I love a really sharp citrus flavor in the spring. I think these cupcakes would be perfect for Easter. Since the cake is made with yogurt and oil instead of butter and milk, it is lighter than a lot of cupcakes. This airy flavor makes this dessert a perfect ending to a heavier meal. And at our house, Easter tends to be full of heavy fare.
You could use any citrus flavor. The grapefruit is sort of somewhere in between lemon and orange. Between baking and icing, these cupcakes get an extra dose of citrus by pouring on a little reduced grapefruit syrup. This extra (slightly tedious) step makes them so moist that you could easily make them a day ahead. I think this step also accounts for the lip puckering taste that I think all citrus baked goods should contain.
Honey Grapefruit Cupcakes
(makes 1 dozen)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
½ cup sugar
½ cup honey
3 extra-large eggs
2 teaspoons grated grapefruit zest (1 large grapefruit)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
1/3 cup sugar
Honey Grapefruit Buttercream Frosting
4 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons honey
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
2-3 tablespoons freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8 1/2 by 4 1/4 by 2 1/2-inch loaf pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper. Grease and flour the pan.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt into 1 bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the yogurt, 1 cup sugar, the eggs, lemon zest, and vanilla. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. With a rubber spatula, fold the vegetable oil into the batter, making sure it’s all incorporated.
Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full and bake for 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook the 1/3 cup grapefruit juice and remaining 1/3 cup sugar in a small pan until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear. Set aside.
When the cupcakes are done, prick them 8-10 times each with a toothpick and then pour about a tablespoon of the grapefruit-sugar mixture over each one and allow it to soak in. Cool.
For the frosting, combine the butter and honey. Add confectioners’ sugar and grapefruit juice. Spread or pipe frosting onto cupcakes.