Spicy Maple Candied Bacon

Tested & Perfected Recipes

This candied bacon has all the makings of an addictive snack: it’s crispy, chewy, smoky, salty, sweet, and spicy.


Candied bacon (AKA “Man Candy”) has all the makings of an addictive 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

ingredients for 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.

bacon arranged on rack and baking sheet

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, maple syrup, and chipotle powder.

coating ingredients in mixing bowl

Mix well and set aside.

whisked coating in bowl

Remove the pan from the oven and flip the bacon slices. Using a spoon, spread the brown sugar mixture evenly over the bacon.

bacon with coating ready to bakePlace 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.

candied bacon out of the oven

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 addictive snack: it’s crispy, chewy, smoky, salty, sweet, and spicy.

Servings: 12 strips

Ingredients

  • 1 lb thick-cut applewood smoked bacon, best quality
  • 2-1/2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons chipotle chile powder (see note)

Instructions

  1. 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.
  2. Arrange the bacon in a single layer on the rack. Bake for 20 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together the brown sugar, syrup, and chipotle powder. Set aside.
  4. 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).
  5. 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.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • 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.

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Reviews & Comments

  • 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

    • — Trish on July 5, 2019
    • Reply
    • 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.

      • — Jenn on July 5, 2019
      • Reply
      • Yummy! We like spicy so I added a pinch of cayenne pepper. I brought it to a Halloween party and it was a hit.

        • — Lisa C on October 27, 2019
        • Reply
  • 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.

    • — Alison on April 11, 2019
    • Reply
  • 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.

    • — Katie Callister on February 4, 2019
    • Reply
  • Is the sauce spooned onto both sides of the bacon?

    • — Bill Holloway on May 25, 2018
    • Reply
    • No, just one – hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on May 25, 2018
      • Reply
  • 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.

    • — Joan Barmish on April 26, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Joan, Either will work. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on April 26, 2018
      • Reply
  • 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.

    • — Pam S. on April 2, 2018
    • Reply
  • 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!

    • — Andrea on December 26, 2017
    • Reply
  • 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 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!!!
    Thank you

  • Can these be made the day before and refrigerated to serve the next day?

    • Sure, but they will lose their crispiness.

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