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Whipped Goat Cheese with Warm Candied Bacon and Dates, the no-fuss holiday appetizer that’s addictive, festive, and perfect for entertaining! It’s quick, easy, and everyone loves this creamy goat cheese dip with spicy-sweet candied bacon and dates. We’ve got bacon tossed with a little sugar and spice, then baked up with dates until it’s candied and completely delicious. There never seems to be enough of this easy dip…addictive, festive, and perfect for holiday entertaining!

Whipped Goat Cheese with Warm Candied Bacon and Dates | halfbakedharvest.com
 

It’s officially appetizer season! I’ve said this before, but my appetizer recipes are lacking compared to dinners and sweet treats. I have no idea why, but I just don’t share enough appetizers…except for when the holidays roll around. In which case I love a good appetizer recipe.

For the last few weeks I’ve been really scratching my brain thinking up holiday recipes. I want this year’s recipes to really be some of the best! So I looked back at some old favorites. The ones our moms and grandmas would make. I asked myself, how can I reinvent these a bit. Make them even more delicious? Possibly easier?

Some recipes were kind of a lost cause, but there were others that gave me so much inspiration.

Bacon wrapped dates are one of those vintage-style recipes that many people love to serve at holiday parties. It’s funny because in general, dates are not the most popular food, but when you wrap them up in bacon?

Everyone loves them.

I wanted to reinvent the classic appetizer and turn it into an easy-to-make dip. I had to rework this one a bit, but I’m so in love with the recipe. It’s delicious.

Whipped Goat Cheese with Warm Candied Bacon and Dates | halfbakedharvest.com

The bacon

Start with the bacon, I love a spicy-sweet candied bacon so I knew I needed to incorporate that here. The bacon gets tossed with fresh rosemary, a small amount of brown sugar, honey…and then a good pinch of cayenne. It’s spicy, sweet, and with hints of rosemary, so delicious.

Toss that all up on a baking sheet, add some plump torn dates, and bake everything together until the bacon caramelizes.

Whipped Goat Cheese with Warm Candied Bacon and Dates | halfbakedharvest.com

The goat cheese

While the bacon is cooking, mix up the goat cheese. Add the goat cheese to a food processor with cream cheese, olive oil, and salt. Then whip everything together until the cheese is light and creamy, it’s easy.

Then mix up some honey with rosemary and cayenne for serving.

Whipped Goat Cheese with Warm Candied Bacon and Dates | halfbakedharvest.com

Serve it up

Spoon the creamy goat cheese into a nice shallow bowl, then spoon the warm bacon and dates over the cheese. Drizzle with the sweet and spicy honey, then enjoy with toasted bread for dipping.

Honestly, it’s pretty close to being the perfect holiday appetizer. And the rosemary keeps them flavorful and festive too with that pop of green.

Just as great for Thanksgiving as it will be for all upcoming holiday gatherings. I know I’ll be making this over and over throughout the holiday season. We already love whipped goat cheese…this is just BETTER!

Whipped Goat Cheese with Warm Candied Bacon and Dates | halfbakedharvest.com

Looking for other easy holiday appetizers?? Here are my favorites: 

Sweet and Savory Cheesy Bacon Wrapped Puff Pastry Twists

Goat Cheese Stuffed Bacon Wrapped Dates

Pull Apart Roasted Garlic Pizza Dip Sliders

Lastly, if you make this Whipped Goat Cheese with Warm Candied Bacon and Dates, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

Whipped Goat Cheese with Warm Candied Bacon and Dates

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories Per Serving: 240 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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Ingredients

Instructions

  • 1. Preheat the oven to 400° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
    2. On the baking sheet, toss together the bacon, 1 tablespoon rosemary, the brown sugar, 1 teaspoon honey, and the cayenne. Arrange in an even layer. Tear the dates and scatter them around the bacon. Bake 8-10 minutes, until the bacon is crisping.
    3. Meanwhile, combine the goat cheese, cream cheese, olive oil, and a pinch of salt in a food processor and pulse until smooth and creamy. The goat cheese mix can be kept in the fridge for up to 3 days, but bring to room temp before serving.
    4. In a small bowl, combine 1/3 cup honey, 1 tablespoon rosemary, a pinch of cayenne – to taste, and a pinch of salt.
    5. Spoon the goat cheese into a serving bowl and then top with the warm bacon and dates. Drizzle over a little the rosemary honey. Serve with bread or crackers.

Notes

To Make Ahead: the goat cheese can be made 3 days ahead and kept in the fridge. Bring to room temperature before serving. The bacon/dates can be assembled and refrigerated for up to a day before baking. 
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Whipped Goat Cheese with Warm Candied Bacon and Dates | halfbakedharvest.com

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This was excellent! So fun to make and easy to serve multiple days for our out of town guests. Will definitely add this to my holiday rotation!

  2. Hi
    Would love to make this but not a goat cheese fan..any suggestions on what else might work? Thank you ❤️

    1. Hey Michelle,
      Ricotta or feta cheese would both be great here. Please let me know if you have any other questions, I hope this recipe turns out well for you! xx

  3. 5 stars
    Came here to review this recipe because it was AWESOME! Made it for a Thanksgiving app and followed the directions exactly except I had to pan fry my bacon and dates because the oven was full with the turkey. The dates got a little mushed up with the bacon but it was still amazing. I served it with sliced baguettes and flat breads. The spicy rosemary honey topping was so good and pulled everything together so well. There wasn’t a drop left and I had to give out the recipe for some upcoming family Christmas parties. Thanks so much!

    1. Hey Angie,
      Happy Sunday!!⛄️ Thanks to your friend for making this recipe and you sharing your feedback, so glad to hear it was enjoyed! xxT

    1. Hey Analisa,
      Happy Sunday!!⛄️ I truly appreciate you making this recipe and sharing your feedback, so glad to hear it was enjoyed! xxT

    1. 5 stars
      This was amazing! I brought it to a party and everyone loved it. It was spicy, sweet, and savory- the flavors complimented each other for a winning combination.

  4. 5 stars
    The perfect thanksgiving appetizer! This will become tradition for us I think. It is rich, so you naturally don’t eat a lot of it, so you don’t get full for your turkey! It would be decadent for Christmas too.

    We ended up without room in our oven so I had to sautée the mixture. If you were to do so, I’d recommend cooking the bacon most of the way, then adding the dates and brown sugar so your pan doesn’t start to burn with the sugar. It was less pretty this way, but still worked great and tasted amazing!

    Thank you for another wonderful recipe!

  5. 5 stars
    This was such a huge hit! Everyone loved it. I also love how everything can be prepped ahead of time. Just warm up the bacon mixture in the microwave before assembling the dip.

    1. Hey Marie,
      Thank you so much for making this recipe, I love to hear that it was a winner! I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! xx

  6. Love the recipe but think I will cook bacon halfway then add date… still delish but bacon did not cook before dates started to overcook. Oops.. but house smells awesome!

    1. Hi Susan,
      Thank you so much for making this recipe, I love to hear that it was a winner! I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! xx

  7. Happy Thanksgiving!

    I’m currently making this spread and I can’t seem to get my goat cheese/cream cheese mix smooth! I’m using a hand mixer but it’s still not smooth. Any tips are greatly appreciated!

    1. Warm it in the microwave for 45 seconds! I don’t have a food processor and just mixed by hand, and it’s perfectly whipped, creamy, and smooth!

    1. Hey Cathy,
      Wonderful!! Thanks so much for making this recipe, I love to hear that it was enjoyed!! Happy Thanksgiving! 🦃

    1. Hi Katie,
      You can use any bread you like, I usually use a French bread loaf, slice it and then bake at 350 until golden:) I hope you love the recipe! xx

  8. This recipe is amazing! When cooking the dates, they came out pretty hard. Any tips on how to avoid this for next time? Smaller pieces?

    1. Hey Jena,
      Awesome!! Love to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks for making it and sharing your review:) Hmmm, did you use fresh dates? I would not go smaller, maybe add them towards the end of the baking time. Happy Thanksgiving! 🍽

  9. Hi Tieghan!

    I would love to make this dip for thanksgiving since I made the bacon wrapped fig and goat cheese bites last year and they were a huge hit! If I don’t have a food processor, is there an alternative method I could use?

    1. Hey BreAnna,
      You could also use a KitchenAid mixer or just whisk well by hand. I hope this recipe turns out well for you, please let me know if you give it a try! xx