Grapefruit Olive Oil Loaf Cake


File this under way overdue. I promised to tell you about this cake... um, in May? But you know what, at least this is in time for fall. The smell of this cake is the best smell my kitchen has ever had (especially after some of the squeezed grapefruit goes through the garbage disposal). And if you're still not convinced, consider the following fact.

The first step in this recipe is to rub sugar and grapefruit zest with your fingers.

Yeah, I thought so.


What I love about this recipe is that it's every bit as moist as a regular lemon pound cake. And yet doesn't require fussing around with softening butter and creaming it with sugar. No mixer required for this gem. All you need is a couple of bowls (dry + wet), and a whisk.


OK. You do have to zest and juice a grapefruit. And then Deb calls for not one, but two glazes. I don't find it too much of a bother (especially because the work is more spread out), but you can easily omit one of them.


barely adapted from smitten kitchen's awesome cookbook

190 g 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

2 tbsp grapefruit zest (roughly one grapefruit)
100 g 1/2 cup granulated sugar
95 g   1/2 cup turbinado/raw sugar
1/2 cup 125 ml olive oil
2 large eggs
2 tbsp 30 ml grapefruit juice
1/3 cup 80 ml buttermilk/yogurt/sour cream

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 9x5 inch loaf pan. (I've also used a 9'' round pan with success.)

In a large bowl (where the rest of the cake will be mixed) combine sugars and zest and rub them together with your fingertips. Once your hands smell like heaven, whisk in the olive oil until smooth. Add (room temperature, of course) eggs one at a time, whisking between additions. Scrape the bowl.

Combine the dry ingredients in another bowl. In a measuring cup, combine the 2 tbsp of grapefruit juice with whatever dairy you had on hand (buttermilk/yogurt/sour cream).

Add the flour and dairy mixtures, alternating between them, to the oil and sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour.

Scrape the batter into the pan, smooth the top, and into the oven it goes. Bake for 45-60 min. Check for doneness with a cake tester/toothpick.

2 tbsp granulated sugar
1/3 cup 80 ml grapefruit juice

Combine sugar and juice in a small saucepan. Cook over low heat until sugar dissolves.

Once the cake is out of the oven and sitting on the counter being the best kitchen fragrance for 10 minutes, invert it out of the pan, and flip it again to make it right side up. Poke a bunch of holes in the cake (more than you think is necessary; they'll be covered up with glaze, don't worry) and pour/brush glaze on the cake. Let cool completely.

120 g 1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 tbsp 30 ml grapefruit juice
pinch of table salt

Combine and whisk until smooth. Pour glaze over a completely cooled cake. (The recipe says to let it drizzle decoratively down the sides, and granted Deb's cake looks beautiful, but that has never worked out for me. And that's OK, because ugly glaze tastes just as good. Amirite?)

Well, now that I've typed this out, this recipe looks kind of daunting. But I assure you, it just looks that way. This is, easily, my favorite recipe from deb's cookbook. And it's totally worth your Saturday afternoon. Let me know if you end up making it!


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