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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
    My family loved/remembered this dish from last year and I’ve been asked to bring it again! I served with ginger snaps and it made it even more festive for the holidays! Thanks for a great recipe!

    1. Hey Lauren,
      Love to hear that this recipe was so loved last year, thanks for sharing it with your family! Happy Thanksgiving! xT

  2. 5 stars
    I made this last year and my family loved it! I served with foccacia squares. The above recipe does for 10 Oz of goat cheese though, just a head’s up!

    1. Hey there,
      Amazing!! I love to hear that this recipe was a hit, thanks so much for making it! Have the best weekend!❄️

    1. Hey Stacey,
      Either one is great to use:) Please let me know if you have any other questions, I hope you love this recipe! xx

  3. 5 stars
    Oh My Goodness… these are AMAZING. I did make the night before and put in the refrigerator. Then brought out and let come to room temperature and baked. The sweet, the bacon, the honey, the tang of the goat cheese. I had picky eaters at a birthday lunch and even the could not resist.

    1. Hey Jenn,
      I truly appreciate you giving this recipe a try and sharing your feedback, love to hear that it was enjoyed!❄️ xx

  4. 5 stars
    Made this for a girls night and it was a hit! Quick question. – for the goat cheese are you using a 4oz or 8oz log?

    Thanks for your help!

    1. Hey Julie,
      I truly appreciate you giving this recipe a try and sharing your feedback, love to hear that it was enjoyed! I used an 8 ounce log:)❄️ xx

  5. 5 stars
    Ive made this recipe now 3 times as a party appetizer and every time it’s been a hit!! Super easy and love that it can be prepared beforehand. I just reheat the bacon and dates real quick in the microwave before I toss them on top. Highly recommend for a quick and easy app to bring to a holiday party

  6. Is it possible to do the candied bacon and dates on the stovetop? (My oven will be full of turkey so I won’t be able to do the bacon at the same time- but it sounds perfect for an appetizer while we wait for the turkey!)

    1. I think you definitely could do this over the stove, but would probably be a little more hands on and may have to do in batches. I haven’t noticed a difference making it the day before ( I just reheat the bacon/date mixture real quick). Making it the night before also leaves you with one less thing to worry about on the day of 😊

    2. Hey Katie,
      Sure, I don’t see why not, you could also make those in advance in the oven, that would be fine for you to do! I hope you love this recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! xx

  7. 5 stars
    Made this last Thanksgiving and my entire family loved it ! They requested it again at Christmas, I will be making it again this Holiday season

      1. Hey Christen,
        Thyme would be great to use! I hope you love this recipe, please let me know if you give this recipe a try, I hope you love it! xx

  8. This looks amazing, except for some reason I cannot stand the taste of goat cheese. I love every other kind of cheese. Could you recommend a substitute?

    1. Hey Elise,
      Feta would also be a great option for you! Please let me know if you give this recipe a try, I hope you love it! xT

  9. I have made this for a few parties and everyone loves it! I’ve had multiple people tell me they then make it for other parties that they go to.

    1. Hey Alex,
      Amazing!! So glad to hear that this recipe turned out well for you, thanks so much for making it and sharing your review:)

  10. 5 stars
    Literally my favorite cheese spread. I haven’t made a single charcuterie board without it and I make A LOT of charcuterie boards. I even got my friends making this one. 10 out of 10, would not change a thing

    1. Hi Erica,
      Figs would also be delicious here! I hope this recipe turns out amazing for you, please let me know if you give it a try! xT

  11. I have made this recipe twice and several other recipes of yours and really enjoy most of them (I have also purchase two of your cook books).

    I received a feed from the New York Times Cooking this evening with a recipe called Creamy Goat Cheese Bacon and Date Dip that was published three years ago by them – Who’s recipe is this? NYT Cooking? Yours? I’m confused.

    1. Hi Larissa,
      Thanks for trying the recipes and purchasing the cookbooks. Well, as you can see, this recipe of mine was published in November 2021, but I’m sure there are hundreds of recipes just like this for a goat cheese dip:) Not one person can “own” a dip recipe. Please let me know if you have any other questions! xx

    1. Hi Megan,
      Yes, that should work for you! I hope this recipe turns out amazing, please let me know if you give it a try! xx