Pink Grapefruit Cupcakes
The last time I made these was In Trinidad two years ago at the end of grapefruit season. I remember having tons of citrus while I was living there. When In season, there is a plethora of citrus - and just the best time of year next to mango season in my opinion. I made these to feed a bit of a crowd originally and they are such a hit - like little mini cake-lets- perfect for feeding many.
Getting invited or having people over is always a good excuse to try an new recipe and this is how I ended up making these. I never shy away from a new recipe even if you are trying it for the first time for company - worse case scenario it flops and you get take out or you pick up some brownies for dessert instead. These turned out to be really delicious though especially if you’re a fan of all things citrus! They are also super simple to make. The batter gets mixed with a spatula and the whole recipe is made from very basic ingredients. The yogurt and coconut oil/ vegetable oil makes them moist with a slight crumble and slightly more dense than your regular cupcake - like I said they resemble a little cake-let.
I love the simplicity of the butter cream too. There’s just enough grapefruit infused in both the batter and the frosting without being too intense. They aren’t super tart or bitter if you are worried about that and you can use any variety of grapefruits you would like. In fact you could definitely use any citrus with this recipe. This time around I used pink grapefruit and decided to use a buttercream instead of a cream cheese frosting. I included both so that you have options. Cream cheese frosting is always a win but buttercream frosting is lighter and also way easier to pipe. So if you want to get fancy with your frosting swirls I recommend doing the buttercream frosting. The recipe for the frosting is from Rosie Daykin and the best buttercream recipe ever!! It’s simple and perfect every time.
I originally decorated the cupcakes with candied grapefruit infused with rosemary. It’s something I really wanted to test and they turned out beautifully but I used fresh slices this time for ease and the pink grapefruit was too pretty fresh not to use that way. I included the recipe below if you wanted to try it. You can use this same recipe for making any kind of candied citrus slices. It’s the simplest one I have seen out there and all I did differently from the original recipe is infuse the sugar water with the rosemary which actually turned out wonderfully. But you don’t have to infuse it with rosemary or anything. That is totally an optional step.
This is a pretty basic recipe overall and I think you will enjoy adding it to your cupcake repertoire! When I decided to remake these I shared a story on them on Instagram with a poll or how you wanted me to make them - in cupcake form or cake form infused or simple. By a long shot you guys chose simple and to leave the recipe in cupcake form. I listened and I left them super simple and without any infusion and in cupcake form. (But I left the alternative frosting recipe below along with the the candied citrus) Hope you give them a try!
Ingredients (makes 12-14 cupcakes)
For the cake
- 1½ cups AP (all purpose) flour
- 1½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 3 eggs
- ¾ cup yoghurt plain full fat or Greek
- 1 cup coconut sugar or brown sugar
- ½ cup coconut oil or any vegetable oil
- ¼ cup of freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
- 1 tbsp of grapefruit zest
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350°F and line or grease your cupcake tin (12-14)
- Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium sized bowl
- In a separate large bowl, whisk the eggs until combined and then whisk in the yoghurt, sugar, oil, grapefruit juice, zest and extract.
- Pour the wet ingredient into the dry and mix with a spatula until combined. Do not over mix
- Spoon out batter evenly up to the top of liners and bake for approx 20 minutes or until cake tester or toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- Allow to cool in the pan for a few minutes and then remove and let cool completely on a wire rack before frosting
For the Pink grapefruit Butter Cream
- 1 cup Butter
- 3½ cups Icing sugar
- 2 tbsp Grapefruit juice
- 1 tbsp Grapefruit zest
- 1-2 drops of natural food colouring (optional)
- In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or using a hand mixer, beat the butter on high until its pale in colour and fluffy , and scraping down the bowl a couple of times.
- Turn the mixer on low and start adding the sugar a little at a time (I usually add it a heaping tbsp at a time).
- Once it’s all been incorporated drizzle in the grapefruit juice and sprinkle in the zest (food colouring included if using) and turn the speed back up to high and mix for another 5 minutes until butter cream is light and fluffy.
- Pipe or frost as you wish.
As an alternative here is the recipe I originally used to make the frosting out of cream cheese plus the recipe for candied grapefruit
For the cream cheese frosting
- 8 oz of cream cheese at room temperature
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- 1 tbsp freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
- ½ tsp vanilla
- ½ tsp grapefruit zest plus more for garnish (optional)
- Mix the soften cream cheese and zest if using on low until smooth and gradually add the powdered sugar alternating with the wet ingredients, grapefruit juice and vanilla.
- Transfer frosting to piping bag decorate cupcakes according to taste or just spoon icing on them.
Rosemary infused candied grapefruit slices
- 1 cup of water
- 2 cups sugar
- 10-12 slices of grapefruit that are very finely sliced either with a sharp knife or a mandolin and deseeded (2-3 grapefruits allowing for error)
- 1 sprig of Rosemary
- Blanch the grapefruit slices in boiling water for 1 to 2 minutes and then drain and plunge them into an ice bath (bowl of ice and cold water)
- Let them cool in ice bath for a few minutes and carefully remove them and set them aside
- In a shallow large pot or pan combine the sugar and water and heat to medium and stir until sugar is dissolved.
- Bring to a simmer and add the grapefruit slices in a single layer as well as the Rosemary
- Reduce heat to a very low simmer let the slices simmer (not boil) for 1 hour
- Remove the slices from the syrup and set them on a cooling rack over a cookie sheet or paper towels to cool and complete dry which could take from 12 to 24 hours so plan ahead if using to decorate cakes or anything else