Green Tea and Grapefruit Cupcakes


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


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Sharing the same sort of bright, intense, almost-bitter characteristics, green tea and grapefruit have synergistic properties that are seldom utilized. Definitely a more sophisticated balance of flavors, these cupcakes are for mature, adventurous palates.


Candied Peels

  • 1 Grapefruit
  • 1 Cup Granulated Sugar, Divided
  • ½ Cup Water

Green Tea Cupcakes

  • 1 Cup Plain Non-Dairy Milk
  • 1 Teaspoon Apple Cider Vinegar
  • ¼ Cup Canola Oil
  • 6 Tablespoons Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • Cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 Teaspoons Matcha Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
  • ½ Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • ¼ Teaspoon Salt
  • ¼ Teaspoon Ground Ginger

Grapefruit Frosting

  • 1 Cup Vegetable Shortening
  • 3 Cup Confectioner’s Sugar
  • 1–3 Tablespoons Grapefruit Juice
  • Zest of 1 Grapefruit


First candy the grapefruit peel. Use a paring knife to remove all of the peel and pith from the grapefruit. Slice the peel into smaller strips, and then toss them all into a pot of hot water. Bring this to a boil, and then drain. Fill the pot back up with fresh water, and repeat this process two more times. Be sure to completely drain out the bitter water each time. Now add in ¾ cup of the sugar and the final ½ cup of water. Stir until the sugar has dissolved and cook until it reaches 230°F according to your candy thermometer. Use a slotted spoon to remove the peels from the pot, letting the excess syrup drip off, and place them on a Silpat or piece of parchment, making sure that none are overlapping. Reserve the syrup and let cool. The peels will be tacky, so toss them in the remaining sugar to make them easier to store and handle.

For the cupcakes, preheat your oven to 350°F and line 12 standard muffin tins with cupcake papers.

Combine the non-dairy milk and vinegar, and allow about 5 minutes for the “milk” to curdle. Pour it into a large bowl, and add in the oil, sugar, and vanilla. Whisk thoroughly until somewhat frothy, and set aside. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, matcha, baking powder and soda, salt, and ginger. Stir well and add to the main bowl. Stir just enough to combine, and divide the batter equally between your prepared tins. Bake for 15–20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. While still warm, brush the excess syrup over the tops of the cupcakes. You probably won’t use it all, but just make sure that each cupcake is nicely moistened.

To make the frosting, simply mix together the shortening, sugar, and zest in your stand mixer, starting at a low speed. When the sugar is mostly incorporated, add in 1 tablespoon of juice. Turn up the speed to high and whip for 2 minutes; if the frosting is too stiff, add in more juice until it reaches your desired consistency. Continue to beat for 2 or 3 more minutes, until light and fluffy. Frost cupcakes as desired and top each with one strip of candied grapefruit peel.