Candied bacon is a quick and easy way to transform everyone’s favorite salty cured meat into a sweet and smoky treat. Perfect as a party snack, a breakfast side or crumbled on top of your dessert!
Who would have thought candied bacon would make one of the best toppings along with maple syrup for your pancakes? Or that serving bacon to your guests for no other reason than pick up a piece and eat it would become a thing?! It is and it has, and once you try it, it’ll become a go-to menu item for gatherings, big and small.
About this recipe
It’s hard to believe bacon could get any more awesome, but this recipe for candied bacon proves it absolutely can. This mouthwatering snack, otherwise known as pig candy (yes, seriously), is thick strips of bacon coated in brown sugar, cinnamon, chili powder, cayenne, and black pepper that gets baked until it caramelizes. What results is a crispy, sweet and savory, salty, and spicy snack of all snacks. One irresistible bite and you’re hooked!
You’re imagining biting into a piece right now aren’t you?! I am!
It’s ridiculously easy to make using a baking sheet which makes for easy cleanup and no splatter. This recipe comes together in no time which makes this the ultimate appetizer or party snack.
You can enjoy it as you normally would, on the side of your fluffy buttermilk pancakes and eggs for breakfast and brunch or chopped pieces atop a delicious salad. One of the most creative ways to use it is to crumble it up as a topping for things like maple bacon donuts, cupcakes. Of course, adding candied bacon bits and maple syrup on your pancakes take them to the next level! Try adding candied bacon to these bacon pancakes with brown butter!
What you need
- Thick cut bacon – The recipe is for “butcher” thick-cut bacon. We love how sturdy and thick it is, especially when candied. If you choose to use a thinner bacon, make sure to keep an eye on cook time.
- Seasoning – You’ll need brown sugar (light or dark will both work), ground cinnamon, chili powder, cayenne, coarse ground black pepper.
How to make it
Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and place a wire rack on top of the foil. Spray rack with nonstick cooking spray.
In a medium bowl (you’ll be adding bacon slices to this bowl so don’t choose one that’s too small), combine sugar, cinnamon, chili powder, cayenne, and pepper.
If desired, cut bacon in half if you would like smaller pieces. Dip bacon slices in spice mixture, coating both sides and rubbing it to make sure it sticks to the bacon.
Place bacon in a single layer on the sprayed wire rack. Sprinkle remaining sugar and spices over the top of bacon.
Bake until crispy. Let cool slightly before serving. Do NOT cool this bacon on paper towel lined plates, it will stick!
TIP: If you use regular thick-cut bacon or a thinner cut, decrease the cooking time and watch closely to prevent burning. Keep in mind that bacon will continue to crisp up a bit as it cools.
That would depend on how your family manages to not eat them all! If you happen to have some leftover, it’ll last for up to 4 days in the fridge and 3 months in the freezer.
Because it’s cured and preserved with salt and sugars, bacon can stay at room temperature for a little while. Some might say up to 3 days in an airtight container, but if it’s no trouble to keep it in the fridge, it’s recommended you do so. I always err on the side of caution and recommend storing bacon in the fridge.
How to make this bacon your own
- Add some bourbon to your maple sugar and brown sugar and enjoy some maple bourbon bacon!
- For a simple sweet coating, stick with just maple syrup or brown sugar or a bit of both.
- Chipotle chili powder is a great way to add smoky heat.
- Along with some maple syrup, toss in some sweet chili sauce for a maple chili flavor.
- Swap the maple syrup for honey in any of the above combinations.
These strips of deliciousness won’t last long enough to need storage. But on the off chance you have some leftover, you can keep them stored in an airtight container in the fridge. They will last up to 3-4 days, and once transferred to the freezer, they’ll keep for up to 3 months. If you have a deep freezer, you may be able to stretch it out to 6 months.
If frozen, allow bacon to thaw in the fridge overnight and reheat in the oven on low for 10 minutes.
The Perfect Brunch Menu!
To create a truly decadent brunch, try this bacon with the menu below!
Get the Recipe: Candied Bacon
- 1 pound thick cut bacon see note
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
- 1/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 375ºF. For easy clean-up, line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and place a wire rack on top foil. Spray rack with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a medium bowl (you’ll be adding bacon slices to this bowl so don’t choose one that’s too small), combine sugar, cinnamon, chili powder, cayenne, and pepper.
- If desired, cut bacon in half if you would like smaller pieces. Dip bacon slices in spice mixture, coating both sides and rubbing it to make sure it sticks to the bacon.
- Place bacon in a single layer on the sprayed wire rack. Sprinkle remaining sugar and spices over the top of bacon.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes (see notes!) or until crispy. Keep in mind that bacon will continue to crisp up a bit as it cools.
- Let cool slightly before serving.
- Do NOT cool this bacon on paper towel lined plates, it will stick!
- Cooking time refers to “butcher” thick cut bacon, which is quite thick. If you use regular thick cut bacon, or a thinner cut, decrease the cooking time and watch closely to prevent burning.