Maple Cupcakes with Bacon and Beer
Try not to confuse these cupcakes with the Smoked Porter Maple Bacon Cupcakes we created last year. While these are very similar, I’ve modified the recipe in a new way so we can produce these cupcakes for sale. We needed to do a test run to make sure we meet the Department of Agriculture’s standards for the amount of bacon in our cupcake. With our current licensing, there can only be 2% of the cupcake’s weight in bacon. I know that doesn’t seem like a lot, so we were very careful to get our measurements right. Previously when we made bacon cupcakes there was bacon grease and bacon bits inside the cake, which was very tasty, but that would lead to us technically having too much bacon. So, we cut out the inside bacon and just garnished the top. I really think this will work!
Aside from all that technical stuff, these cupcakes were awesome! Last week I ordered a bottle of Rogue Ale’s Voodoo Donut Bacon Maple Ale. It arrived just in time for our brief weekend getaway to Bellingham to visit Dylan’s family over the St. Patrick’s day weekend. Despite being on vacation, we still planned on baking cupcakes, that’s how much we love our readers (and how much we love to bake cupcakes!).
The beer smelled distinctly like maple, and upon pouring myself a glass and taking a sip, I knew I was trying something very unique. It was definitely sweet, but there was also a smokey character to it that you could tell was from the applewood smoked bacon, and other smoked malts, used in the brewing process. I was definitely glad we had family around to share this bottle with. I used about 5/8 of a cup in the cake batter, and the rest we all drank while baking.
The cake by itself is basically a yellow cake flavored with maple syrup (100% pure) and molasses. After I made the batter and filled the cupcake pans, I placed them in the oven, which filled the house with a great maple scent. When they were done, I realized I may have put too much batter in, as they had generously expanded in the oven. I guess I’m just not used to their oven, but it was a nice change from using our toaster oven to make our blog experiments like we have been doing.
The maple cakes were then crowned with a generous amount of cream cheese frosting that was flavored with just a little bit more maple syrup. They were then sprinkled with a few freshly cooked bacon bits and that really brought the cupcakes together. The flavor of the entire thing really tasted just like the beer! Now the only thing I’m not sure of, when we start producing these for sale, is what kind of beer we’re going to use. Sadly, the Voodoo Bacon Maple Ale is a limited release and it wasn’t exactly inexpensive to get a bottle of it to our house. (I had to order it online, and the shipping cost about as much as the beer itself) I think we’ll probably use a smoked porter like we did in our previous bacon cupcakes, or maybe on our next trip to the beer store I’ll find something else that sounds good. Do you have any suggestions on what beer might go best with these cupcakes?
Special thanks to Martin (Dylan’s dad) who let me use his photography studio to take pictures of the cakes this week. (I’d also like to thank him for the lesson in Lightroom, I’ve always just used Photoshop.) We hope everyone had a safe and happy St. Patrick’s day celebration this weekend! We loved being able to spend it here in Bellingham, the parade was great and the beer afterwards at Boundary Bay Brewery was even better. Cheers!
– Jackie & Dylan