While I was in England visiting my best friend Kate (who has an amazing comic series called West that you can check out by clicking here), we had this amusing conversation while I was cooking dinner one night. She mentioned something along the lines about wondering how many different animals produce the foods that she eats in a day. So when I was making this recipe, I couldn’t help but laugh and think that THREE different animals (pig, chicken, and cow) helped contribute to this decadent treat. If you’re vegan or vegetarian, I’m sorry to say that there are no substitutions in this recipe.
I posted a picture of my test batch on social media and people went nuts over it, lots of coworkers were jealous because they didn’t get to try it, and I basically damn near started riots. And not only is there bacon ON TOP of these doughnuts, they’re inside of it too!
Before I get to the recipe of these wonderfully addictive doughnuts, let me go on a little bit of a rant here. There are some people who think that there is only ONE REAL type of doughnut – and that’s a yeast dough that’s fried. Anything else to them doesn’t count. I’m of the mindset that there are baked doughnuts (also known as cake doughnuts) and yeast doughnuts that are fried. In fact, if you want to cut a hole in the middle of some baked good and want to call it a doughnut, go for it! It can be whatever you want it to be.
First, we need to talk about the bacon. This is my preferred bacon to use when cooking anything – ends and pieces. It’s cheaper than center cut bacon, plus you don’t need those pretty middle slices because it’s all going to get chopped up after being cooked! So save a few bucks and get this. If you can’t get ends and pieces bacon, make sure to get THICK CUT bacon. You want some nice, meaty pieces after they’re done cooking. If you’re outside of the United States, you’ll want to use lardons instead of bacon.
It’s time to cook the bacon! Cook it any way that you want to get them really crispy…Since I’m using the whole package of strips and I don’t want to slave over a hot pan for a long time, I like to use the oven method. Line a baking sheet with foil, lay your bacon on it (it’s okay if they’re touching, they’ll shrink as they bake). Put the pan of bacon in a COLD oven and turn it on to 400° F. Set the timer for 28 minutes and walk away.
Once the bacon is done, put them on a paper towel to drain the excess grease, making sure to turn them over so that both sides have been blotted. Let them cool completely.
While the bacon is cooling, it’s time to make the doughnut batter. Mix together sour cream, sugar, vanilla extract, and maple syrup. The type of maple syrup I used is organic 100% pure maple, grade A dark amber. Once the mixture is smooth, stir in an egg until well combined.
All that bacon grease that was left in the pan? Yeah, that’s not going to waste. Save it in a jar! Mix some of it into the doughnut batter until smooth and well combined. The rest of the stuff in the jar can be used for cooking other things. At this point, the batter looks really thin and runny, but that’s how we want it!
Next, you’ll mix in baking soda, salt, and flour into the sour cream mixture. And once all that is combined, you mix in some bacon pieces. I like to pick the meatier, less fatty pieces of bacon to mix into the batter. You want to save the crispy pieces for the topping.
I like to transfer the batter into a piping bag because it’s easier to get into the mini-doughnut pan. If you don’t have a special doughnut pan, don’t worry! You can use a mini-muffin pan and bake it for the same amount of time. The batter should be enough to make 24 mini-doughnuts or mini-muffins. I went half and half to show you what they’d look like as muffins.
Once they’re done baking, let them sit in their pans for about five minutes, then turn them out onto a wire cooling rack and let them cool completely.
Once the doughnuts are cooled, it’s time to make the glaze to dip them in! This is just a very traditional chocolate glaze that’s been amped up a bit with espresso flavor…If you don’t want that coffee flavor, feel free to omit it. So in bowl, combine semi-sweet chocolate chips, butter, water, instant espresso powder, and light corn syrup. I know some people cringe at the word corn syrup, but it gives the glaze it’s nice glossy look. Melt all the ingredients together by placing the bowl in a bigger bowl with hot water and stirring until smooth or pop it into the microwave and heat for 15-second intervals, stirring it after each time until all the chocolate chips are melted and it’s smooth. Let it cool down for about three minutes.
While the chocolate glaze is cooling slightly, it’s time to get the toppings ready. I put the remaining strips of bacon into a food processor and chop them up really fine – not to the point of powder, but so they’re small crunchy bits. After putting them through the food processor, I dump them out onto paper towels and squeeze out the excess grease and put it in a shallow bowl. You can use any other topping you want, like sprinkles…but I like toasted almond slivers. It’s a nice texture and taste! So once the glaze is cooled a bit and the toppings are ready, it’s time to dip!
Dip the doughnut into the glaze once, pull it out, wait a second, then dip it in a second time. Immediately dip it into the toppings of your choice and put it on a wire rack to let the glaze set. Finish dipping everything and you’re done! The glaze should be just enough, so you might have to scrape the bowl and “paint” it onto the last two.
Bacon and Maple Doughnuts
- 16oz (1 pound) thick cut bacon
- ½ cup sour cream, full fat
- ¼ cup granulated white sugar
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- ¼ cup melted bacon fat
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup + 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
- ¼ cup bacon pieces
- 1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- ½ teaspoon instant espresso powder
- 1 teaspoon water
- 1 teaspoon light corn syrup
- Cook the bacon using your preferred method until very crisp.
- Preheat the oven to 350° F.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the sour cream, sugar, and maple syrup until smooth. Beat in an egg and vanilla extract. Stir in the bacon fat until well combined.
- Mix in the baking powder, salt, and flour until just combined. Stir in the bacon pieces.
- Transfer the batter into a piping back and squeeze into greased mini-doughnut pans or mini-muffin pans.
- Bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
- Let them cool in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring onto a wire rack to fully cool.
- Make the glaze by combining the chocolate chips, butter, water, corn syrup, and espresso powder in a bowl and melt until completely smooth. You can melt it by setting the bowl into a larger bowl with hot water and stirring until smooth…Or microwave in 15-second intervals, stirring after each, until melted and smooth. Set aside and let it cool for 3 minutes.
- Set out desired toppings in shallow bowls, such as crushed bacon pieces, toasted nuts, or sprinkles.
- Dip the cooled doughnuts into the chocolate glaze and lift it out completely. Wait a second or two, then dip into the chocolate again. Immediately dip it into a topping and set it topping side up on a wire rack for 10 minutes to let the glaze and toppings set.
Store these in an air-tight container on the counter for up to three days. Transfer into the fridge afterwards for up to two more days. Yes, these are addictive. Yes, these are delicious. Yes, these are very indulgent.