The southern litmus test: If you’re drooling right now, you must have spent some time in your life below the Mason-Dixon line.

Chicken and waffles (yes, served together) is a southern tradition. And let me tell you, if you want to get your hands on some of the world’s best chicken and waffles, here in Atlanta is the place.

I wanted to pay an homage to this salty-meets-sweet southern dish the best way I know how—with cupcakes.

So here you have it. A waffle-inspired yellow buttermilk cupcake topped with maple syrup buttercream frosting and a mini helping of chicken and waffles.

And just in case that whole deal doesn’t sound amazing enough, let me tell you what else is special about these guys: Each cupcake is infused with a shot of straight-up maple syrup right in the center.

Why? Because I’m just like Buddy the Elf. I try to stick to the four main food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corns and syrup.

I completed my cupcakes with a little help from another Atlanta institution, Chick-fil-A. If you want to fry up your own bite-size bits of chicken for these ‘cakes, more power to you. But I know that I could never top Chick-fil-A’s nuggets. Plus they’re literally the perfect size.

And if you’re wondering how you eat these, I’ll let you in on a little lesser-known culinary secret: Just bite down. Make sure you wrap your teeth around each layer from top to bottom and take a huge bite of everything at once. It’s not called chicken then waffles, it’s chicken and waffles.

<

Want to get started on your own chicken and waffles cupcakes? Check out the recipe right here: