Basil Cupcakes with Grapefruit Icing

Have you heard? Savory is the new sweet.

I love sweets as much (if not more) than the next person but some days, I crave savory treats.

Caprese salad was a favorite of my parents when I was growing up so it was inevitable that I would develop an affinity for it. I mean come on, tomato, mozzarella and basil – what’s not to love? That’s probably one of the reasons I love using the salad’s ingredients in other aspects of my cooking, especially basil.

I tried for years to grow herbs in my apartment but no matter what I did, I couldn’t keep them alive. Apparently I don’t have much of a green thumb. Luckily that hasn’t stopped me from finding other ways to source herbs like basil for cooking and baking.

These cupcakes are savory but sweet lovers shouldn’t worry, the grapefruit icing is the perfect sweet topping! If you’re looking to remind everyone that spring has arrived, go for some colorful cupcake liners and decorate the cupcakes to look like flowers.

Basil Cupcakes with Grapefruit Icing
Recipe Type: Snack
Author: Charlotte
Savory cupcakes for basil and citrus lovers
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons (210g) granulated sugar
  • 12 tablespoons (170g) butter, softened
  • 3 tablespoons (20g) of chopped basil, packed
  • 2 eggs, large
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup (122ml) milk
  • 1 1/2 cup (215g) flour
  • 1 ½ (6g) Teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ (4g) Teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup (102g) solid vegetable shortening
  • ½ cup (113g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups (500g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 3 tablespoons grapefruit zest
  • 2 drops of orange food gel
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  2. Line two muffin tins with cupcake liners and set aside
  3. In a stand mixer, cream sugar, butter and basil together until light and fluffy in appearance
  4. Turn mixer to low and add one egg at a time, followed by the vanilla and milk
  5. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt
  6. Gently mix dry ingredients into wet
  7. Fill muffin tins ¾ of the way to the top and bake for 18 – 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean
  8. While cupcakes are cooling, prepare the frosting
  9. In a medium bowl, cream shortening and butter until light and fluffy
  10. Beat in vanilla extract
  11. Beat in confectioners’ sugar, one cup at a time, scraping down the sides as you go
  12. Once sugar is completely incorporated, beat in milk and grapefruit zest
  13. For optional color, add two drops of orange food gel and gently mix until color is incorporated
  14. Once cupcakes are completely cooled frost them

Icing recipe adapted from the Wilton Buttercream Icing recipe.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.