CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES with CANDIED VEGETARIAN BACON with Maple Butter Cream Frosting and Spiced Fresh Cherries
 Follow directions on one box of Chocolate Devil's Food cake (use GF chocolate cake mix for GF variation).
 Replace 1/2 cup of water called for with coffee and add 1/2 tablespoon of vanilla to batter.
 Use cupcake tin. Insert cupcake wrappers into the tin. Place roughly 1/4cup of batter (2/3 full) into each cupcake wrapper and then, if you desire, top each cupcake with about a tablespoon of spiced cherries (fresh cherries spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg, and a pinch of cayenne)
 Bake according to instructions on cake mix box.
Maple Butter Cream Frosting--
 Cream together 2-sticks unsalted butter at room temperature, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, 1 pound confectioner's sugar, and 1/3 cup pure maple syrup. Add cinnamon to taste and 1 teaspoon salt; both optional.
 Transfer frosting to a gallon-sized zip-lock bag that will serve as your pastry bag (or use dedicated pastry bag if available). Cut a hole in one corner of the plastic ziploc bag and pipe frosting onto cupcakes when cooled.
Vegetarian Candied Bacon--
 Create spice rub for veggie bacon using 3/4 cup brown sugar, a pinch of curry powder, about 1/2 tablespoon cinnamon, and cayenne pepper to your taste.
 Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and turn the oven to 300degres F.
 Using 5-6 slices of vegetarian bacon (I used Morningstar Farms) pat on a thick coating of the spice rub on each side of the bacon.***
 Bake for approximately 10-13 minutes and let cool before garnishing the tops of your cupcakes post-frosting.
***NOTE: For GF variation do NOT use Morningstar brand veggie bacon. It does contain wheat products. Instead, if you are GF but not vegetarian use real bacon. For GF and vegetarian, you can try to use brands like this: Augason Farms Gluten Free, Vegetarian Bacon Bits