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close up of Smokey Bourbon Chocolate Cupcakes with Bacon

Smokey Bourbon Chocolate Cupcakes with Bacon Bark

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 12-14 cupcakes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American


These Smokey Bourbon Chocolate Cupcakes are to die for! Not only are they supremely moist and chocolatey – they’re full of bourbon and smokey salt, then topped with smokey salted bacon chocolate bark! It’s truly a party for your taste buds!



  • 1/2 cup (112g) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup (104g) sugar
  • 1/2 cup (72g) light brown sugar, unpacked
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp maple extract
  • 6 tbsp (90ml) water
  • 6 tbsp (43g) dark cocoa powder
  • 1 cup (130g) all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp crushed smokey salt
  • 6 tbsp (90ml) bourbon


  • 7 oz chocolate candy melts
  • sprinkle of smokey salt
  • about 2 tsp bacon bits


  • 1/2 cup (112g) salted butter
  • 1/2 cup (95g) shortening
  • 3 1/2 cups (403g) powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup (57g) dark cocoa powder
  • 56 tbsp (75-90ml) bourbon


1. Preheat oven to 350°F (176°C) and line cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
2. Beat butter and sugars until light in color and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes.
3. Add eggs one at a time, beating just until blended.
4. Add vanilla, water and cocoa powder to another bowl and whisk until smooth.
5. Add chocolate mixture to batter and mix until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to make sure everything is well combined.
6. Combine flour, baking soda and salt in a separate bowl.
7. Alternate adding the flour mixture and bourbon to the batter. Begin by adding half of the dry mix, then mix well. Add the bourbon and mix well, scraping down the sides as needed. Add the remaining flour mixture and mix until smooth.
8. Fill cupcake liners about 3/4 way. Bake for 15-17 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out with a few crumbs.
9. Allow cupcakes to cool about 2-3 minutes, then remove to a cooling rack to finish cooling.
10. While the cupcakes cool, make the chocolate bark. Add the candy melts to a small bowl and melt according to the package directions.
11. Spread the candy melts into an even layer onto a piece of parchment paper set over a cookie sheet.
12. Quickly sprinkle smokey salt and bacon bits over the chocolate, then allow to cool and firm completely. Once cool, break into pieces.
13. To make the frosting, beat the butter and shortening until smooth.
14. Add about half of the powdered sugar and the cocoa powder and beat until smooth.
15. Add about 5 tbsp of bourbon and mix until smooth.
16. Add remaining powdered sugar and beat until smooth.
17. Add remaining bourbon, if needed for the right consistency.
18. Frost the cooled cupcakes, then top them with the chocolate bark. I used Ateco tip 844 for the frosting (Wilton 2D and 1M are similar).


A few notes about the ingredients. You can replace the shortening in the frosting with additional butter, if you prefer. If you can’t find smokey salt, you could replace it with regular salt. Also, if you have trouble finding maple extract, replace with vanilla extract.

I used 3+ mini bottles total of bourbon in the cupcakes and frosting.

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