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Monday, November 4, 2013

Bacon Maple Cake




Bacon Maple Cake. That's the exact response my husband gave me about a month ago, when I asked him what kind of cake he'd like best for his upcoming birthday. Immediately, visions of bacon-maple bars and donuts filled my mind, while the memory of once tasting a bacon-maple-donut-cake, with its sweet and savory flavor, flooded my senses. Yum.

"OK, I think I can do that," I rather naively commented, before realizing that not many recipes were quite in existence yet for this particular dessert. So, I scoured the internet and thought back to the heavenly experience of sharing a slice of a bacon-maple-donut-cake with our friends Kim and Eric, who had bought the cake from Frost Doughnuts in Seattle, a couple years back. It was rich, perhaps a bit over-the-top. But oh so delightful. I wanted to make a cake like that but not so sweet that I felt sick afterwards. I also wanted to incorporate the same crispy, thick cut bacon I enjoyed on that cake but in a way that paired perfectly with the creaminess of the frosting and the fluffy-meets-dense maple cake texture. Lastly, many recipes I found online used box cake mix and well, I wanted to give my husband something that was completely from scratch for his birthday. Here's what I came up with…I hope you like it!

Bacon Maple Cake

Ingredients:

For the Maple Cake:
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter at room temperature
1 cup maple syrup
1 cup brown sugar
3 large eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 ¼ cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Maple Buttercream Frosting:
1 cup butter (2 sticks), softened
1 cup maple syrup
1 ½ cups powdered sugar (you can use more as needed to build the exact frosting consistency you like)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
6-8 slices thick cut bacon (optional, but not really)

Cake Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 8-inch or 9-inch round pans with nonstick cooking spray. *I like to use spring form pans and waxed paper for added ease of removal.

2. In an electric mixing bowl (or with an electric beater), beat the butter until creamy. Add the maple syrup and brown sugar and beat until combined, then add the eggs, mixing well.

3. In a separate large bowl, mix together the remaining dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, and salt.

4. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture to combine. Pour in the milk and vanilla extract. Mix well.

5. Divide cake batter between two pans and set pans in the oven on the middle rack. Bake cakes until a toothpick inserted in the center of each cake comes out clean, about 40-50 minutes. Watch closely toward the end of the time so that your cake comes out perfectly golden brown.

6. Cool cake pans on wire racks for about 15 minutes. Carefully remove the cakes from pans with a swift flip-over onto a flat plate and a gentle pat.

Frosting Directions:
1. Cream butter with an electric mixer for about 3 minutes.

2. Add powdered sugar and combine well.

3. Pour in maple syrup, vanilla extract, and salt. Mix on medium-high speed, with occasional high-speed use, until light and fluffy. (Add more powdered sugar as needed to get the exact consistency/fluffiness you desire.)

4. Once your frosting is made, set aside on a cool countertop while you cook the bacon slices. If you have a slotted baking pan/sheet, I recommend cooking the bacon at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes, watching closely to avoid burning. Or, you can cook your bacon slices on the stove or in the microwave, depending on your preference. The key is to make sure that your bacon slices aren’t overcooked.

5. Remove bacon from pan and let it cool on a paper towel lined plate (to catch the grease.)

To arrange the cake…

Once your cake layers are completely cooled, frost them generously with the maple buttercream frosting, setting one cake layer on top of the other. And then—here comes the best part—arrange your bacon slices artfully on the top of the cake either in strips or broken into smaller 1/2-inch to 1 inch pieces.

Note: When slicing the cake, do try to give everyone a fair share of bacon as to avoid thoughts of favoritism or frustration on the part of your guests who all love bacon equally.

Enjoy! ;)




Special thanks to the folks online whose recipes I adapted to fit my specific desires—Martha Stewart and addapinch.com

1 comment:

  1. That's awesome. The only other thing I would add is chopped up bacon pieces on top of the frosting layers. But I am a bacon girl all the way. :) By the way, chopped up bacon pieces could also be an easier way to make sure everyone gets the good bacony flavor with each bite.

    And by the way, Maile, you are an amazing wife, expressing your deep love and respect for Ken through all the time and effort. Proud to call you my friend!

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