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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Our Westminster, MD Cupcake Picnic Recap

Sunday’s Westminster Cupcake Picnic was another successful gathering, with help from Joel of Josie’s Confections. More cupcake lovers were able to make it out to the Westminster Community Pond and the cupcakes were plentiful! We scored a great spot under the pavilion, next to the playground, which worked out well for some of our youngest attendants.


(Crusader Elisa, Guest Crusader Beth, and myself hanging out while others arrived.)

Although sitting on blankets at our DC Cupcake Picnic made it really feel like an old-fashion picnic, it was nice to have the tables this time. The breeze felt great sitting in the shade. It couldn’t have been a better day for a picnic!

We were admiring the cupcakes that had already shown up, but holding off digging in. It seemed like it would be more polite to wait until some of the others arrived. But then our little niece Lylah said, “I want a cupcake.” With that, the cupcaking began and didn’t stop, as more people showed up with their picnic contributions.

Cupcakes that were in attendance:
1) Joel brought some of his new Josie’s Confections’ boozy flavors, including Tiramisu with a Kahlua filling. Look out for a full review of Josie’s Confections coming later this week.
2) Josie’s Confections’ Mango Passion Fruit and Rum & Coke.
3) Josie’s Confections’ Ciroc Red Berry Lemonade.
4) Robin and Camille came with homemade marble cupcakes topped with chocolate ganache.
5) Beth brought an assortment from Fresh Bakery. We’ve reviewed Fresh a few times but this was the my first time tasting their Creamsicle and it had the perfect Creamsicle flavor.
6) Rachael brought her homemade Snickers cupcakes, which I also tried at her daughter’s 1st birthday and are always a hit!
7) Crusader Elisa made Honey Grapefruit cupcakes, two ways. One had a grapefruit curd filling and the other had a honey filling. Keep an eye out for a full recipe review soon!
8) I brought these store bought cupcakes that came from Walmart. Flavors included Lemon, Vanilla Bean, and Triple Chocolate. For those curious about how these full-size Walmart cupcakes tasted, I’ll be doing a review next week.
9) Crusaders’ Dad brought Golden Snitch cake pops, extras from a Harry Potter birthday party he hosted the night before. Guest Crusader Beth was very excited to see these there!
10) I think these Pink Lemonade cupcakes also came from Robin and Camille’s group. So many cupcakes, it was hard to keep track! After tasting and complimenting them, I found out that they were made with Pillsbury’s Pink Lemonade cake mix.
11) Another candy bar themed cupcake came from Guest Crusader Kim, who wrote about her first experience making these for her 30th birthday party.
12) Crusader Stacy made Lemon Blueberry cupcakes and jazzed them up for the summer with some fancy decorating. She’ll be featuring these in a post coming soon!


(With so many cupcakes, we learned that there would be a lot of cupcake-exchanging going on. This time the Crusaders provided a “to-go” option for our guests.)

At the last picnic we had a cupcake eating challenge and thought maybe we’d see if anyone wanted to take on “The King” and try to beat his time of 5 cupcakes in 3 minutes and 45 seconds. There was one brave lady, Simone, who stepped up to the plate (or in our case the picnic table…we ran out of plates that could fit all 5 cupcakes).


(Simone with the 5 cupcakes she selected. We admire her courage in taking on The King!)

She attacked those cupcakes with gusto, but in the end Joel gets to keep his reigning title as the real “Cupcake King.” We were very proud of Simone’s attempt and she left with a prize pack as a thank you for participating.


(My cupcake carnage…Those cupcakes didn’t see what was coming to them.)

We hope that everyone had a good time and thank our guests, especially those who drove over an hour from DC and Northern Virginia! It was great to meet other enthusiasts and enjoy the nice day talking about baking, cupcakes, and getting to know one another better. After two great Cupcake Picnics, we are even more excited for our final Baltimore picnic next month and are already getting requests to have a 2013 picnic series! If you are interested in attending the Baltimore Cupcake Picnic, check out more details and RSVP here.

– Posted by Cupcake Crusader, Jenn (Westminster, MD)

Sublime Cupcakes in PA is just that: SUBLIME!

I’m so excited to present this post from our first guest Cupcake Crusader, Elisa. She’s been on so many cupcake adventures with me and I know she’ll be going on many more. Enjoy and look out for many more posts from her.  – Stacy

I was randomly in the area of Wyomissing, PA when a friend recommended that we stop by this little shop. The set-up was adorable with fantastic photography on the walls and simple stands that let the cupcakes speak for themselves. There were even cupcakes I have never seen anywhere else. With so many great options, it made it very difficult to choose just 12. Somehow I powered through.

I went with the following:
(1) French Toast  •  (2) Grasshopper  •  (3) PeanutButterCup  •  (4) Strawberry Lemonade  •  (5) Ruby Red  •  (6) Snickerdoodle  •   (7) Dandycake  •  (8) Sublime Keylime  •  (9) Black & White  •  (10) Vanilla Nutella  •  (11) Chocolate Squared  •  (12) The Original


Photos borrowed from Sublime Cupcakes’ Facebook Page (click here). No harm or infringement intended.

We decided to eat one while we were there, so I went with the Grasshopper (2), as I am a huge fan of mint. Sure enough, the cake was very moist, chocolately and the buttercream mint icing was smooth, buttery, and fluffy. If you like “Thin Mints” make sure to get one of these!

Later that night I dove into the Strawberry Lemonade (4) & Ruby Red (5). (I have found if I keep some time in-between eating, I can put away quite a few cupcakes in one day.) Out of the two the Rudy Red was the standout, as it is the only grapefruit cupcake I have ever had! It was light, refreshing, and screamed SUMMER!

My favorite is a tie though, as the next day I ate both of these for lunch: French Toast (1) & Snickerdoodle (6). Anyone who knows me, knows my love of bacon (In fact Stacy bought me a fantastic book about bacon last year!) so that right away was a treat, on an already wonderful cupcake. Just the right amount of salty/sweet with delectable little bits of cinnamon in the cake too! The Snickerdoodle reminded me of the homemade cookies my Nona makes at Christmas, and the frosting was sweet, but mild with the sugar, cinnamon, and I suspect a hint of nutmeg.

Three days later I finished them all off, and even the very last one was good, maybe a little dry from sitting for three days, but still delicious!

All in all, this a place I want to drive 2 hours to go to again, and again – and next time (if Stacy and Jenn aren’t with me on the trip) I will have to bring some back to share!

Find Sublime Cupcakes on Facebook and check out their menu! (And stop by if you happen to be in their area.)

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