Elisa’s “From Scratch” Baking Experiment: Grapefruit & Honey Cupcakes

After last month’s successful Strawberry Basil Cupcake, I was very nervous about finding an interesting recipe to try baking for our Westminster Cupcake Picnic.

After asking Jenn and Stacy what to bake, sending them recipe ideas, and scouring the internet for a couple of days, I stumbled upon this Grapefruit and Honey Cupcake recipe. Not only did this recipe sound amazing, it also gave me the opportunity to make curd for the filling, with my usual buttercream frosting. After making lemon and lime curd from this trusty recipe for previous fillings, I felt confident in my ability to make grapefruit curd – little did I know just how much you can screw up curd. But back to step one: the cake.

I followed the cake recipe, which included oil (a first for my baking experiments), and by the end of whisking my arm was exhausted but the batter smelled amazing. I put the pans in the oven and set the timer.

Oh the curd… I swear I followed the recipe and everything was going well, but when cooking it on the stove, it just didn’t thicken the way the lemon and lime curd had. There wasn’t too much heat or extra ingredients, and it didn’t curdle, it just didn’t smooth out. After letting it cool, it tasted fine but had an odd, grainy texture. Since it tasted fine, I decided that perhaps the cake and frosting would mask the weird texture of the filling. Just in case it didn’t, I filled half of the cupcakes with honey instead of the curd.

I then made the buttercream frosting, but substituted the vanilla extract for honey so that there would be a hint of honey in the frosting as well. Using a piping tip, I frosted the cupcakes. Jenn and Stacy are amazing decorators, I mean, have you seen Jenn’s hummingbird cupcake decorations or Stacy’s beach decorations?! It’s something I would like to get better at, but maybe I will save that challenge for next year.

Packed in air-tight tupperware, I was ready to present my cupcakes to the picnic crew. I tried one of each grapefruit cupcake, curd filled and honey filled, and my cupcake friends did too. Everyone’s reactions were very positive, and even Joel the “Cupcake King” liked them! While both cupcakes had grapefruit flavor, the honey filled cupcake really packed a honey punch. It was my favorite of the two. The cake was really moist and baked up beautifully, the fillings turned out to be fine, and the frosting was smooth and sweet.

The curd might not have turned out exactly as I wanted, but over all this baking experiment was a success, and is something I would make again.

– Posted by Cupcake Crusader, Elisa (Baltimore, MD)

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