I'm a big fan of trick desserts, where a baked treat is made to look like something it's not. You can get your non-sweet toothed friends in on cupcake fun with this recipe! - Duff

Makes 12 cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 12 slices thick-cut bacon
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 extra-large eggs plus one extra-large egg yolk
  • 1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature, plus more as needed
  • 4 tablespoons honey
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Put bacon in a cold pan over medium-high heat, flipping three-quarters of the way through cooking, until crisp, about 10 minutes. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate and reserve the fat.
  2. Grease a 12-cup muffin tin with some of the reserved fat and set aside.
  3. In a big bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and a pinch of salt.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, buttermilk, and 2 tablespoons of the reserved bacon fat to a uniform color.
  5. Chop 10 slices of the bacon coarsely into roughly 1/4-inch pieces. Finely chop the remaining 2 slices and set aside.
  6. Quickly, but gently, fold the liquid mixture into the dry mixture. (It should be a loose batter, not a dough. If not, add just a tad more buttermilk.) Fold in the coarsely chopped bacon.
  7. Divide the batter among the muffin cups in the prepared tin and bake until the tops are golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out somewhat clean, about 15 to 18 minutes. Let cool 7 minutes, then turn them out upside-down so they develop a nice thin crust on the baked edge. Cool to just warm or room temperature before frosting, another 7 to 10 minutes.
  8. With a hand mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the honey, butter, and a pinch of salt together until light and fluffy. Transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a large closed-star tip and pipe a generous tablespoon on the tops of each of the cupcakes. Sprinkle finely-chopped bacon on top and serve.