Pumpkin Muffins with Cream Cheese Frosting and Candied Bacon Sprinkles

If you are already rolling your eyes thinking I have lost my mind, then you clearly are new around here!

I tend to wax poetic about my love of bacon from time to time. Or more often… It’s one of my all time favorite, if you were stuck on a desert island and could only take one food with you contenders. Along with cheese and chocolate…

But as I mentioned here, sometimes my love of this salty, cured, fat and calorie laden slice of heaven causes me a wee bit of guilt. I’m always looking for ways to enjoy it without all that guilt.

So yes, I thought, why not coat it in brown sugar and nuts and sprinkle it on top of a frosting smothered cupcake!  Well, that and Kristin challenged a bunch of us goofy blogger types to come up with a recipe using pumpkin and cream cheese.  So naturally I thought bacon!  Who wouldn’t?!

Perfectly sound logic there. Which might explain a few things about why my jeans are sometimes a smidge tighter than I would prefer….

Anywho, slight note about these little bites of goodness. I combine all purpose and cake flour almost whenever I make cakes in a 2:1 ratio because I love the texture the mixture creates. If you don’t have cake flour, it will still work using only all purpose flour.

The cupcakes are so light and fluffy, that they would easily pass as muffins without the frosting. But sometimes, you just need to indulge a little!


Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting and Candied Bacon Sprinkles
Yield: 12 cupcakes

1 c. all purpose flour
½ c. cake flour
1 tbs. + 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. baking soda
2 eggs
½ c. + 2 tbs. vegetable or canola oil
1 c. sugar
1 c. pumpkin puree

2 tbs. softened butter
4 oz. softened cream cheese
2 – 2 ¼ c. confectioners’ sugar

Candied Bacon Sprinkles:
4 slices thick cut bacon
4 tsp. light brown sugar
¼ c. chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Insert a cooling rack into a baking sheet for bacon. Line 12-cup muffin pan with liners or nonstick spray and set aside.

For bacon: Place strips of bacon on prepared pan. Sprinkle each slice with 1 teaspoon of brown sugar. Divide pecans evenly among the slices.

Bake in preheated oven 20-25 minutes until nice and crispy. Remove from the oven and cool while making the cupcakes.

For cupcakes: Sift together all purpose flour, cake flour, pumpkin pie spice, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, blend together eggs, oil, sugar and pumpkin puree until smooth. Add dry ingredients in three small batches, mixing on low speed only until combined. Be careful not to over-mix as this will make the cupcakes rubbery.

Pour into prepared muffin cups, filling two-thirds full. Bake in 350 degree oven 18-20 minutes until tops are springy or a cake tester comes out clean.

Cool completely before frosting.

For frosting: Cream butter and cream cheese together until nice and soft and no lumps remain. Add 2 c. confectioners’ sugar and blend well. If you prefer your frosting a little thicker, feel free to add another ¼ c. of confectioners’

Frost cooled cupcakes using whatever method you prefer. (I used a large pastry tip, but honestly that was only because I was taking pictures of them. When nobody is looking, I just use a butter knife and slather it on there in all my lazy glory!)

Now for THE best part! Cut the prepared slices of bacon into little tiny pieces, and sprinkle them on top of the cupcakes. Et voila!


Now check out what happens when you let a bunch of bloggers loose…


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  1. 1

    I sure don’t need a whole lot of convincing to get on board with these! Can’t wait to try them! Soon! I mean it!

  2. 2

    Candied bacon? I’ll take three please! These sound amazing!!

  3. 3

    Candied bacon sprinkles?! Oh my god! Heaven! Must must must try this!

  4. 4

    No arm-twisting needed here! Bacon and cream cheese are both things I always say can go with anything. And obviously go together, as well!

  5. 5


  6. 6

    No way! These are brilliant, Jen. I want try one – that’s for sure. I love bacon with chocolate so why not like this? Fabulous.

  7. 7

    Yum, that candied bacon sounds phenomenal!

  8. 8

    WHOA! That is amazing….bacon?? Seriously…sugar and salty comma!

  9. 9

    You had me at pumpkin, you had my husband at bacon! A match made in heaven (:

  10. 10

    How fantastically delicious! Like Danielle, my husband will LOVE these (and me too!)

  11. 11

    Creative use of pumpkin, cream cheese and … bacon! Love your cuppcake pictures too.

  12. 12

    Stopping by from the Improv. Bacon makes everything better…these look delish!

  13. 13

    wow those look so good and i bet the bacon sprinkles just adds so much flavor yum!!

  14. 14

    I’m in love. simply in love.

  15. 15

    I think these should get the Improv Challenge attention grabbing award thanks to that sprinkle of bacon on top. These look delicious!

  16. 16

    These sound fantastic! Totally love candied bacon-or any bacon to be honest :-)

  17. 17

    You had me at bacon sprinkles. I don’t think I’d really care what was under them! :) But your muffins do sound wonderful as well. Such a yummy fall treat.

  18. 18

    Whoops…noticed when I clicked send that my email was wrong. Not that it’s so important, but didn’t want you to think I was purposely entering a bogus email! ha.

  19. 19

    A dish of Candied Bacon Sprinkles sounds amazing to me :) I think it would be an exciting combo on your lovely cupcakes! So innovative!

    Looking forward to perusing many more of your posts!

    Kindly, Lorraine

  20. 20

    Those look amazing and we adore candied bacon, YUM!

    If you haven’t already, I’d love for you to check out my Improv Cooking Challenge recipe: Praline Pumpkin Cheesecake.

    Cook Lisa Cook

  21. 21

    These hit all the right notes of sweet and savory. I love that combination. Yes, I have been known to eat chips and chocolate mini doughnuts at the same time. Weird… that does deserve an eye roll. LOL! I love these muffins and would eat them in a heart beat. : )

  22. 22

    As if these cupcakes probably aren’t already good enough as it is, then you add bacon! YUM!

  23. 23

    Oh, this looks amazing! I love the idea of bacon on top…as soon as I read the title I was hooked! Very nicely done!

  24. 24

    Candied bacon… I’m intrigued!

  25. 25

    Mhmm these cupcakes look delicious! I love sweet + salty things.

  26. 26

    Oh, what amazing cupcakes! Is it wrong that I want to take a spoon to that spectacular icing????

  27. 27

    Bacon sprinkles. You could make a fortune with that one. Very clever and it looks great.

  28. 28

    There are pecans in the sprinkles, too!! What WONDERFUL gems these are! Thanks so much for participating in this. I think it’s going to be one of the highlights of my month.

  29. 29

    Oh wow, those look amazing!

  30. 30

    Pumpkin and bacon…J-woman, only you but you rock! Great post!

  31. 31

    That was Mary Kay.. typing too fast…

  32. 32

    You are my hero. Candied bacon…I may never leave the house again.

  33. 33

    Yay for bacon sprinkles! They look fantastic with all that cream cheese frosting! I think you’re right, we are definitely long lost soul sisters :)

  34. 34

    Bacon on cupcakes? That’s unique! I’ve never heard of candied bacon before!

  35. 35

    I am dying to use some bacon in my baking… this is a fantastic idea!

  36. 36

    This is too funny. My husband was just saying how I need to stop making pumpkin treats. I think if I added bacon to them he wouldn’t be complaining. Great idea!

  37. 37

    Oh Jen…as if these beautiful pumpkin cupcakes with the heavenly swirl of cream cheese was not enough! I LOVE the bacon! I give you props girl…..cuz I don’t think one piece of that scrumptious bacon would have made it on top of my cupcakes! Awesome! : )

  38. 38

    Oh my! Candied bacon! I’m in! Your muffins look gorgeous J! :)

  39. 39

    Girl, you are speaking my language with the candied bacon and pumpkin. Awesome!

  40. 40

    Oh, hi, I love you! Though we’ve just met, I think you may be my foodie soul mate :) I LOVE bacon so much. Too much. And you’ve found a way to make it even more amazing by coating it in sugar and nuts and topping it on an amazing cupcake. Sold!!!! Pinning this!!


  41. 42

    Candied bacon sprinkles?? BRILLIANT!! I’m returning you check-out from the improve cooking challenge. Thanks for stopping by.

  42. 43

    Delicious, both the cupcakes and the bacon.

  43. 44

    You definitely haven’t lost your mind–bacon is IN! There’s even a restaurant in Anchorage that has a “bacon of the month” feature on the menu, and it recently contained candied bacon. You’re right on trend!

  44. 46

    Isn’t it funny how bacon adds such a great flavor to things you wouldn’t think it would go with?

  45. 47

    I may not be eating bacon anymore (health problems) But i sure remember how it tastes. And Candied, oh my goodness, i think my cholesterol levels reached the sky just thinking about it.

  46. 48

    holy smokes- these look and sound fantastic!! Love the candied bacon!!!

  47. 49

    I made these yesterday. I had to make some muffins for my Big Picture Classes Twelve class. I had leftover pumpkin puree after making pumpkin spice latte syrup so I figured I’d make pumpkin muffins. Jenny
    at Learn with Jenny had 2 inviting recipes using pumpkin http://www.jennymeyerson.com/52-cupcakes-2/
    but I thought I wanted to see if there was anything more exciting especially for a son who is in LOVE with bacon. So I searched and found your blog/site. PERFECT. My son and I were eating the leftover candied bacon out of the bowl. Easy and yummy. Thanks for sharing.

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