Grapefruit Cupcakes with Honeyed Italian Meringue Buttercream

Grapefruit Cupcakes
This is a dense, nicely grapefruit-y cake recipe. I'm very tempted to try it out with orange. I love the crumb!

1 1/2 c (215 g) flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 c (200 g) plus 1 Tbls sugar
3 tsp grated grapefruit zest (approximately one large grapefruit)
1 c (235 ml) plain whole-milk yogurt
4 eggs
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 c (120 ml) vegetable oil
1/3 c (80 ml) freshly squeezed grapefruit juice

Preheat the oven to 350F (175C). Line a cupcake tin with liners and set aside.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium-sized bowl. In another bowl, combine 1 cup of sugar and zest, rubbing between your fingers until moistened and fragrant. Whisk in the yogurt, the eggs, 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. Pour the batter into the prepared cupcake pan and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the cake springs back when pressed.

Meanwhile, cook the 1/3 cup grapefruit juice and remaining 1 tablespoon sugar in a small pan until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear. Set aside.

When the cupcakes are done, allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then remove and place on a baking rack over a sheet pan. While the cake is still warm, use a fork to poke holes in it and carefully, using a spoon, pour the grapefruit-sugar mixture over the cake and allow it to soak in. Cool completely before frosting.

Honeyed Italian Meringue Buttercream
For step-by-step directions for making Italian Meringue Buttercream, please click here!

1/8 c (35 ml) water
1/2 c (105 g) sugar
3 egg whites
1/8 c (25 g) sugar
1/2 c (120 g) butter, softened, cut into small pieces
Honey, to taste

Place the egg whites in the bowl of a standing mixer.

Heat the 1/2 c sugar and water on the stove to 245F stirring occasionally only after the sugar has been dissolved. When it is within the range of 230F to 235F, begin whipping the egg whites. When they get to soft peaks, begin adding the remaining 1/8 c sugar and continue whipping to medium peaks, being careful not to overbeat. When the syrup is the correct temperature, slowly pour it into the eggs with the mixer on high. After fully incorporated, beat the frosting 7-10 minutes until the outside of the bowl is room temp. Begin adding the butter, tablespoon by tablespoon, beating until fully incorporated. Keep whipping until the frosting comes together, then add the vanilla and honey.