Pink Grapefruit Buttermilk Muffins

pink grapefruit buttermilk muffins cupcakes recipe

It’s grapefruit season!  Have you noticed the heaping mountains of them in the produce sections of the grocery stores?  Now is the time to buy those luscious pink grapefruits because this time of year they’re at their cheapest.  At 3 pink grapefruits for $1 we’ve been stockpiling them and enjoying them as a light, refreshing snack in the evenings while watching Frasier re-runs or whatever else we feel like zoning out on.  Sprinkle a little white stevia powder on them and voila!,  you have a delicious, juicy, sweet little snack.

It occurred to me last night as I was in the store bagging up another dozen grapefruits, what a shame there isn’t some other way these can be utilized.  Sure, there’s broiling them, but that’s not terribly interesting them.  Then there’s segmenting them and adding them to salads and such.  Also not the  most interesting.  So today as my little ones took their nap (they’ve actually been napping in sync the past few weeks.  I know.  It’s nothing short of a miracle), I had idea that was spurred by reaching into the fridge to grab a grapefruit for a noon-day snack (they’re oh so good when they’re cold) and seeing a jug of buttermilk while I was at it.  Buttermilk and grapefruit…sounded like a delightfully refreshing combination.  How to combine them…that was the question.  So I thought, how about Pink Grapefruit Buttermilk Muffins??  And so the experiment began.

 I grabbed the flour, sugar, eggs, butter, and went to work zesting and juicing the grapefruit.  I wanted to use every bit of that wonderful fruit and get the full effect of both its sweetness and its tang.  To ensure an extra fluffy, soft muffin texture, I separated the eggs and beat the egg whites to fold into the batter.  As I poured the batter into the muffin tins, I thought they needed something on top.  Some final finishing touch.  I looked at the grapefruits I had stacked on the counter…they looked back at me…so I grabbed another one and zested it.  I poured some more sugar into a bowl and added the zest, combining it with my fingers to make a kind of crumbly grapefruit sugar.  It smelled heavenly!  I sprinkled it on top of the muffins, popped them in the oven, and became very, very pleased as my kitchen began to be filled with the most delightful aroma of sweet grapefruit.

They turned out.  Beautifully.  Deliciously.  My husband came home and I welcomed him at the door with a muffin and, after a brief kiss (yes, we love each other), pushed it into his mouth.  As soon as his eyes lit up and I knew I had a winner.

pink grapefruit buttermilk muffins cupcakes recipe

(Note for future:  Next idea to experiment with – Pink Grapefruit Buttermilk Cupcakes with a Pink Grapefruit Cream Cheese Frosting.  Another idea:  Pink Grapefruit Buttermilk Scones.  Mmmm, those sound like two more winners!  Must remember to experiment with these.)

Pink grapefruits are wonderful.  They really don’t require any sugar at all to eat them plain.  So good, so juicy.

Pink Grapefruit Buttermilk Muffins

Zest an entire grapefruit.  You’ll have about a tablespoon and a half.

Grapefruit Muffins prep 2

Cut the zested grapefuit in half and juice each half.

Grapefruit Muffins prep 3

Cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer.  Do this for several minutes until the texture is light pale and fluffy.

This is also the moment where I introduce you to my hand mixer.  Check out this avocado green beauty!  This belonged to my husband’s grandmother and it’s still going strong and never misses a beat (get it?).  To use an old adage, they just don’t make them like they used to.  I plan to get many more miles out of this thing before its finally laid to a much deserved rest.

Grapefruit Muffins prep 4

Where were we?  Oh yes, cream the butter and sugar.

Grapefruit Muffins prep 5

Add the egg yolks and beat until combined.

Grapefruit Muffins prep 6

Add the grapefruit juice, zest and vanilla extract.  Beat until combined.

Grapefruit Muffins prep 7

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda.

Grapefruit Muffins prep 8

A bit at a time, gently fold the flour mixture into the batter with a rubber spatula.  Add the buttermilk gradually in between flour additions.  Lumps are fine.  You don’t want to over-mix this or the muffins won’t be light and fluffy.

Grapefruit Muffins prep 9

Beat the egg whites in a small bowl until soft peaks form.

Grapefruit Muffins prep 10

Carefully fold the egg whites into the batter with a rubber spatula, again being careful not to over-mix.

Grapefruit Muffins prep 11

Once again, some lumps are fine.

Grapefruit Muffins prep 12

Combine the zest and sugar in a small bowl for the grapefruit sugar topping.

Grapefruit Muffins prep 13

Use your fingers to combine and crumble the mixture.

Grapefruit Muffins prep 14

Spoon the batter into the muffin tin, about 3/4-ish of the way full.

Grapefruit Muffins prep 15

Sprinkle the grapefruit sugar on top and place the muffin tin in a preheated oven on 350 F.  Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Grapefruit Muffins prep 16

Place the muffin tin on a wire rack and allow it to sit for 5 minutes.

Grapefruit Muffins prep 17

Remove the muffins and place them on the wire rack to cool completely.

Pink Grapefruit Buttermilk Muffins pink grapefruit buttermilk muffins cupcakes recipe

Pink Grapefruit Buttermilk Muffins
Recipe type: Muffins
Serves: 12 muffins
  • ½ cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs, separated
  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • Grated zest of one pink grapefruit (about 1½ tablespoons)
  • ½ cup freshly squeezed pink grapefruit juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • For the grapefruit sugar topping:
  • 2 teaspoons pink grapefruit zest
  • ¼ cup sugar
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl for several minutes until light pale and fluffy. Add the egg yolks and beat until combined. Add the grapefruit juice, zest, and vanilla extract and beat until combined.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. A bit at a time, carefully fold the flour mixture into the batter using a rubber spatula. Add the buttermilk between flour additions. Some lumps are fine. Be careful not to over-stir.
  4. Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Using a rubber spatula, carefully fold the egg whites into the batter, again being careful not to over-stir. Spoon the batter into the muffin tins about ¾ full.
  5. Using your fingers, combine the grapefruit zest with the sugar in a small bowl. Sprinkle the grapefruit sugar on top of the muffins.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.


Pink Grapefruit Buttermilk Muffins









23 Responses

  1. wrote on

    Brilliant! I love citrus season and love baking with it even more. I bet grapefruit makes one delicious muffin! I tried making muffins with blood oranges a few days ago and it didn’t work out so hot for me so I’m looking forward to your grapefruit idea. They look like the perfect breakfast!

    • The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Yum, I love blood oranges as well! I would imagine plugging the orange zest and juice into this recipe formula would work nicely. I took a bit of a shot in the dark with these ingredient ratios, including but they turned out perfectly, which I’m really happy about. Thanks for the compliment, Julia, and for stopping by.

  2. wrote on

    I don’t know if it’s grapefruit season here now, but I know that I would love these muffins! They look gorgeous!

    • The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Thank you, Medeja! Some of your lovely homemade yogurt would be the perfect accompaniment.

  3. wrote on

    Mmmmm, these look so tasty! I love love love grapefruit in baked goods…more unusual than lemon or orange, and so yummy!

    • The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Thank you, Sara! It’s true, not something you see very often, but oh so good.

  4. wrote on

    These look wonderful, grapefruit is a favorite of my partners and mine, they just taste so fresh. I know he will love these as will I. I can’t wait to give them a try, thank you for sharing your recipe :)

    • The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Thanks for visiting and for the compliment, Emma. Greetings to Great Britain!

  5. Susan

    wrote on

    I made these yesterday and they were soooo good! I followed your directions exactly and they turned out great! I love that they were moist and had a candied grapefruit and yet tang to them. Yum, yum! Thank you!

    • The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Woo-hoo! So glad you liked them, Susan! The grapefruit zest in the crumbly candied topping definitely gives it a “zip” and a “tang” – I agree, it’s a nice contrast to the sweetness. Thanks for trying them and for your feedback!

  6. wrote on

    These look delicious!

    • The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Hi Jenn, thanks for stopping by and for the compliment! If you like pink grapefruit, which I’m obsessed with, you will definitely love these!

  7. wrote on

    Love it, love it, love it!!!!. I happen to have a pink grapefruit tree with lots and,lots of grapefruits, and ran out of ideas of what to do with them, thank you!!!!!

  8. wrote on

    These look amazing! LOVE the idea of using grapefruit. Thanks so much for sharing your recipe. I’m going to bake 2 batches of these tomorrow for church on Sunday.


    • Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Thanks so much, Heather! I’m a huge pink grapefruit fan and it just seems a shame that they’re so under-utilized in baking and cooking. They enjoy center stage in these yummy muffins :) Thanks so much for pinning!

  9. wrote on

    Kimberly! My first batch just came out of the oven and these are AMAZING! They might just be my new favorite. Thanks so much, again, for this recipe! YUM!

    • Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Heather, I am so thrilled to hear that! I just love the smell of these muffins and the aroma that fills my kitchen when I make them. I’m so happy they were a hit and really appreciate the feedback, thank you!

  10. wrote on

    I made these yesterday, and everyone I shared them with loved them! The beaten egg whites really made these incredibly light and fluffy. I will certainly do that with some other muffin recipes in the future. I did cut the sugar to 3/4 of a cup and found them plenty sweet.

    • Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Wonderful, Rebecca, I’m so glad you and everyone else enjoyed them and really appreciate the feedback, thank you!

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