This Maple Candied Bacon is the perfect sweet and salty combination. Crisp glazed bacon caramelized with brown sugar and maple with a little cayenne for some background warmth. Perfect accompaniment to any breakfast spread or sandwich. If you’re someone who loves dipping their bacon in syrup, you’ll love this.
Just four simple ingredients that are the perfect combination for this candied bacon (also known as bacon candy or pig candy); they all pack so much flavor. This is truly one of my favorite ways to eat bacon.
- Bacon: Thick-cut bacon is what’s best for this recipe. Hardwood smoked / applewood smoked / etc. are all fine. However, do not use bacon with any added flavors such as maple, as that would double up on the maple.
- Pure maple syrup: You'll need a real maple syrup for this recipe. I’d recommend using quality grade either golden or amber syrup. Grade A is the best of course. The more synthetic syrups have too many added sugars. Read more on maple here.
- Brown sugar: Light brown sugar or dark brown sugar both work. This really helps the mixture adhere to the bacon and give it a deeper flavor.
- Cayenne pepper: A bit of cayenne powder balances the sweet and salty with a little spiciness and smokiness that works really well with the natural flavors of the bacon. This does not make it spicy at all, just has a nice undertone flavor.
- You can substitute chipotle powder for a similar smoky flavor with a smaller risk of spicy.
- You can also substitute with a sprinkling of black pepper to add the same peppery flavor but no spiciness.
(Non-food ingredient) Non-stick spray: Pam or any other preferred brand works. This is important because the mixture going on the bacon is very sticky so the bacon will stick to the pan unless you spray it.
Step by step instructions
This maple-candied bacon recipe is so easy (just a few minutes of prep!) with so much reward. A thick brown sugar maple syrup glaze gets brushed on the bacon, and as the bacon cooks it caramelizes and makes a delicious sticky sweet coating that is so good. Full recipe can be found in the recipe card below.
1. Make the glaze. In a small bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, brown sugar, and cayenne powder.
2. Prep the bacon. Line a large rimmed baking sheet on the bottom of the pan with heavy duty aluminum foil. Place an oven-safe wire rack on top of that and spray it with non-stick cooking spray. Lay the bacon strips in a single layer on the rack.
3. Brush and bake. Using a pastry brush, evenly brush ½ of the maple mixture on the upward-facing side of the bacon. Bake at 375°F in the center of the oven for 15 minutes.
4. Brush and bake part 2. Take the bacon out of the oven after 15 minutes, flip it, and brush the other side with the remaining maple mixture. Put it back in the oven and bake for another 15-20 until you see crispy edges (or until your desired doneness).
Tips and tricks
- Make this sweet-salty bacon a little spicy by adding additional cayenne powder to the maple mixture.
- Spray the wire rack really well. Bacon slices tend to stick to the wire rack even when they're not candied, so with this sticky mixture it’s even more likely to get stuck.
- Once the maple bacon is done cooking, only let it cool on the rack for 10 minutes, then remove it. It will get crispier as it cools, but if it cools on there for too long it’ll get stuck.
- To make sure your bacon gets crispy it needs to be baked long enough, so don’t be afraid of a little color on it.
- For easy clean up, wait for the bacon fat on the foil that's on top of the sheet pan to cool and solidify before throwing it out. Just makes for an easier clean up! Do not put bacon grease down the drain, it can clog it!
- Get an extra crunch and add some finely chopped pecans or walnuts when you flip the bacon and add the maple coating on the second side.
Yes, but it will not be as crispy and you should not use as much of the maple mixture. Also, the thickness of your bacon will determine the needed cooking time, so the thinner it is the quicker it'll cook. You should be good with 5 minutes on one side, 10-15 on the other.
Unfortunately no. In order for the glaze to really coat and stick on to the bacon, it needs to be baked.
Yup, just follow the same steps. It may only need 20 minutes total (10 on each side) so keep an eye on it.
It definitely helps the bacon get crispy and evenly cooked all around, but if you don’t have one it isn’t make or break, the bacon will just be less crispy. Simply lay the bacon right on the foil.
This maple candied bacon won’t store all that well because the mixture will harden. So I recommend making just as much as you can eat in that meal. Halve or quarter the maple mixture as needed.
But if you need to, it can stay in the fridge in an airtight sealed container for 4 days. Reheat in the oven at 325°F. If you do this I’d recommend putting a piece of parchment paper between each slice of bacon otherwise they’ll likely stick together.
More recipes with bacon
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Maple Candied Bacon
- 1 lb thick cut bacon
- ½ cup pure maple syrup
- ¼ cup brown sugar packed
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne powder
- non-stick spray
- Preheat your oven to 375°F.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, brown sugar, and cayenne powder.
- Line a large rimmed baking sheet on the bottom of the pan with heavy duty aluminum foil. Place an oven-safe wire rack on top of that and spray it with non-stick cooking spray. Lay the bacon strips in a single layer on the rack.
- Using a pastry brush, evenly brush ½ of the maple mixture on the upward-facing side of the bacon. Bake at 375°F in the center of the oven for 15 minutes.
- Take the bacon out of the oven after 15 minutes, flip it, and brush the other side with the remaining maple mixture. Put it back in the oven and bake for another 15-20 until you see crispy edges (or until your desired doneness).
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