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
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…