Pear of the Dog Cupcakes

The “big” day is almost here, and no, I sure as hell am not talking about my impending nuptials (wedding planning is not going quite as well as, er, planned). I’m talking about Valentine’s Day!

Although I have never been one to really get into the holiday, I am kind of feeling the love this year. All those heinous stuffed animal, chalky candy hearts, and pounds of truffles are starting to rub off on me, I suppose. Not that I’ll be showering J with such frivolities. Oh heavens no. With him, as with any man, you should stick to what you know he’ll appreciate: food and alcohol.

I already shared with you my favorite, and holiday appropriate,  drink.  so now I’d like to gift you with a recipe for you something sweet Enter: Pear of the dog cupcakes. Another cocktail-inspired cupcake for your sweetie!

Back in the summer, I took a trip to Charleston where I discovered the Pear of the Dog at the Rooftop Library Bar. A mixture of pear vodka and grapefruit juice, this drink was right up my ally. Now before get all pucker faced on me, here me out. IMG_7356Grapefruit juice is good. Slightly tart, yes, but so much better than those syrupy mixers full of all kinds of sugar nonsense that leave you feeling like you just drank a piece of candy. And if you throw in some, say sweet pear vodka, your grapefruit juice is suddenly transformed into a perfectly harmonized party of love in your mouth.

Turns out, the same is true for their cupcake counterparts. I mean, why make lame old red velvet when you can make these?

Pear of the Dog Cupcakes


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Yields: 24 Cupcakes

Difficulty: Pretty easy


  • 1 box white cake mix (I used Betty Crocker)
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup Sprite
  • 1/2 cup Fresh squeezed grapefruit juice
  • 1 tsp grated grapefruit peel

For the Vodka Pear Icing:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 ounces Pear flavored Vodka (I used Absolut)
  • Red food coloring
  • *optional* Candied grapefruit. I found mine in the bulk bins at Fresh Market. Essentially, its just the sour patch version of a grapefruit slice. Looks like so: IMG_7366


  1. Preheat the oven to 375
  2. Fill muffin tins with 24 liners
  3. In a bowl, mix box mix, melted butter, egg whites, Sprite, grapefruit juice, and peel with a mixer for 3 minutes.


    Slightly gross looking…

  4. Pour the batter into the muffin tins, about 2/3 full IMG_7364
  5. Bake for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean
  6. Cool the cupcakes on a wire rack. IMG_7373

For the Icing

  1. Cream the butter and sugar together
  2. Add vodka
  3. Add food coloring (only 1 or 2 drops, were going for a light pink color here) IMG_7379
  4. Spread atop cooled cupcakes. I used a piping bag, but if you’re feeling lazy, feel free to spread it on manually.
  5. You can leave your grapefruit candy as is (it’s a bit big for my liking) or cut it up into smaller pieces. Top your cupcakes with the pieces and enjoy!

One thought on “Pear of the Dog Cupcakes

  1. Pingback: Pancakes and Bowties | The Sassy Swan

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