YIELD: 82 servings

42 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 qt. + 3 cups water
8 oz. maple syrup
1 Tbsp. maple imitation extract
1 Tbsp. cinnamon, ground
5 yellow cake mix
3 lb. + 14 oz. vanilla icing

1. Prepare the bacon according to instructions.

2. Preheat convection oven to 300°F or standard oven to 350°F.

3. In mixer bowl, pour half of the water. Add syrup, maple extract, cinnamon and cake mix. Using paddle attachment, mix on medium speed 2 minutes. Reduce speed to low.

4. Gradually add remaining water. Stop mixer. Scrape bowl and paddle. Mix on low speed 2 minutes more.

5. Into each paper-lined *standard muffin-pan cup, portion #16 scoop batter (1 1/2 oz.).

6. Bake until wooden pick inserted in centers comes out clean (convection oven 15-18 minutes or standard oven 20-25 minutes).
7. Cool 10 minutes. Remove from pans. Cool on racks.

8. Using pastry bag fitted with large star tip, pipe 1 1/2 T icing (3/4 oz.) on top of each cooled cupcake. Sprinkle each cupcake with 1 T Bacon.

9. Cover. Hold at room temperature for service.

Photo and recipe: Scott Zahren, Chef and Director of Culinary Development, Aramark