How to Make Maple Bacon Breakfast Muffins from Scratch or Pancake Mix by Cleo Coyle

Print Friendly and PDF

These delicious muffins deliver the taste of a pancake breakfast in one bite: maple syrup, bacon, and fluffy buttermilk flapjacks. I'll show you how to make them two ways: (1) from scratch or (2) with a pancake mix. 

So click here to quickly download the recipe in a free PDF that you can print, save, or share, or scroll down to read the entire post, see the step-by-step photos and eat with joy...

~ Cleo

Cleo Coyle has a partner in
crime-writing—her husband.
Learn about their books
by clicking here and here.

Cleo Coyle’s
Maple Bacon

Pancake Muffins

To create this treat, I started with my own favorite maple muffin recipe and swapped regular milk for buttermilk to mimic the richness of old-fashioned buttermilk pancake batter. Next I folded in caramelized bacon bits, made from a recipe that I first shared in my 9th Coffeehouse Mystery, Roast Mortem, a tribute to firefighters (with firehouse recipes). 

Finally, before baking these muffins, I topped them with a sprinkling of more candied bacon bits and a light drizzle of maple syrup. 

The muffin itself is a bonus recipe from A Brew to a Kill, which takes readers on a culinary odyssey through New York City after a food truck war between a “Kupcake Kween” and a coffeehouse manager turns deadly. My husband (and partner in crime writing) flipped for these muffins.

May you eat them with joy!  

~ Cleo

To download a PDF version 
of this recipe that you can 
print, save, or share, click here.

Maple Bacon 
Pancake Muffins 

From Scratch Version...

Makes 6 regular-size muffins (or 12 mini muffins) 


For the bacon:
Caramelized bacon bits will consist of…
  6 slices of bacon, smoked or maple
  + 6 teaspoons of light brown sugar

For the batter:
1 cup all-purpose flour 
1 Tablespoon light brown sugar 
1 teaspoon baking powder 
1/2 teaspoon baking soda 
1/8 teaspoon Kosher salt (if using table salt, use only a pinch) 
1 egg, lightly beaten with fork 
2 Tablespoons canola oil 
1/3 cup + 1½ teaspoons pure maple syrup (not “pancake syrup," see note)*
1/2 cup buttermilk (I use light) 

*Note: “Pancake syrup” is not maple syrup. It consists of corn syrup flavored with maple extract. If you use pancake syrup instead of pure maple syrup in this recipe, be warned that your muffins will be dry. Use pure maple syrup for best results.


Step 1 – Make caramelized bacon bits: First preheat oven to 375° F. Muffins need a very hot oven to rise properly, so give the oven a good 20 minutes of pre-heating.  Meanwhile, cut 6 slices of bacon into small pieces. (Tip: I use kitchen shears.) 

Sauté over medium-high heat until half-cooked—still soft and flexible with fat just beginning to change color. Drain fat. Add your 6 teaspoons of light brown sugar. (This measure is the equivalent of 2 tablespoons; you want 1 teaspoon of brown sugar for each slice of bacon.) 

Stir and continue stirring over heat until bacon bits are cooked through but still flexible (do not cook until crisp and brittle). Transfer bacon bits to a plate, break up any clumps into a single layer. Set aside to cool.

 Step 2 – One bowl mixing method: Combine flour, 1 Tablespoon brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk until well blended. Make a well in the center. Add fork-beaten egg, measure in canola oil, buttermilk, and 1/3 cup of the maple syrup (you will use the final 1½ teaspoons from the ingredient list later). Whisk the batter until well blended, but do not over-mix or you’ll develop the gluten in the flour and your muffins will be tough instead of tender. The batter will be loose. Fold in the bacon bits, reserving enough to sprinkle over the muffin tops before baking in the next step.

Step 3 – Sprinkle and Drizzle: Coat 6 muffin cups and top of muffin pan with non-stick spray. If using paper liners, coat the papers as well as the top of the pan. Divide batter among the 6 sprayed or lined muffin cups. Sprinkle the reserved caramelized bacon bits over the top of each cup’s batter and drizzle a small amount (¼ teaspoon, no more) of maple syrup on top of the bacon bits and batter.

Step 4 – Bake: If baking standard muffins, check them in 15 minutes for doneness. If baking mini-muffins check them in 8 minutes. Muffins may need a few more minutes than stated, depending on your oven. They’re done when a toothpick inserted comes out with no wet batter clinging to it. 

NOTE: The maple syrup drizzle will cause the muffin tops to stick a bit to the pan. Simply use a butter knife to gently free it before removing muffins from cups. FYI - I use the toothpick method to remove baked muffins from their pans. Stick two toothpicks into the muffin from opposite ends and gently lift.

"Pancake Mix" Version

For fun, I included this “pancake mix” option for making the batter in this recipe. The difference between the scratch recipe and this one is mainly texture. The scratch version has a more cake-like crumb while the texture of the pancake mix version is more like a cornmeal muffin, but it’s very good too, and worth a try if you’re curious—and have some pancake mix handy in your pantry! ~ Cleo

Makes 6 regular-size muffins (or 12 mini muffins)


For bacon:
Caramelized bacon bits consisting of… 
   6 slices of bacon, smoked or maple
   + 6 teaspoons of light brown sugar 

For batter:
1-½ cup dry buttermilk flavor pancake mix (What brand? See my note below.) 
1 Tablespoon light brown sugar 
1 teaspoon baking powder 
1 egg, lightly beaten with fork 
2 Tablespoons canola oil 
1/3 cup pure maple syrup (and not “pancake syrup”) 
½ cup whole milk (1% or 2% will work; but do not use skim milk) 

*Note on pancake mix: Do not use Bisquick. Do not use a “just add water” mix. Use a mix that requires the addition of milk, eggs, and oil or melted butter. (I use Aunt Jemima Buttermilk flavor.) No matter what brand you choose, a buttermilk flavored mix will give you the best results. 

Directions: Follow the directions in the previous recipe with this exception. In Step 2, use this batter instead: Whisk together the pancake mix, 1 Tablespoon brown sugar, baking powder, fork-beaten egg, oil, maple syrup, and milk until well blended. Do not over-mix. Fold in the caramelized bacon bits, reserving enough to decorate each muffin top before baking. The batter will be loose. (Now move to Step 3 in the "from scratch" recipe.)


Eat (and read) with joy!

~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

Yes, this is me, Cleo (aka Alice). 
Friend or follow me on facebook here.
Follow me on twitter here
Visit my online coffeehouse here.

5 Best of Year Lists!

Learn more or buy at:

 Amazon * B&N

Indie * 


culinary mystery with a
menu of delicious recipes!


Now in paperback!

Amazon * B&N

IndieBound * BAM

"A gripping and entertaining mystery"
--Library Journal (Starred Review) 
"Penetrating insights" --Kirkus Reviews 
"Sure to delight" --Publishers Weekly


Our culinary mystery includes
25 delicious recipes! To get the
Free Recipe Guide, 
click here.

Click for Free Recipe Guide
to Shot in the Dark.

A "Best Book of 2018!"

~ Suspense Magazine

"A magnificent cold case 
mystery." ~ Fresh Fiction 

Amazon * B&N

IndieBound * BAM


"He is hardboiled in the tradition
of Philip Marlowe, and she is a genteel
Miss Marple; yet the two opposites
make an explosive combination..."

—Midwest Book Review

To learn more, visit our
Haunted Bookshop
clicking here.

Our bestselling hardcover is 
now a bestseller in paperback...

3 Best of Year Lists 
Top 10 Mysteries for Book Clubs 2017
Mystery Guild "Most Wanted" Selection

Amazon * B&N

BAM * IndieBound


This culinary mystery includes
more than 25 delicious recipes!
To get the Free Recipe Guide:

Click Here.

Clare Goes to Washington!

Dead to the Last Drop

Amazon  * B&N 

For the Free Recipe
 click here!

The Coffeehouse Mysteries are bestselling works of amateur sleuth fiction set in a landmark Greenwich Village coffeehouse, and each of the 18 titles includes the added bonus of recipes. 

See mini plot summaries 
for every title and news on
 Cleo's next release!


If you'd like to be entered in our upcoming giveaways
and receive special 
bonus recipes, sign up for
Coffeehouse Mystery Newsletter...


Simply write an email with the
"Sign me up!" and send it to:

When you sign up, you will
receive links 
to past newsletters,
including the one above. 

*  *  *

Comments and

Join Cleo on
Facebook here.

Or leave a comment on Cleo's
"Coffee Talk" Message Board
at her online coffeehouse