Pink Grapefruit Cupcakes with Pink Grapefruit Cream Cheese Frosting

It seems we save cupcakes for a special occasion – to celebrate a birthday, a holiday, an accomplishment, etc.  When I made these cupcakes, I didn’t have any particular occasion in mind.  I decided to make these Pink Grapefruit Cupcakes ‘just because.’  Just because it’s been a while since I last made cupcakes.  Just because there is always a reason to celebrate something.  Just because citrus is aplenty right now,…let’s try something new!

These cupcakes are really easy to make and a unique way to enjoy grapefruit.  The cake alone has a subtle citrus flavor – just enough grapefruit flavor without being overpowering.  When topped with the grapefruit cream cheese frosting, it becomes dangerouly good.  The cream cheese gives the right amount of tang to balance the grapefruit flavor and brings it all together into a sweet and delicious cupcake.

Pink Grapefruit Cupcakes were fun to make, fun to eat, and fun to share…all just because. 😉

Pink Grapefruit Cupcakes with Pink Grapefruit Cream Cheese Frosting
Yields: 12 cupcakes
  • Cupcakes:
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • ⅔ cup granulates sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup Greek yogurt (nonfat or 2% reduced-fat)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons pink grapefruit zest (1 softball-sized grapefruit yielded approximately 1 tablespoon)
  • Frosting:
  • 4 ounces ⅓-less-fat cream cheese, chilled (block)
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • ⅛ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon pink grapefruit zest
  • 2 teaspoons pink grapefruit juice
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs; mix until smooth.
  4. To the butter mixture, add half of flour mixture, and combine; repeat with remaining flour mixture. Add yogurt and vanilla, blending with a rubber spatula. Fold in zest, mixing until just combined.
  5. Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups (about ⅔ full). Bake for 13-15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Transfer cupcakes to wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
  6. To make the frosting, place cream cheese in a medium bowl and baet on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add powdered sugar, vanilla zest and juice, beating until smooth. Frost cupcakes as desired.
If not serving immediately, cupcakes/frosting should be refrigerated, otherwise, the frosting gets too soft. When serving, let cupcake sit out for 10-15 minutes at room temperature.

Adapted from Health

Pineapple Zucchini Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

One of my favorite things about birthdays is birthday cake. Especially making birthday cakes! The birthday person chooses a cake or simply gives me inspiration.  Then I try to make the best cake I can.  When it came time to choose my birthday cake, believe me, it was a tough decision. My head was still in zucchini-mode. I love pineapple, and I love cream cheese. So I was on zucchini, pineapple, and cream cheese mission. Seems easy enough, right? 

I researched a few recipes until deciding on this one, and made a few changes, reflected below.  The frosting is a nice balance of cinnamon and cream cheese and the perfect complement to the cupcakes.  There are chunks of pineapple and hints of coconut and zucchini in the cake.  They are healthy and come in under 200 calories.  Pineapple Zucchini Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting made the perfect birthday treat!


Pineapple Zucchini Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
Yields 18 cupcakes


3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup white whole wheat flour
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt  (optional)
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups shredded zucchini (squeeze out some of the moisture)
20 ounce can of pineapple tidbits or crushed in juice, drained (I used tidbits for chunkier pieces)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line 18 standard muffin cups with paper liners (fill the empty cups halfway with water). 
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flours, sugar, coconut, baking soda, salt (if using) and cinnamon.  Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, stir together oil, eggs and vanilla until well blended.  Add zucchini and pineapple and mix until combined.
  4. Add zucchini mixture to dry ingredients and gently fold until combined.  (Note: Batter will be thick).
  5. Divide batter evenly among 18 muffin cups.  Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool completely on a wire rack.


8 ounces Neufchâtel (1/3 less fat) cream cheese
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

  1. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and cinnamon. 
  2. Pipe or spread frosting on cupcakes, as desired. 

Note:  If not serving immediately, cupcakes/frosting should be refrigerated.  Otherwise, the frosting gets too soft.  When serving after refrigeration, let cupcake sit out for 10-15 minutes at room temperature.  (They are good straight from the fridge, however…if you can’t wait like me!)  🙂

Nutrition Information per Serving (1 cupcake and 1/18 frosting)
Calories: 190 ~ Fat: 6g ~ Carbs: 33.6g ~ Fiber 2.9g ~ Protein: 3.2g

Adapted from Skinny Taste

Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes {Alida's Kitchen}

Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes

Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes are perfect for chocolate lovers and picky eaters, and a delicious way to use up some of that zucchini taking over your garden!
I was asked to make cupcakes for a very special birthday party.  Mike’s grandmother turned 90!  How cool is that!  She is an amazing lady, who loves chocolate.  This request came shortly after I made Zucchini, Banana and Flaxseed Muffins, and I had zucchini on the brain.  Then it hit me – Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes.  Perfect!

I knew this birthday crowd would appreciate the use of zucchini in these delectable goodies, though you would never guess that’s the secret ingredient simply by taste.  (Score if you’re serving a picky eater!)  The zucchini creates a moist cake, makes it slightly healthier, and is the perfect complement to this delicious chocolate cupcake!

Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes
These are a delicious way to use up some of that zucchini taking over your garden. Perfect for chocolate lovers and picky eaters. You would never guess there's zucchini in there!
Yields: 24 cupcakes
  • 1½ cups brown sugar
  • ¼ cup melted butter
  • ¾ cup canola oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 2 cups grated zucchini (squeeze out excess moisture)
  • ¾ cup semi-sweet mini chocolate chips
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup dutch processed cocoa, sifted
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Frosting:
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter
  • ⅔ cup dutch processed cocoa powder
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • ⅓ cup skim milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. CUPCAKES: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two muffin pans with paper liners and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and cinnamon.
  3. In a separate medium bowl, cream the brown sugar, butter and oil. Beat in eggs, one at a time until incorporated. Stir in vanilla, buttermilk, zucchini and chocolate chips.
  4. Add liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir gently until combined (do not over mix).
  5. Spoon batter into muffin pans, filling them until about ¾ full. Bake for about 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cupcakes cool for 5 minutes in pan and then move to a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. Once cooled, frost with chocolate frosting and decorate as desired. Store cupcakes at room temperature in an air tight container.
  7. FROSTING: Melt the butter. Whisk in the cocoa powder, whisking until smooth.
  8. Stir in vanilla and alternately add powdered sugar and milk, using a hand mixer (or stand mixer) to beat to spreading consistency. Add small amount additional milk, if needed.

Adapted from  Two Peas and Their Pod

Banana Split Cupcakes

For my husband’s birthday, I asked what he wanted for his treat.  He said ‘whatever you want to make for the blog.’  Aww shucks…  Well I was not about to choose his birthday treat.  So after some pressing (and dropping subtle hints that we had nice overripe bananas to use) he asked for Banana Split Cupcakes.  I was very excited about his choice because they are fun to make and just so gosh darn cute!

These are a family favorite, and we just happened to be visiting both of our families for a birthday celebration.  When my mom saw them, she exclaimed ‘Are those Banana Split Cupcakes?  Oh my!  Those are my favorite!’  I’m sure Mike knew that…scoring points with the mother-in-law again.

These cupcakes are truly easy.  The cake is quick to whip together, and using the chocolate square makes for a simple surprise filling inside the banana cake.  With the smooth frosting, decorating is a cinch, and they look just like a mini sundae.  You could certainly add any other sundae-inspired toppings you like (i.e. sprinkles, nuts, etc.) or stick with the classic chocolate drizzle topped with a cherry. 

Banana Split Cupcakes
Yields 12 cupcakes

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)
1/2 cup mashed banana (about 1 medium)
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 chocolate bars, such as Hershey’s Special Dark*, separated, broken into squares

1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon milk

12 maraschino cherries with stems

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. 
  2. In another bowl, combine the banana, butter, buttermilk, egg and vanilla.  Add to the dry ingredients; stir just until combined.
  3. Spoon 1 tablespoon of batter into each paper-lined muffin cup.  Top with one candy bar square.  Divide remaining batter amongst the muffin cups (approximately two-thirds full).
  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely.
  5. In a bowl, combine the confectioners’ sugar, butter, vanilla and milk.  The frosting will be smooth – if too stiff, add more milk, if too runny, add more sugar.  Frost the cupcakes.
  6. In a microwave, melt the remaining chocolate candy and drizzle over frosting.  Top each cupcake with a cherry.

Tip:  In order to get the cherry to stick, it helps to drizzle a little extra chocolate in the center of the cupcake prior to topping with the cherry. 

*Note: I have used both dark and milk chocolate in this recipe, and either one is delicious.

Adapted from Taste of Home: Cupcakes and Muffins

This post is linked to Sweet as Sugar Cookies: Sweets for a Saturday, Screaming Sardine: Cupcake Party, A Well-Seasoned Life’s Sweet Indulgences Sunday