Sunday, August 29, 2010

Trip To Bountiful - Vanilla Cupcakes with Pomelo Buttercream and Pink Grapefruit Curd Filling

Every time I visit California, it reminds me of how spoiled I was when I lived there from the abundance and varieties of produce.

I mentioned previously my recent  stay with my friend Trudi in Temecula, California. Her wonderful kitchen was the scene of my latest macaron disaster. I raved about her kitchen but what I failed to mention is she lives on a 30 acre avocado farm.  The avocados are the Hass variety. I can't get enough of them when I visit, especially since good avocados are hard to come by in Germany.

At Trudi's you can just pick one of the tree, slice it in half and eat it with a spoon. They melt in your mouth. With over 600 avocado trees, an avocado lover like me could go nuts.  The grove was picked several weeks ago when I stopped in for a couple of days. Unfortunately, I was short on time then and missed my opportunity to make something with the avocados.

However, she also has a fruit grove with so many delicious thing growing in it..persimmons, olives, the most delicious ruby red grapefruits I have ever tasted, strange shaped apples, lemon-limes, huge lemons, tangerines, peaches, passion fruit name just a few...

strange shaped apples

The pomelos were literally falling off the tree. When I almost got beaned in the head by one, I decided renegade fruit was giving me a sign to start baking.  Every morning I ate the sweetest fresh picked red grapefruits, so I decided to combine the two flavors in this recipe.

First I made Pomelo Syrup so I could flavor the buttercream.

I took about four cups of pomelo pulp, added one cup of water, brought it to a boil, stirred it to break down the big pieces.  Then I kept adding sugar to achieve the desired sweetness, let it boil once more and cooled it.  It did retain some bitterness.  I think I should have been more vigilant about how much pith was in the mixture.  However, even though I did like the bitter taste when added to buttercream if I made i again I would experiment a bit by also adding different ingredients to take the bitter taste down a bit..

For the Vanilla Cupcakes,  I used one of my go to vanilla cupcake recipes.  It is in the back of the Hello Cupcake Book.

I made Pink Grapefruit Curd using a grapefruit curd recipe from

To fill cupcakes: Using a pastry bag (or ziplock bag) and a metal tip, fill the bag and push the tip into the center of the cupcake about three quarters of the way down, squeeze to fill. Pull straight up when you are done.

Here is the recipe for the Pomelo Buttercream (Bittercream :-)

2 Sticks of Butter - room temperature
8 Cups Confectionary Sugar
3/4 cup of pomelo syrup

Beat the butter with 2 cups of the sugar until creamy.
Alternately asdd pomelo syrup and sugar until you get the desired flavor and consistency

Makes enough to frost about 24 cupcakes

Using this recipe from Epicurious I candied the peels of both the pomelos and the red grapefuits to decorate the cupcakes with.

I made a few more recipes before I left for the east coast. However,  there were so many fruits, so many little time. I could spend at least a week baking my way through the grove.

I was still thinking up recipes on the flight back to New York....


  1. Auntie Lora spoils us when she comes to "grocery store cardboard carton cookies" or "pre-packaged rubber cupcakes" for us! We love to be with her in the kitchen. Stiring and measuring and then tasting when everything is done. We would plant a zillion more fruit trees if it would bring Auntie Lora back to our house to cook more often! xo's J ~ D ~ and Z too!!!!!

  2. Far out, imagine having all those fruit trees in your back would be my dream garden! I lurve pomelo but you can't get really good ones down in NZ - love that you used it in a buttercream, so innovative! :)

  3. I love the candied grapefruit & pomelo. They kind of remind me of these sugar crusted sour gummy worms I used to love when I was small. These look like citrus heaven

  4. Wonderful! I grew up in Florida along the Indian River, eating Indian River grapefruits and love them! I'm imaging the gorgeous flavors here, both bitter and sweet. And I'm loving it!

  5. What a foodie haven! It sounds like you cooked up a storm. Your cupcakes are positively heavenly looking! Every component sounds so delicious.

  6. What a wonderful combination, I really want to try them soon! THanks for the ideas.

  7. Yum! I love your blog!!! Thanks for the great idea!

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  9. The candied peels are such a beautiful touch, the combination sounds so delicious and fresh. A fruit grove in the backyard, very jealous :)

  10. Overall, the recipe is delicious. I love the grapefruit curd filling. On the other hand, I think the ratio is off for the frosting. It ended up gritty and overly firm. I find a ratio of sticks of butter to cups of sugar to be better at 1:2.

  11. @Pete - Thanks so much for your honest feedback. I appreciate it. Glad you enjoyed the filling.

  12. I made home made lemon curd before, it went to waste cause I didnt know what to do with it. Put it in cupcakes ofcourse! Great recipe! & sparked my idea to make lemon cupcakes yuuuuuum! Lyn


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