Triple Grapefruit Cupcakes

I had an excellent holiday weekend. Kramer and I had lunch together on Friday, as he had to work and I had the day off, then I came home, watched A New Hope (which I think I’ve done on nearly all of my days off – it just makes me feel so warm and fuzzy inside), and did a little baking. My parents were able to drop by this weekend, too, and of course it’s always great to see them. We went to one of the pizza places in Williamsburg that Kramer and I hadn’t had the chance to check out until now; it’s called Best Pizza and it was pretty damn good. I love a super thin crust with just a touch of charcoal, and this place delivered, plus they have pitchers of beer, which believe it or not is kind of hard to find in Brooklyn. On Sunday, we had a quick breakfast with them before heading over to Nitehawk to see The Raid, which was incredible; definitely one of the best action movies I’ve seen in a long time. We grabbed a quick take out dinner at The Meatball Shop on our way home, then decided to get in bed early and do some reading – I always mean to give myself time to read before I go to sleep, but we don’t always get the chance. I just finished Tender at the Bone: Growing Up at the Table and I’m so sad it’s over, but highly recommend it if you liked, say, Kitchen Confidential or Blood, Bones & Butter.

Seeing as how it was such a nice weekend, I wanted to share this Triple Grapefruit Cupcakes with you to brighten up your Monday morning. What’s triple about them? Well, the cake itself is a light yellow cake with plenty of grapefruit zest and a tiny bit of Chambord for flavor, and the icing is a simple combination of grapefruit juice and sugar, but my favorite part is the candied grapefruit peel on top – it was delicious and I could barely keep myself from snacking on all of them while I decorated the cupcakes. Citrus is so great right now, and the grapefruit aroma is absolutely invigorating. Spring is officially here, and what better way to celebrate it than with triple the grapefruit?

Triple Grapefruit Cupcakes
Your ingredients.

Triple Grapefruit Cupcakes
Start by making your candied grapefruit peel. Slice the peel into equal strips.

Triple Grapefruit Cupcakes
Bring equal parts water and sugar to a boil, add in the zest, and simmer for 30-40 minutes or so.

Triple Grapefruit Cupcakes
Strain the zest.

Triple Grapefruit Cupcakes
Then toss with sugar.

Triple Grapefruit Cupcakes
I chopped mine a bit, but it’s up to you.

Triple Grapefruit Cupcakes
Combine your creme fraiche, sugar, eggs, and zest.

Triple Grapefruit Cupcakes
Add in the Chambord and juice, then the flour mixture and combine until just moistened.

Triple Grapefruit Cupcakes
Then divide among your muffin tins.

Triple Grapefruit Cupcakes
Bake until lightly golden, and set aside to cool. Meanwhile, make a grapefruit simple syrup with grapefruit juice and sugar.

Triple Grapefruit CupcakesTriple Grapefruit Cupcakes
Dip the warm cupcakes in the simple syrup, then, when cooled, dip them in your grapefruit glaze.

Triple Grapefruit Cupcakes
Then top with your candied grapefruit peel.

Triple Grapefruit Cupcakes

Triple Grapefruit Cupcakes
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
For the Candied Grapefruit Peel:
  • 1 grapefruit, peel intact
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups granulated sugar, divided
For the Cupcakes:
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup sour cream or creme fraiche
  • 1 cup + 3 tablespoons granulated sugar (divided)
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons Chambord (or any other fruit liqueur)
  • zest of 1 large grapefruit
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup fresh grapefruit juice
For the Glaze:
  • 1½ cups powdered sugar
  • 3½ teaspoons grapefruit juice
  1. First, make your candied grapefruit peel. Cut the peel off of the grapefruit, trying to get as little pith (with part) as possible. Cut the peel into equal sized strips. Bring 1 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar to a boil, then add in the peels and boil for 30-40 minutes, until the water looks very syrupy and the peels are curled. Strain the peels from the liquid, then toss in 1 cup of granulated sugar. Set aside to cool.
  2. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Now, make your cupcakes. Whisk together your flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside. In the bowl of your mixer, beat together the sour cream, 1 cup of sugar, eggs, and grapefruit zest. Add in the Chambord and oil and beat until combined. Gradually add in the flour until just moistened, then divide amongst your muffin cups. I did mini muffins, so I baked mine for about 12-15 minutes, but for larger cupcakes, bake them for 15-20 minutes, until golden on top and set.
  3. While the cupcakes bake, make a grapefruit simple syrup. Combine 3 tablespoons of granulated sugar with ½ cup of grapefruit juice and bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. When the cupcakes come out of the oven, wait until they are cool enough to handle, then dip the tops of the cupcakes into the grapefruit simple syrup and set aside to cool completely.
  4. When the cupcakes have cooled completely, you can make your glaze. Whisk together your powdered sugar and extra grapefruit juice, adding a bit more of either one until the consistency is thin or thick enough to dip the tops of the muffins in - you can drizzle the icing, if you like, but I think that just holding the bottoms and dipping the tops into the icing works best. Chop your candied peel a bit and sprinkle it over the iced cupcakes. Serve immediately or keep covered, in an airtight container, at room temperature, for 1 day. After 1 day, you can place them in the fridge for another 2 days.


25 Responses

  1. I simply adore grapefruit! Looks delicious!

  2. Alli says:

    These look awesome – I love grapefruits in desserts, so definitely bookmarking for future making!

    If you liked Tender at the Bone, I highly recommend you check out Comfort Me with Apples and Garlic and Sapphires, if you haven’t already – CMwA follows her life in California in the 80’s, and G&S is about her time as the NYTimes Food Critic (complete with reviews and crazy disguises).

  3. katie says:

    This is freaky, I’ve made and blogged about almost the exact same cupcakes this morning!

    Sounds like you had a wonderful food filled trip. I love the book tender at the bone too. She has written two others that follow on from this book. The 2nd one being ‘Comfot me with apples’ well worth a read

  4. These look great! I see the olive oil in the picture of the ingredients but the amount isn’t listed…how much do you use? Thanks!

  5. aarthi says:

    cupcakes looks so beautiful

  6. Rhonda says:

    I am glad you had a good weekend! That is bizarre about the beer thing. Baking scares me but those little cupcakes look so adorable and tasty.

  7. These look great for a tasty spring/summer treat!

  8. Looks incredible. And I’m really loving the triple dose of grapefruit. Yum!

  9. Anonymous says:

    How many cupcakes does this recipe make?

  10. Tracy A. says:

    I love citrusy cakes!

  11. Yum!!! Those look AMAZING!!!

  12. […] and recipe available at Crepes of Wrath Posted by The Cupcake Connoisseur in Fruit Cupcakes and tagged with cupcake, cupcake recipe, […]

  13. I couldn’t agree more, the best way to celebrate spring IS with triple grapefruit…great recipe!

  14. Tracee says:

    What could I sub for the Chambord?

  15. these are the cutest things ever!
    next time i have a party, i want to make these.

  16. These are SO adorable!! Something about the cute candied citrus peel on top gets me every time! =)

  17. Hiro says:

    They look really nice!
    Question though, on the ingredient list it calls for baking soda
    but on the method it says powder.
    Which one is it?

  18. Jenni Ferris says:

    These look delicious, light and refreshing! I always have a lot of grapefruit, this recipe will be perfect! Thank you so much for sharing.

  19. […] that were absolutely to die for, especially if you are a citrus lover. Check out the recipe for the cupcakes and frosting and let us know what you […]

  20. ak says:

    I came looking for grapefruit cupcakes but found a neighbour! Looking forward to reading about your recommendations in Wburg.

    And these cupcakes look delicious! Am going to do a sugar-salt coating on the peel to top on some grapefruit-cream cheese frosting.

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