Elvis Cupcakes – Browned Butter, Bananas, Bourbon, Peanut Butter, & BACON

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After a discussion at work about the commonality of the name Elvis, I was inspired to make Elvis cupcakes! The main flavor components of this recipe are browned butter, bananas, bourbon, peanut butter, and bacon. The key to tying all the flavors together is the bacon! Browning the butter for the cake batter in bacon grease infuses the cupcakes with that delicious, bacon flavor. What more could a girl ask for in a cupcake?! The ingredients include:

Yield – 36 mini cupcakes, or 18 large cupcakes

Cupcakes
8 ounces bacon
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 egg
3/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup sour cream
4 large bananas, mashed

Begin by cooking the bacon until crispy. Leave the grease in the pan, and let the bacon cool on paper towels. Melt the butter in the same pan, and cook until it has browned to an amber color. Take a 1/2 cup of this butter/bacon fat mixture, and set aside to cool slightly.

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Preheat the oven to 350 ˚F and line your mini muffin tins with papers. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Set aside. In a larger bowl, whisk together the egg and brown sugar.  Mix in the vanilla, sour cream, and cooled brown butter. Gradually stir in the the dry ingredients. Add in the mashed bananas, and stir until all the ingredients are incorporated. The batter will be thick.

Fill each cupcake liner 2/3 of the way full. Bake regular-sized cupcakes for 17-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  If making mini-cupcakes, bake for 10-12 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.

Frosting
3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup peanut butter
4 cups (1 lb) powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3 Tbsp of bourbon
1/4 cup cream

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While the cupcakes are baking, prepare the frosting. Using a hand mixer, beat the butter and peanut butter until well combined. Gradually add the powdered sugar, thoroughly mixing between each addition. Beat in the vanilla and bourbon. Add the cream to reach the desired piping consistency. Use a large around tip to pipe a swirl on each cooled cupcake.

Bourbon drizzle (optional)
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 bourbon
1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Once the frosting is ready, make the bourbon drizzle. Add all the ingredients to a small saucepan, and heat at a medium low level, until all the sugar has dissolved into a thick syrup. Allow this to cool slightly before drizzling over each frosted cupcake.

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I used a large star tip to frost the cupcakes, and topped each cupcake with a piece of cooked bacon. I had a little snafu with my bourbon drizzle….I got distracted while frosting my cupcakes and it burned!! I still think it would be a really great addition to these cupcakes, and recommend making it.

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Despite the strong flavors that are combined in this recipe, the end product is wonderfully balanced. There is the salty sweet combination between the bananas, the peanut butter, and the bacon. The bacon also adds a key textural component. I think the King would have approved 😀

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