Grapefruit Cupcakes with Chai Icing

Grapefruit Cupcakes with Chai Icing

Grapefruit and buttermilk are both high in nutrition, but create a tender texture in baked goods. When I bake these for friends’ birthdays, no one guesses that they are made with grapefruit. Regardless, they disappear fast! Watch Better TV clip featuring this recipe!

Makes 12 cupcakes


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder 
1/2 teaspoon baking soda 
1/4 teaspoon salt 
1/4 cup reduced fat margarine, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar 
1 egg white
1/2 cup 1% buttermilk or plain low-fat yogurt
1/2 cup 100% pink grapefruit juice
1 tablespoon pink grapefruit zest
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract

Ingredients for Icing

1 8-ounce package of non-fat or reduced-fat cream cheese
½ cup powdered sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground clove
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl, beat margarine and sugar with an electric mixer.

Beat in egg. Combine lemon extract, juice, zest, and buttermilk in a small bowl. Add half the buttermilk mixture and beat on low speed. Add half the flour mixture and beat just until combined. Repeat with remaining buttermilk and flour mixture. Divide batter evenly into the prepared cups. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the cupcakes spring back when the tops are pressed or until a toothpick tester comes out clean. Remove the cupcakes from the muffin pan an cool completely on a wire rack.

In a medium bowl, beat ingredients for icing until smooth. Once the cupcakes are cool, use a small spatula or butter knife to ice them. Store refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Nutritional Stats Per Serving (1 cupcake with icing)

185 calories, 3 g protein, 27 g carbohydrates, 7 g fat (3 g saturated), 17 mg cholesterol, 0 g fiber, 250 mg sodium.

5 responses to Grapefruit Cupcakes with Chai Icing

  1. Yummy!! What a wonderfully innovative recipe!! I love it!!!

  2. these were amazing- the icing was out of this world. this is my 5th recipe i have made from this site and i loved it. keep the recipes coming please

  3. I made this recipe as a single-layer 9-inch cake yesterday and it was delicious! The cake is lemony with a light, fluffy texture. I ended up only using 1/2 of the frosting because I didn’t want to lose the cake’s flavor in the cloves and cardamom. Overall, the cake is awesome! I’m adding it to my recipe box! Thank you!!

  4. Is it possible to substitute applesauce for the butter in this recipe? Or do I need to keep it?

    • Hi Kelli!

      The applesauce should work although I haven’t tested it with this particular recipe. Let me know how it works out!

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