The Breakfast Club

I had my monthly “bitchin’ book club” meeting last night, and we discussed our disturbing book choice while nibbling on different breakfast foods and (strawberry) mimosas. Alongside our overwhelmingly delicious mimosas (Andre Strawberry + orange juice = Heaven.), we selected from vegan almond coconut balls, mini vegetable or bacon and egg frittatas, delicious and crisp home-fried potatoes, granola, fresh fruit salad, and these…

Cinnamon swirl cupcakes with strawberry-maple cream cheese frosting and maple bacon. Two things I must point out before I get all excited about these-1) I did not make this recipe up, I stole it from a Cupcake Wars contestant, and 2) I do not, and will not ever again, promote the eating of roasted, smoked, maple pig fat.

With those things said, I aim to please. I know bacon is loved and obsessed over by many, and I’ve been wanting to make cupcakes with bacon on them for quite some time. The combination of sweet/savory/maple/salt sounds lovely, and since I don’t consume bacon myself, I had to make these:

“Don’t judge me-I’m delicious!”

Veggie maple bacon. I’m sure it sounds unappealing to those of you who like pork bacon, but I quite enjoy my Smart Bacon roasted with maple syrup, thank you.

The intention of this cupcake is that it has a variety of flavors from breakfast foods-a cupcake that tastes like French toast, a frosting that has fresh strawberries and maple syrup, and of course, bacon all rolled into one little bite-sized treat. When slightly overbaked and crisp (i.e. a little burnt), the cupcakes resemble the taste of cinnamon toast, and when slightly underbaked and soft, they’re similar to French toast. Quite frankly, it’s one of the most delicious cupcake recipes I’ve ever tasted, and if you choose to try, the cupcakes can be made entirely vegan without sacrificing taste. I’ve included the replacements below.

Cinnamon Swirl Sour Cream Cupcakes with Strawberry Maple Cream Cheese Frosting and Maple Roasted Bacon

Stuff You’ll Need

Makes 24 cupcakes

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 8 oz salted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups (10 oz) sour cream
  • 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, loosely packed
  • Strawberry Maple Cream Cheese frosting, recipe to follow
  • Maple-Roasted Bacon, recipe to follow

How to Do It

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F, and line two muffin pans with 24 cupcake liners.
  2. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a small mixing bowl, and set aside.
  3. Using the paddle attachment in a stand mixer at medium speed, cream the salted butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  4. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add the vanilla extract and one egg at a time. Scrape the sides of the bowl as necessary to incorporate the ingredients.
  5. Decrease the speed of the mixer to its lowest setting, and alternately add the flour mixture and the sour cream (3 additions of flour, 2 additions of sour cream).
  6. Remove the bowl from the mixer, and add the cinnamon and brown sugar. Using a rubber spatula, fold the ingredients into the batter so they create a nice little swirling effect.
  7. Using an ice cream scoop and a small spatula or spoon, scoop 3-4 tablespoons of batter into each cupcake liner. Bake the cupcakes for 32-34 minutes or until the tops are golden brown and spring back when pressed lightly. Remove from the oven and cool slightly in the pans. Move the cupcakes to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.

Recipe from Hollis Wilder on Foodnetwork.com.

Strawberry Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

Stuff You’ll Need

  • 16 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 4 oz strawberry jam
  • 1/4 cup strawberries, hulled and diced

How to Do It

  1. Using the paddle attachment on a stand mixer, whip the cream cheese, butter, and maple syrup until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the bowl from the stand mixer, and fold the jam and strawberries in with a rubber spatula until the ingredients are blended. Set aside or place in the refrigerator until the cupcakes are completely cool.

Recipe adapted from Hollis Wilder on Foodnetwork.com.

Maple-Roasted Bacon

Stuff You’ll Need

  • 1/2 lb thick-cut smoked (organic) bacon
  • 1 to 2 Tbsp good-quality maple syrup
  • Baking sheet, pastry brush, non-stick cooking spray, wire rack, parchment paper, tongs

How to Do It

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spray a wire rack on both sides with non-stick cooking spray, and place the wire rack securely on top of the baking sheet.
  2. Line bacon strips in a single layer across the wire rack, and roast in the oven for 15 minutes, or until slightly browned.
  3. Remove the pan carefully from the oven. Using the pastry brush, brush the bacon with a generous coating of maple syrup. Use the tongs to flip the bacon strips, and brush the underside with maple syrup. Carefully put the pan back in the oven, and roast them for another 3 to 5 minutes, or until they’re browned and crisp.
  4. When the bacon is done, transfer it to a plate lined with paper towels to cool. Chop it into small pieces to top the cupcakes.

Recipe from Barefoot Contessa on Foodnetwork.com.

Assemble the cupcakes by adding a tablespoon of frosting and sprinkling bacon bits on top

Vegan-ize it!

I’ve recently discovered my local grocery store sells a pretty decent replacement for sour cream and for cream cheese. These cupcakes can easily be vegan-ized (or made healthier and dairy-free) by using Earth Balance buttery sticks in place of butter (add 1/4 tsp of sea salt for the cupcake recipe), sour cream replacement, and cream cheese replacement. The eggs can be replaced with egg replacer or flax seeds soaked in water, and the bacon can be replaced with Smart Bacon. However, Smart Bacon only needs to be roasted for approximately 5 minutes (turning the strips in between) before adding the maple syrup. Enjoy your completely guilt-free breakfast cupcake 😉

 

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