Special equipment: a pastry bag fitted with a large closed-star tip
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Put the bacon in a cold pan over medium-high heat, flipping three-quarters of the way through cooking, until crisp, about 10 minutes. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate and reserve the fat.
Grease a 12-cup muffin tin with some of the reserved fat and set aside. In a big bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and some salt.
In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, buttermilk and 2 tablespoons of the reserved bacon fat to a uniform color.
Chop 10 slices of the bacon coarsely into roughly 1/4-inch pieces. Finely chop the remaining 2 slices and set aside.
Quickly but gently fold the liquid mixture into the dry mixture. (It should be a loose batter, not a dough. If not, add just a tad more buttermilk or even some cream.) Then, fold in the coarsely chopped bacon.
Divide the batter among the muffin cups in the prepared tin and bake until the tops are golden and a toothpick comes out somewhat clean, 15 to 18 minutes. Let cool for 7 minutes, then turn them out upside-down so they develop a nice thin crust on the baked edge. Cool to just warm or room temperature before frosting, another 7 to 10 minutes.
Beat the honey, butter and a pinch of salt together with a hand mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer until light and fluffy. Transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a large closed-star tip and pipe a generous tablespoon on the tops of each of the cupcakes. Serve.
Recipe courtesy of Duff Goldman