Bacon-salted Caramel Cupcakes

Yes. You read that right. I am actually doing a food post (of sorts). Deep breaths. This concoction stemmed from a discussion on Twitter, and from an amazing blog I saw linked there. A shout out to Heather, Kristina and Andrea who posted a link to the blog that planted the seed.

I am a sporadic photographer at best, so bear with me. Also, I will not be posting a recipe. I know I would leave out some major ingredient and your attempt to recreate it would fail miserably and you would (rightly) blame me and it would create a huge rift between us and I can’t bear the thought of us being parted. 😉

Step one: Mix up a batch of your favorite cupcake recipe. I went with a box of white. I. KNOW. This is neither my favorite nor really mixing anything. I have an amazing cupcake recipe and I totally lazed out and did them from a box. It pains me to admit but I am becoming more of a Sandra Lee than a Martha Stewart. As long as I never end up becoming a Yankee version of Paula Deen I’m okay with it. I did not photograph this step as I assume that you can manage it well enough. If not, this is not the post for you. Bless your heart.

Step two: Add your caramels. Dust with bacon salt. Then top with more batter.

batter and caramels, skip the papers

Step three: Bake those suckers.

that's totally the second oven rack doubling as a cooling rack

Step four: Gather your buttercream ingredients. Did I forget to mention we were making buttercream? Well, get used to it. I leave bits out frequently. Here are mine:

elaborate, I know.

So I totally wasted an hour of my time scouring the innerwebz for different buttercream recipes. Martha’s was too elaborate. A) duh. B) NINE egg whites?! Martha, I adore you, but you are out of your ever-loving mind. I steadfastly refuse to look at anything with Paula’s name on it. But I imagine it would simply involve creaming 3 lbs of buttah, y’all. I finally found one that had a short list and I already had all the ingredients in my house (miracle of all miracles). In my excitement, I did not stop and make a citation (bad blogger!). About 9/10ths of the way through making the buttercream, I realized that the recipe was almost identical to the one listed on the back of the powdered sugar box. Special. Also, the reason my glass measuring cup looks so dingy is because I had just dropped it on the floor, where it proceeded to bounce three or four times, spraying almond milk on to every imaginable surface in my kitchen, and of course myself. Oh, tha horrah! It is not dingy or dirty. It is battle-scarred (by almond milk). It is a warrior. Respect it. Kudos to Pyrex for making bouncing glass. Please keep it up. I don’t always need that function but I appreciate it when the occasion arises (or drops, as the case may be).

Step five:  Make your buttercream. Mine looked like this:

it tastes of caramel and powdered sugar

Perhaps I should cowgirl up and use Martha’s recipe next time? I bet it tastes like luxury.

Step six: Clothe your naked cupcakes.

this is not the look

Massive heartbreak (translation: I cussed under my breath for a minute) occurred when I could not find my piping supplies. I ended up using some sort of midget table knife. I give this icing technique a pass, but only barely.

Step seven: Bacon salt those babies!

they look like blah but will KA-POW you in your tasters

Step eight: Artfully arrange on a plate while keeping family members away with your foot in their general direction.

decent enough, yes?

You’re done. But as a bonus feature, this is what you are about to bite into:

You may eat now.

When I make these again, I will either use an alternative source of caramel or place the square on top of the entire portion batter. They sank right to the bottom and some of the wrappers are harder to remove than others. Also, a heavier hand with the bacon salt in the middle.

caramel sinks. It's science, kids!

Verdict: Kiddo thought it was spicy. He thinks everything is spicy. For some reason, it’s the only adjective he uses for food. He eats 98% of the food we put in front of him, but he wasn’t interested in these. Oh, well. Hubby didn’t think they were bacon-y enough, but “still a good cupcake.” I don’t know if that was directed at me or Betty Crocker, but seeing as how she isn’t real, I’ll take the credit. I liked them. Bacon salt is a little strange at first, but appealing in an odd way. The initial taste is salt with a bacon aftertaste. It makes me feel like a naughty vegetarian. I imagine that if you eat bacon you could cook some up (well done?) and then crumble it and top the icing with that. Or use bacon bits. I mean, really. I used a cake mix. The shame is driving me to bed early tonight.

I ate the one that I cut in half. I might or might not have developed diabetes since, so consider this your health warning.

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12 thoughts on “Bacon-salted Caramel Cupcakes

    • They’re definitely tasty, but I don’t have much of a sweet tooth (probably the real reason I don’t bake very often). I’m taking half to a friend this afternoon and then some to the in-laws. I won’t need sugar for at least six months. lol

  1. HUZZAH ! I think they look AWESOME. I wish I knew what to do for sinking caramel… It would be so much more work, but maybe cutting them in half / thirds would make them lighter? This is going to keep me UP tonight. 😉

    … then i may need to try something similar…

    • One of my plans is to cut the caramels in half and roll in bacon salt. I also thought about butterscotch chips, which wouldn’t be the same flavor, but weight-wise I think they would work. (And maybe they would melt better?) I also considered buying those flat, round caramel wraps for apples and cutting them down to size.

      I would prefer for the bacon salt to be more of a cohesive taste instead of a distinct and initial taste. I have considered salting the batter or salting the buttercream. I want a more refined taste and right now it’s a little “SALT-bacon-SUGAR-caramel” for what I want. Funny how my joke recipe is turning into an obsession. lol

      Clearly, this kept me up last night. 😀

  2. Pingback: Tweets that mention Bacon-salted Caramel Cupcakes | a journey of 26.2 miles begins with a blog -- Topsy.com

    • If you aren’t opposed to cupcake crumbs, they totally could be consumed in a birthday suit. You are a braver woman than I if you are willing to bake them sans clothing.

    • I’ll bake some as a Ragnar fundraiser. I’m thinking $50 each? If I make the batter from scratch, I could totally charge that much for them.

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