Maple Bacon PBR Cupcakes

Maple bacon cupcake

Here we have maple bacon PBR cupcakes. If that doesn’t sound like food to you, you may revel in the grossness or exit your browser in pursuit of greener pastures or cat videos (come back next week for regularly-scheduled programming!). The omnis have been making bacon desserts for years, so I decided to abandon my dignity in a chocolate bacon cupcake batter.

For reasons unbeknownst to me, I decided to start writing a vegan bacon zine. I don’t even like bacon that much. It started as an April Fool’s Day joke of bacon-laden desserts, then became a summer project. Since it doesn’t seem like the populace is ever going to accept that the bacon trend has worn out its welcome, why don’t we jump on the bandwagon and ride it out (OR INTO THE GROUND)? Bask in the sheer ridiculousness of bacon or let your vegan bacon freak flag fly and enjoy some cupcakes.

The first step involves frying vegan bacon in ungodly amounts of margarine to create a double threat of crispy bacon for garnish, and bacon-infused butter for the batter and frosting.

I originally shuddered at the thought of putting PBR in cupcakes, but it really acts a leavening agent to make the cupcakes light and fluffy. And the least offensive ingredients, chocolate and maple, hold down the fort.

So what are you waiting for? Make some cupcakes for the tragically hip people in your life. Or take my word for it.

Maple Bacon PBR Cupcakes

Makes 1 dozen cupcakes

To make bacon-infused browned butter:

6 tablespoons vegan margarine
5 strips uncooked veggie bacon

To make cupcakes:

¾ cup PBR or other light beer
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
¾ cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons bacon-infused browned butter
3 tablespoons maple syrup
3 tablespoons canola oil
¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup cocoa powder, Dutch-processed or regular
2 teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon salt

To make topping:

3 tablespoons bacon-infused browned butter, solid
3 tablespoons margarine
½ cup vegetable shortening
3 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons non-dairy milk
3 cups powdered sugar

Heat the margarine over medium-high heat. Sauté the bacon until crispy, about three minutes on each side. Allow the butter to get foamy and start to brown. Transfer bacon to a plate to cool, letting excess margarine drip off. Set aside. Reserve 3 tablespoons of the bacon-infused browned butter for the batter, then pour the rest into an airtight container and refrigerate to solidify.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Fill a cupcake pan with liners.

Pour the beer and vinegar in a stand mixer or regular mixing bowl. Stir in the sugar, 3 tablespoons reserved browned butter, maple syrup, canola oil, and vanilla extract.

Sift in the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt, and mix until just combined. The batter should be thick, but pourable.

Using a cupcake scoop or measuring cup, fill each liner ⅔ full. Bake for 18 minutes, or until the tops are firm and a toothpick comes out clean. Let sit in the pan on the stove for 3-4 minutes, then move to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Cream together the bacon-infused browned butter, margarine, and shortening in a stand mixer or with handheld beaters. Add the maple syrup and milk. Gradually mix in the powdered sugar and beat the frosting until light and fluffy, 6-8 minutes.

Pipe or spread the frosting on the cupcakes. Slice cooked and cooled bacon into 1-inch pieces for garnish.