Spicy Maple Candied Bacon
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This candied bacon has all the makings of an irresistible snack: it’s crispy, chewy, smoky, salty, sweet, and spicy.
Candied bacon (AKA “Man Candy”) has all the makings of an irresistible snack: it’s crispy, chewy, sweet, salty, smoky, and spicy. For this version, I use thick-cut applewood smoked bacon and slather it with a maple syrup, brown sugar, and chipotle glaze halfway through cooking.
As the bacon cooks, the glaze sizzles and thickens into a shiny, candy-like coating. This stuff really is man candy — I made it for the Maryland game this past weekend and my husband and son polished it off before tip-off.
What you’ll need to make candied bacon
I use thick-cut bacon because it cooks up to a perfectly firm crispness and results in a more satisfying chew.
How to make candied bacon
Start by lining a baking sheet with aluminum foil for easy clean-up, and setting an oven-proof rack over top. Arrange the bacon in a single layer on the rack. Bake for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, maple syrup, and chipotle powder.
Mix well and set aside.
Remove the pan from the oven and flip the bacon slices. Using a spoon, spread the brown sugar mixture evenly over the bacon.
Place the pan back in the oven and continue cooking for 20 to 35 minutes more. The cooking time will depend on the brand of bacon you use and how crispy you like it. I recommend cooking it as long as possible without burning it, so that the sugar-syrup mixture dries out; otherwise the bacon can be a little sticky.
Using tongs, transfer the bacon to a piece of parchment paper or a platter in a single layer to prevent sticking. Let cool for 10-15 minutes, then serve (the bacon will crisp up as it cools).
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Spicy Maple Candied Bacon
This candied bacon has all the makings of an irresistible snack: it’s crispy, chewy, smoky, salty, sweet, and spicy.
- 1 lb thick-cut applewood smoked bacon, best quality
- 2½ tablespoons packed brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1½ teaspoons chipotle chile powder (see note)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and set a rack in middle position. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil for easy clean-up, and set an oven-proof rack over top.
- Arrange the bacon in a single layer on the rack. Bake for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together the brown sugar, syrup, and chipotle powder. Set aside.
- Remove the pan from the oven and flip the bacon slices. Using a small spoon, spread the sugar-syrup mixture evenly over the bacon. Place the pan back in the oven and continue cooking for 20-35 minutes more. (The cooking time will depend on the brand of bacon you use and how crispy you like it. I recommend cooking it as long as possible without burning it, so that the sugar mixture dries out; otherwise the bacon can be a little sticky.) Using tongs, transfer the bacon to a piece of parchment paper or a platter in a single layer to prevent sticking. Let cool for 10-15 minutes, then serve (the bacon will crisp up as it cools).
- Note: This candied bacon has a nice kick. For less heat, cut the chile powder in half; for more, increase the amount to 2 teaspoons.
- Serving size: 1 slice
- Calories: 175
- Fat: 15 g
- Saturated fat: 5 g
- Carbohydrates: 5 g
- Sugar: 4 g
- Fiber: 0 g
- Protein: 5 g
- Sodium: 261 mg
- Cholesterol: 25 mg
This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.
Is it possible to substitute canned chipotle chiles for the chipotle powder in this recipe? If so, what quantity would you suggest using?
Unfortunately, that won’t work — I think it would add too much moisture. Sorry!
Love this recipe! I have to make a lot of this and don’t have a rack that fits my large baking sheet. Can I make it without a rack?
Hi Kate, I’m glad you like it! I don’t recommend making it without a rack — I think the bottoms would be really sticky. Sorry!
The whole recipe and don’t once say what temperature to bake bacon
Hi Dennis, The bacon should be baked at 350°F/175°C. Enjoy!
This was the hit of my new year’s brunch — I was lucky and found some Nueske applewood smoked bacon in a local store — (there may be a spare pound calling me from my fridge right now). Not sure if it’s my palate or that my ground chipotle is strong – but I did cut that back to 1/4 tsp. Excellent result.
I love this recipe and each time I make it, I have nothing but rave reviews…and in this instance, a request to make it for a party for 30 people this weekend! So, I am emailing in hopes you will have advice as to how to do this successfully for a crowd…specifically, would you cut it in 1/2 to make it more crowd-friendly, and how to store it so when I travel to the party, its not “goo-ey”..any suggestions are so appreciated.
Hi Maura, I’m glad that this has been a big enough hit that you’ve gotten requests for it! You could cut the slices in half if you’d like but I don’t think it’s totally necessary. And they will lose some of their crispy texture when you transport them. I’ve never tried it, but you could try putting them in the oven very briefly at your destination to try to crisp them back up. Please LMK how it turns out!
If I wanted to bring this to a potluck, how far ahead could I make it?
Hi Stella, You can make them up to a day ahead and refrigerated but they will lose their crispy texture.
I made this yesterday for the first time and it was delicious! What a great appetizer! We all loved it. Cooking times were spot on. I used regular chili powder since I didn’t have chipotle chili powder. Will be making this again!
Made this for Easter brunch (along with Jenn’s deviled eggs). Our guests loved it so much, they kept going back for more! So simple and good.
Awesome stuff! I tried making it like jerky but found that marinating it first caused more problems with it sticking to the wire rack. It was still good but you didn’t get to enjoy A nice big bacon stick candy. I also found that Hormel Premium Black Label Bacon works amazing. It’s thick cut and available in my area in Cherry, Hickory, Pecan and I think Apple wood. It’s worth every penny especially if you’re going to splurge and make this meat treat!
This is also a really good way to finish off Bacon Wrapped Filet Mignons.
I cut my filets about 2 inches this and pre-season with salt, pepper and light garlic before wrapping with bacon. Preheat A large cast iron skillet in a 400° F oven ( while prepping your tenderloin) and when it’s ready place your own on a high heat. Set each fillet in your skillet and immediately glaze with you maple syrup mixture and allow to cook for 2 minutes. As soon as your timer goes off turn the fillets and quickly glaze the other side and then place whole pan in the oven (still at 400° F) for 6 minutes. (Note: Usually I go 7 minutes but glazing the meat takes a little longer so you won’t overcook your steaks). Remove from the oven and remove from the pan onto a serving tray and tent with foil for about 10 minutes. I rarely can wait that long though… Serve with a small side of the sauce drizzled over the top or on the side so your amazed guests can add to their liking. This us a guaranteed hit.
I’ve found this method of cooking Any steak at least an inch thick without a glaze works awesome for a medium rare steak that is moist and tender. I jyst add a pat of butter on top of each steak when it is removed from the pan.
Thanks for a very tasty treat. I hope this variation us something others sill enjoy too.
To die for!
This takes an already excellent ingredient up exponentially. It is great as a stand-alone or to serve alongside a main breakfast dish or as a component in a breakfast sandwich.
Because of this recipe, I now only make bacon in the oven. However, if I’m looking for a gourmet-tasting bacon, I use this recipe from start to finish.
Nothing shy of superb.
I know there is nothing better then real bacon, but my husband only will eat Turkey bacon. Health reasons. I wanted to make a batch of both so he could at least enjoy to. Jen do you think this recipe could work with a good Turkey bacon?
Hi Stephanie, I think it would work, but the cook time will likely be different so keep a close eye on it. Please LMK how it turns out with turkey bacon!
One of my all time favorite recipes! I’ve made it several times and love using it in my BLTs. Yum!
Excellent recipe- follow the instructions to a T, and you have an absolutely delicious snack. In fact, it’s true of all Jen’s recipes (and I’ve tried a bunch!). Always spot-on, great flavour-balance, precise instructions. I’m so glad I found you, Jen 😁!
Hi Jenn, I’ve made this several times and it’s always a huge hit. Thank you for this and all of your amazing recipes. Each time I make it though, I struggle with the crispness of the bacon. I use Wright’s bacon and follow the directions exactly. When I take them out of the oven, they don’t seem to crisp up as they cool. I have put them back in the oven and also tried using the broiler. I end up burning them or having limp bacon. ☹️. What am I doing wrong?
Hi Tracey, based on what you’re saying, I’m not sure that you’re really doing anything wrong. The bacon doesn’t really have a pronounced crunch (like very well-done bacon would have); it’s chewier but has a bit of crispiness because of the maple syrup mixture on top. Hope that clarifies a bit!
Delicious! It was absolutely a hit at NYE get together and was the first thing to go. Will be making this again at the request of my husband and had to share your website with everyone because they wanted the recipe. The only thing I would change is that I rushed the first flip of the bacon (Maybe do 25 min) and wish I didn’t to crisp it up a bit more before adding mixture.
Was at a wedding recently and they had this bacon as an appetizer so I was looking on Pinterest to see if I can find a copycat recipe. This one hit the mark! Took it to a Fourth of July party yesterday and it was a hit! I was wondering if you could make it in multi batches and then freeze it. Mine was still kind of crispy this morning
Glad you enjoyed this, Trish! While I don’t think it will be bad if you freeze the bacon, it definitely will lose its crispiness when you defrost it. If you do try it, I’d love to hear what you think once you remove them from the freezer.
Yummy! We like spicy so I added a pinch of cayenne pepper. I brought it to a Halloween party and it was a hit.
We made this as a savory snack for a movie marathon night. Used regular chili powder instead of the chipotle chili powder (because that is what we had on hand at home already). Everyone loved the bacon. One person broke it into pieces to use as a topping on their ice cream Sundae.
Will make again in the future.
Fantastic! Another winner! Definitely Man Candy! Very easy, strait forward recipe, and its delicious! Even my two teens that don’t love bacon (I know, something’s wrong with them) loved it! My husband even asked me, “where’d you get this?” We eat really good thick bacon always, but this really stepped it up. Hope it doesn’t ruin my family for just regular Sunday bacon.
Is the sauce spooned onto both sides of the bacon?
No, just one – hope you enjoy!
This recipe sounds wonderful. Before I make it, my question is does it matter whether I use light brown sugar or dark brown? Even though I haven’t made it yet, I want to leave 5 stars for all the great 5 star recipes I’ve made – thanks to you.
Joan, Warrington Pa.
Hi Joan, Either will work. Hope you enjoy!
Made this for Easter and everyone said it was the best bacon they ever had! FYI – use a baking pan with sides on it because my baking sheet was flat and the grease leaked onto the oven – what a mess! Also heated up the glaze and it was easier to coat each bacon slice.
I’m a vegetarian but made these for a family brunch i was hosting. My family told me it was the best bacon they had ever eaten! Thanks Jenn for another great recipe!
I saw a review where someone added bacon to you deviled egg recipe.
Would this bacon recipe work?
Thanks a Million!!
Yes, it would be delicious!
Hi Jenn! I made a 3X batch of this as part of the savory appetizers/sweets spread for a reception last night, and even though all of the snacks were tried and true favorites, the bacon was BY FAR the hit of the food. People kept coming up to me and asking how I made it and saying how amazing it was. I was wondering if you have a specific technique for reheating any leftovers? I know they won’t be as crisp as day 1 but assumed the oven would be the way to go regardless? Thanks so much for another great recipe!
So glad the bacon was a hit! Yes, I think the oven would be the best way to reheat and crisp them back up (although they won’t be as crispy as when you first served them).
Saw this recipe after finding the recipe for Brussels sprouts and wondering whether you ever thought of using this bacon with the Brussels sprouts recipe.
Hi Marcia, I hadn’t thought of that, but sounds delish!
I made this for my son’s 18th birthday – he and 6 other boys enjoyed this as a snack. I was asked to make it again for one of his friends’ birthdays. This is delicious!
Loved it! Bursting with flavor (we like it hot so added a bit more chipotle). Great for a change!
Candied bacon is the best, and this is a fantastic recipe. Sometimes, I’ll swap out sriracha for the chili powder for a slightly different taste.
I can’t call this man-candy any more; my wife eats too much of it!
Can I make this the day before my party please?
You can, but they will lose their nice crispiness.
I have made candied bacon twice using this recipe. Once was for family and the second time was for the NFL playoff games, socially-distanced, watch party. People ate the bacon instead of the other snacks provided. I followed the recipe as printed, and thought the maple syrup – spice combo was great! ( It also tastes wonderful drizzled over chicken & waffles! ) I have made a version of candied bacon previously that I copied from a restaurant using black pepper, cayenne, and brown sugar, sprinkled over thick-cut bacon. It is good, but the candied bacon with the maple syrup combines the flavors in a way that you can be assured there will not be any uneaten pieces.
I followed the recipe exactly – even down to the recommended brand of bacon – and it came out great. We call it pig candy around here :).
This was amazing! My husband wanted a bacon and tomato sandwich and it worked out perfect!
i struggled with this recipe. It still looked wet and I burned it. Im not sure I’ll give it another try. Im a big fan of Jenn but not this recipe.
So sorry you had trouble Jody! Keep in mind that the bacon will still look wet when you first take it out of the oven; it will crisp up as it dries.
This bacon looks so delicious… Can’t wait to taste it!!!
Can these be made the day before and refrigerated to serve the next day?
Sure, but they will lose their crispiness.