Bacon Camp Throwdown!


I'm a girl who likes to cook.

It's what I do when I'm sad to make me happy. It's what I do when I'm happy to share the joy. Sadly, I'm a girl who is more prolific a cook than I am an eater. Don't misunderstand, I eat plenty, but there are only so many meals in a day.

So I do things to get my cooking on. Like compete, as I did this past Saturday at the Bacon Camp Throwdown  by Wild Goose Creative.

And I win.

I got the Best Dessert Bacon! There are no blue ribbons but I did get a nifty bag of swag and bragging rights.

I made Sweet Potato Bacon Chili Crunch Cup Cakes. The recipe is below. It's not as hard as it is complicated. Go to town, make it, love it, change it up, make it better!

I was comparing the process of the Throwdown challenge to the old timey cooking competitions at the county fair. It's a 21st century way to get together with my community. I learned of the Throwdown through the internet, connected with the organizers through e-mail, then took it away from the computer into the kitchen. I went to the venue at the North Market where I met some genuinely great people. Here I'm back on line spreading the word through my blog-and others like Columbus Foodie. This is what Chris Brogan talks about all the time. The tools of our time used to conect humans.

YIPPY. It's a win, literally, on so many levels.

Me and the Kiddo!

  • I got to bake. Win.
  • I got to meet fantastic people. Win.
  • I got a cool bag of bacon gear. Win.
  • I got you reading my stuff and connecting with me here.

Super Win.

As promised:

Sweet Potato Bacon Chili Crunch Cup Cake

3 cups sweet potatoes, about 3 potatoes baked in foil until soft, peeled
1 cup white sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar
½ cup butter
½ cup bacon drippings
4 eggs
¾ cup orange juice
3 ½ cups flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 ½ tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. allspice
Bit of nutmeg, ground fresh
¾ cups cooked bacon* (maybe a 1 ½ pounds)
Zest of 1 orange

Topping: 1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 Tbls chili powder
30 saltines or 7 skinny Italian bread sticks
7 strips of bacon or so

1 pound cream cheese
1 cup butter
7 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Zest of one orange
Juice from two oranges or about 1/3 cup of orange juice

*puree raw bacon in food processor. Cook in skillet until very crispy. Drain and squeeze excess fat, reserve bacon fat for recipe. Pulverize the bacon again, once cooked.
Preheat oven 350 degrees.
Cream sugars with butter and bacon fat. Mix well. Add eggs and orange juice. Add sweet potatoes. In a separate container combine the flour with soda, salt and spices. Add to butter mixture. Add bacon and orange zest. Beat a good 5 minutes to keep them from peaking when you bake. Mix only until combined if you want a muffin top. Bake 18-24 minutes, check for doneness.

Crunch Topping:
In a little bowl combine light brown sugar and chili powder. Cover a cookie sheet with foil, then place a cooling rack upon it. On that lay out the saltines side by side. On the saltines lay the bacon. Completely cover the bacon with the sugar chili mixture and bake 30 minutes or until the bacon is super crispy. OR if using skinny bread sticks carefully wrap bacon around the sticks, roll the bacon covered sticks in sugar chili mixture and bake. Make more than 7 because they are yummy. When cool pulverize in food processor. Add chili flakes to make it hotter.

Soften cream cheese in mixer. Add butter, combine. Add sugar, zest and orange juice.

Ice cupcakes, and coat generously with crunch topping.
For regular sweet potato cupcakes add butter in place of bacon fat and omit the bacon.



  1. Your cupcakes were great! My mom ate like 3 of them, I think, because they were so good. She'll be thrilled to get the recipe.

    It was really nice putting faces to Twitter and blog names - funny how many of us end up at things like this.

  2. Congratulations-that's wonderful news! You are so creative! :o


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