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Ultimate Million Dollar Bacon Recipe

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This is called Million Dollar Bacon for good reason. It consists of yummy pieces of thick bacon covered in brown sugar, spices, and maple syrup—the perfect mix of sweet, spicy, and salty. 

million dollar bacon on a rack


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Full Recipe Ingredients/Instructions are available in the 
recipe card at the bottom of the post. 
You can find important tips/tricks in the
blog post.

If you see “Million Dollar Bacon” on a restaurant menu, you should definitely order it. It’s a known item at a restaurant called First Watch, and it is amazing. All of the food there is amazing, but what really stands out is their take on candied bacon. 

It’s not only deliciously sweet but also has the perfect hint of spice. At my first bite, I knew why it had its name. It truly made me feel like a million bucks. 

My Hubby requested that I make it at home, so I did. Now, I must share it because this delicious bacon should not be a secret. 

Check out my how to bake bacon in the oven and air fryer bacon recipes too.

Ingredients for Million Dollar Bacon

  • Bacon: The star of the dish, bacon provides a savory, smoky flavor with a crispy texture. Thick bacon is best for a chewy texture and holding onto flavors. Thin bacon works well for faster cooking and a crispy result.
  • Sweeteners: Brown Sugar and maple syrup add a sweet, molasses-like flavor that caramelizes the bacon, creating a sticky, crunchy coating. This balances the bacon’s savory saltiness with a hint of sweetness.
  • Seasongs: Fresh Cracked Black Pepper and cayenne pepper: (½ teaspoon): Complents the sweetness and saltiness of the dish.

Tools Needed

  • Baking sheet
  • Aluminum foil or parchment paper
  • Cooling rack (optional)
  • Mixing bowl

How to make Million Dollar Bacon

First, move your oven rack to the middle rack and proceed to preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a small bowl, combine your brown sugar, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Set aside. 

Next, get a pack of thick-cut bacon. You can use regular bacon if that’s what you have, but thick-cut bacon provides a nice balance of crispiness and a chewy, jerky-like texture. I strongly recommend it. 

Grab some foil paper and lay it on a baking sheet. Lay your bacon on the sheet and cover both sides with the brown sugar mixture. 

bacon laid on baking pan with foil with hand putting brown sugar in it

You want the sugar mixture all over your bacon.

bacon laying on baking tray with brown sugar all over it

Place your bacon in your preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes. Open oven and flip bacon pieces and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes, until the bacon is done. 

million dollar bacon in the oven

Remove bacon and move to a cooling rack. You may use a paper towel to remove any excess grease on the bacon.

bacon on cooling rack

Drizzle bacon with maple syrup.

hand drizzling maple syrup over bacon

Serve warm.

million dollar bacon on rack with maple syrup on it

Tanya’s Notes on Millionaire Bacon

  • Whether or not to use a rack when baking is the question. I’ve tested both ways and preferred to bake it on the baking sheet without a rack. The bacon was able to soak up all that sugary spicy goodness in the oven without it dripping off during baking. You can use a paper towel to dab up any excess grease after baking but before drizzling the maple syrup.
  • If you’re not using thick cut bacon, decrease the baking times by about half. 
  • This bacon can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge for a few days. 

Looking for more breakfast recipes? Try these out:

Watch this video tutorial and see how I make this bacon from start to finish.

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4.94 from 15 votes

Million Dollar Bacon

This Million Dollar Bacon recipe is the perfect candied bacon recipe for a crowd. It’s the perfect mix of sweet and spicy and will have all your family and friends impressed.
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Keyword million dollar bacon
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 5 people
Calories 364kcal
Author Tanya


  • 10 pieces thick cut bacon
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 Tablespoon maple syrup


  • Place oven rack on center rack. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Combine brown sugar, black pepper, and cayenne pepper in a bowl. Set aside.
  • Place foil on a 13×9 baking sheet. Add bacon in a single layer.
  • Cover both sides of pieces of bacon with the brown sugar mixture.
  • Bake in preheated oven on center rack for 20 minutes, then flip and cook for 15-20 minutes on other side.
  • Remove bacon from oven and place on cooling rack to dry.
  • Cover bacon with maple syrup

Suggested Tools



  • If you prefer, you can bake the bacon on racks in the oven to drain off excess fat while baking. I prefer to bake without a rack and use paper towels after baking to dab up any excess grease. 
  • Not all thick bacon is created equally. Some bacon is labeled as “thick” bacon when it truly isn’t. If using thinner bacon, start checking for doneness after 20 minutes. 


Calories: 364kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 48mg | Sodium: 481mg | Potassium: 175mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 65IU | Calcium: 21mg | Iron: 0.4mg
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Although attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Under no circumstances will be responsible for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information.

This post was originally published on July, 18 2019. It has been updated with additional helpful information.

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Recipe Rating

Kristin Johnson

Sunday 6th of February 2022

Burned and smoked up whole house. 😫 35-40 minutes cook time I guess is too long. Assuming the others knew this. I will try again next weekend for 20 minutes only. I’m not a good cook so follow directions exactly which did not work on this recipe. Other newbies - either flip after 10 minutes or maybe not at all?


Sunday 6th of February 2022

Hi Kristin, it looks like you missed this note in the recipe card. "Not all thick bacon is created equally. Some bacon is labeled as “thick” bacon when it truly isn’t. If using thinner bacon, start checking for doneness after 20 minutes." If your bacon is thinner, flip it at around 10 minutes. I'd love to hear how it turns out for you when you try again.


Monday 15th of November 2021

Attempted twice. The first time my "thick cut" Bacon was not thick and absolutely burnt to a crisp. You did warn me. The second time worked wonderfully, cooked for 22 minutes. It's great, but I cannot tell if it's better with or without the maple syrup. I ended up only covering half in the maple syrup and ate the other half without (there was no leftover). Thank you!


Sunday 20th of June 2021

I use coconut sugar and sugar free maple syrup making it a lower sugar treat for my Type 2 Diabetic husband. I found a tad more cayenne pepper was needed for a spice to meet the sweet.


Wednesday 3rd of March 2021

We’ve made this four or five times and comes out great each time!


Thursday 4th of March 2021

Thanks Jess! So glad you like the recipe.


Sunday 28th of February 2021

Thank you! We just had this yesterday, so i was going to experiment! If you cut the slices in half before cooking, you get crisper ends on all sides. I cut the sweet a bit by pulling back on the brown sugar. You don’t have to season the second side until you flip, which saves some effort. Again to make less sweet and more sticky, I drizzled with syrup with molasses. Absolutely should glaze under the heating element on broil for 1-2 minutes (watching) after the syrup/molasses... First Watch bacon is a little soggy for my taste, so that made it devine!