Saturday, November 14, 2009

Honey Lavender Cupcakes with Grapefruit Frosting

Whoa whoa whoa. GRAPEFRUIT? Does that even belong in a baked good? Um, if it's edible, yes. Yes it does.

Let me start from the beginning.

I was in the grocery store last week, minding my own business. I checked out the apples, wasn't in the mood for grapes.

And there it was: free samples of grapefruit.

It was yummy. Their sales tactic work. I ended up with an entire bag of grapefruits.

Although I may love grapefruit and it's pink, tangy ways, I couldn't really see myself eating six grapefruits before they all went bad. Therefore, they had to go into a cupcake.

For some reason, it didn't occur to me to make a grapefruit curd, probably because I have never made curd before and I don't think of curd all that often. After a Google search, I came up with a recipe that used one of my favorite ingredients: lavender. Lavender + honey + grapefruit. It was crazy enough that it just might work...

The recipe was an AP recipe courtesy of the National Honey Board, which meant that honey was most likely going to be the prominent flavor. I changed up the cupcake recipe only slightly. Below is my version. You will need about 2 large pink grapefruits and just about an entire honey bear.

Honey Lavender with Grapefruit Cupcakes - Makes about 5 dozen mini-cupcakes
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp lavender flowers
  • 1/2 cup (pink) grapefruit juice
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cups honey
  • 2 large eggs
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pan with paper liners.
  2. Put the white vinegar in a 1 cup measuring cup. Add the milk so that it fills the measuring cup. Set aside.
  3. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  4. If you can, crush the lavender flowers with the back of a spoon. Add to the flour mixture and stir again with the whisk. Set aside.
  5. In a small bowl, combine the milk mixture and the grapefruit juice. Set aside.
  6. Using an electric mixer on medium, cream the butter in a large bowl until pale and fluffy.
  7. Add the honey to the butter and mix well.
  8. Add the eggs one at a time. Mix after each addition.
  9. Add half of the dry ingredients to the butter-egg mixture. Mix well.
  10. Add the grapefruit-milk mixture. If you are really tricky, you can keep the beater on low speed as you add the grapefruit-milk mixture, but it's not essential. Mix well.
  11. Add the rest of the flour mixture. Mix until just combined.

This is what my batter looked like. And yes. I finally got a standing mixer! :)

12. Fill the paper liners approximately 2/3 full of batter. For mini-cupcakes, bake for about 13-16 minutes. Cupcakes will be done when a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. The top part of the cake may brown a little. For larger cupcakes, you will need to increase your baking time.

One of my classmates described the cupcake like so: "It's like I'm running in a field of flowers and then I ran right into a honeycomb!" Thanks, Camille! It's sort of amazing that you can't really taste the grapefruit, which was the flavor that I most wanted to highlight. It might just add a little bit of bite to the cupcakes that wouldn't be there otherwise.

Since there wasn't a lot of grapefruit taste to the cupcake, I wanted to accent it in the frosting. I didn't like how the frosting that accompanied the original recipe tasted, so I changed it up!

Pink Grapefruit Frosting - Enough for 5 dozen mini-cupcakes
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, room temperature
  • 1/3 - 1/2 cup grapefruit juice
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 3-5 cups of confectioners' sugar
  • pink food coloring (optional)
  1. In a medium sized bowl, cream the butter with an electric mixer. Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy.
  2. Add the honey. Mix until completely combined.
  3. Add the grapefruit juice. Mix until combined. It may be a little watery at this point. If you want less grapefruit juice, add 1/3 cup and reserve the rest for later if you think it needs a stronger taste.
  4. Slowly add the confectioner's sugar 1/2 cup at a time until you get the consistency that you like. I also added a bit more grapefruit juice until I had it just the right flavor.
  5. Add the pink food coloring if you would like. I used a dab of food coloring in mine to make it pink.

Honestly, I wasn't quite sure what I thought of the cupcakes, but they were a big hit! Dipa put them in the top five. They are definitely different, but the consensus was that different can also mean delicious! The honey-lavender cupcake went quite well with the citrus frosting. And they were very fun to photograph!


  1. I'm all for the grapefruit/cuppie combination. It's really refreshing ... I think grapefruit curd is a wonderful idea ... I'll definitely give it a try :)



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