Cupcakes with a difference! Not only vegan, but these also have the most delicious bittersweet grapefruit flavour and are as moist and soft as you could ever imagine! Topped with grapefruit flavoured icing and little droplets of candied grapefruit peel, our Vegan Grapefruit Cupcakes may not be a hit with children, but will impress adults who love bitter citrus flavours!
Grapefruit isn’t necessarily the first ingredients that come to mind when thinking about cake flavours. However, limes, lemons and oranges are all widely used in baking, so grapefruit makes perfect sense to me! I love the slightly bitter notes that grapefruit adds to the otherwise sweet bake. We used both the juice and zest in the sponge to create an extra moist cupcake. And then we topped it with dairy-free buttercream icing (and some grapefruit peel too!)
There are many advantages to making buttercream icing with the dairy-free spread. First of all, most brands are so much easier to work with, given their soft texture. Secondly, it is lower in saturated fat, and therefore, in calories (not that you’re counting if you’re making these). Although real butter icing may hold the shape a bit better, there’s not that much flavour difference, especially if you’re flavouring your icing with something strong tasting.
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To Make the Cupcakes:
Preheat the oven to 170°C Fan. Place 8-9 cupcake liners in a muffin tin or use the reusable silicone cupcake moulds. I love using silicone moulds, as the cupcakes slide out of them without leaving hardly any residue on them.
In a large mixing bowl, sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk sugar, soya milk, vegetable oil, grapefruit juice and zest. You can use olive oil if you wish, it adds another layer of bitter flavour (especially if you use extra virgin). I tried it with both oils, and my vote goes to vegetable oil, though.
Pour the wet ingredients into the flour mixture and stir just enough to combine. Fill the cupcake moulds/ liners about 3/4 full. Then bake in the centre of the oven for 20-25 minutes. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before icing them.
Make the Frosting:
In a large bowl, mix icing sugar, grapefruit juice and dairy-free spread. You can use a drop of food colouring too (I used a drop of red). Keep on mixing until almost all the icing sugar is incorporated and you have a thick paste. At first, you may think there’s not enough spread or too much icing sugar, but persevere and keep pressing the mixture with the back of the spoon against the walls of the bowl. It will eventually become a paste. And if it’s too thick, you can always add a drop of soya milk, but you cannot take it back. If you loosen your icing too much too early, it will not hold its shape when piped.
Place the icing in the fridge to firm up whilst the cupcakes are cooling.
Store in the fridge until you are ready to serve!
NOTE ON SUBSTITUTIONS: Don’t be tempted to substitute grapefruit juice for lime or lemon juice. Grapefruit has a lot less citric acid and more sugar! So if you substitute for the same amount of lemon or lime juice, you may need to adjust the sugar and raising agents to get enough rise.
For other Vegan dessert and baking ideas, have a look at our other recipes, including:
Vegan Grapefruit Cupcakes
- Piping Bag with a Nozzle
For the Cupcakes:
- 100 g flour
- ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- ¼ tsp baking powder
- ⅛ tsp salt
- 70 g caster sugar
- 115 ml unsweetened soya milk
- 35 ml fresh grapefruit juice
- 80 ml vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp grapefruit zest from about 1/4 of a grapefruit
For the Frosting:
- 75 g dairy-free spread
- 300 g icing sugar
- 1 tbsp grapefruit juice
- candied grapefruit peel (optional, but recommended), see link on how to make your own in the text above
To Make the Cupcakes:
- Preheat the oven to 170°C Fan. Place 8-9 cupcake liners in a muffin tin or simply use silicone cupcake moulds.
- In a mixing bowl, sift the flour, bicarb of soda, baking powder and salt.
- In a separate bowl, whisk sugar, soya milk, oil, grapefruit juice and zest.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the flour mixture and stir just enough to combine.
- Fill the cupcake moulds/ liners about 3/4 full. Then bake in the centre of the oven for 20 minutes. Alow the cupcakes to cool completely before icing them.
Make the Frosting:
- In a large bowl, mix icing sugar, grapefruit juice and dairy-free spread. You can use a drop of food colouring too (I used a drop of red). Keep on mixing until almost all the icing sugar is incorporated and you have a thick paste (it may take a while, but keep pressing the mixture against the walls of the bowl with the back of the spoon). If you need to loosen your icing, add tsp of soya milk.
- Place the icing in the fridge to firm up whilst the cupcakes are cooling.
- Fill a piping bag with the frosting and pipe spirals on the cooled cupcakes. Decorate with some candied grapefruit peel, if using.
- Store in the fridge up until serving.