Monday, July 16, 2012

Light Grapefruit-Scented Cupcakes

Drops of Jupiter by Train
This was a difficult song choice.  Not because nothing came to mind but because EVERYTHING came to mind!  It was birthday time at my house - again.  My daughter, Katy, turned 24 yesterday.  She's a music hound.  Her musical tastes are probably as varied as my own.  She listens to my 70s mix almost as much as I do, but she's also always introducing me to new stuff as well - such as Florence + The Machine - part of our dinner conversation last night.  So which song to use for a post dedicated to her?  After much sampling and contemplating, I've settled on this beautifully poetic song by Train.  It's about a girl who goes out into "the atmosphere" and spreads her wings to see where she can fly.  This is where Katy is now poised - ready to adorn herself with drops of Jupiter - and I wish her all the very, very best!

I get people talking to me about my Katy all the time.  I hear words like "bubbly," "energetic," "full of life," "fun."  And they're right - she is every single one of those things.  She is a force of nature, creating her own whirlwind in her wake.  She does not travel life quietly.  Whatever she is involved in, she is involved in body and soul.  

As a little girl, we enrolled Katy in creative dance.  She took to it like a bird to the sky and we found great joy in watching her embrace this outlet.  Miss Joni, her teacher, was a genius in being able to get her class to express themselves fully.  After each routine she encouraged them to find their very own "finishing way."  This became part of the regular jargon at our home, with Katy constantly calling our attention to all the various "finishing ways" she could create.

Recently, Katy made a most inspiring and dramatic "finishing way."  To fully appreciate her "finishing way," however, you must see her beginning way.
This photo was taken in Paris in front of the Arc de Triomphe in June 2008.
This photo was taken in London at the top of the Eye of London in June 2010 - 125 pounds later and lighter.
Quite the finishing way, right?!
In October of 2008, she joined Weight Watchers while at college and began this magnificent but grueling journey.  She would come home for visits and we began to get snapshots of the progress she was making.  It was amazing to watch.  She started eating healthy, giving up her penchant for deep-fried foods, and releasing all that vibrancy and energy onto the gym floor.  And it worked!  Being the force she is, she encouraged many along the way as they, too, struggled with weight loss.  We are so proud of her!  It will be exciting to see where she goes when she applies this same energy to her next adventure!
To help Katy, I've tried to come up with birthday treats that she could enjoy and that would support her new eating habits.  Last year I made a cake featuring the elements of my Pineapple Orange Trifle.  This year I found these cute cupcake wrappers with the perfect message and created this cupcake.  I used a recipe from a Weight Watchers meeting for the cake.  It's simply a cake mix mixed with a 12 oz. can of diet soda.  To amp up the flavor, I used the fresh flavor of grapefruit - using a grapefruit diet soda and the zest from grapefruits.  I used a frosting recipe I found in my files and just lightened it up.  The result - a lovely and light cupcake that would also make a beautiful cake.  Leave your guilt at the door - just enjoy!

Light Grapefruit-Scented Cupcakes and Frosting
makes 18 cupcakes
Printable Recipe Card
1 box white cake mix
12 oz. diet Squirt
zest from two red grapefruit

1 - 1 oz. pkg. of sugar-free, fat-free white chocolate instant pudding mix
zest of 1 red grapefruit
1 c. skim milk
red and yellow food coloring
1 - 8 oz. container of fat-free Cool Whip
white sprinkles 

For the cake:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and place cupcake liners in muffin tins.

Empty the contents of the cake mix into a mixing bowl.  Add the zest of two red grapefruits.  Pour in the diet Squirt and mix on low with a mixer for 30 seconds, then medium speed for 2 minutes.

Fill the cupcake liners 2/3 full and bake for 15 - 18 minutes.  The surface will not get very brown at all and they might crack just a bit - but that's ok because you'll be frosting them and covering it up!

For the frosting:
Empty the contents of the pudding into a mixing bowl.  Add the zest of 1 grapefruit and the 1 cup of skim milk.  Please note that this is half the amount of milk called for on the box.  Mix with a mixer for a minute until the pudding thickens and is smooth.  Add a drop of red and a drop of yellow food coloring to get that pink grapefruit coloring and mix well.  With a spatula, fold the Cool Whip into the pudding mixture until well combined and smooth.  Refrigerate, covered, for about an hour.  Place in a pastry bag fitted with a star tip and pipe out some swirls onto each cupcake.  Decorate with sprinkles, if desired.


  1. Absolutely wonderful post! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Well, thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed her story. She is an amazing young lady and I'm proud to call her daughter. Enjoy the recipe!

  2. I'm one of those that Katy inspired along the way. I can't wait to try out your light recipe! Thanks!

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving a comment! I really hope you enjoy these. I was so surprised at how moist they were while being light and airy. Perfect for a summer day!

  3. That is an amazing accomplishment and Katy looks great!

    1. Hey, thanks for stopping by and reading. She IS amazing and we're proud of her!

  4. Wow, wow, wow. Janice that is amazing and loving tribute to a beautiful daughter, what a wonderful mom you are. Katy, you are amazing!! Not only do you look amazing but your mom really captured who you really are, full of life and love, supporting others and filling your life with joy. You guys are awsome!!!

    1. Hi, Tammy! I'm glad you enjoyed the post. She looks great, right? I look at the before pictures and I can hardly remember her ever looking like that. Amazing!