Whether you call it Pig Candy or Bacon Candy, this easy candied bacon recipe is a fantastic treat. Sweet-and-salty bacon is so easy to make. Great for breakfast, in loads of other dishes or for gift giving.
Sunday Brunch has never tasted so good! The first time you try candied bacon with the sweetness of the brown sugar and the crackly crust you’ll be hooked.
Candy bacon adds extra flavor with the perfect combination of sweet, salty, peppery and a touch of cinnamon. It’s great by itself but delicious in other dishes where you’d use regular bacon.
It’s a fast and unexpected recipe for a perfect addition to your next party, brunch or holiday get together.
Recipe Ingredient Notes
1 pound sliced bacon. You can make this recipe with either regular bacon or thick-cut bacon. Regular bacon has about 16 slices in a pound and will cook in 20 minutes.
Thick cut can be 1/8-inch thick to 1/4-inch thick and will take approximately up to double the cooking time (with around 10 slices in a package). The bacon can be cooked in whole slices or cut in half (across the middle) to make shorter strips.
Freshly ground black pepper. We recommend around 3/4-teaspoon depending on whether the bacon you choose is seasoned. If it is use less pepper.
Light brown sugar. This caramelized on the bacon as it cooks and gives it a wonderful sweet-meets-salty flavor. This will also help crisp it.
Ground cinnamon. Just a smidge adds delicious flavor to the final bacon.
How to make Candied Bacon
STEP 1. Prepare the seasoning
In a small bowl combine the brown sugar, black pepper and cinnamon. Whisk to fully combine.
STEP 2. Preparation
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil (for easier cleanup). And place an oven-safe wire rack in the pan for the bacon. Lightly spray the rack with nonstick spray.
Place bacon strips side by side in a single layer on the rack without overlapping them.
Sprinkle the brown sugar mixture over the top of the bacon slices to cover them.
STEP 3. Bake
Place the foil-lined baking sheet (or sheets) of bacon in the middle of the oven.
For regular bacon: Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the fat has rendered, the sugar caramelized and the bacon has begun to crisp.
For thick cut bacon: monitor the bacon until the fat has rendered, sugar caramelized the bacon has begun to crisp. This may take 30 minutes depending on the thickness and type of bacon used.
STEP 4. Cool
Remove from the oven and allow the strips of bacon to cool on the rack or on a piece of parchment paper or paper towels for 5 minutes. It will become more crisp as it cools.
The thickness of your bacon determines baking time. Most candied bacon recipes use thick-cut bacon slices but it’s great no matter what type of bacon you use. It’s important to monitor while cooking to see that the sugar has caramelized and that the crispy edges don’t burn.
The thicker the bacon the longer it will need to cook but usually not more than 30 minutes unless it’s very thick.
Check on the bacon while cooking. Because all bacon cooks slightly differently check on it to be sure it does not burn from over cooking.
Also called Million Dollar Bacon, is made in the same way with red pepper flakes added for a sweet, salty and spicy flavor! Some versions add 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper instead of chili pepper flakes.
Bacon lore has it that this version was created by a San Francisco restaurant, Sweet Maple and decided to call it this on their menu. Their version slow cooks the extra thick cut bacon with brown sugar and an assortment of peppers to a jerky type consistency.
How to Eat it
The bacon can be eaten as you would regular bacon for breakfast or use it on or with:
- French Toast
- Crumbled on or in pancakes or waffles
- Added to a salad
- Put a slice (or two) in a Bloody Mary cocktail
- In cookies or muffins (like these)
How to Store
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. The bacon will lose its crispness but will still taste great.
Frequently Asked Questions
No. Only the top side needs the seasoning to crisp up and caramelize the sugar.
No! Cooking on the wire rack allows air circulation to both sides of the bacon cook while in the oven.
For it to cook fully and crisp up, you do. If cooked directly on the pan the bottom side won’t cook in the same way and the bacon will be soft.
- ⅓ cup light brown sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 pound bacon slices thick-cut or regular can be used
- Preheat the oven to 375F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil. Place an oven-safe wire rack into the pan. Spray the rack lightly with non-stick cooking spray.
- In a small bowl combine the brown sugar, black pepper and cinnamon. Whisk to fully combine.3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, ⅓ cup light brown sugar, 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Place the bacon slices in a single layer side-by-side on the prepared wire rack (without overlapping).1 pound bacon slices
- Sprinkle the sugar mixture on top of all the bacon slices.
- Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until bacon fat has rendered (it will drip into the pan underneath the rack), the sugar has caramelized and the bacon is crisp and nicely golden.
- Remove from heat and allow the bacon to cool on the rack, or on a piece or parchment paper. The bacon will crisp when cooled.
We have a large Christmas grazing board brunch every year. This sweet and salty bacon was perfect for that!
I love candied bacon! So glad to have found a recipe to make my own. Using this as a garnish for bloody mary’s!
Oh, yes. That’s what I’m talking about! The only thing better than bacon is sweet candied bacon. Om nom nom.
This candied bacon was amazing. Thank you for the recipe!
You had me at bacon! I cannot get enough of this, thank you so much!
This candied bacon is such a fantastic addition to brunch! The flavors are absolutely amazing and I love how easily it comes together.
Shana Y says
I made this for my bacon-loving friend and my husband ate most of it! lol Time to make more!