Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Welcome our guest, Jenn McKinlay!

We have a special treat today, Wednesday. A guest!  Whee! Don't you love surprises?

Welcome our guest, Jenn McKinlay. Jenn is the fabulous NYT bestselling author of A Cupcake Baker Mystery and so much more! Her latest: Going, Going, Ganache!

Take it away, Jenn!

For the love of bacon and Larry!

Here's how to get what you want in my house. It starts with me asking the Hub to do whatever, which is always greeted with an affirmative. Yay! The speed of completion of the requested task varies, however, and I've discovered that if I up the ante (otherwise known as a bribe) things tend to happen much more swiftly. The number one bribe in my arsenal is bacon. If I can leverage my request with scent of frying bacon, well, that garbage finds its way out of the house so fast you'd think Hefty made their bags with a drawstring activated jet propulsion feature, which would be pretty cool. 
Seeing the power of bacon, I naturally decided I needed to incorporate it into the cupcake world to help motivate my sons, aka the hooligans, and get that lawn mowed with same turbo power as the above mentioned garbage disposal. The idea was inspired by the Hub's cousin, who is actually having two types of cake (bacon and tiramisu) at his wedding. No, not kidding. But here's where a dilemma hit. Hooligan number two has gotten it into his head that he would like a pet pig that he plans to name Larry. Out of respect for his future snuggle buddy Larry, hooligan two has sworn off all pig products. All righty then.Luckily, while visiting the Queen Creek Olive Mill in Queen Creek, AZ with my mother, our curiosity was piqued by their bacon infused olive oil that is made without bacon and therefore vegetarian friendly. My mother, being more adventurous in the culinary arts than me, bought a bottle and so I figured I had a way to tempt hooligan number two without infringing on his loyalty to Larry.
Much experimenting ensued but attached are two recipes, one with real bacon and one without, to motivate your day laborers into speedy chore completion. May the bacon flavor be with you!  

Bacon Cupcakes:

Same recipe for both cupcakes but for the cake with real bacon add one cup cooked and minced bacon into the batter. 


2 cups all-purpose flour 
1 tablespoon baking powder 
1 teaspoon salt 
3/4 cup bacon infused olive oil 
1 1/2 cups sugar 
4 large eggs 
1 cup milk 
2 teaspoons vanilla extract 
* 1 cup cooked and minced bacon


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pan with paper liners.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. In a large bowl, mix together olive oil, sugar, eggs, milk and vanilla extract.

Add dry ingredients to wet mixture and blend until smooth. (*If using the real bacon, add cup of minced bacon now). 

Scoop the batter evenly into the cupcake liners.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Let cool before frosting. Makes 24. 

Maple Frosting: 


6 tablespoons butter, softened
3-4 tablespoons milk 
1 1/2 teaspoons maple extract 
4 cups confectioners' sugar sifted 
Turbinado sugar and sea salt 


Whip butter, milk and extract together until creamy. Mix in powdered sugar until frosting is the desired consistency. Spread onto cooled cupcakes.

Garnish by sprinkling turbinado sugar and sea salt on cupcake and for cupcakes with real bacon a piece of bacon looks pretty tasty, too.

Thanks for inviting me to visit the kitchen, Daryl!
As always, it’s been a pleasure! 

You can find out what’s happening with me by checking out my website:


  1. Oh MY Gosh these sound so very yummy Jenn. I think this is what I should bring to the next work potluck.

  2. I love bacon with maple syrup so this sounds perfect!!

  3. Wonderful surprise Daryl/Avery! Yay, Jenn, welcome and congrats on hitting NYT bestseller list with GOING GOING GANACHE!

    I love the story about your son and his future pig:). There is a new donut shop in Key West--I haven't tried ALL their flavors, but I did have to sample a maple bacon donut. In the end, I decided it was a little too weird, but I still love this flavor combination. and must try those cupcakes!

  4. Jenn, for the love of Pete, I don't know why there are blocks of white background in this post. Blogger can be so weird!!!

    But I adore this post, the recipe (bacon and maple syrup, mmm) and your future pig. Babe couldn't have had a better fam!

    Love and hugs, Daryl

  5. What about turkey bacon? It tastes great and is less messy to work with due to not having all the bacon fat to render out.

  6. This sounds devilishly good. I must try it. Thanks for combining too of my favorite flavors.

    It's great to see you here!



  7. Hi, all! Lori, I did bring these to a work pot luck - we have many vegetarians there - there were no survivors -- cupcake survivors, that is :) Great to see you, MJ, Daryl, Roberta, and Harbingerdc! Libby, I didn't even think of turkey bacon. Will have to run it by hooligan 2, who will probably tell me he plans to have a pet turkey named Jeff :^/

  8. Oh and no worries about the white patches, Daryl! Blogger hates me - always has. Sigh :)

  9. BACON! Oh, baby, everything's better with bacon. :) Cheers, Jenn, great to see you back in the Kitchen!

  10. Jenn, you are such a hoot! Sounds like you might have to find an alternate to the bacon reward for hooligan number two. So . . . is there a real Larry the pig in your future?


  11. Krista - Ack! I'm full up on pets 2 dogs, 2 cats, and a fish who won't die. I'm hoping Larry is a temporary longing that fades.
    Cleo - great to be back! And yes, everything is better with bacon :)