As some of you may know, my fiancé’s nickname is Bacon. You can only imagine the plethora of pig knickknacks and bacon flavored/scented items we receive (can you believe that bacon flavored lube is a real thing?! GROSS!). Last year I made him a layer cake topped in candied bacon and decided I would continue the tradition this year. A few months ago I made a French Toast and Sausage Breakfast Bake that I adapted into a two layer cake, complete with a layer of candied bacon and whipped cream frosting! We were all pretty stuffed on guacamole and tacos, but almost everyone still made room for a slice of this delicious breakfast-meets-dessert concoction!
(makes 1 two layer cake)
8 cups (16oz loaf) cinnamon raisin bread, cut into cubes
12oz turkey breakfast sausage (regular pork sausage works just fine too)
1 ½ cups milk
2 tsp vanilla extract (I used his favorite bourbon instead)
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
6-8 strips of thick cut bacon
2 Tbs brown sugar
Whipped Cream Frosting:
8oz light cream cheese
½ cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract (again I used bourbon instead)
2 cups (1 pint) heavy whipping cream
Fresh fruit: blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, etc
Fresh mint leaves
Butter two 9inch cake pans (and butter them WELL! Your cakes will release easier) and spread 1 ½ cups (3 cups altogether) of the bread cubes in each cake pan and set aside.
(1.) Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add turkey sausage. Use a spatula to break up sausage and cook for 8-10 minutes or until thoroughly cooked. (2.) Drain excess grease and spread half of the sausage between the two cake pans on top of the bread cubes. Spread 1 ½ cups (3 cups altogether) of the bread cubes in each cake pan, followed by remaining half of sausage, and then topped with another cup each of the remaining bread cubes. Lightly press down on the mixture with your palms to pack in bread and sausage. (3.) In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, vanilla extract or bourbon, cinnamon, and nutmeg until well mixed. (4.) Divide mixture in half and distribute evenly over the two pans. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
(5.) When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 degrees C). Place both pans on a middle rack in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until top is crisp and golden brown. Place pans on a cooling rack for 5-10 minutes.
(6.) Run a butter knife around the edges of each layer and carefully flip upside down onto a plate or piece of foil. (7.) If you don’t butter the pans good enough you might have a minor break in one of the layers, but don’t sweat it too much. Let the layers continue to cool for another 10-15 minutes upside down. While waiting on the layers to cool you can start on your candied bacon. (8.) Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (163 degrees C) and line a large baking sheet with foil. Arrange bacon in a single layer and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of brown sugar. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, flip the bacon, and sprinkle with remaining tablespoon of brown sugar. Place back in the oven to bake another 15 minutes. A few of my pieces were cut thinner and got a little too crisp so just keep an eye on them and if any pieces seem like they’re getting too done, remove them and place on a plate while the others finish cooking. (9.) When finished cooking, transfer bacon strips to a plate to cool for 5-10 minutes.
What do you do while you’re waiting on the bacon? Start on the frosting!
(10.) In a large bowl, cream together cream cheese, sugar, vanilla extract or bourbon until smooth. With the mixer running, slowly pour in cream and mix for 30 seconds to a minute. Stop the mixer to scrape down the sides and bottom as needed and continue to mix until frosting can hold a stiff peak. Now to put it all together! (11.) Flip one of your layers back over onto a serving plate or cake stand. Frost generously with whipped cream frosting. (12.) Layer candied bacon on top of the frosting. Top with the second French toast layer. (13.) Frost the top (you can do the sides too, but I think it looks better when you can see the layers), top with fresh fruit and syrup and serve!
Here’s a few photos from the party..