vanilla grapefruit cupcakes with grapefruit poppyseed buttercream.

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i’m loving all the winter citruses lately.

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pete and i just visited my grandpa in palm springs, where the lemon and grapefruit trees were exploding with huge amounts of citrus. they smell so amazing right off the tree...it’s the best. we love waking up there and having the most fresh and juicy grapefruit for breakfast.

i always smuggle back several lemons and grapefruits in my backpack and giggle as i watch the blobs pass by on the x-ray security machine.

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these wHintery wHite cupcakes…

these cuppycakes are inspired by two of my favorite go-to food bloggers in the land, how sweet eats and a cozy kitchen. the mojito cupcakes are actually from jessica of how sweet eats’ cookbook, the pretty dish, but adrianna from a cozy kitchen blogged the recipe for jessica’s mojito cupcakes here.

after doing some funky riffing and experimenting with both the cake and frosting portion of this recipe - i decided i need to forever leave it to these two pros and stick to the scripts.

in an attempt to be all timely for valentine’s day, i experimented using juice from raspberries to make the cupcakes pink. it sort of worked, but they turned out to be even more dense than they already are, and more lavender purple than pink. so i scrapped that idea for this valentine’s purpose and left them white. i can stick that naturally-dyed raspberry juice idea in my back pocket for another day when i need a light purple cupcake - the flavor was actually surprisingly good and juicy, but heavy.

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and then, much like my attempt at the end of last year to make a pumpkin cream cheese frosting, i found myself in curdled grainy frosting hell and had to throw my first attempt out - which makes me SO sad.

i thought using the whisk attachment on my kitchenaid would be smart in really whisking up the frosting to make it extra fluffy….. no. it’s not really smart. it was dumb, and a waste of food and i shall never make that mistake again.

the best and most fluffy frosting i’ve ever had was from a cozy kitchen, so i went exactly by her methods for my 2nd attempt at this frosting. i will forever leave all frosting wisdom up to her.

use the paddle attachment, people. paddle. no whisky whisk!

also, sifting the powdered sugar is a very key component. sift it, people!

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and it worked! fluffy and thick buttercream, with just enough fresh grapefruit juice and zest to give it flavor, but not curdle the whole damn thing and make you want to cry.

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these are super refreshing, and quite indulgent! they are made with cake flour which makes the cupcakes pretty dense and rich, like an angel food cake. and then there’s sugary buttercream on top…which explains itself in the indulgence department.

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peter and i both think they turned out great. i love poppy seeds in things for that teeny tiny crunch factor. i wanted to see how it would work in the frosting instead of the cake part, and i quite like it up there!

if you don’t like grapefruit, but like the idea of a fresh citrus & vanilla cupcake, you could totally make these with lemon, orange (blood orange?!?), or lime - just don’t overdo it with too much juice in the cake or frosting, or you’ll be sawwwwryy (sogging, ew! curdling, ew!).

i dunno, i’ve always LOVED grapefruit. just plain, without sugar. but if you’re someone who only takes their grapefruit with sugar, then these cupcakes are for you!

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Vanilla Grapefruit Cupcakes with Grapefruit Poppyseed Buttercream

Makes 12 Cupcakes

Total Time: 1 hour

Ingredients:

For the cupcakes- (Recipe adapted from How Sweet Eats’ Mojito Cupcakes from The Pretty Dish)

  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour

  • 1 tsp. baking powder

  • 1/4 tsp. fine sea salt

  • 1/2 cup. unsalted butter, softened

  • 3/4 cup white sugar

  • 1 large egg + 1 large egg white (discard yolk)

  • 2 TB. vegetable oil

  • 1 TB fresh grapefruit zest

  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

  • 2 teaspoons fresh squeezed grapefruit juice

  • 1/2 cup milk

For the frosting- (Recipe adapted from A Cozy Kitchen's Brown Butter Frosting)

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened

  • 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted

  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

  • 2 TB fresh squeezed grapefruit juice (no more than 2 TB)

  • 1 TB grapefruit zest, + a bit extra for garnish

  • pinch of fine sea salt

  • 1 TB poppy seeds

  • 2 TB heavy cream

Instructions-

To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a muffin tin with 12 cupcake liners.

Combine the cake flour, baking powder, and sea salt in a small bowl and set aside.

In a stand mixer or with an electric mixer, beat the butter and white sugar until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the whole egg and egg white, beating well after each addition. Add the oil, vanilla, grapefruit zest and grapefruit juice and beat well for 2 minutes. With the mixer on slow, pour in the milk and mix to combine. Finally, slowly add the bowl of other dry ingredients and mix on medium speed until well combined.

Fill the prepared cupcake liners about 2/3 full. Place the muffin pan on top of a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 17-20 minutes, until set in the center of the cupcakes. Let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting.

To make the frosting, in a stand mixer using the paddle attachment or electric hand mixer with regular flat whisk attachments (not the thin wire whisk attachments), cream the softened butter. Slowly add the sifted powdered sugar and beat at medium speed between additions until the combination is fluffy. Add the vanilla, grapefruit zest, and grapefruit juice (no more than 2 TB of grapefruit juice or frosting will begin to curdle or get grainy!) and mix well. Add the 2 TB of heavy cream and beat on medium/high speed for at least 3-5 minutes, until the frosting is super light and fluffy. Lastly, add the poppy seeds and mix to combine.

Use a cookie scoop or spoon to plop even scoops of frosting on top of the cooled cupcakes. Use an offset spatula or butter knife to spread the frosting. Garnish with thin sections of fresh grapefruit and extra grapefruit zest, if desired.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature. Best enjoyed within 2 days!

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chocolate covered ice cream cups.

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or: what to do what you have a ruddy old carton of ice cream that’s been 85% eaten but is still lurking in the freezer.

or: what to do when you have a plain ol’ ice cream flavor in your freezer that definitely needs a dose of chocolate.

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you will probably never catch me eating a bowl of plain vanilla ice cream. nuh uhhhhh.

did costco really do away with the chocolate soft serve at the hot dog shack? they just have vanilla and acai now?? hogwash.

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my best friend katie and i would frequent the walk-up dairy queen in high school and just sit in the parking lot eating blizzards and watch people to see what they ordered...(super fun small town activity in 2004 when you have your driver’s license and that’s about it).

she and i are both chocolate lovvahhhhs and would always get some sorta chocolatey chocked full (chunks-o-shit as we call it - give us all the chocolatey chunks o shit) chocolate extrEme maximo mayhem blizzard. with marshmallow sauce.

i laugh now thinking about kt giving the other punkass high schooler DQ employee her sweetest eyes and telling them to “lay on the mallow sauce” as if she was asking a HUGE favor of them. that’s all we wanted out of life, man.

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it is truly shocking to observe how many people at dairy queen order PLAIN VANILLA CONES. what? have you seen the DQ menu, people? it’s brimming with hot eats & cool treats.

lots of dilly bars ordered, too. that’s funny to me. kt & i would just hang our heads in shame watching old person after old person walking away from the window licking their whhhhiiiite plain vanilla cones.

[my friend whitney will see this and yes whitney i’ve noticed your love of plain vanilla cones……. interesting life choice. 😂🍦]

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SO GUESS WHAT.

i do love mint chocolate chip ice cream. but i wish it was more chocolatey, of course. we had a tub of it leftover from NYE and i wanted to make something with it.

enter these mini chocolate-covered mint chocolate chip ice cream bites.

can we assume that “mint chocolate chip” is green with chips, and “chocolate chip mint” is white with chips? this always confuses me.

i would definitely make these with vanilla ice cream since any plain vanilla ice cream that makes it into my house just burns in a sad ice shard covered, dented cardboard mess in the back of the freezer for ages.

strawberry ice cream would be YUMMO in a chocolate covered cup. i have a soft spot for strawberry ice cream even tho chocolate anything is my regular go-to.

these are so easy to make. the intervals of freezer wait time are the “hardest” part.

i usually make these rocky road bars at christmas time (whoa. classic recipe, but those photos need work, lol), but i didn’t get around to it this year. so i had some hershey bars in the freezer free for the using!

you can obviously use whatever type of chocolate you prefer, there’s something about classic hershey bars that just hit the spot for me in a nostalgic way.

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the maldon sea salt flakes on top are SO delightful and really round out the flavors of the cup as a whole unit. and they look pretty, too.

the possibilities and combinations are endless here. put those sad old corners of your ice cream tubs to good use!

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Chocolate Covered Ice Cream Cups

Makes 12 mini cups

Total Time: 1 hour

Ingredients:

  • 4-5 regular sized Hershey bars or chocolate bar of choice

  • 1 TB coconut oil

  • ice cream of choice

  • maldon flaked sea salt

Instructions-

In a simmering double-boiler (I use a strong glass bowl over a small pot of simmering water), melt the coconut oil and break up the chocolate bars. Heat and stir frequently with a spatula until the chocolate is melted (about 5 minutes). Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

Line a mini muffin tin with mini cupcake/muffin liners and spray with cooking spray. Spoon a little melted chocolate into the bottom of the liners and brush the chocolate up the sides. Freeze for about 15 minutes.

After the bottom layer of chocolate is frozen, spoon a little scoop of ice cream on top and press down in the cup using the back of the spoon. Freeze again for 10 minutes.

Top the ice cream with another small layer of melted chocolate, spreading it to the edges and swirling it around with the back of a spoon. Top with Maldon sea salt flakes and freeze at least 30 minutes before eating.

Store in an airtight container in the freezer.

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