Sweet Potato Cupcakes sprinkled with Salted Caramel Bacon
Let me start by giving credit where credit is due. The idea for this recipe came from my sister, Grace, who wanted a sweet potato and caramelized bacon cake for her 24th birthday. So I started with a Food Network recipe for sweet potato cake, and from there, made it up as I went along. My first stop was our local gourmet food store, A Southern Season, where I sampled every type of bacon they sell and searched for the perfect paper cupcake liners as well as the scrumptious caramel sauce I tasted in the store last fall. Making it up as you go along is risky. My experiments in the kitchen don’t always turn out as beautiful or delicious as this one. But with an extra serving of patience and one open afternoon—voilà! A pretty perfect recipe for sweet potato cupcakes with sea salted caramel bacon.
RECIPE: Makes 18-24 cupcakes
- One 15 (or 16)-ounce can sweet potatoes (Farmer’s Market Sweet Potato Puree)
- 2 cups organic all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 cup organic unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 cup pure cane sugar
- 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
- Cream cheese frosting (make your own or buy a tub)
- 1/2 pound of bacon, thinly sliced
- Sea salted caramel (Red Light Chocolates Sea Salt and Vanilla Bean Caramel Sauce)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a cupcake pan (or two) with paper liners, and set aside.
Spread thin slices of bacon on baking sheet(s) lined with aluminum foil. Cook bacon in the oven until done. Watch carefully so that the bacon is crispy. Do not burn. Pat grease from bacon with paper towels when you remove from oven. Let bacon cool.
In a medium bowl, stir together flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger and nutmeg.
In a large bowl, whisk together butter, brown sugar and pure cane sugar. Beat in eggs. Add the dry ingredients. Whisk in sweet potato purée. Fill cupcake liners in prepared pan(s) with batter (3/4 full).
Bake cupcakes until golden (tops will spring back when touched and a toothpick inserted in the center will come out clean), 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool.
Crumble bacon into pieces. Heat a large spoonful of sea salted caramel in microwave for 10 seconds. Toss bacon pieces in caramel sauce.
Lightly frost the cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. Sprinkle with pieces of salted caramel bacon.