Fluffy and airy angel food cupcakes, flavored with grapefruit zest and grapefruit juice, and filled with grapefruit curd, topped with a simple and light coconut frosting!
These cupcakes are light. Light, light, light. When you’ve had a heavy dinner, but still want something sweet, these are what you want.
These cupcakes won’t sit like a brick.. like, say, cheesecake. I love cheesecake, but after I’ve been to dinner at my in-laws, the last thing I want is cheesecake.
That’s why I took these to dinner with my in-laws this weekend. I know how epically BIG (and AMAZING) the meal will be. 85 courses or so. All perfect and fantastic. Most times in my life where I’ve said “I’ve never been so full in my life” have been after dinner with my in-laws. But I get Joey Tribbiani syndrome… I’m so full, yet I need something sweet.
We have 15lbs. of grapefruit in our fridge right now, so I was desperate to make something with citrus. And I love angel food cake. My Grandma used to make angel food cake a lot – she’d either top it with strawberries and whipped cream, or buttercream, believe it or not. Her buttercream isn’t exactly fluffy either. It’s delicious, but it’s kind of thick and heavy. It amazes me that the angel food cake managed not to collapse.
Again, I was on a mission to keep things light though. And seasonal, if possible. I scrapped both of my family’s traditional angel food cake toppings, and used a recipe for Lemon Angel Food Cupcakes as inspiration.
These Grapefruit Angel Food Cupcakes have a sweet, but tangy citrus flavor from grapefruit zest and grapefruit juice right in the batter. They’re still super fluffy and have that bouncy and springy texture that make angel food cake so wonderful! They’re filled with a creamy, rich, and tangy grapefruit curd, and topped with a very simple and light coconut frosting. Light, light, light. That’s the name of the game. Except for the grapefruit curd. That’s not so light (in calories), however, it tastes very light and bright with all the citrus and tang.
They’re so light (how many more times can I use that word?), airy, and squishy that I can almost stuff the entire cupcake in my mouth at once. Alright, not “almost.” I can stuff the entire cupcake in my mouth. I’m not saying I did it, I just could.
These are a new favorite dessert. I made them again with lemons, more true to the Food Network recipe, and they were also fabulous. I added extra citrus juice and zest because I looooove strong, tangy flavors, but you can scale back a little bit if that’s not your jam. There’s no shortage of good citrus flavor here!
- 4 egg yolks, at room temperature
- Zest of 1 grapefruit
- ⅓ c. grapefruit juice
- ½ c. sugar
- pinch of salt
- 3 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
- 1 box angel food cake mix
- Zest of 1 grapefruit
- ½ c. grapefruit juice
- ¾ c. water
- 1 box instant coconut cream pudding mix
- 1 c. milk
- 1 - 8 oz. container whipped topping or Cool Whip, thawed
- In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, grapefruit zest, grapefruit juice, sugar and salt. Transfer to a small saucepan.
- Cook the mixture over low-medium heat, stirring constantly, until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, 3 to 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat and add the butter. Mix until smooth.
- Transfer the curd to a small bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
- Refrigerate until chilled, about 30 minutes.
- Line two muffin pans with cupcake liners.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the cake mix, grapefruit zest, grapefruit juice, and water.
- Beat on low speed for 30 seconds to incorporate, then raise the speed to medium and beat until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 1 minute.
- Fill the cupcake liners ¾ full with batter.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 13-15 minutes, or until cupcakes are golden brown.
- Cool completely, about 30 minutes.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the pudding mix and the milk.
- Fold in the whipped topping.
- Using the end of a wooden spoon (or your finger!), press an indentation into the middle of each cupcake, about 1 inch deep.
- Fill the indentation with 1-2 tsp. grapefruit curd.
- Frost cupcakes with coconut frosting. Enjoy!
Adapted from the Food Network.