Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Grapefruit Olive Oil Cake


Like eggplant, I feel like grapefruit is another love it or hate it food.  I happen to love it now, but for many years I was firmly in the "hate it" camp.  Grapefruit margaritas changed it all for me.  Now I eat them several times a week during peak season.  So while I love it now, I'm kind of snob about it.  It has to be a ruby red grapefruit, and it has to be from Texas.

Joey's a grapefruit-hater, but I may have converted him with this cake.  Margaritas are my gateway drug to grapefruit, and cake is his.

I've had olive oil cakes a few times, and the results have been mixed at best.  But this one.  Oh boy.  It's good.  Like gooooood good.

I have to admit that I was kind of excited when I made it.  Since I thought Joey was a hater, I mistakenly thought I'd have this cake all to myself.  But I kept catching Joey sneaking bites.

It's moist and rich, but thanks to the bright and bracing citrus flavor, it still tastes light.  The olive oil is a great contrast to the intensity and bitterness from the grapefruit.  It's tart enough, but too tart.  It's sweet enough, but not too sweet.  And it's just light enough to justify eating it for breakfast.

The grapefruit diet was really popular once upon a time, right?  Maybe we should resurrect that and call it the grapefruit cake diet?  Any takers?

Grapefruit Olive Oil Pound Cake
The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook


  • butter or oil for the pan
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour, plus more for the pan
  • 2 Tbs freshly grated grapefruit zest (1-2 grapefruits)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup turbadino or raw cane sugar (granulated sugar can be subbed if you can't find this variety)
  • 1/2 cup good fruity olive oil
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp table salt
  • 2 Tbs freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk or yogurt
  • 2 Tbs granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 2 Tbs freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and butter and flour a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan.

In a large bowl, rub the grapefruit zest into the sugars with your fingertips.  This will help it release as much flavor and essence as possible.  

Whisk in the oil, then the eggs one at a time, and scrape down the bowl.

In a second, smaller bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  

Combine the grapefruit juice and buttermilk in a liquid measuring cup.

Alternating, add the flour and buttermilk mixtures to the sugar-oil mixture, beginning and ending with the flour.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and use a spatula to smooth the top.  Tap the pan on the counter a few times to pop any air bubbles.

Bake 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

As the cake is baking, make the syrup.  Combine 2 tablespoons of sugar with 1/3 cup of grapefruit juice in a small saucepan.  Cook over low heat until the sugar dissolves, stirring occasionally.  

When the cake is finished, cool it in the pan for 10 minutes.  Meanwhile, line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil, and top with a cooling rack.  Carefully invert the cake onto the rack, and use a toothpick or skewer to poke holes all over the top (don't go all the way through though).  Pour the syrup over the cake slowly.  Allow the cake to cool to room temperature.

To make the glaze, whisk together the confectioners' sugar and grapefruit juice until smooth.  Once the cake has cooled, pour the glaze over the cake, allowing it to drizzle down the sides decoratively.  Slice and serve.


Josie said...

I'm definitely in the LOVE it camp! And this little cake looks perfect!

Josie said...

I am a grapefruit lover of all kinds! Bring on the margaritas and cake! :)

Josie said...

I was a grapefruit hater all through college and then all of a sudden - WHAM! Love. I've actually made this cake and it is one of my favorites of all time.

Josie said...

I haven't ever tried grapefruit, but this cake sure makes me want to! YUM!

Josie said...

I LOVE grapefruit! Next season, you should come to Texas and we can make all the real deal Texas ruby red margs we can handle!

Post a Comment