Pumpkin Muffins with Bacon Streusel
Imagine the tastes of a pumpkin latte but in a pumpkin muffin and topped with bacon, that’s what you have here. Deliciously moist muffins dusted with a cinnamon-sugar pumpkin spice and topped with candied bacon. Sweet, subtly smokey, and everything you want in a fall breakfast.
As if we couldn’t love pumpkin any more during the fall season, this candied bacon brings it to a whole new level. What you originally expect to be a dense and hearty morning muffin, pleasantly surprises you with a sweet, fluffy, and moist bite. So grab a cup of fresh coffee, cuddle up in your favorite fall sweater, and enjoy what fall mornings were designed to taste like.
How to candy bacon
This pumpkin muffin recipe is head and shoulders above the rest due in large part to candied bacon. This quick addition will have you adding candied bacon to many more baked goods I’m sure. Check out my Brown Butter Chocolate Chip and Candied Bacon Cookies for starters.
To make candied bacon add brown sugar and your choice of spices to a bowl. Brown sugar has molasses, which lends itself well to the subtle smokey flavor of bacon. Adding spices such as pumpkin pie spice or a smoked paprika will help to individualize the candied bacon according to the specific recipe you’re making.
Line a baking sheet with tinfoil to catch the drippings. Set a cooling rack on the tinfoil and lightly place the bacon on top. Spoon your sugar and spices over the bacon, and lightly press into the bacon. Be generous with your spoonfulls.
Bake in the oven at 375F for 15-20 minutes. The sugar will begin to caramelize and the bacon will look crispy, yet glossy. Remove the tray from the oven and allow the bacon to cool. The sugar will harden a bit as it sits.
How to make pumpkin muffins with streusel
Gather your ingredients first to make quick work of this pumpkin recipe. To save yourself some time, before starting the candied bacon, remove your cream cheese, eggs, and butter from the fridge. When baking, room temperature ingredients are best for mixing.
Making the pumpkin muffins
Step 1: Start by creaming together the butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy.
Step 2: Add the sugars and beat in until uniform.
Step 3: Add the eggs one at a time until mixed in completely.
Step 4: Add the pumpkin and vanilla bean paste (if you do not have vanilla bean paste on hand, you can substitute vanilla extract) and continue to mix using the hand mixer.
Step 5: Combine dry ingredients into a bowl and whisk.
Step 6: Slowly add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture. Be careful not to over stir as that can result in a tough muffin. Fold in your choice of nuts.
How to make the streusel
Combine the streusel ingredients in a bowl with chopped bacon. Stir and sprinkle over pre-baked muffins. If you like your streusel more in the style of a coffee cake, add four tablespoons of cold butter cut into the mixture.
Other Pumpkin and Bacon recipes
If you need another excuse to dive into the fall pumpkin flavors, I have you covered. Try some of these dishes:
Add candied bacon to any of these dishes for a taste of the sweet life:
Pumpkin Muffins with Bacon Streusel
- 4 slices uncooked thin-cut bacon
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 4 slices candied bacon chopped
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1 Tablespoon flour (any variety will work)
- 6 ounces (3/4 cup) unsalted butter softened
- 1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese softened
- 7.5 ounces (1 cup) granulated sugar
- 7.5 ounces (1 cup) firmly packed light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1.5 cups canned pumpkin packed
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or extract
- 12.6 ounces (3 cups) all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon sea or kosher salt
- ½ cup walnuts or pecans toasted and chopped
Make Candied Bacon
- Heat oven to 375° F.
- In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup brown sugar and 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon.
- Place 4 slices of thinly sliced bacon onto a cooling rack that has been laid on top of a foil lined cookie sheet. Sprinkle liberally with brown sugar mixture; use fingers to press mixture into the bacon.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until bacon is crispy, but not burnt. Remove pan from oven and carefully transfer bacon slices to a cutting board to cool slightly before chopping into small pieces.
Make Bacon Streusel
- In a medium bowl, combine candied bacon, brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice and flour. Stir to combine; set aside.
Make Pumpkin Muffins
- Reduce heat in oven to 350°.
- Use an electric hand or stand mixer to beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed until creamy. Gradually add sugars, beating until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition. Add pumpkin and vanilla and mix until combined.
- Stir together flour and next 4 ingredients; gradually add to butter mixture, beating at low speed, just until combined. Avoid over mixing or your muffins will be tough. Use a spoon to stir in nuts by hand.
- Spoon batter into 2 lightly greased or paper lined (12-cup) muffin pans, filling two-thirds full. Sprinkle with Bacon Streusel.
- Bake at 350° for 18-23 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 5 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
Wait…pumpkin and bacon together? This sounds like a classic match. Thelma & Louise. Fred & Ginger. Homer & Marge. And now Pumpkin & Bacon. Thanks for the inspiration…and the drools!!
A perfect match, indeed! Oh, and just like Sigfried and Roy, these muffins will perform a magical disappearing act! 🙂
I’ve never thought to make bacon streusel. I don’t know why I’ve never thought that!!
My younger son loves both bacon and pumpkin. I’ve been gathering new recipes to try for him when he comes home from school and this one will make the list.
Becca – I am a new fan of yours so slap me silly if you want – but there’s no way I can exert ANY self control when you talk about moist and tender, candied bacon kissed pumpkin bacon streusel muffins!!
No slapping required, and especially for fans, Shashi. Let’s be best friends and eat these bacon streusel muffins until we’re fat and sassy! 🙂
Can I make these a few
days ahead of time? Thanks!
Absolutely, Joy! Just keep them in an airtight container at room temperature so that the streusel doesn’t get moist. Nobody likes soggy streusel. 😉
Can this recipe be made in a loaf pan instead of muffins?
Yes, with extra baking time, you can definitely make this muffins recipe using a loaf pan. Without going into too much detail, The batter for 24 standard sized muffins is 6 cups. Therefore, you will need to use a 1-pound loaf pan measuring 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 inches.
I suggest that you start by adding 10 minutes of extra time, then insert a toothpick into the center of the loaf. If it comes out dry, or with a few moist crumbs, it’s ready. Otherwise, add another 10 minutes and check for doneness again. Repeat as necessary until the loaf is baked through.
Let me know how it goes! Good luck!