Take brunch or a birthday to new heights with this tower of a waffle cake from Anna Olson. Maple candied bacon balances sweet and salty perfectly, and a fluffy cream cheese frosting layered with tender waffles breaks all of the traditional layer cake “rules”.
Maple Candied Bacon
Waffles & Assembly
For the maple candied bacon, preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
Bake the bacon for 25 to 30 minutes, until crisp. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined pie plate or flat dish to drain. Clean the baking tray and place a fresh sheet of parchment paper on it.
Remove the paper towel from the pie plate and pour the maple syrup over the bacon, tossing it gently to fully coat each slice (any maple syrup left at the bottom of the plate can be used in the waffle batter.) Arrange the bacon slices on the clean baking tray and bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until the maple syrup is glossy and the bacon browned a little further. Let the bacon cool on the tray on a cooling rack completely. If the bacon still feels sticky, it can be returned to the oven for an addition 2-3 minutes, to crisp up further.
For the waffles, preheat the waffle iron following manufacturer’s instructions. Sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt into a large mixing bowl. Add the milk, melted butter, maple syrup and egg yolks to this and whisk until combined (a few visible lumps are OK). Finely chop 6 slices of the bacon and stir this into the batter. Whip the egg whites on high speed using electric beaters or a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment until they hold a soft peak (a gentle curl) when the beaters are lifted. Fold this into the batter in two additions.
Make the waffles according to your iron’s instructions. Depending on the size of your iron, you should get 4 to 6 waffles. After each waffle is cooked, remove them to cool on a rack in a single layer. Cool completely before assembling the cake.
To assemble, you will need 4 cooled waffles. Coarsely chop the remaining 6 slices of bacon and set aside. Place the first waffle onto a cake plate or other serving platter, and spread with ½ tub of Philadelphia Cream Cheese Whipped Frosting, and sprinkle with a little of the candied bacon. Top this with a second waffle and spread with the frosting and bacon. Repeat with the remaining 2 waffles and finish with the remaining Philadelphia Cream Cheese Whipped Frosting, giving the frosting a good swirl to create a decorative pattern. Top with a final sprinkle of candied bacon in the centre and chill until ready to serve.