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This recipe for Pink Grapefruit Cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, yields the most delicious light and refreshing cupcake!
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If you could build your dream house, what would be one feature you couldn’t live without? For me, I always dream of having a home with a large enough backyard to run and play, host outdoor dinner parties and have lots and lots of fruit trees!
Yes, I’ll admit that I sometimes get a little jealous when I see luscious fruit trees in my neighbors’ yards; and then feel a little burn, when I see the fruit just fall from the tree because of neglect. ☹
What a precious gift it would be to be able to have a fruit tree so effortlessly produce all that fruit, and all the potential delicious eats you could enjoy and share with others!
Recently, I was on the receiving end of a generous bag of grapefruit shared with me by a friend of a friend. I was so grateful and immediately the wheels in my head started turning with all the yummy ways I could enjoy all that fresh Texas grapefruit.
Sure I could make my Broiled Grapefruit with Honey Ricotta and Pistachios for breakfast each day of the week, or I could host happy hour for my girlfriends and whip up some Grapefruit Margaritas or one of my favorite cocktails, Grapefruit Sage Spritzers.
But I have been wanting to make cupcakes for Valentine’s Day, and decided Pink Grapefruit Cupcakes were a festive, but not over the top, dessert that would be perfect for this time of year!
Not to mention, this cupcake recipe is great if you aren’t a big chocolate lover (don’t worry, we can still be friends!), which can be hard this time of year, since Valentine’s Day can be a chocolate overload!
And even though I LOVE chocolate, I also LOVE citrus desserts, like this Grapefruit Olive Oil Pound Cake, my famous Lemon Bars, and this Lemon Truffle Pie. And it may or may not be a big internal battle which type of dessert to choose off the dessert menu.
Inspired by these Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes, these Pink Grapefruit Cupcakes have a perfect crumb and are absolutely heavenly with that velvety cream cheese grapefruit frosting.
The grapefruit flavor in this cupcake recipe is just enough to know it’s there, but not enough to overpower the cupcake, especially if you are not a huge grapefruit fan; making the most dreamy cupcake!
Helpful Tips and Information:
My recipe for Pink Grapefruit Cupcakes yields 12-13 cupcakes or 1 (8-inch) round grapefruit cake. However, you could easily double this recipe to make 24 cupcakes or 1 (9×13-inch) cake or a double layer 8-inch round cake.
For these Pink Grapefruit Cupcakes, I chose to make a cream cheese grapefruit frosting. The cream cheese frosting is sweet and tangy and has the most beautiful velvety texture. I highly recommend only using this cream cheese frosting on these grapefruit cupcakes and not substituting anything else.
CUPCAKE MAKE AHEAD TIPS:
These Pink Grapefruit Cupcakes can be made 2-3 days in advance and stored covered in an airtight container at room temperature.
The grapefruit frosting can be made 3-5 days in advance and stored in an air tight container in the refrigerator.
I recommend frosting the cupcakes right before serving, or you can frost them up to 24 hours in advance and store the cupcakes in an air tight container in the refrigerator. If frosting in advance, let cupcakes sit at room temperature for one hour before serving.
CUPCAKE FREEZING TIPS:
Frosted or un-frosted cupcakes can be placed in an air tight container and frozen for 2-3 months. Thaw frozen cupcakes in the refrigerator overnight.
Decorating Pink Grapefruit Cupcakes:
I chose to keep these Pink Grapefruit Cupcakes pretty simple and used a large round piping tip to pipe on the frosting. I then topped each cupcake with a small slice of grapefruit.
Another option, would be to decorated these cupcakes with pink sprinkles, grapefruit zest or a piece of candied grapefruit (see my candied orange peel tutorial).
For a pinker frosting, add 1-2 drops natural red food coloring.
If you like this Pink Grapefruit Cupcake recipe, then you’ll love these other citrus desserts!
- Pink Grapefruit Cupcakes:
- 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup 2% milk
- 1/3 cup grapefruit juice
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 ½ tablespoons grapefruit zest
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 2-3 Tablespoons fresh grapefruit juice
- 1/2 Tablespoon grapefruit zest
- Sliced grapefruit, optional for garnish
- For Pink Grapefruit Cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 12-count muffin pan with paper liners. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking
soda and salt. Set aside.
- Pour milk into a liquid measuring cup. Stir in grapefruit juice. Set aside for 3-5 minutes to allow the milk to curdle slightly.
- In a large bowl, using a hand-held mixer or in stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat together the butter, sugar and grapefruit zest on medium-high speed, beating until light and fluffy.
- Add eggs, one at a time, beating until fully incorporated.
- Lower the speed to low and mix in the vanilla.
- Add flour mixture and milk mixture, a little at a time, mixing on low just until combined. If needed, scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and mix until combined.
- Using an ice cream scoop or large cookie scoop, divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin pan, filling each cupcake cavity approximately 2/3 of the way full.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow cupcakes to cool in the muffin pan for 3-4 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
- For Cream Cheese Frosting: In a large bowl, using a hand-held mixer or stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat together butter, cream cheese, grapefruit zest, vanilla extract and salt on medium-high speed, for 1-2 minutes, or until smooth and creamy.
- Slowly beat in powdered sugar and grapefruit juice, a little at a time. Continue mixing until powdered sugar and grapefruit juice is completely added and the frosting is smooth and fluffy. Add additional grapefruit juice or powdered sugar, if needed, to reach desired consistency.
- Frost cooled cupcakes, right before serving, with prepared frosting and garnish with additional grapefruit zest, pink sprinkles or a small slice of grapefruit, if desired.
For a pinker frosting, mix in 1-2 drops natural red food coloring.
Approximately 2-3 large grapefruit will be needed for the amount of grapefruit juice, zest and garnish called for in this recipe.