This candied bacon recipe is the ultimate! It's super easy to make and requires just 4 ingredients. Made in the oven, this candied bacon is sweet, salty, and slightly spicy. Serve it as a fun appetizer or as a side dish at breakfast.
Why I Love this Candied Bacon Recipe
First and foremost, this recipe is was bacon dreams are made of. Each slice is sweet, salty and slightly spicy. Secondly, the amount of WOW factor you get out of such little time and effort is incredible. You really only need two ingredients to make candied bacon, and just two spices to make it spicy candied bacon.
Ingredients for this Recipe
You can also use regular-cut bacon. I like thick-cut because it stays a little chewy. If you love a crisp slice of bacon, go ahead and use regular bacon, though check out my recipe notes for instructions.
light brown sugar
I find light brown sugar works best here. Granulated doesn't caramelize very well here and brown sugar tends to have too much moisture. For added texture you could try raw sugar such as turbinado or demerara.
chili powder & cayenne pepper
Use your favorite chili powder here! I like the balance of sweet, salty and spicy but you can skip the spice altogether if you prefer.
Step-by-Step Instructions for this Recipe
- Line a baking sheet with oil then set a wire rack inside.
- Arrange bacon slices over rack in even layer.
- Bake the bacon for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, mix the sugar and spices together.
- Sprinkle the sugar-spice mixture over bacon slices and bake until crispy, about 15 minutes.
- Let the bacon cool for 5 to 10 minutes before diving in. As it cools it will crisp up.
FAQs & Test Kitchen Tips
You can add maple syrup to the sugar and spice mixture, but I wouldn't replace the sugar with maple syrup. Add 2 tablespoons maple syrup to the sugar mixture before spreading it on the bacon. Maple candied bacon, yum!
I do not recommend making this on the stove top, it makes a mess and the bacon doesn't get evenly caramelized. Plus, making candied bacon in the oven is so hands off!
How to Serve Candied Bacon
Candied bacon is great anytime of the day. Serve the sweet and spicy bacon with breakfast, as a festive appetizer, or even a dessert (one reader even drizzled his with chocolate!).
Candied bacon is also great on breakfast sandwiches are used as a garnish for bloody marys.
Variations of this recipe
- Add dried rosemary to the sugar mixture.
- Skip the spice and add cinnamon and nutmeg for a sweeter version.
- Add minced orange zest for a bit of freshness.
- Swap the chili powder and cayenne for more mild black pepper.
More Bacon Recipes to Love...
- Lyonnaise Salad
- Quiche Lorraine
- Smoky Chipotle Black Bean Chili with Bacon
- Corn Chowder with Bacon
- Bacon Jam Burger
Did you make this spicy candied bacon recipe?! Let me know how it went—leave a comment and star-rating below. And if you snapped a pic, share it on IG and tag me @zestfulkitchen. I love seeing what you make!Print
This candied bacon is sweet, salty, and slight spicy. Crisp and caramelized, this candied bacon makes a fun appetizer or tasty breakfast side dish.
- 1 pound thick-cut bacon
- ¼ cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Heat oven to 375°F (190ºC) with rack set in middle position. Line a baking sheet with foil then set a wire rack in sheet.
Arrange bacon in a single layer on rack and bake 20 minutes.
Combine sugar, chili powder, and cayenne pepper in a small bowl; evenly sprinkle on bacon slices then return to oven and bake until crispy, 15–20 minutes more.
Let cool 5 minutes, then serve.
Make ahead tip: cook the bacon halfway through (before adding the spice mixture) then store in a zipper-lock bag in the refrigerator. Day of, arrange bacon on rack in sheet pan and reheat for 5 minutes at 375°F (190ºC) before topping with sugar mixture and continuing to bake.
If you're using regular bacon, skip the pre-cooking step and top the raw bacon slices with the sugar mixture right off the bat.
- Calories: 137
- Sugar: 4g
- Sodium: 286mg
- Fat: 10g
- Saturated Fat: 5g
- Carbohydrates: 4g
- Fiber: 0g
- Protein: 6g
- Cholesterol: 23mg
Keywords: Spicy Candied Bacon, Candied bacon
This recipe and article were originally published on June 14 2018.