Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour two 9-inch cake pans.
Stir cake mix, water, oil, and eggs together in a large bowl until moistened; beat with an electric mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes. Pour cake mixture into prepared pans.
Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes; cool completely, about 30 minutes.
Place bacon in a large skillet and cook over medium-high heat, turning occasionally, until evenly browned and crisp, about 10 minutes. Drain bacon slices on paper towels. When cool enough to handle, crumble bacon into a small bowl.
Beat butter until creamy with an electric mixer in a bowl; slowly beat in 2 cups confectioners' sugar until well blended. Beat maple syrup and vanilla extract into butter mixture until smooth and creamy; beat in remaining confectioners' sugar as needed until frosting mixture is a spreadable consistency. Fold crumbled bacon into frosting.
Place one cake layer on a serving plate; spread about 1/2 cup bacon frosting evenly over cake. Place second cake layer over the first; spread remaining frosting evenly over sides and top of cake.
Draw or print a maple leaf shape on a piece of paper. Fold the page in half down the center of the leaf; cut along the outline so that you will have a hole in the paper in the shape of a maple leaf. Center the paper on top of the frosted cake; press down slightly on the cut edges. Sprinkle the open area with red sugar; gently remove the paper stencil.
You can add 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon maple extract to the frosting for more intense maple flavour. You could do the same to the cake batter. I would recommend cutting the bacon in half or thirds before wrapping it on!
You can make this as a 4-layer cake also. Slice cake layers horizontally in half using a long piece of dental floss or strong thread. You will also need to increase the amount of frosting you make by 50%.
I've wrapped bacon around the outside of the cake for decoration. You'll need an additional 5 slices bacon. I recommend cutting the bacon strips in half or in thirds to make cutting the cake easier.
Aluminum foil helps keep food moist, ensures it cooks evenly, keeps leftovers fresh, and makes clean-up easy.
Per Serving: 518 calories;28.5 g fat;
62.3 g carbohydrates;
5.1 g protein;
92 mg cholesterol;
366 mg sodium.