How to Make Dunkin’ Donuts Sweet Black Pepper Bacon at Home

Dunkin’ Donuts has made a name for itself with its deliciously sweet and smoky Snackin’ Bacon. This candied bacon is coated in a mixture of brown sugar and black pepper, then baked until crispy and caramelized. If you love this addictive treat but don’t live near a Dunkin’ location, have no fear – you can easily recreate this recipe at home!

In this step-by-step guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know to make Dunkin’ style sweet black pepper bacon in your own kitchen.

Overview of Dunkin’ Donuts Snackin’ Bacon

Before we get into the nitty gritty of recreating this recipe, let’s look at what makes Dunkin’s Snackin’ Bacon so special:

  • Sweet and savory – The brown sugar provides a lovely sweetness that complements the salty, umami flavor of the bacon. A touch of black pepper adds subtle heat.

  • Crisp and caramelized – Baking the bacon with the brown sugar topping makes it incredibly crispy with tasty browned bits.

  • Smoky and peppery – You get a nice hint of smoke from the bacon along with peppery notes from the black pepper crust.

  • Easy to eat – The candied bacon is the ultimate finger food It’s perfect for snacking anytime

Ingredients Needed

Recreating the Dunkin’ Donuts bacon at home is simple because you need just three ingredients

  • Bacon – Use a thick-cut, good quality bacon for the best texture. Go for applewood smoked if you want an extra smoky flavor.

  • Light brown sugar – The light brown sugar provides sweetness without overpowering the bacon. Dark brown sugar would be too molasses-like.

  • Coarsely ground black pepper – Freshly cracked pepper is best to give you those peppery bites.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Follow these simple steps for candied bacon just like Dunkin’ Donuts:

1. Prepare the baking sheets

  • Line two rimmed baking sheets with aluminum foil or parchment paper.

  • The foil prevents the sugar mixture from sticking and makes clean-up easy.

2. Mix the brown sugar and pepper

  • In a small bowl, combine 1⁄2 cup light brown sugar with 1-11⁄2 teaspoons freshly cracked black pepper.

  • Use your fingers to fully incorporate the pepper into the brown sugar.

3. Coat the bacon

  • Arrange bacon slices in a single layer on the prepared baking sheets.

  • Sprinkle the tops generously with the brown sugar mixture, pressing it lightly into the bacon.

  • Make sure the bacon is fully coated and not overlapping.

4. Bake the bacon

  • Bake at 400°F for 16-18 minutes, checking frequently toward the end.

  • The bacon will caramelize and darken – watch closely to avoid burning.

  • Rotate the pan halfway through for even cooking if needed.

5. Cool and serve

  • When done, remove pans from the oven and let cool 1-2 minutes.

  • Transfer bacon strips to a wire rack or paper towels to set up before serving.

  • Enjoy right away or store in an airtight container for snacking later.

Cooking Tips for Perfect Bacon

Follow these tips to ensure your homemade Dunkin’ style bacon turns out perfect every time:

  • Use thick-cut bacon at least 1⁄4 inch thick – thin bacon will burn too quickly.

  • Make sure your oven is fully preheated before baking.

  • Don’t overcrowd the bacon on the pans to ensure even cooking.

  • Check the bacon frequently toward the end of baking time.

  • Let the cooked bacon cool slightly before handling so the brown sugar sets.

Serving Suggestions

Dunkin’ Donuts Snackin’ Bacon is delicious on its own, but you can also enjoy it in fun ways:

  • Crumble it over salads for a sweet and salty crunch.

  • Include crispy bits in mac and cheese or potato casseroles.

  • Make candied bacon donut holes for an indulgent breakfast.

  • Use as a topping on burgers, pizza, baked potatoes, etc.

  • Serve on a charcuterie board with fruits, cheeses, nuts and jams.


To store leftover sweet black pepper bacon:

  • Let cool completely after baking.

  • Place in an airtight container or zip-top bag.

  • Refrigerate for up to 5 days.

  • Reheat briefly in the microwave before serving to restore crispness if desired.


Here are answers to some common questions about recreating Dunkin’s famous Snackin’ Bacon:

Why use light brown sugar instead of dark?

The light brown sugar provides sweetness without being overpowering. Dark brown sugar would give too strong of a molasses flavor.

Can I use bacon that isn’t thick-cut?

Thinner bacon may burn too quickly in the oven before the brown sugar caramelizes. Opt for the thickest cut bacon you can find.

Is liquid smoke an acceptable substitute for real wood smoked bacon?

Wood smoked bacon will give you the closest flavor to Dunkin’s. Add liquid smoke sparingly if needed for extra smoky notes.

Do I really need to use freshly cracked black pepper?

Yes! The flavor and mild heat of freshly cracked pepper is much better than pre-ground.

Can I freeze the cooled bacon for longer storage?

It’s best to store in the fridge, not the freezer. The brown sugar tends to weep when frozen.

Final Thoughts

Recreating Dunkin’ Donuts cult-favorite Snackin’ Bacon at home is easy with just three ingredients and a few simple baking steps. The key is using high quality thick-cut bacon, light brown sugar and freshly cracked black pepper. Bake until crispy and caramelized, then enjoy this candied bacon on its own or as a topping for all types of dishes. With this step-by-step guide, you’ll be indulging in sweet, smoky bacon anytime.

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