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A special touch for your holiday brunch, a delicious sweet-and-savory appetizer, or a fun dessert, this quick pig candy is the easiest treat you’ll enjoy all season! You only need 2 ingredients and about 5 minutes to prep a batch of the brown sugar-coated, crispy candied bacon that bakes in the oven — completely hands-off!

Side shot of a tray of pig candy with serving fork and napkin in background
Table of Contents
  1. Why You’ll Love this Pig Candy Recipe
  2. Pig Candy
  3. Ingredients for Pig Candy
  4. How to Make Candied Bacon in the Oven
  5. What to Serve with Quick Candied Bacon​​​​​​​
  6. Preparation and Storage Tips
  7. Candied Bacon Recipe Variations
  8. Tips for the Best Pig Candy Recipe
  9. Pig Candy (Candied Bacon) Recipe

If you love breakfast recipes as much as we do, be sure to try this easy cinnamon coffee cake with cake mix, this maple sausage and apple breakfast bake, and our favorite 3-ingredient buttermilk biscuits, too!

Why You’ll Love this Pig Candy Recipe

  • Easy. With just 2 simple ingredients and a hands-off baking method, this is about the easiest breakfast treat you can serve!
  • Quick cleanup. There’s no messy grease splattered on your stovetop, and the pan is easy to clean at the end (thanks to a foil liner).
  • Make-Ahead. The candied bacon is delicious warm or at room temperature, so you can bake it in advance and eliminate any last-minute cooking when serving guests.
  • Sweet and salty flavor. If you’re a fan of the sweet-and-salty combinations, then you’ll love this dish. You get the rich, salty, smoky meat, paired with the sweet, crispy coating.
  • Versatile. Make as much (or as little) pig candy as you need. It’s delicious at just about any time of day — breakfast, brunch, cocktail hour, or even dessert! See my serving suggestions below.

Pig Candy

At its most basic, candied bacon (or “pig candy”) is a dessert, appetizer, or side dish made by coating thick strips of smoked bacon with sugar. Brown sugar is the most popular sweetener used to “candy” the bacon, but some recipes call for maple syrup, granulated sugar, or caramel instead.

Additional ingredients such as chopped pecans, cayenne pepper, black pepper, or a coating of chocolate are sometimes included, too. The candied bacon can be served warm or at room temperature, and has become a really popular treat in the Southern United States.

Platter of pig candy bacon on a blue table

Ingredients for Pig Candy

This is just a quick overview of the ingredients that you’ll need for a quick batch of pig candy. As always, specific measurements and step-by-step instructions are included in the printable recipe box at the bottom of the post.

  • Bacon: use regular bacon if you like it very crispy. Thick-cut bacon works as well, but it has a slightly chewier texture when candied.
  • Brown sugar: I use light brown sugar, but dark brown sugar is also fine — it will just provide a stronger molasses flavor.

How to Make Candied Bacon in the Oven

Didn’t think bacon could get any better? Think again! Coating the smoky meat with a thin layer of brown sugar elevates this classic favorite, giving it an extra-crispy texture and a sweet-and-salty flavor profile that’s unbelievably delicious.

  1. Dredge the bacon strips in brown sugar to coat on both sides. Arrange on a wire rack on top of a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil.
  2. Bake the bacon in a 375°F oven for about 20-25 minutes, or until crispy and starting to char on the edges.
  3. Transfer the bacon slices to a cooling rack. Serve the bacon warm or at room temperature.
Horizontal side shot of candied bacon on a white tray

What to Serve with Quick Candied Bacon​​​​​​​

Southern candied bacon is a versatile dish that you can enjoy at any time of day. Here are a few options to pair with the pig candy at brunch, for a salty snack at cocktail hour, or even for dessert.

Brunch​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Appetizers

Dessert

  • Ice Cream Sundaes. Sprinkle over vanilla ice cream and drizzle with caramel sauce.
  • Chocolate Dipped Pig Candy. Allow the candied bacon to cool, then dip in melted chocolate. Let the chocolate set until firm.
  • Dessert Board. Set up a sweet dessert spread that combines the bacon with other finger-foods like candied pecans, cheese cubes, Scottish shortbread or jam thumbprint cookies, and squares of dark chocolate.
Side shot of a platter of quick candied bacon on a brunch table

Preparation and Storage Tips

The brown sugar bacon can sit out at room temperature for a few hours, and then leftovers need to be wrapped tightly and refrigerated. It will last in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. To prevent individual slices from sticking to each other, layer the bacon with parchment paper dividers.

You can also freeze leftover candied bacon. Allow the bacon to cool completely, wrap tightly, and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Candied Bacon Recipe Variations

  • Spicy Candied Bacon: Before baking, season the bacon with cayenne pepper, black pepper, red pepper flakes, chili powder and/or paprika. Feel free to add garlic powder and onion powder for a really zesty, flavorful twist.
  • Maple Candied Bacon: Brush the bacon with maple syrup before coating with brown sugar.
  • Bourbon Candied Bacon: Brush the bacon with bourbon before coating with brown sugar, or stir together a mixture of maple syrup, bourbon and brown sugar that you can brush onto the meat.
  • Double the recipe and use two baking sheets to serve a larger group.

Tips for the Best Pig Candy Recipe

  • You can use either regular bacon or thick-cut bacon, depending on your preferred texture. I find that thick-cut bacon has a slightly chewier texture when candied, while regular thinner bacon gets super-crispy.
  • Line the baking sheet with foil. This makes clean-up really quick and easy — especially because the bacon grease and sugars can create quite a sticky mess.
  • Place the bacon on a wire rack to make sure that it gets nice and crispy on all sides. You can flip the bacon halfway through the cooking time to ensure that the bacon is equally crisp on both sides, too.
  • Adjust the baking time to achieve the level of browning that you prefer. The total time will vary depending on your taste, your oven, and the type of bacon that you use. Some thick-cut slices of bacon may need closer to 30 minutes in the oven.
  • Let the bacon cool for at least a few minutes before serving. The sugars are very hot when it first comes out of the oven, and you will definitely burn your mouth if you try to eat it immediately. The bacon will continue to firm up and will become even more crispy as it cools.
Close overhead image of candied bacon on a white rectangular platter

More Recipes with Bacon

Close up square shot of a white platter of pig candy

Pig Candy (Candied Bacon)

5 from 1 vote
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Cooling Time 5 minutes
Total: 35 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 288 kcal
You only need 2 ingredients and about 5 minutes of prep for this quick pig candy! It's a perfect sweet-and-salty treat for brunch, appetizers, and even dessert.

Ingredients
  

  • 8-10 slices bacon (or as many slices as you can fit on your wire rack without overlapping)
  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375°F.
  • Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Place a wire rack on top of the baking sheet and spray the rack generously with cooking spray.
  • Place the brown sugar in a shallow dish. Working with one piece at a time, dredge the bacon in the sugar, pressing to make sure that both sides are evenly coated. Place bacon in a single layer on the wire rack.
    Process shot showing how to make candied bacon
  • Bake until the bacon is crispy, about 20-25 minutes. Let the bacon cool on the wire racks for a few minutes. It will continue to crisp up as it cools. Serve warm or at room temperature.
    Side shot of a tray of pig candy with serving fork and napkin in background

Notes

  • You can use either regular bacon or thick-cut bacon, depending on your preferred texture. I find that thick-cut bacon has a slightly chewier texture when candied, while regular thinner bacon gets super-crispy.
  • Line the baking sheet with foil. This makes clean-up really quick and easy — especially because the bacon grease and sugars can create quite a sticky mess.
  • Place the bacon on a wire rack to make sure that it gets nice and crispy on all sides. You can flip the bacon halfway through the cooking time to ensure that the bacon is equally crisp on both sides, too.
  • Adjust the baking time to achieve the level of browning that you prefer. The total time will vary depending on your taste, your oven, and the type of bacon that you use. Some thick-cut slices of bacon may need closer to 30 minutes in the oven.
  • Let the bacon cool for at least a few minutes before serving. The sugars are very hot when it first comes out of the oven, and you will definitely burn your mouth if you try to eat it immediately. The bacon will continue to firm up and will become even more crispy as it cools.

Nutrition

Serving: 2strips of candied baconCalories: 288kcalCarbohydrates: 28gProtein: 6gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 29mgSodium: 299mgPotassium: 124mgSugar: 27gVitamin A: 16IUCalcium: 23mgIron: 1mg
Keyword: candied bacon, candied bacon recipe, pig candy, pig candy recipe
Course: Appetizer, Breakfast, Brunch, Dessert
Cuisine: American, Southern
Author: Blair Lonergan
blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

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Comments

  1. Michelle says:

    5 stars
    The best! I could eat the whole pound! I make a grilled cheese with apples, dijon mustard, and chopped pig candy. Soooooo goooood!

    1. The Seasoned Mom says:

      That sounds incredible, Michelle!