This maple bacon is, as the author asserts, truly something special when demolished alongside beer as a football or back We’re just saying, in the spirit of disclosure, that it’s more than that. It’s a weekend splurge alongside a cup of black coffee. It’s a mid-afternoon nosh that inspires and sustains. It’s a midnight nosh of the highest order. It’s, well, let’s just say it’s as close to porcine perfection as we can conceive. Which means the only thing saving you from inhaling the entire batch standing at the stove is divine intervention. Let us know how that goes.–Renee Schettler Rossi

Several strips of maple bacon on a sheet of parchment, with a pastry brush and drizzles of maple syrup beside the bacon.

Maple Bacon

5 from 1 vote
This maple bacon is an easy breakfast or nosh made with bacon, brown sugar, beer, and cayenne pepper. It’s sweet and salty and welcome any time of the day.
David Leite
Servings10 slices
Calories116 kcal
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time40 minutes
Total Time55 minutes


  • 1/2 cup light or dark brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup beer, preferably an ale or a stout
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 10 bacon slices, cut in half crosswise


  • Preheat the oven to 390°F (200ºC). Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and then place a wire rack on the sheet.
  • In a bowl, stir together the sugar, syrup, beer, and cayenne pepper until the sugar has completely dissolved and you have a thick syrup.
  • Place the bacon on the wire rack and brush it with the syrup, flipping the slices to coat both sides. Bake for 10 minutes.
  • Brush the bacon again with the syrup, once again flipping the slices to coat both sides. Pop the bacon back in the oven and cook for 10 minutes more.
  • Repeat the brushing and flipping and baking a couple more times, until the bacon is crisp and browned to your liking, roughly 30 to 40 minutes total. (Allow some wiggle room depending on how thick your slices and how crisp you like your bacon. Bear in mind, the maple bacon will become crisper as it cools, so don’t wait for it to be crisped to your liking before you remove it from the oven. We recommend baking it for no more than 40 minutes.]
  • Remove the maple bacon from the oven and let it cool as long as you can on the rack. We think you can take it from here.

Adapted From

Man Food

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Serving: 1 sliceCalories: 116 kcalCarbohydrates: 6 gProtein: 3 gFat: 9 gSaturated Fat: 3 gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1 gMonounsaturated Fat: 4 gTrans Fat: 1 gCholesterol: 15 mgSodium: 147 mgPotassium: 65 mgFiber: 1 gSugar: 5 gVitamin A: 50 IUVitamin C: 1 mgCalcium: 10 mgIron: 1 mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2015 Billy Law. Photo © 2015 Billy Law. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

This maple bacon recipe is soooo good. It comes out sort of like the texture of beef jerky but with a bacon flavor. There is no way you can eat only 1 piece. You want more and more.

Because I really wanted to have the caramel color, I used dark brown sugar. And I used Blue Moon beer. My finished bacon looked like the picture—it had the same coppery color and shiny glaze. Any more than the 4 rounds of basting with the glaze will make the bacon too hard. I found that 40 minutes was just long enough.

I will be running back to the store to pick up another pack of bacon to make it again this week!

If you’re looking to do something special for your family or guests one morning, plan your meal around this recipe. It takes bacon to a new level, which let’s face it, is pretty hard because you’re starting with BACON.

I used Grade B maple syrup, Guinness, and dark brown sugar. I added about 3/4 teaspoon cayenne because my son and I like things spicy. My one recommendation would be this: If you typically like your bacon burnt or crisp, try this a little less done. Take it out of the oven when it still has some wobble and let it cool. And remember, this is candied bacon, so if it cools too long on the rack or paper towels it will get stuck there!

This maple bacon recipe was very good and very versatile. I used it on an oyster po’ boy sandwich and in a scallop and pasta dish.

About David Leite

David Leite has received three James Beard Awards for his writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    This recipe popped into my inbox the day I was looking for a good maple bacon scone recipe. Actual maple bacon sounds like a great foundation for the scone! Just a note that I think you should mention using thick-cut bacon. I used a thinner cut that started to burn after 17 mins in the oven. I used marsala wine since I didn’t have any beer, and I added a little Chinese five spice in addition to the cayenne. The flavor is so aromatic with residual heat from the cayenne. Wow, will definitely try again with thicker cut bacon.

    1. Josie, I appreciate hearing all of this. Thanks. I especially appreciate your letting me know about the slight burning, and I am adding a note to the instructions about checking the temperature sooner if using thinly sliced bacon. Looking forward to hearing which recipe on the site you try next.

  2. I think you were hitting the stout as you were typing the recipe….”so you want don’t to wait for it to become completely crisp…..” then there was “4. Remove the maple bacon brom the oven and let it cool.” I just laughed….you are just like all of us! This recipe sounds too good. For the past two years, at the Minnesota State Fair, there was a booth that sold “My Big Fat Bacon”, which was 1/4 pound of a very thick long slice of bacon which was skewered and grilled on a flat top then dipped into maple syrup and sold for about $4 each. The family spent 2 months putting slices of bacon on the wooden skewers. They sold thousands and thousands.

    1. Bacon has universal appeal, does it not, Stu? And apparently it also has universal distraction powers! Many thanks for catching my typo, which I just deleted. Oops. I do recall editing that late at night and seriously being quite in a reverie about how good this maple bacon is…