11 Desserts Made Better With Bacon

Bacon makes everything better — so it's not surprising that years ago, everyone's favorite pork product started making its way into the dessert realm. The salty, smoky, savory flavor of bacon is a match made in heaven when paired with sweet, rich flavors like caramel, chocolate, and maple cream. Crispy bacon also adds a nice crunch to softer textures like cake or brownies.

To many, this culinary crossover didn't come as a revelation. If you've ever enjoyed pancakes and syrup with bacon, the sweet syrup likely made its way to your bacon at some point. And it was delicious, right? So, branching out from there, it was just a matter of time before bacon desserts entered the mainstream.

According to Time, the trend started in 2006 in a swanky U.K. restaurant where celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal began serving bacon and egg ice cream. The following year, bacon made its way into chocolate bars that became bestsellers, like Mo's Milk Chocolate Bacon Bar. From there, the salty/sweet mashup grew.

But why does bacon work so well in sweet treats? Salt enhances flavor. According to Fine Cooking, salt is a flavor amplifier. It diminishes bitterness but enhances sweetness. So, rather than making foods taste less sweet, it brings out the sweet flavor even more by suppressing bitter flavor compounds.

So next time you're in the mood for something sweet, don't forget to add some bacon to your dessert for an extra special treat. Here are a few of our favorite bacon dessert mashups.


When it comes to milkshake mix-ins, nothing beats crunchy bacon. Perhaps slurping pieces of bacon through a straw doesn't appeal to you. But for many, the salty-sweet drink combination is absolutely delicious.

That's why we've recommended it as the one add-in you should try in your Five Guys milkshake. Their applewood smoked bacon is a tasty addition to a cold, frosty shake. Add bananas, bacon, and peanut butter to your drink as an homage to the King of Rock himself, Elvis Presley. Combine bacon with salted caramel. Pair it with the Ghirardelli chocolate and fudge add-ins for a decadently sweet and salty treat.

There's no need to visit your local burger joint to enjoy this mashup — you can easily whip one up at home. Make sure to use thick-cut, high-quality bacon. Cook it until crisp, and then chop it into small pieces. For a rich, creamy milkshake, combine high-fat ice cream with milk. Vanilla, chocolate, or caramel ice creams all pair well with bacon's smoky flavor. Stir in bacon crumbles to spread the bacon flavor throughout your shake. Top the milkshake with whipped cream, a drizzle of chocolate or caramel sauce, and a sprinkle of chopped bacon. The result is a rich, indulgent dessert that's sure to please any bacon fan.


Have you ever bitten into a cupcake that's just a little too sweet? Bacon can fix that! In fact, we have a delicious recipe for chocolate bacon cupcakes. It's not a fussy recipe made from scratch, but rather "semi-homemade" with doctored-up boxed cake mix and canned frosting. The combination of chocolate cake, maple cream cheese frosting, and sweet/salty candied bacon is mouthwatering.

Start with your favorite boxed chocolate cake mix. Instead of water, add milk; rather than using oil, melt a stick of butter. Add an extra egg to make the cupcakes bake up extra fluffy and rich. When your cakes are cooling, scoop the cream cheese frosting out of the can, adding a teaspoon or two of maple extract for flavor. Frost the cupcakes once they're completely cooled.

For the final — and dare we say — most delicious step, toss the chopped bacon with brown sugar and a bit of black pepper before baking in the oven. Sprinkle candied bacon crumbles over the cupcakes to finish them. Don't forget to sprinkle some of those tasty crumbles directly into your mouth as a chef's tax. Try bacon on our Banoffee cupcakes, too!

Want a different flavor combination? Whip up a batch of vanilla cupcakes with caramel frosting or banana cupcakes with peanut butter frosting. Sprinkle on some bacon magic, and wow your friends and family with your baking prowess.

Rice Krispies treats

Rice Krispies treats — you either love them or hate them. The classic pairing of marshmallows, melted butter, and Rice Krispies cereal just comes across as too sweet for some palates. It's no wonder. Chemical & Engineering News reports that marshmallows are made of corn syrup, sugar, gelatin, and air. Basically, they're puffy bits of sugar. As delicious as they are to some of us, others find them off-putting. If you're among the haters, some crispy cooked bacon can help improve your Rice Krispies treats. It'll add just the right amount of saltiness, crunch, and color to take those marshmallow treats from "meh" to "amazing." 

Hear me out. You don't want to just throw bacon bits into your next batch and expect something amazing because bacon-flavored marshmallows sound pretty terrible. Instead, add the crunchy bacon crumbles plus a few teaspoons of maple extract to the gooey, sticky mixture. Once they cool and set up, let the flavors mingle for half an hour or so before trying them. The maple extract hits all the right notes, making these Rice Krispies treats taste more like a breakfast food than a hodgepodge mix of crazy flavors. Bacon would make a tasty add-in for our Chocolate Rice Krispies treats as well.


What's the secret to out-of-this-world brownies? According to Nigella Lawson, it's bacon. She adds 4 ounces of savory bacon to this classic dessert to take it to the next level. Lawson prefers American-style bacon snipped into tiny pieces, but any thin-cut streaky bacon that cooks up quickly and crispy will do. Avoid thick cut bacon — it's too chewy for this purpose. Trisha Yearwood takes this a step further and adds bacon and potato chips to her signature brownies for doubly salty and crunchy flavor and texture.

The Reddit community has weighed in on a couple of bacon brownie variations, too. One user in the cast iron community recommends jazzing up a boxed brownie mix. Replace the oil that the recipe calls for with bacon grease since you're cooking up that sizzling bacon, anyway. Sprinkle crispy cooked bacon on top, and bake until fudgy. Another Redditor in the bacon subreddit recommends adding caramel and walnuts.

Apple pie

Nothing is more American than apple pie — except, perhaps, apple pie with bacon streusel topping. Tasting Table has a fabulous apple bacon pie with a gingersnap crust that you need to try at least once in your life. The homemade gingersnap crust is filled with your typical apple pie filling and then topped with the sweet and salty streusel.

If you don't have the time or patience for a made-from-scratch dessert, you can totally shortcut this apple bacon pie. Purchase a premade apple pie, preferable without a top crust. Just make the streusel! Semi-homemade recipes are such a time saver. 

To make the topping, first fry six slices of applewood-smoked bacon that have been snipped into tiny pieces. Then, combine a cup of all purpose flour, a cup of light brown sugar, and a stick of chilled, unsalted butter chopped into small pieces. Mix the ingredients until you get a crumbly mixture. Add the bacon pieces to the streusel and gently toss to combine. Crumble the topping over your pre-made apple pie, and bake in the oven according to the package directions. If the top isn't quite browned to your liking, pop it under the broiler for a minute or two. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce.

Cinnamon rolls

Ooey Gooey Cinnamon Rolls in Nashville has the right idea! Their maple bacon rolls are some of the best cinnamon rolls around and come with both caramel sauce and white icing. With all that sweetness going on, it's no wonder bacon is needed to balance it out. Since some of you are heartbroken because you're nowhere near Nashville and can't try the restaurant version in person, it's pretty easy to make your own. They may not be quite as "ooey gooey," but they'll still be delightful.

For homemade bacon cinnamon rolls, use your favorite cinnamon roll recipe. Fry up some maple bacon, and crumble it in small pieces once it's good and crispy. After rolling out your dough and adding your filling, sprinkle bacon crumbles on top. Then, roll the dough up into a log, baking according to your usual directions. When they're done, top with a cream cheese frosting that's mixed with 1 or 2 teaspoons of maple extract. Sprinkle extra bacon pieces on top and drizzle with a little caramel sauce!

If you're using the refrigerated cinnamon rolls in a can, bake them according to the package directions. Mix the glaze with a few drops of maple extract (not much since it's a thin glaze) and then sprinkle bacon crumbles on top.


Cheesecakes are already rich and delicious, but adding bacon takes them to a whole new level. The smoky, savory flavor of bacon pairs perfectly with the sweetness of cheesecake, creating a unique and irresistible dish. Bacon also adds a nice crunch to the creamy cheesecake, giving it textural contrast. And since bacon is so versatile, you can use it to flavor all sorts of cheesecakes, from classic New York-style to more decadent versions like chocolate and caramel. So if you're looking for a way to take your cheesecakes to the next level, try adding some bacon!

One super simple option is to make candied bacon to sprinkle over the top. Cut uncut bacon into small pieces using kitchen scissors, and mix the pieces together with brown sugar, 1 or 2 tablespoons of maple syrup, and a little black pepper. Fry it up like usual until crispy. Add a layer of caramel sauce to a plain New York-style cheesecake, and sprinkle the candied bacon on top. This maple bacon cheesecake posted on Reddit sounds delicious, too. Here, the cooked bacon is baked into the cheesecake filling while the top is slathered in a maple cream frosting. Add a piece of bacon on top (or some crumbles) for presentation.


Just when you thought breakfast couldn't get any better, someone invented maple bacon donuts. They're still one of the most popular donut varieties despite some people thinking the bacon-dessert thing is just a fad. Stop by your local bakery or donut shop to find out if they offer maple bacon donuts. They're best served warm, so if they've been sitting in the display case for a while, ask them to toast or heat the donut.

Want to try them from scratch? Reddit user MessInTheKitchen has a fantastic filled maple bacon donut recipe to follow. The custard filling sounds incredible, but it's the maple glaze topped with bacon that does it for us. The user recommends whisking together 2 cups of powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon of milk, and 1.5 teaspoons of maple extract to make the glaze. Dunk the donuts in the glaze, sprinkle with bacon crumbles, let them set for about 15 minutes — serve and enjoy!

Ice cream

Bacon ice cream has long been a dream of Ron Swanson fans. The "Parks and Recreation" character is famous for his love of breakfast food and for the line, "Just give me all the bacon and eggs you have." In 2011, it inspired a photoshopped Ben & Jerry's flavor called All of the Bacon & Eggs You Have, which fans hoped was real. Unfortunately, Ben & Jerry's hasn't made this a reality for us — probably due to the fact that bacon is not kosher while most of their other ingredients are. However, Today reached out to the ice cream makers to get their take on it, and they shared a good-humored response about Swanson getting his just desserts.

The Bacon Wiki, however, has made bacon ice cream a reality, and we're pretty stoked about it. The ice cream is a delicious combination of homemade vanilla rum ice cream with bits of candied bacon throughout the frozen dessert. An ice cream with booze and bacon? Now, that's a food Ron Swanson can get behind.

An even easier option is available, though. All you need is a scoop of vanilla or chocolate ice cream, a drizzle of caramel sauce, and candied bacon to sprinkle on top. Give it a stir with your spoon, and revel in the frozen, bacon-y goodness. 


Sweet and salty aficionados will find themselves drawn to maple bacon fudge. This unique confection combines the sweetness of maple-flavored fudge and the salty goodness of bacon, creating a truly unforgettable experience. The key to making perfect maple bacon fudge — also known as voodoo fudge — is to strike the right balance between the two dichotomies. Too much marshmallow cream, sugar, or white chocolate will make the fudge too sweet, while too much bacon will make it too salty. However, get the proportions just right and you'll be left with a weirdly delicious treat that's perfect for any occasion (if you can resist eating it all yourself). 

This voodoo fudge posted on Reddit works bacon all through the fudge rather than just sprinkling it on top. If that's your plan, make sure you use the leanest possible bacon to avoid greasy candy. 

Perhaps the maple bacon flavor combination isn't your thing. Try bacon with salted caramel fudge. Simply crumble some cooked bacon over the caramel layer before the fudge sets up. Bacon also pairs well with any chocolate fudge.

Chocolate chip cookies

Take your chocolate chip cookies to the next level by throwing some cooked thick-cut bacon pieces into your homemade cookie dough. Brown sugar, chocolate chips, and bacon combine to form a trifecta of delight for your taste buds. While most bacon desserts call for crispy bacon, thick-cut chewy bacon makes sense in this recipe because it adds to the overall chewy effect of the cookie. It may sound crazy, but the bacon flavor doesn't overpower the cookies at all. Instead, you'll get chewy bits of bacon that meld perfectly in your mouth with the sweet chocolate chips.

But let's say you're not going for a mild bacon flavor. You want a full-on bacon flavor explosion in your mouth. In that case, replace 2 to 3 tablespoons of butter with the same amount of bacon grease. That's what one Reddit user did when modifying Alton Brown's chewy chocolate chip cookie recipe, along with replacing some of the chocolate chips with bits of crispy bacon. Fun fact: Did you know that Alton Brown prefers bread flour in his famous cookies? According to King Arthur Baking, bread flour has more protein and produces more gluten. This results in a chewier cookie. 

Venture out to add bacon in more of your favorite cookie recipes, too. The salty strips will enhance the flavor of salted caramel cookies, maple brown sugar cookies, or peanut butter and banana cookies. You can play it safe by crumbling the bacon on top of the cookies if you don't want to add it directly to the batter. That way, it's as easy as dusting the bacon pieces off and dunking your cookie in milk if you don't enjoy the meaty addition.