Prepare to meet your new obsession, bacon lovers. This simple candied bacon recipe takes this beloved meat to new heights by adding a touch of sweetness. The result? A delectable treat that’s perfect for breakfast, brunch, or any time you’re craving a delightful blend of sweet and savory. Get ready to savor every bite.
I’m a fan of bacon, but I usually don’t opt to eat it on its own. In my opinion, it is best used as an addition or ingredient when making other items. But nothing beats the savory-sweet combination of candied bacon. It’s the perfect blend of salty and sweet, and it’s a cinch to make. This easy candied bacon recipe will have you whip up delicious treats in no time.
Bacon is a staple in many homes, and it’s definitely a crowd-pleaser. Now, with this spiced maple and brown sugared bacon recipe, you can take your bacon to the next level. It’s a quick and easy recipe that’s sure to make your taste buds dance. All you need is a few ingredients and a bit of patience.
So let’s get to cooking!
Gather Candied Bacon Ingredients
To start making this easy candied bacon recipe, we’ll need a few simple ingredients. Grab some thick-cut bacon, some quality maple syrup, some brown sugar, and some spices. This isn’t your average bacon recipe – it’s gonna be like nothing you’ve ever tasted before!
There’s something special about thick-cut bacon that makes it perfect for candying. It’s got just the right amount of fat and smokiness that makes it a great base for our sweet and savory concoction. And because it is extra-thick it can stand up to the long heat in the oven with the sugar.
When selecting thick-cut bacon, make sure it’s a good quality bacon. Look for bacon that’s well-marbled with a mix of both meat and fat.
I know that perfectly crispy bacon is the ideal (at least for me), but this recipe won’t quite get fully crisp. The sugars will keep more of the moisture in and make it so we can’t cook it too long. The sugars would begin to burn before fully crisping. So we have to sacrifice a little bit of texture for the sweet sugared bacon recipe.
When it comes to selecting your maple syrup, it’s important to note that not all syrups are created equal. To get the best quality candied bacon, you need the real deal! Look for pure maple syrup, not one of those syrups made with corn syrup and artificial flavors. And definitely steer clear of ‘pancake syrups’ for this recipe.
Maple syrup comes in different grades. Look to this in-depth post by Werner Tree Farm for more information on maple syrup grading. Amber and dark syrups have a more robust flavor and are perfect for baking and candying bacon. Though it’s up to you which one to choose.
If you’re looking to find maple syrup online, I have used this bourbon barrel-aged syrup with great success.
Next up on the list of ingredients is brown sugar. I’m not as picky about my brown sugar, so I’d say to use whatever you have available – as long as it isn’t old. The dried, chunky brown sugar won’t really work for this recipe. Though you can try to revive it with the old bread trick. Also, you can use either light or dark brown sugar but I would tend to favor dark for this recipe.
Adding a little flavor to your candied bacon is super easy. For this recipe I decided to go for some warming, aromatic spices. I like to use a simple blend of cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. Just mix the spices together and sprinkle them over your bacon before you put it in the oven. If you want a more adventurous flavor, try adding a pinch of cayenne pepper. A little goes a long way, so start small and work your way up. Experimenting with different spices will help you find the perfect combination for your tastes!
And if you really want strips of pure candied bacon, just omit any added spices and use only the bacon, maple, and brown sugar.
Prepare the Baking Sheet
You can set this up multiple ways, but I think the setup below is best. It cooks the bacon well, and it makes for an easy cleanup. Start with a rimmed baking sheet. This will be our base that we can move in and out of the hot oven while cooking, flipping, and coating the bacon.
Grab a roll of aluminum and tear off a sheet that’s big enough to cover the bottom of your entire baking sheet.
Carefully lay down the aluminum foil on the baking sheet. Use your hands to lightly press down the edges of the foil against the baking sheet. This will help make sure that the bacon grease doesn’t seep around the foil and make a mess.
Once the baking is finished, you’ll be able to peel up the foil and throw it out. It’s really helpful because the sugars that drip down will likely end up burning in the bottom of the pan.
A wire rack will help the bacon stay elevated, allowing the hot air to circulate around it. This will help the bacon cook evenly and not get soggy. It’ll help us get as crispy as possible.
If you are looking for some decent wire racks, I bought this two-pack wire rack from Amazon.
Place the wire rack on top of the aluminum foil. Try to center it in the pan. If you don’t have a wire rack, you can always substitute it with something similar, such as a cooling rack – as long as you know for certain that it is oven-safe!
Candied Bacon Recipe Mixed Seasonings
To follow these sugared bacon directions, we’ll mix the spices and seasonings we use into the brown sugar. This will make it so that they can be evenly spread across the bacon. In my recipe below I have a specific mix of cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg.
This gives the sugared bacon a little bit of a fall or winter flavor. These spices add a bit of warmth and depth to the flavor. I enjoy this a lot, but you could also just omit the spices and have a straight bacon and sugar flavor.
You could also mix it up by using some different spices in the mix. Try some chili powder, cayenne powder, or chipotle powder for a little spicy kick. Try cardamom, allspice, ginger, or really any other spice or seasoning. As long as you think the flavors would pair well with the sweet bacon.
Just be careful not to go overboard here, otherwise, you may overpower your bacon. Keep track of what spices you use in case you love it and want to recreate the same easy candied bacon recipe again.
I mix the brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves together until they are evenly distributed. Do this with whatever seasonings and spices you decide to experiment with. This helps to ensure that all the pieces of bacon get an even coating of seasoning. And it makes sure the flavor is consistent throughout the dish.
Coating the Bacon
On to finally prepping the bacon. With all of the ingredients out and ready to go, lay the bacon out on the wire rack. Then brush it with a glaze of maple syrup. Finally, sprinkle it with the mixed brown sugar and spices. This is the key to making a delicious, easy-to-make candied bacon recipe properly. Then everything will be ready to cook.
I recommend that you preheat the oven before you start coating the bacon. Then the oven will be hot and ready to go when you’ve finished coating everything.
Lay the Bacon on the Wire Rack
Now that we’ve got the perfect seasoning mix for our candied bacon recipe, it’s time to lay the bacon on the wire rack. This part of the process is so simple, but it’s an essential part of the recipe.
Simply place each bacon strip out on top of the wire rack. I had a little bit of overhang on some of the ends, especially for longer pieces of bacon. Don’t worry too much about this, because the bacon will shrink as it cooks in the oven.
It’s important to make sure the bacon strips don’t overlap each other if possible. Give as much room in between slices as possible so the bacon can get full airflow in the oven. Though, as you can see in my photos, my bacon was a little bit crowded.
Brush the Maple Syrup on the Bacon
Alright, now we’re getting to the fun part – brushing the glaze on the bacon. Grab a basting brush and spread the maple syrup like you’re painting a masterpiece. You’ll want to make sure the bacon is completely covered so you don’t miss any spots.
Brushing the syrup as a glaze over the bacon makes it so that our brown sugar will stick. You don’t need pools of syrup sitting on top of the bacon, just an even, thin glaze.
If you don’t have a good basting brush, you can try using your fingers or some paper towels to try and get similar results.
Sprinkle with Brown Sugar Seasoning
Finally, it’s time to sprinkle the brown sugar mixture over the bacon. I mean, what’s candied bacon without sugar? I simply used a spoon to pick up a small amount of the spiced brown sugar. Then I went over each piece and lightly shook the spoon to rain down the sugary goodness over the bacon.
Just be sure to sprinkle the sugar evenly, so all the bacon pieces get a nice coating.
Once you’ve added the brown sugar, give the bacon one last pat with your hands to make sure the coating is sticking. Now you can go ahead and move on to the next step: cooking.
Note that on this first pass, only one side of our bacon will be covered in the glaze and brown sugar. We’ll be cooking for about half the time, then flipping and coating the second side.
Bake the Bacon
Once the oven is preheated, it’s time to get to cooking. Just pop the baking tray in the oven and let it do its magic. Halfway through, flip it over and brush the second side with a coat of maple syrup, and then sprinkle with the brown sugar mix.
Bake in the Preheated Oven
Alright, now we’ve got our bacon coated, let’s pop it in the oven. Before you do, make sure you preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). This is important, as it ensures that your bacon cooks evenly and properly.
With the bacon in the oven, now it’s time for the hardest part: the wait. Depending on your oven, it should take about 30-35 minutes total for your bacon to be cooked. You’ll also want to remember to flip and coat the bacon halfway through the baking time. This will ensure that both sides get coated and have the time for the sugar to melt and stick to the bacon.
Flip and Recoat Candied Bacon
After cooking it for 15 minutes, remove the baking sheet from the oven. Then, carefully flip over every single piece so that the non-coated side is showing. Brush this side with the remaining maple syrup. Then sprinkle the rest of the brown sugar on top.
Pop it back into the oven for another 15 to 20 minutes or so.
You’ll want to keep an eye on the bacon as it cooks since the sugar burns easily. The bottom foil of the pan will burn and blacken as the dripped syrup and brown sugar cook. When the ends of your bacon are just on the edge of looking burnt, it is time to take it out of the oven.
Serving this Candied Bacon Recipe
When it comes to serving candied bacon, the possibilities are nearly endless. I mean, bacon makes everything better. So, sweet candied bacon should make everything even more better, right? Probably not quite everything. Some things don’t really call for the sweetness that this recipe adds.
But there are a bunch of recipes out there that could use candied bacon for a delicious twist.
Candied bacon is a great way to add a salty, sweet, and smoky flavor to dishes. Whether you’re looking for a simple side dish or an impressive main course, the possibilities are endless. Here are some of the best recipes to use candied bacon in.
Candied bacon is a great way to jazz up a salad. I made my fall harvest apple cider cinnamon salad with this bacon specifically in mind. You could also try using this with my pecan and apple salad or my easy apple walnut spring mix salad. To use it in a salad, just chop it up and give it a generous sprinkling over your greens.
For a classic dish, just serve it as a side with some delicious buttermilk waffles. Candied bacon would also be a perfect substitute for regular bacon in my savory and sweet charcuterie waffle skewers. Or add a touch of sugar to a breakfast or brunch quiche Lorraine.
Mix up the classic BLT with candied bacon or try it on your next deli meat sandwich. You can get creative and experiment with unique flavors. Just think of anything that normally uses bacon and could use a little bit of sugary sweetness to round out the flavors.
How to Store Candied Bacon
Now that you’ve got your candied bacon ready to serve, it’s important to know how to store it properly. The best way to store candied bacon is to wrap it in wax paper or parchment paper and place it in an air-tight container or ziploc bag. This will preserve the bacon and help keep it from spoiling.
It will keep in the fridge for up to a week.
If you’re not going to eat the bacon within a few days of making it, you should freeze it. Wrap each piece of bacon in wax paper or parchment paper and place it in an air-tight container or a freezer bag. This will help keep the bacon from getting freezer burn and will help it stay fresh for longer – up to a month.
Note that using the wax or parchment paper will help to keep the candied bacon from sticking to itself.
No matter how you store it, one thing’s for sure – candied bacon is sure to please. And with the right storage techniques, you can keep it fresh and delicious for days – or weeks – to come. So make sure to store it properly and enjoy the sweet and salty flavor of candied bacon any time you want!
Overall, making this easy candied bacon recipe is pretty simple and a fun way to jazz up your regular bacon. With just a few ingredients, you can create a sweet and savory treat that’s perfect for snacking. So next time you’re looking for something new to try, give this candied bacon recipe a go! You won’t regret it.
How did yours turn out?
I’d love to hear when you try out this candied bacon recipe! Take a pic of your food and share your success with me by adding it to your Instagram stories or feed, and tagging me @doyouroux, or by using #doyouroux.
Plus, leave a rating to let me know how you liked the recipe. It helps me out a lot to know how things worked out… or didn’t.
Easy Candied BaconCourse: Appetizers, Breakfast, BrunchDifficulty: Intermediate
This easy candied bacon recipe will have your taste buds sizzling! Learn how to make this delicious sweet and savory treat in no time.
1 and 1/2 pounds thick-cut bacon
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves (optional)
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg (optional)
4 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- Preheat oven the oven to 375°F (190°C)
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and place an oven-proof wire rack over the foil
- In a small bowl mix together the brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg
- Lay the bacon out on top of the wire rack on the baking sheet, trying not to overlap the bacon
- Use a basting brush to coat the top side of the bacon with half of the maple syrup and then evenly sprinkle with half of the brown sugar mixture – only one side of the bacon will be covered before putting it in the oven
- Put the bacon into the preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes
- Take the bacon out of the oven, carefully flip the bacon over, brush it with the remaining syrup, and evenly coat it with the rest of the brown sugar mixture
- Return the bacon to the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes until done
- Let the bacon cool for at least 10 minutes before removing it from the wire rack and using or storing it immediately – note that hot sugar can be extremely hot
- For less of a spiced fall flavor, just omit any added spices and use only the bacon, maple, and brown sugar
- Or mix up the spices and seasonings to create your own flavors – chili powder, chipotle powder, cardamom, ginger, or whatever flavors tickle your fancy
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