Grapefruit & Buttermilk Cupcakes

And this, my friends, is where you realize that these are not cupcakes for the light-weight baker.  Me?  I feel proud if I successfully bake a batch of Funfetti cupcakes outta the box.  But these bad boys required two, count them, TWO recipe cards (available to print below).  Do you see the instructions for the candied grapefruit garnish alone?  Insane…BUT, that morsel was one of the most delicious things I’ve ever eaten so… yeah.   Like I said, this one was a delightful surprise.  I dare say it was an experience.  And aren’t they cute?  If you’re looking to expand your baking skills and are wanting to impress a hard to impress crowd, these are just the thing!

As a reminder, these are from the Cupcake Tasting produced by my friend Ann.  This is the second recipe of five I will be posting.  See the first one (Banana Cream Pie Cupcakes) and download the recipe card  HERE!

Grapefruit & Buttermilk Cupcakes

1 ½ c flour
¾ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
1 c sugar
4 T unsalted butter, room temp
1 lg egg, room temp
½ tsp vanilla
1 c buttermilk
Preheat to 350.  Whisk together the flour, powder, soda and salt.  In another bowl, beat the sugar and butter on med high until light and fluffy. 2-3 minutes.  Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined.  Add the flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the buttermilk, on low until just combined.  Bake 24-26 min.  Let cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack.  When cool, remove a bit of the center of each cupcake for filling.  Fill each cupcake with grapefruit curd, using enough to completely fill and spread on top as well.  Frost with buttercream, top with grapefruit peel. 
Grapefruit Curd

6 T fresh grapefruit juice
½ c sugar
4 lg egg yolks
Pinch salt
4 T unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
2 tsp grapefruit zest
In a heavy saucepan, whisk together the grapefruit juice, sugar, egg yolks, and salt.  Cook the mixture over med high heat, whisking constantly and scraping the sides of the pan until the curd is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, 5-8 minutes.  Do not let the curd boil or it will turn lumpy.  Remove from heat, whisk in the butter one piece at a time until smooth.  Strain the curd through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl.  Stir in the zest and cover with plastic wrap – directly on the surface of the curd.  Refrigerate until set at least 1 hour, up to three days.  Makes 1 cup.  (I had to make 2 batches to adequately fill one batch of cupcakes.)
Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream

4 oz egg whites
8 oz sugar
12 oz butter, very soft
Dash salt
1 tsp vanilla
Seeds from ½ vanilla bean
Cook the egg whites and sugar in a double boiler, using mixer bowl.  First, add a pinch of salt to the egg whites and whisk to loosen them up.  Place over boiler.  Add sugar a little bit of a time.  Keep whisking to stay frothy.  Do not allow to get flat.  Cook until you can’t feel anymore sugar grains, about 3-4 minutes.  Place bowl in mixer with whisk attachment.  Whisk until the bowl is no longer warm.  Change to paddle attachment.  With mixer on med speed, add the butter one T at a time.  Listen for the slapping sound to know that it’s done.  At this time, add the vanilla and seeds.
Candied Grapefruit

1 Ruby grapefruit
3 c sugar
Cut the grapefruit into quarters and pull the flesh away from the pith and peel.  Reserve the flesh for another use.  Cut the peel with the pith attached in ½ inch wide strips.  Bring a saucepan three fourths full of water to a boil over high heat.  Add the grapefruit peel and boil for 4 minutes.  Drain the peel and rinse under cold water.  Repeat this step two or three times, using fresh water each time, to remove bitterness from the peel.  In a saucepan, combine 2 cups of sugar, 1 ½ c water and the peel.  Bring to a simmer over med-low heat and cook until the peel is soft and translucent, about 30 minutes.  Remove from the heat and let the peel cool to room temp in the syrup.  Using a slotted spoon or tongs, transfer the peel to a wire rack, set over a rimmed baking sheet; discard the syrup.  Let the peel stand until it is no longer wet and feels only slightly tacky to the touch, about 2 hours.  Spread the remaining 1 c sugar in a shallow dish.  Toss the peel in the sugar until all the pieces are completely coated.  Transfer to a clean wire rack and let dry for 1 hour.  Can be stored in an airtight container for up to 5 days.  Makes about 24 pieces.


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  1. says

    These were involved. But very worth the effort. The buttercream alone is worth every second. As my husband discovered, it’s pretty good cold from the fridge eaten with a spoon too. :)

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