Yup, you read that right. No joke.
These are indeed pancakes, baked as soft and fluffy cupcakes, slathered in creamy maple syrup frosting.
Oh, and they’re garnished with mini pancakes. And bacon crumbles. And little cubes of butter. And even more sweet maple syrup.
Crazy? Crazy genius, if you ask me.
When breakfast becomes an obsession in one’s life, no meal is left without a subtle inspiration from the sausage-fingered hands of tasty breakfast.
There’s brunch, there’s brinner… and now?
Humph. We have to think of a good fusion name for this breakfast/dessert combo.
Dessertfast? Dessfast? Bressert?
Eh, we’ll brainstorm the name later. Right now, at the present moment, all attention should go to slowly savoring every sweet bite of this indulgent cupcake.Print
Had enough of brunch and brinner? Move on to dessert. Bake these pancake cupcakes with maple syrup frosting and crumbled bacon.
For the Cupcakes:
- Cooking oil spray
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/4 cups whole milk, divided
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
For the Frosting and Garnish:
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
- 1/4 cup maple syrup, plus more if using as garnish
- 1–2 tablespoons whole milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 4 slices of bacon, cooked until crispy, then crumbled
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 12 tiny cubes
To Make the Cupcakes:
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a muffin pan with paper liners, then spray the liners with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
- Sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a medium mixing bowl. In another small mixing bowl, whisk together the milk, buttermilk, eggs, and melted butter.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and lightly mix together with a spatula until all ingredients are moist. Do not overmix. The batter should still be lumpy.
- Transfer about 1 cup of the batter to a small bowl. Gradually whisk in 1/4 cup of milk a little at a time until a liquidy pancake batter forms. You may not need to use all of the milk. Set aside.
- Divide the remaining batter evenly among the muffin cups. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until tops are puffed and firm to the touch. Let cool for about 5 minutes, then remove from the pan and let cool completely on a wire rack.
- While the cupcakes are baking, place a skillet over medium heat. Grease the skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Using the reserved batter, make 36 very small pancakes, a little smaller than the top of the cupcakes in diameter. Set aside for the final garnish.
To Make the Frosting:
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix the softened butter on medium speed until it is smooth, with no lumps.
- Sift the confectioners’ sugar in a separate bowl. Add one cup at a time to the butter, beating very well after each addition.
- Add the maple syrup, milk, vanilla, and salt. Mix on medium-high speed until very light and fluffy, approximately 5 minutes.
- Pipe the frosting over each cooled cupcake. Top with a stack of three mini pancakes, a cube of butter, syrup, and a sprinkle of crumbled bacon. Serve, and enjoy!
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Category: Cupcake
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: Dessert
Keywords: cupcake, dessert, pancakes, maple syrup, frosting, bacon, kid-friendly recipes
Cooking by the Numbers…
Step 1 – Make the Batter
Preheat your oven to 400°F. Line a muffin pan with paper liners, then spray the liners with nonstick cooking oil spray.
Because it’s a wet, sticky batter, the cooking spray helps to prevent the cake from sticking too much to the paper liners.
Sift together the all-purpose flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium mixing bowl. In another small mixing bowl, whisk together the milk, buttermilk, eggs, and melted butter.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and lightly mix together with a spatula???? until all ingredients are just moistened.
Be careful to NOT overmix the batter. It should look like a thick pancake batter – lumps are fine, and encouraged! Overmixing will overdevelop the batter, making it gummy and tough.
Step 2 – Divide into the Muffin Pan
Remove about 3/4 cup of the batter and set it in another bowl. Gradually whisk in 1/4 cup of milk until you get a thin, but not too liquidy pancake batter. You may not need to use all of the milk. Set aside.
Divide the remaining batter evenly among the muffin cups until they are between 1/2 and 3/4 of the way full, using a cooking scoop for portioning if you like.
Step 3 – Bake and Cool
Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the tops are puffed and slightly firm to the touch. Don’t overbake, or they will be tough and chewy! You will know the cake is finished baking when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, with a few crumbs sticking to it.
Let cool for about 5 minutes, then remove the cupcakes from the pan and let cool completely on a wire rack. Make sure they are completely cool before decorating, or else the icing will melt off!
Step 4 – Make the Mini Pancakes
While the cupcakes are baking, heat a skillet over the stove on low heat. Grease the pan with nonstick cooking spray, and spoon small circles of batter into the pan a few at a time to make mini pancakes. You will know they are ready to flip when the sides look a bit dry and bubbles have formed in the centers.
They should be smaller than the cupcake, a little larger than the size of a quarter. You can make 24, for a stack of two on each dessert, or 36, for a beautiful stack of three on each one.
Place on a plate lined with paper towels and set aside to cool completely.
Step 5 – Cook the Bacon
In a clean skillet over medium heat, fry the bacon until it is completely cooked and crispy. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels and allow to cool completely.
You can also make the bacon in the oven, if you don’t want to deal with the cleanup of splattered fat on the stovetop.
Crumble the bacon into small pieces and set aside in a bowl.
Step 6 – Make the Icing
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix the softened unsalted butter on medium speed until it is smooth, with no lumps. Sift the confectioners’ sugar in a separate bowl. Add one cup at a time to the butter, and beat very well after each addition.
Make sure you’re lowering the speed of the mixer when you initially add each cup of powdered sugar to prevent making a huge mess!
Step 7 – Decorate
Pipe the frosting over each cooled cupcake. Top with two or three mini pancakes, a cube of butter, more maple syrup (if using), and a sprinkle of crumbled bacon.
Serve, and enjoy!
Note: Much like pancakes, these are best served the day they are made. The base tends to dry out quickly – a good excuse to eat as many as you can!
Brunch and Brinner are Over – Move on to Dessert
Had enough of brunch and brinner? It’s time for the dessert (or bressert?) course!
These sweet treats are fun to make, and perfect to bake and decorate with kids – they’ll love the mini garnishes on top!
Use your favorite variety of maple syrup to mix in with this thick and fluffy frosting – and add even more on top to enjoy the playful theme of this sweet treat.
If you want to deviate from these traditional flavors, be inspired by the bright and playful flavors of our coconut orange or red velvet pancake recipes. You can also try another fun spin on a classic with our ice cream cone cupcake recipe.
Craving more cupcakes? Try some of these recipes below:
- Pomegranate Chocolate
- Guinness Stout Chocolate
- Paleo Carrot Cake
- Einkorn Cannoli
- Vegan Vanilla Coconut
Photos by Nikki Cervone, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally posted on December 13, 2011. Last updated: April 5, 2022 at 13:59 pm.
Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Nikki Cervone
Nikki Cervone is a full-time cheesemonger and specialty foods buyer living in Pittsburgh. Nikki holds an AAS in baking/pastry from Westmoreland County Community College, a BA in Communications from Duquesne University, and an MLA in Gastronomy from Boston University. When she's not nibbling on her favorite cheeses or testing a batch of cupcakes, Nikki enjoys a healthy dose of yoga, wine, hiking, singing in the shower, and chocolate. Lots of chocolate.