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Maple Bacon Cake – Happy Birthday Bill!

October 8, 2016

I’ve known for quite a few months now of what twist I was going to put on Bill’s birthday cake: BACON!  I had lots of options on how to do this though: chocolate, maple, or yellow cake with either a caramel, maple buttercream or maple cream cheese frosting.  I opted to go pretty outside the norm and go non-chocolate: maple cake with maple buttercream.

According to the maple connoisseurs Grade B is a more complex maple syrup with hints of caramel and much better to use when flavor really matters like in baking.  For topping pancakes or oatmeal Grade A is A-ok.  Grade B is very dark and generally the darker the syrup the better the flavor.  So if you can’t find Grade B go for a dark Grade A.  After searching at 6 grocery stores for Grade B with no luck Jim found this sign at the last store:


So I settled for dark Grade A considering maybe there is no longer Grade B.

I modified two maple cake recipes one from Martha Stewart and Bon Appetite to get the below.  My go to in cake recipes now is to use buttermilk and cake flour so I used those here.

This was not the easiest of recipes to make.  We haven’t turn the heat on in our house yet so it is cold.  Meaning “room temperature butter” was probably not ideal room temperature.  So for my first attempt the butter was too cold and I didn’t beat it to a good creaminess so when I added the syrup it was chunky and almost curdled.  I started over and used much softer butter, but still got a little separation as pictured below, but it worked just fine.

Attempt 2 with softer butter. Still some separation.

I had no idea how this was going to turn out, but it was AMAZING!  I was in a rush so I had to frost a warm cake – DO NOT RECOMMEND!  But, everyone agreed it was one of the best cakes to date.  I was very impressed and surprised given I concocted the recipe from so many different pieces.

Difficulty: Hard
Prep Time: 1 1/2 hours
Cook Time: 30-40 min
Total Time: 2.5-3 hours
Yield: one 2 layer cake, servings 10-14 servings
Taste: Damn Delicious!



1 lb quality bacon
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans
2 cups pure maple syrup, preferably grade B (see intro above), but a dark grade A if you can’t find B
3 large eggs
2 3/4 cups cake flour, sifted, plus more for pans
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon maple extract


1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Place bacon on a foil-lined cooking sheet in single strips.  Bake for 20-30 min until crispy.  Remove from sheet and place onto paper towel lined dish to remove excess fat.  Chop all but 2 pieces of bacon and set aside.

2) Butter two 9-by-2-inch round cake pans, and dust with flour. Tap out any excess flour, and set pans aside.

3) In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until creamy and lightened in color  ~ 3 mins.  Make sure butter is soft to start.

4) Add the maple syrup slowly in batches beating in between additions.  Beat until smooth about 3 min.  If the mixture does not look completely homogeneous it is ok.

5) Add the eggs one at a time beating after each addition.

6) In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt

7) Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in 3 additions alternating with 2 buttermilk addition in between. Beat to combine

8) Divide batter between the two prepared pans. Rotate the cake pans halfway through baking time to ensure even baking.  Bake at 350 degree until golden and a cake tester inserted into the centers comes out clean, about 30 to 40 minutes.

9) Transfer pans to a wire rack to cool.  Turn out cakes, and place one, top-side up, on a cake stand or platter.  Cool completely before frosting.



2 sticks unsalted butter; room temperature very soft – not melted
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoons maple extract
1/3 cup pure maple syrup; plus more for optional drizzling
1/2 teaspoon salt (I originally used 1 tsp which I thought was too much )


1) Cream softened butter with the paddle attachment in a stand mixer or beat well with hand mixer until the butter has lightened in color, about 3 minutes.

2) Add confectioner’s sugar in half cup increments and incorporate fully after each addition scrapping down sides. After all sugar is added turn your mixer onto high speed to make sure the sugar is well incorporated and to lighten the mixture.  This should fluff it some more.

3) Reduce the speed of your mixer and slowly add maple syrup.

4) Next add maple extract, and salt. Originally I used 1 tsp salt and thought touch too much so I modified here to only 1/2 tsp.

5) Turn your mixer back onto high speed and beat for about 30 seconds to lighten. Taste the buttercream to make sure it has the flavor you prefer, if you would like more maple flavor, add maple flavoring 1/4 teaspoon at a time until it has reached the flavor you prefer. Salt level can be adjusted as well in 1/4 tsp.

6) You may need to incorporate additional sugar to have your buttercream at the proper consistency.


1) Make sure cake is cool before frosting!

2) Place first cake right side up on cake stand.

3) Spread 1/3 of maple buttercream frosting evenly over the top of first layer. Sprinkle bacon on top of the first frosted layer just around the outer edge of the cake. Since my cake was domed I used this to help even out the height.

4) Place the second cake layer on top right side up, and spread another 1/3 of frosting on the top of the cake and 1/3 around the sides.

5) Sprinkle the top with chopped bacon. Garnish top with 2 remaining unchopped pieces of bacon.

Source: Heidi’s Kitchen


From → Dessert

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