the darkest, and most robust in flavor

brown sugar

Ingredients for the maple frosting

Pillsbury white frosting – I like Pillsbury since it’s thicker than other brands. Other flavors you can try are vanilla and cream cheese frosting.

pure maple syrup

peach whiskey – for tips on the best peach whiskey brands, see my recipe for a Peach Whiskey Cocktail

confectioners (powdered) sugar – if the frosting is too runny to pipe, add 1/2 cup of powdered sugar at a time to thicken it

For the cupcakes

Betty Crocker Gluten Free Devil’s Food Cake Mix - or use your favorite GF chocolate cake mix 

bacon grease from making candied bacon – if using bacon grease sounds too weird, use butter or a buttery spread

peach whiskey

real maple syrup

water

chopped candied bacon – to use in the cupcake batter and as garnish

A chocolate maple bacon cupcake garnished with candied bacon on a mini cake stand on a polka dot tablecloth.

How to make bacon maple cupcakes

The first thing you’ll need to do is to make a batch of candied bacon to mix into the batter and to use as a garnish. I used Kevin at Closet Cooking’s candied bacon method.

Candied bacon makes an awesome treat. So you may want to double the batch!

To make candied bacon:

1. Heat oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. Place a wire rack on top of the lined cookie sheet. Place bacon on the wire rack. Using a silicone pastry brush, brush the top of each strip with maple syrup. Then sprinkle 1/2 cup of brown sugar over the bacon.

3. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Flip strips of bacon, brush with remaining maple syrup and then sprinkle with the rest of the brown sugar.

4. Bake for another 20 minutes. If you want crispier bacon, cook for longer but checking every couple of minutes so the bacon doesn’t burn.

5. Remove from the oven and let cool on a rack.

6. Pour bacon grease from the baking sheets into a small bowl. Place the bacon drippings in refrigerator to solidify into a butter-like consistency.

To make the flavored frosting:

1. Spoon the frosting into a separate medium bowl. Add the maple syrup and whiskey and stir until combined.

2. If the frosting is too thin for piping, add confectioners (powdered) sugar 1/2 cup at a time to frosting until desired stiffness is reached.

3. Spoon frosting back into containers and refrigerate until cupcakes are ready to be frosted.

To make bacon maple cupcakes:

1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Place the cupcake liners into the baking pans.

3. Mix the cake mix, bacon grease, bourbon, maple syrup, and water on low speed for 30 seconds, in a large mixing bowl. Then beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.

(You can do this in the bowl of a stand mixer or an electric mixer using the paddle attachment. You can also use a mixing bowl with a hand mixer.)

4. Scrape bowl down, add chopped candied bacon, and beat for 10 seconds at medium speed until thoroughly mixed.

5. Pour the batter into cupcake liners using a medium batter spoon or an ice cream scooper, filling them 2/3 of the way.

6. Place the muffin tins into the oven and bake at 350 degrees F for 20-22 minutes. Cupcakes are done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

7. When done, remove from oven and let cool in pan until the pan is cool enough to pick up. Then remove cupcakes and place them on a wire rack until cooled to room temperature.

8. Frost cupcakes with flavored frosting using a piping bag. Place pieces of candied bacon on top of the cupcake and drizzle with a little maple syrup before serving.

Chocolate bacon cupcakes garnished with candied bacon on a mini cake stand and yellow plate on a polka dot tablecloth.

FAQ

Candied bacon tips

Make sure the candied bacon you use for the garnish is crispy. (The candied bacon that goes into cupcake batter doesn’t need to be as crispy.)

To get extra crispy bacon for the garnish, put five or so bacon strips back in the oven to cook a bit longer.

Make sure to keep an eye on the candied bacon so it doesn’t burn!

Substitutes for peach whiskey

If you don’t have peach whiskey, bourbon is a good substitute for these maple bacon cupcakes.

Don’t drink alcohol? Use another ounce of water in the cupcake batter. In the frosting, just leave it out.

Substitutes for the maple syrup

I’ve been asked if you can use maple flavoring or a teaspoon maple extract or more in the batter or frosting.

Since it’s a large amount – 2 ounces in the batter and 2 tablespoons in the frosting - I don’t think it would work.

Plus, pure maple syrup is thick and maple flavoring is thin like vanilla extract.

Can you use bacon crumbles?

No, please use real bacon and make candied bacon from scratch.

Using bacon crumbles isn’t a good substitute.

Serving tips

Double up the cupcake liners: Don’t like the chocolate cupcakes showing through your paper liners? Bake them in a single or plain white cupcake liner.

Then after your cupcakes cool, place them in a second cupcake liner before frosting.

That way the outer liner is fresh looking and perfect for bake sales or serving to guests.

Chocolate cupcakes with vanilla frosting garnished with candied bacon on a mini cake stands on a polka dot tablecloth.

Hot out? If you’re taking your gluten free cupcakes to a party, place the chocolate bacon cupcakes in the freezer for 30-45 minutes.

This stops the frosting from melting in the heat and humidity. I also think the cold temperature makes the cupcakes taste better.

More terrific gluten free cupcakes

If you like serving gluten free cupcakes at parties, you’ll love these treats:

Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcakes Recipe with Dulce de Leche Frosting – these cupcakes have espresso powder in the cupcake and an amazing dulce de leche frosting.

Ice Cream Cones Cupcakes Recipe – serve these “ice cream cones” at your next cookout because they won’t melt!

St. Patrick’s Day Pot of Gold Filled Cupcakes Recipe – not just for St. Patrick’s Day, these cupcakes are stuffed with apple cobbler.

Gluten Free Cookie Dough Stuffed Cupcakes – these chocolate cupcakes are stuffed with cookie dough – yummy!

Gluten Free Mini Cheesecake with Blueberry Swirl – these mini cheesecakes are served like cupcakes. So fun!

Chocolate cupcakes with vanilla frosting garnished with candied bacon on a polka dot tablecloth.

The best cupcake baking equipment

Must-have kitchen gadgets that make baking cupcakes so much easier:

 Wilton Batter Spoons make it easier to measure out and pour the cupcake batter into the cupcake pan.

OXO Good Grips Silicone Basting & Pastry Brush are much easier to clean than a traditional pastry brush. Just pop it into the dishwasher.

Wilton Standard Baking Liners – so pretty! I love the colors and you have a selection on hand for every holiday or occasion.

Wilton Cupcake and Muffin Baking Pans – these 12-cup cupcake pans are terrific. They don’t warp or scratch. Worth replacing your old beat up ones for, too.

Wilton X-Large Icing Tips are what I use to frost my cupcakes.

 Wilton Disposable Decorating Bags – don’t let “disposable” throw you. You can wash these in hot soapy water and reuse these dozens of times.

Wilton Bake It Better Cake Tester – I love this cake tester since it’s stored in a case making it easy to find in your gadget drawer.

Cooling and Baking Rack Wire Rack Set – these cooling racks are oven and dishwasher safe

What's the best part about making cupcakes?

Yield: 18 CUPCAKES

Bacon Maple Cupcakes Recipe with Chocolate

Chocolate bacon cupcakes garnished with candied bacon on a mini cake stand and yellow plate on a polka dot tablecloth.

These maple bacon cupcakes recipes are easy to make! This bacon cupcakes recipe is made with gluten free cupcake mix.

Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 2 hours

Ingredients

Ingredients for candied bacon

  • 1 pound thick-cut bacon
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 1 cup brown sugar

Ingredients for flavored frosting

  • 2 cans Pillsbury white frosting
  • 2 tablespoons real maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons peach whiskey
  • 1-2 cups confectioners (powdered) sugar, if needed

Ingredients for bacon maple cupcakes

  • 1 package Betty Crocker Gluten Free Devil’s Food Cake Mix
  • 1/2 cup bacon grease from making candied bacon (Note: if you don’t have enough bacon grease, add softened butter to make 1/2 cup)
  • 1 ounce peach whiskey
  • 2 ounces real maple syrup plus extra for drizzling
  • 5 ounces water
  • 1/2 cup chopped candied bacon plus more for garnishing

Instructions

To make candied bacon:

  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Line a cookie sheet with foil. Place a wire rack on top of the lined cookie sheet. Place bacon on the wire rack. Using a silicone pastry brush, brush the top of each strip with maple syrup. Then sprinkle 1/2 cup of brown sugar over the bacon.
  3. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Flip strips of bacon, brush with remaining maple syrup, and then sprinkle with the rest of the brown sugar.
  4. Bake for another 20 minutes. If you want crispier bacon, cook for longer but checking every couple of minutes so the bacon doesn’t burn.
  5. Remove from the oven and let cool on a rack.
  6. Pour bacon grease from the baking sheets into a small bowl. Place the bacon drippings in the refrigerator to solidify into a butter-like consistency.

To make the flavored frosting:

  1. Spoon frosting into a medium bowl. Add maple syrup and whiskey and stir until combined.
  2. If frosting is too thin for piping, add confectioners (powdered) sugar 1/2 cup at a time to frosting until desired stiffness is reached.
  3. Spoon frosting back into containers and refrigerate until cupcakes are ready to be frosted.

To make bacon cupcakes:

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Place the cupcake liners into the baking pans.
  3. Mix the cake mix, bacon grease, bourbon, maple syrup, and water on low speed for 30 seconds in a large bowl. Then beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.
  4. Scrape bowl down, add chopped candied bacon and beat for 10 seconds at medium speed until thoroughly mixed.
  5. Pour the batter into cupcake liners using a medium batter spoon, filling them 2/3 of the way.
  6. Place the muffin tins into the oven and bake at 350 degrees F for 20-22 minutes. Cupcakes are done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  7. When done, remove from oven and let cool in pan until the pan is cool enough to pick up. Then remove cupcakes and place them on a wire rack until cooled to room temperature.
  8. Frost cupcakes with flavored frosting using a piping bag. Place pieces of candied bacon on top of the cupcake and drizzle with a little maple syrup before serving.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

18

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 430Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 35mgSodium: 736mgCarbohydrates: 54gFiber: 0gSugar: 41gProtein: 11g

Nutritional information is automatically calculated per the ingredients list. Serving size may not be accurate. Please double-check with your preferred nutritional app for the most accurate information.

Originally published on July 25, 2016. Updated with new photos and information.

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Recipe rating: 5 4 3 2 1