Chicago's Top Bacon Desserts and Pastries for Bacon Month
National Bacon Month, a good excuse as any to gorge yourself on as much bacon as possible all month long. Far beyond the standard breakfast fodder, though, bacon can be experienced in all kinds of unique iterations. Chief among them: dessert. From bacon-infused cupcakes to bacon-crumbled doughnuts, these are some of Chicago’s best bacon sweets:
One of the most famous (notorious?) bacon baked goods in Chicago is the BLT cupcake at More. The Gold Coast cupcake shop always knows how to shake things up, something they’ve been doing for years with items both sweet and savory. Right out of the gate, one of their opening flavors that put them on the map in a big way was their BLT cupcake, an innovator in the field thanks to its daring use of savory ingredients. It’s something largely unseen on the cupcake market, and especially at the time of More’s inception, it was wholly original. The cupcake consists of a savory cake dotted with salty niblets of bacon, swirled with a ranch frosting, and flecked with micro basil and cherry tomato slivers. The whole thing works wonderfully in all its refined delicacy, and just goes to show the possible innovations that still exist with bacon and baked goods.
Leave it to a place called Bakin’ & Eggs to get crafty with bacon. The insanely popular Lakeview bakery and brunch spot is constantly dreaming up new ways to present bacon in every way imaginable. This often includes sweets. Like the bacon pancakes adorned with strawberry-raspberry jam and bacon bits, or the bacon-studded waffles made with a bacon-rum batter. Of course, you can always order up a flight of bacon and try five different bacons side-by-side. The flight includes maple-pepper, jalapeño, honey, cherry-smoked, and mesquite.
In doughnut news, one fine example of bacon and maple actually working super well together in a doughnut is the candied maple bacon creation courtesy of Do-Rite Donuts. The perpetually popular sweets shop has developed quite the deserved renown for this item, which features a French cruller dipped in aromatic maple glaze and covered in crunchy candied bacon. It’s the perfect blend of sweet, smoky, and savory all in one decadent bite. Or, you know, several bites.
Bless his heart, Elvis had a real taste for comfort food. To this day, Elvis’ most infamously beloved flavors remain some of the most indulgent and some of the best. We’re talking bacon, banana, and peanut butter, a match made in heaven. The best play off these Elvis staples is the aptly dubbed Fat Elvis waffles at Little Goat, a diner that certainly knows a thing or two about indulgence. Here, thick and crispy waffles come heaped with bananas, bacon-infused maple syrup, and peanut butter butter.
Thanks to Southport Grocery & Cafe, you can actually drink your bacon in the form of a particularly extravagant hot chocolate. Not only is this thing boozy, infused with a hefty splash of bourbon, but it’s topped off with a bacon-dusted marshmallow, which melts down quite nicely into the nourishing elixir. As you know, chocolate and bacon play quite nicely together, so this is an improved and impressive play off a classic flavor combo.
If you’re lucky, the pastry case at Mindy’s HotChocolate in Bucktown will still be stocked with bacon-chocolate chip cookies the next time you need your salty-sweet fix. These habit-forming cookies are perfect in every way, not only in balance of flavor, but in texture and size as well. They are all too easy to throw back a few of these things, which are evenly studded with just the right mix of gooey chocolate morsels and pleasantly toothsome bacon bits.
The famed maple-bacon combo strikes again, this time in the form of a buttery scone at Wicker Park’s adorable Scone City. Customers have come to except a bit of whimsy and novelty from this quirky bakery, which skews towards the contemporary when it comes to menu creation. Along with a savory breakfast scone laced with eggs, bacon, white cheddar, green onions, and pepper, there’s a sweeter variety focused on the classic maple-bacon one-two punch. The result is a simple, straightforward, perfectly iced pastry that displays precisely why bacon and sugar are a match made in heaven.
- Matt Kirouac