Maple Bacon Cornbread Cupcakes with Maple Frosting

Combining two things I love together in one sweet ending? That’s what these Maple Bacon Cornmeal Cupcakes are…and they really are perfect for breakfast too!

Happy Birthday! No, not mine, but it’s the one year anniversary of the Recipe Swap, a group put together by Christianna Burwell. Started as a way to build community and create a challenge for all of us, we are assigned a recipe from an old cookbook that Christianna found at the Tanque Verde Swap Meet.

Titled All-Day Singin’ and Dinner on the Ground, it’s a hymnal and recipe book by Albert E. Brumley and the cookbook is still available for sale on the Brumley Music website.  The recipes evoke a simpler time and the need for the constant care of a dish; no digital thermometers or Thermidor ovens involved, when paying close care is how you knew a dish was complete.

Christianna was inspired to start this project that nods to these recipes from the past and allows us to put our personal spin on them reflective of our own tastes and schedules.

I’ve only been involved for the past couple of months but have enjoyed not only the opportunity to put my creative hat on and make something that is inspired by an old recipe but to see what my band of contemporaries do as well.

They are all linked at the bottom of this post; please take some time to peruse what everyone has done with this recipe for Maple Syrup Cake and a Happy Birthday to my fellow swappers!

I tried to avoid what seems predictable. But say Maple and my mind rushes to Maple Bourbon Bacon. My second experience with charcuterie and a life changing one. I doubt I will ever buy bacon from the grocery store again! All things kept leading to something that would combine the sweet and savory of bacon with a maple flavored cake.

That seemed in keeping with Christianna’s wish that we reflect on this past year and I can not deny that charcuterie has been a big part of it. Not just as a sponsor of a yearlong event using Michael Ruhlman’s book but as a participant and learner as well.


Add to that my growing relationships with people on Twitter far and wide this past year and it also somehow seemed prophetic that I use the Canadian maple syrup I received from my friend Paula at Vanilla Bean Baker in Canada.

Those relationships are not just a form of vacuous and empty connections; they are very real and Paula has become a friend and sweet supporter not just of me but all across the wide swath her generosity covers.

Maybe the biggest reflection that impacts me from the past year is how far I have come since this time last year. Suffering a major injury (I had NO idea how major!) in February of 2010, I found myself still very limited this time last year, 9 months after breaking my knee and suffering extraordinary soft tissue damage from my ankle to my thigh.

I expected to be up and running within a couple of months so that I was never able to set foot on one blade of grass last summer, barely left my home and felt isolated as I had never before in my life was not expected and was quite simply life changing.

Maple Bacon Cornmeal Cupcakes on a Plate in front of a Cupcake Stand

Despite still requiring a cane, I am the first to recognize that life as I knew it is starting to return. This year has seen the organization of a local blogger group, a trip to Snowmass, CO for a culinary event and heading out to parts unknown to meet friends for drinks and not worrying about how I will manage.

I just recently assisted with the planning for a local food blogger event at Ototo, a Denver restaurant. This time last year? I would have said no without any consideration at all. So thank you Cristianna; for me this reflection has been good. No one needs to be reminded of my progress more than me!

I have to also give Christianna some credit for this choice. She tweeted this morning that she was in Boulder and I was immediately reminded of the Chocolate and Bacon cupcake at Boulder’s Tee and Cakes and I was done.

I didn’t want to replicate that cupcake but I recall how much I loved the combination of sweet and salty and that was with ‘storebought’ bacon. I was excited to have some of my own home cured bacon available. I eventually settled on the idea of making a cupcake but adding cornmeal to the mix.

I love corn muffins with maple syrup and bacon on the side…so why not a cornbread cupcake with bacon in the mix, a maple frosting and some bacon garnish. I was sorely tempted to throw in some bourbon but held off and am glad I did; bourbon in frosting means it has not cooked off any of the alcohol and would not make these family friendly and in every other way they are.

So no bourbon (but try a tablespoon in the frosting if you must!). These were delightful and leftovers were breakfast. You know, just a fancy corn muffin right? 🙂

PIN IT! ‘Maple Bacon Cornmeal Cupcakes’

Maple Bacon Cornbread Cupcakes with Maple Frosting

A cupcake that combines savory and sweet and is topped with salty bacon. Perfect!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Cakes, Cupcakes & Cheesecake
Author: Creative Culinary


For the Cupcakes:

  • 1 ¼ cup flour
  • ½ cup yellow cornmeal
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter melted and cooled
  • ¼ cup bacon cooked, drained, cooked and crumbled

For the Frosting:

  • 8 Tbsp butter room temperature
  • 2 ½ to 3 cups of powdered sugar
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp maple flavoring
  • 2-3 Tbsp half and half
  • 3 Tbsp cooked crisp bacon, crumbled


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Line 12 standard muffin tins with paper liners.
  • Whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt and both sugars.
  • In another bowl, beat together buttermilk, eggs, syrup and melted butter.
  • Pour wet ingredients over dry, whisking to combine.
  • Fold in crumbled bacon
  • Fill each lined cup with just shy of 1/4 cup batter.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, cream butter.
  • Gradually add the powdered sugar, blending on slow speed.
  • Add maple syrup and flavoring and blend thoroughly.
  • Add milk gradually as needed for icing consistency.
  • Liberally frost the tops of the cupcakes and garnish with cooked bacon


A unique blend of sweet and savory ingredients and just a touch of salt from the bacon that brings in a trend we all love. We loved these!


Serving: 1grams

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  1. My sister was talking about trying maple, bacon doughnuts, so I surprised her with these gems. I never knew bacon on a dessert would be so delicious…but the maple flavor with bacon, cannot be beat! DELICIOUS!! YUMMM!!!

    1. So glad you enjoyed them! How about next you do Maple Bourbon Bacon; nothing quite like home cured bacon!

  2. You always come up with such creative and beautiful looking takes on the Swap, this one included! It was interesting to read about your past year, and its good to see your progress :). Keep it up, Barb!

    1. Why thank you so much; it’s fun to stretch my brain a bit when doing these. Wish I had started the one due Sunday night but why change that behavior now huh?

    1. I have a strong tendency to combine the two. I’ve made maple bourbon bacon, maple bacon turkey and now this. But I love the two together and this was a great sort of savory, sort of sweet combination.

  3. Oh, my. I love maple and bacon together (I confess I’m a dipper) but I find when people put them in desserts together it is too sickly sweet. These look like they would be perfect, with the cornmeal being a sweetness buffer. I think I’ll have to make these for my next potluck!

    1. That is exactly why I did it! The cupcake has a great texture with the cornmeal and bacon bits with that occasional punch of salty bacon; the frosting is a good balance. I had to give mine away or they would have been an hourly treat.

    1. Now that is REALLY saying something! I guess if you were going to give bacon a whirl…home cured and smoked in this cupcake would certainly be a great way to go. 🙂

  4. Love love love this combo. Maple bourbon and bacon will always steal my heart. Funny, I too, went in the direction of cornmeal at first. I almost did maple bacon cornbread. Great minds…

    1. They might be a bit addictive. I had to give them away. I have two left and am SO tempted to just call them dinner. I mean there is egg, bacon and muffins right?

    1. They absolutely are Luke…the cornmeal cupcakes have a great texture and aren’t too sweet and the sweet frosting is balanced nicely with the bacon. They are a new favorite.

  5. Hi Barb, what a lovely and clever recipe! Wishing you lots of love and luck for the coming year – It sounds like you are making amazing progress after such an awful injury. Cx

    1. Thank you Claire, much appreciated. And nice to get to know you through the swap too…I love that part of this.

    1. Thank you so much. The photography part is something I’m learning on my own; I’m like a kid when someone compliments a photo. My first thought is…Really? Much appreciated.

  6. So glad that you’re feeling like your life is on track again! We don’t realize how important our physical health is, until it’s compromised. Sweet and savory is such a winning combination and adding cornmeal and your own cured bacon – I can imagine how delicious these were!

    1. It’s better that’s for sure…still so limiting and can be frustrating but at least I’m not stuck on my couch 24/7 like I was for six months last year. Now that was almost too much! Didn’t you hear me screaming? 🙂

    1. Thank you so much Mike…if you knew what I had to deal with to take photos last year you would die. I may have suggested tongue in cheek that Tastespotting should have a Handicap…for the handicapped. I couldn’t stand on my leg for more than about five minutes! I am enjoying this process so much more now that my time is not so limiting and I can ‘fiddle’ a bit more. So much more rewarding.

  7. Your own homemade maple bourbon bacon? Woah, that sounds heavenly! I had a hard time resisting the maple bacon combination for this swap, but I’m glad someone embraced it. I love a good salty-sweet dessert.

    1. Yes…and easy. And easy to eat up…which is why I don’t always have some in the fridge. I could eat bacon for every meal when it’s my own!

  8. I am so sorry you had this major injury. It’s easy to forget it wasn’t so long ago because of all the amazing things you create. Maple bacon cornbread cupcakes would have been fine for me. Then you had to do a maple frosting! They look incredible.

  9. I still have not used the pink salt you sent me last winter, but I am determined to do so as soon as I get back to the U.S. I have tasted so many wonderful homemade food this summer, that I am really inspired to cure and smoke (need that smoker!) my own bacon.
    My daughter mad cookies with bacon a few months ago, but I have not been as adventurous yet, even though I truly adore bacon.
    Paired with corn meal, it has to be perfect little snack.
    I am so happy that you are the member of this group – more ways to connect!

    1. You have something to look forward to still..I have to say the corned beef that I made was just as amazing. I had a Reuben everyday for a week they were so good! And thanks…glad to be in it with you too. I watched from afar for months so don’t feel quite the newbie my time might portray. I was a stalker first!

    1. Try them…we just loved them. I think the corn meal helped to take them from being like a full blown cupcake. I had one for breakfast with coffee; a bit decadent but still perfect.

  10. Barb I had NO idea you were hurt!!!!! How did I miss that?!!??! So glad you are mending!

    I will combine Bacon and just about everything, but somehow I never thought of that!!!! These sound divine!

    You are always the best!!!!! 🙂

    1. I try not to complain. I see plenty of whining on Twitter and figure I don’t have to add to it. I could beat them all with my story of woe if I wanted to but I don’t need or want that kind of attention…we all have stories of woe don’t we; it’s trying to keep a positive outlook that has helped me the most. Thanks sweetie…you are too!

  11. Wow, Barb, that is some long post for you! But wonderful and funny…and I love your voyage and your relationship with your blog and with bacon! These cupcakes look scrumptious and I want you to make them for me… I can only imagine how fabulous the bacon and the maple syrup go together.

    1. Oh stop. I write long posts sometimes. But my long ones are midgets compared to yours. You know…it’s that pesky job of mine. 🙂

  12. I loved reading this post Barb – I am so proud of you for persevering!! These cupcakes sound absolutely wonderful – totally my kind of a cupcake since I am also a huge fan of the sweet/salty combo!!
    And I would definitely be adding that 1 Tbsp. of bourbon to the frosting… in fact, I just made a cake with a Bourbon frosting and the bourbon definitely kicks it up another notch!!

    1. And I’m so glad we have become friends. Sometimes in the darkest hours, it was the relationships I had made on Twitter that kept me feeling connected to the outside world…and making real friends. Like you. XOXO

  13. Your life as you knew it will never return for you are not the same person you were before your injury. Yes, your mobility pre-injury will hopefully return in full force but ironically, such a debilitating physical set-back has allowed you to grow and stretch in ways you never imagined with benefits that you could have never foreseen. How funny that in your isolation you were able to meet and reach more people than you would have had you not been housebound for so many months.
    Your blog title has never been more apt as it is with this post. These cupcakes are brilliant, your photography of them is brilliant and your post was inspiring.
    Thank you again for the mention, I’m happy that Canadian Maple Syrup had a small part to play in the wonderful recipe. Continued best wishes for a full recovery Barb.

    1. I’ve said it before, don’t mind saying it again. You are the sweetest and you are right. I have learned some things; I’ve seen friends drop away and that was actually good. People that needed me to be there for them but did not know how to reciprocate. Not real friends at all, right? Twitter helped me stay connected and for that I am most grateful. You know I love that syrup that I have sequestered and saved and is almost gone. I will cry.

    1. Thank you Linda. The cooking I’ve got many years under my belt. The photos? Not so much…so sweet compliments about them mean so much to me.

    1. Thank you…it’s unique but decidedly good. Not unlike salted caramel or salted chocolate, that bit of salty bacon really plays well off the frosting and not overly sweet cornmeal cupcakes.

    1. Thank you so much Jacqueline…glad to meet you through the swap and thank you so much for the kind comments. I could have lived without this thing taking so long to heal but I am trying to be positive that no matter how slow I am seeing improvement…and escaping from the confines of my home again…I love my home but enough was enough!

  14. What an extraordinary combination of cornbread, bacon and maple. These could serve as breakfast, lunch or dinner! Yum! Glad that your injury is on the mend 🙂

  15. Yes – I think we are twins and here is why 🙂
    1. My first thought was to make a maple bacon cupcake for this swap
    2. I just bought Ruhlman’s 20 and thought about cooking my way thru it via my blog- just yesterday we made the breakfast pizza and next weekend we are making the weeknight coq a vin.
    3. I used to work in Snowmass Village, CO and live only 40 minutes away from there now.
    4. I was in Denver just today
    So happy to have met you through the recipe swap! It looks like you have a FB page – I will go “like” it now. I also just set up a page for FB a few weeks ago, and if you want to check it out it is the same name as my blog: Caffay Way

    1. Crack me up…and next time you are in Denver, well, we must get together! I’m still looking at this list and shaking my head. Sis. 🙂

  16. You have had quite the year, Barb. Your recovery from the accident and all of your subsequent adventures shows you are a woman with true grit. As for these cupcakes…well, simply brilliant.

    1. Yes, true grit. Me and John Wayne. And I’m probably almost as tall as him! You are so sweet Dara, thanks for stopping by.

  17. It’s so funny how certain foods plant very vivid but different memories in our minds – for you maple syrup evokes your bacon encounter and for me it is a moat around my pancakes. The syrup you used for your intricate little cakes sounds very special.
    I’m glad to hear that things are looking up after your injury. Ouch! Cakes will help.

    Thanks for sharing the recipe swap with all of us!

    1. Hehe…yes cakes helped. And why I now have to lose the lbs I gained from not walking yet still baking and making cakes. Now that’s an ouch!

  18. What clever ‘cakes’ Barb! I too love the addition of cornmeal or other less refined flour to give more texture and depth. Maple and bacon as you said are such a classic combination; what a great idea to pair them here and as an homage to all you’ve accomplished in the last year. It’s wonderful to have a moment of pause to all that has elapsed and as you said to look at where things were for you a year ago versus today, it’s been a remarkable journey!

    1. I’ve done cornmeal in other cupcake recipes and I do love it…the texture and the flavor. I think of when we first met…and how anxious I was about navigating even that parking lot. It’s true, I’ve come a long way baby!

  19. Lovely cupcakes! How can you possibly go wrong with maple and bacon?

    Yes, you have come a long way in the past year and here’s to hoping you are your old self very soon.

    1. I’m getting there…and I’m glad to have sweet friends like you to be there with me. Like today. 🙂

    1. I know, right? I’m sure regular bacon would be good too…but my own home cured. Yes, it might have elevated these little cupcakes just a bit. Or a lot.

  20. Broken knee cap, wow, that just sounds AWEFUL!!!! I’m glad you’re still coming up with AMAZING gems like this cupcake in the midst of recovering from such a terrible injury.

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