Black Tea Grapefruit Muffins

Black Tea Grapefruit Muffins

Grapefruit is not for everyone, sure. But, it really, really does it for me.

This recipe started as me wanting to get more use out of grapefruit, a fruit which I adore. Since I am pretty much convinced that grapefruits can only be eaten in the morning (I don’t know why I think this), I thought, why not muffins? Muffins, too, make a delightful breakfast item. Coincidentally, I can only eat muffins in the morning as well. It was clearly meant to be.

I was thinking of adding a nutmeg milk infusion when I happened to have an amazing drink of black iced tea infused with grapefruit. Suddenly, it was really, really important just then to add black tea to my working muffin recipe, because then it would be like all the best things of breakfast in one muffin. Woah.


They key to baking with grapefruit is to remove the bitter parts of the fruit: pith and skin. We do this by first scraping off the zest of the grapefruit for smell and flavor and then removing the pulp and juice from their little skin sections. These were so quick and easy to make. Using a scale takes even less time. The messiest and most time-consuming part is, admittedly, removing the skins and pith from the grapefruit. But get that done and you’re home free.

Black Tea Grapefruit Muffins

These muffins are super moist, and full of different tones and flavors. They aren’t too sweet. The black tea really accentuates the flavor of tart grapefruit. You get the surprisingly complimentary flavors of cinnamon and nutmeg. Eat one for breakfast with a pat of butter or simply enjoy them on their own. I think adding some chopped walnuts to this recipe would be absolutely divine.

Black Tea Grapefruit Muffins

Black Tea Grapefruit Muffins
Yield: Approximately 14 muffins – a totally stupid number, I know. Sorry.

Zest of 1 ruby red grapefruit
Juice and pulp of 1 ruby red grapefruit (skin, seeds, and pith removed)
4 teabags of black tea (2.5 g/bag) – I used a strong black tea like Irish Breakfast, but I think Earl Grey would be great with its bergamot
1/2 c whole milk
3 large eggs, room temperature
12 tbs (or 1 1/2 sticks) of unsalted butter, melted
12 oz all-purpose flour, sifted
1 1/2 c (9 oz) granulated sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a muffin pan with 12 muffin liners.

Heat grapefruit pulp and juice over medium-low heat. When the juice is hot, add teabags and let them simmer in your grapefruit mixture for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, then remove tea bags and let the mixture cool to room temperature.

In a bowl, combine flour, granulated sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and baking powder. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, vigorously whisk in the grapefruit juice mixture, milk, eggs, butter. Pour wet mixture into the bowl of dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Fold in grapefruit zest.

Spoon muffin batter into muffin cups. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Set aside on the counter to cool completely before eating. Or eat them while they’re still warm. No big deal. I personally prefer day-old baked goods. Something about that wait period settles the gluten and makes them more like the thing they are supposed to be. Cookies are more cookie-like. Muffins are more muffin-y.

And, because I kinda went photo-crazy over dissected grapefruit, have another photo:

Grapefruit from the side



  1. These muffins are beautiful!!
    When you wrote “whisk half of the grapefruit juice mixture, milk, eggs, butter”- did you mean to use only half the grapefruit mixture in the recipe, and put aside the rest? I used it all and the muffins came out well.
    To remove the pulp from the little skin sections, I cut the fruit into eight segments, took out most of the seeds and squeezed out part of the juice, then took out the pith with a serrated fruit teaspoon before squeezing again.
    For me it yielded 18, but I have a few more grapefruit and am planning to make a larger batch with those.

    • Hi Annelise — and thank you! And what you did, using all of the juice and pulp of the grapefruit was correct! You actually caught a mistake in my recipe leftover from an earlier draft of this post as I was tweaking the recipe. I completely missed that part (and will correct it now). So, thank you pointing that out.

      Yes, I think the yield here will definitely vary depending on how much juice you can get from your grapefruit, its size, and even the size of the muffin/cupcake liners you use.

  2. These are the best muffins I have ever made and ever tasted! I am blown away. We have an abundance of grapefruit (the regular yellow variety) here at the moment and I was asked to make something for a Green themed afternoon tea – so I asked myself what is the most plentiful fruit of the moment , googled your recipe and came up with this. I can’t wait to take them along . . . thank you!

  3. Pingback: Favorite Things, 2012 « Sweet Synthesis

  4. Pingback: What’s on the Menu {5/13 – 5/17} | Kitchen Pots & Tabletops

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s