Honey Cupcakes Baked in Ham | Cupcake Project

Honey Cupcakes Baked in Ham

As far as I know, this is the first cupcake recipe baked in ham ever developed.  I baked a honey cake inside of a piece of ham to recreate a flavor of honeyed ham. With so many cupcakes out there now featuring bacon (see my beer cupcakes with bacon cheddar frosting, French Toast bacon cupcakes from The Busty Baker, and Cakespy’s ode to bacon cupcakes as evidence), I figured, “Why not salute a different part of the pig?”!

What surprised people the most about the cupcakes in ham was that the ham flavor was not strong – some even said they couldn’t taste it. The ham acts as an edible, environmentally friendly (depending on where your ham comes from) cupcake liner. If anything, it adds a salty flavor to each bite, which gives a zen sweet and salty effect.

The best cupcake bites are the ones with all of the components – pineapple, frosting, ham, and cake.  So, don’t be shy; primally tear through both the ham and pineapple to achieve cupcake nirvana.

 Honey Cupcake Baked in Ham Recipe

Update 12/14/11:  You can’t go wrong with the honey cake recipe in this post, but I’d recommend my latest honey cake recipe (it’s found at the bottom of the linked post). It’s my new favorite!

I got the recipe for the honey cake by modifying a honey cake recipe that I found on Smitten Kitchen. Deb of Smitten Kitchen got the recipe from the book A Treasury of Jewish Holiday Baking by Marcy Goldman. I’m sure Marcy would never have envisioned her holiday honey cake being bastardized into these ham-cradled treats, but once you create something, it’s out there for people to do with as they please.

Honey Cupcakes Baked in Ham

Yield: Makes 17-20 cupcakes (If you aren't baking in ham, this recipe would produce fewer cupcakes.)

Honey Cupcakes Baked in Ham


  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup pineapple juice
  • 1/2 cup whiskey
  • 17-20 thinly sliced pieces of ham (I used Black Forest ham, which has those nice looking black edges.)


  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and allspice.
  2. Add oil, honey, sugar, brown sugar, eggs, vanilla, juice, and whiskey. If you use the same measuring cup and you measure your oil before the honey, it will be easier to get all of the honey out of the cup.
  3. Using a strong wire whisk or in an electric mixer on slow speed, stir together to make a thick, well-blended batter, making sure that no ingredients are stuck to the bottom.
  4. Place one slice of ham in each well of the cupcake tin. Try to make sure that the part on the bottom and sides of the pan has no holes in it. I found that most of the slices of ham I bought had holes, so I just ensured that the holes were positioned toward the top of the cupcake tin.
  5. Spoon batter into the ham, as shown in the photo above.
  6. Bake at 350 F for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. If you put this recipe into a normal cupcake liner sans ham, it will bake in about 20 minutes.


Top these cupcakes with cinnamon cream cheese frosting and candied pineapple. See the bottom of this post for more information.



A Few Pictures of The Cupcakes Just Out of the Oven

I loved how nicely the ham crisped up. I wasn’t sure how well it would support the cake, but it worked splendidly.

Each cupcake had its own personality:

The Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

I topped the cupcakes with cinnamon cream cheese frosting. I’ve made this frosting recipe many times. It’s a keeper! These cupcakes would also work well with a brown sugar penuche frosting.

The Topper

Of course, I topped my cupcakes with candied pineapple. Rather than just sitting on top of the cupcake, when eaten the next day, the flavor from the candied pineapple seeped into the whole cupcake and pulled it all together!


My idea of baking something in ham was not original. I got the idea for the crispy ham shells from my Taste and Create partner this month, Min at The Bad Girl’s Kitchen. Min made baked eggs and mushrooms in ham crisps.  When I saw the ham crisps that looked exactly like cupcake liners, I just about squealed with joy!

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40 Responses to Honey Cupcakes Baked in Ham

  1. RobynsOnlineWorld May 19, 2009 at 4:04 pm #

    Saw your tweet about a honey baked ham cupcake and HAD to come see what it was about – amazing! I wish I was that imaginative with baking!

  2. Krissi May 19, 2009 at 4:07 pm #

    Holy cow! …errr “pig.”

  3. Min May 19, 2009 at 4:08 pm #

    Your creativity amazes me. I don’t know that I’ll ever make these, but I’m sure the brown sugar frosting would be fabulous.

  4. Nevis May 19, 2009 at 4:13 pm #

    YUM! If only the ham has bacon, though. I wonder if you could wrap the cupcakes in bacon?

  5. SusanIsk May 19, 2009 at 4:17 pm #

    I’m telling your rabbi.

  6. Amanda May 19, 2009 at 6:48 pm #

    At first, I was horrified. But then I thought about how tasty the bacon cupcakes were that I made a while back. And then I remembered how mouth-watering the candied pineapple looked. And I remembered that I have been wanting to make a honey cake for months.

    So… I think I might be converted. :) What a fun twist!

  7. veggievixen May 19, 2009 at 7:17 pm #

    what the heck?!?! this is either the coolest or the wackiest thing i’ve ever seen. either way i’m kind of impressed.

  8. Martha May 19, 2009 at 7:17 pm #

    Oh wow! That’s like Christmas, Easter or New Year’s all rolled into a cupcake.

  9. Pinky May 19, 2009 at 8:56 pm #

    The bacon and sweets thing hasn’t appealed to me too much, but ham and honey cake sounds like something I could get behind. And anything resembling candied or dried pineapple is winner with me (I use to choose candied pineapple over chocolates as a child)

  10. Little Miss Cupcake May 19, 2009 at 11:09 pm #

    Wow! What an ingenious idea! I love how you used the ham slices as a cupcake wrapper. I’m not whole hog on the bacon cupcake wagon but I’d definitely love to have tried one of these for the novelty (and fun) of it!

  11. Michele May 20, 2009 at 5:05 am #

    I know that I already told you this on twitter but I love this. It’s so cool and creative!

  12. Eliana May 20, 2009 at 5:34 am #

    WOW – you never cease to amaze me. You are one creative girl. These cupcakes looks outstanding.

  13. Nancy May 20, 2009 at 6:04 am #

    Possibly the prettiest cupcakes ever.

  14. Ivy May 20, 2009 at 7:34 am #

    You are hilarious! These are amazing and you need to publish a book of all your amazing cupcakes.
    Some may read it for the recipes but just in general it would be such a great entertaining coffee table book.

    You and baby have a good day! :)

  15. stephchows May 20, 2009 at 9:19 am #

    That is one seriously fun idea!! And great pics :)

  16. oneordinaryday May 20, 2009 at 2:04 pm #

    Holy cow. So fun and creative!!

  17. How To Eat A Cupcake May 20, 2009 at 3:20 pm #

    All I gotta say is… you go girl!! 😛 Lol

  18. Emily Nine May 20, 2009 at 3:32 pm #

    holy cow, this is AWESOME.

  19. Grace May 21, 2009 at 2:50 am #

    this is me, giving you a standing ovation. wow, stef, i’m amazed, flabbergasted, and hungry. great idea and wonderful execution–i can’t praise your creativity and talents enough here!

  20. Danielle May 21, 2009 at 3:13 am #

    Oh wow! I should not have visited your blog with my lunch break a whole 45 minutes away. These look incredible and I am now, officially, starving!

  21. Cakespy May 21, 2009 at 12:15 pm #

    I do have to say, these would be an interesting brunch item!

  22. Mermaid Sweets May 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm #

    Wow, I think you have really outdone yourself this time, and that’s tough to do.

  23. Elyse May 21, 2009 at 5:49 pm #

    These cupcakes are hysterical!! What a creative idea. Totally love it. Nope, these cupcakes don’t intimidate me at all. I really want to try one!! Plus, they look super cute!

  24. Rizzo Tees May 22, 2009 at 6:37 am #

    OMG u have to be kidding me…. let’s EAT!

  25. Lisa May 22, 2009 at 7:58 am #

    Yet another amazing first. I love your style!

  26. Danae May 22, 2009 at 8:48 pm #

    Thanks for linking my Bacon cupcakes! I have to say, these look ah-mazing. And I can now tell my boyfriend that baking the cupcake in meat actually works. And works really well. He suggested it for my cupcakes, and I mocked him relentlessly. I now stand corrected. Maybe we’ll just keep this our little secret so I don’t have to admit I was wrong 😛

  27. Kevin May 25, 2009 at 5:32 pm #

    What a great idea! These cupcakes sound so good!

  28. Keith May 28, 2009 at 6:22 am #

    I’ll bet this would be great with cornbread instead of cake. I’m going to try it that way. Thanks for the inspiration.

  29. the ungourmet June 8, 2009 at 7:48 pm #

    Wow! I have got to try this! I keep seeing cupcakes with bacon but this one looks even better!

  30. AK Lei September 6, 2009 at 2:39 pm #

    I am amazed at your cupcakes and this is the first recipe that I tried! So it is not the last honey ham cupcake that will ever be made! It turned out pretty well. :) Thanks for inspiration!!

  31. TeeLynnLloyd January 2, 2010 at 8:46 pm #

    I wish I’d found this recipe when we had leftover Thanksgiving and Christmas ham…

    Just the phrase “if you’re baking in ham” gave me the giggles! Will definitely bookmark this recipe for the next time we bake a ham at home and have leftovers. I make a marinade with pineapples, ground cloves and brown sugar which I imagine would lend a great flavor to the honey cake.

  32. Stef January 3, 2010 at 8:35 pm #

    Tee – I bet that marinade would be fantastic in cake! Great idea!

  33. Mormishmom June 16, 2010 at 8:20 pm #

    These are awesome! We showed them off on our blog.


  34. Marcie May 7, 2012 at 4:32 pm #

    These are too darn cute. I would love for you to share them on my Fantastic Cupcake linky list in the left hand column of http://www.igottatrythat.com
    Thanks, Marcie

  35. Carole December 13, 2012 at 11:25 am #

    Hi there. Food on Friday: Muffins and Cupcakes is open for entries. This looks like a neat one! I do hope you link it in. This is the link . Please check out some of the great links there are already. Cheers


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