1 lb thick cut bacon
¾ cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
good pinch of cayenne pepper
3 cups all-purpose flour
2-½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup butter, room temperature
2 cups Sugar
4 eggs, room temperature
1 cup milk, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
Dark Chocolate frosting:
2 and 3/4 cup powdered sugar
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, like Hershey’s Special Dark
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
6 Tbsp heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together brown sugar, cinnamon and cayenne and dredge every piece of bacon, making sure to coat thoroughly. Place bacon on a wire rack over an aluminum covered baking sheet and bake for 40 min. Bake longer if need as not all bacon is the same thickness and oven temp accuracy varies. Once cook, let cool, chop and divide in two.
With the oven still at 350, prep cupcakes. In a bowl, mix together flour, baking powder and salt. Using the paddle attachment on a stand mixer, beat the butter until creamy. Add the sugar and cream with the butter for 7 minutes, scraping the bowl when needed (batter should be nearly white and fluffy). Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Turn the speed to low and alternately, add the flour mixture and milk, starting and ending with flour until just mixed. Add vanilla and ½ of chopped bacon until just mixed.
Divide the batter into the cupcake liners until 2/3 full. Bake until a toothpick inserted comes out just clean (15-20 min). Cool for 5-10 minutes on a rack.
For frosting: Sift together the powdered sugar and cocoa powder to assure there are no lumps. Set aside. With a handheld stand mixer, beat the butter at medium speed until fluffy – about 2 minutes. Gradually add the sifted sugar/cocoa powder alternately with the heavy cream and vanilla. Beat on low speed after each addition. Add more powdered sugar if frosting is too dark. Add a pinch of salt if frosting is too sweet.
Frost cooled cupcakes and topped with remaining chopped bacon. Enjoy!
RECIPE BY: Jen O’Connor // Featured on Three Kitcheneers
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