I still have some of the apples from the farm, the supply never ends no matter how many apple things I make. The bowl of apples on my table literally looks as full as it when we first got them. It's some sort of apple wizardry or apple mating ...
So when someone suggested that I make an apple cake with maple and bacon I started searching the internet for recipes right away. Bacon-in-everything is a popular trend right now (with items ranging from delicious to ridiculous) so there were a ton of recipes for me to sift through and combine.
This is what I came up with: homemade apple pancake batter baked in muffin tins and topped with sweet and salty maple bacon icing.
These are way faster to make than cupcakes, and would be perfect for brunch. No standing over the stove making pancakes while everyone sits around eating, just pull them out of the oven and everyone can eat at once.
The batter is just a pancake batter with some grated apple stirred into it, the cupcakes bake up moist and fluffy in about 12 minutes.
Note the difference in yolks between the last farmer's market egg and my grocery store eggs.
I played around with a few toppings with maple and bacon before I got a combination that I really liked. To get enough maple flavor in the icing without making the icing overly sweet it really helps to use a combination of maple syrup and maple extract. Bacon bits are mixed into the icing and then sprinkled on top as well.
To make the icing really fluffy I whipped the butter with the whisk attachment on my mixer before adding sugar, and then whipped it for 20-30 seconds on high after each addition of powdered sugar was mixed in.
For piping, I used a disposable plastic piping bag (a plastic freezer bag would work as well) and cut the tip open wide enough so that the bacon bits could pipe without catching.
Apple Pancake Cupcakes
(adapted from The Brown Eyed Baker)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 whole apple grated (don't worry about peeling it)
1½ cups milk (I used skim)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1. preheat your oven to 400
2. Whisk together the dry ingredients and then stir in the grated apple. Set aside
3. In a separate bowl, whisk the two eggs until slightly foamy then whisk in the milk
4. Stir in the melted butter
5. thoroughly spray your muffins tins!!! I wouldn't recommend using muffin/cupcake liners because they love to stick to them. Fill the tins up (this batter makes 12, I filled my tins up almost to the top)
6. Bake for 11-13 minutes until the cupcakes have puffed up and are firm to the touch.
Maple Bacon Frosting
This made enough frosting for 10 of the cupcakes. I didn't want left over frosting, plus the 10 cupcakes got a lot of frosting on them. If you want to use a lot on all the muffins then double the recipe
1/2 cup butter softened
1 cup icing/powdered sugar
1tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp scant maple extract
4 strips of bacon
1. Cook bacon until crisp, drain on paper towels and then crumble
2. whip the butter with a whisk attachment on high for a few minutes
3. lower the speed and add 1/3 of the sugar. Once it is mixed it turn the speed back to high for 30 seconds
4. repeat step two with the rest of the sugar
5. mix in the maple syrup and maple extract
6. stir in 2/3 of the bacon bits (reserve the rest for sprinkling on top)
7. pipe or spread icing on pancake cupcakes!