cake-paradisi Recipes

grapefruit yogurt cake

We’ve torn into so many grapefruits this month, our fingertips have a near-permanent zest scent, I keep finding tiny juice capsules throughout the apartment and more pertinently, I have become fixated on finding a way to bring their bitter, sour-sweet flavor to a baked good. Unfortunately, my husband was convinced it wouldn’t work, and that it would be “weird.” Fortunately, I never listen to him.

grapefruit yogurt cake

In her latest cookbook, Ina Garten takes what I consider her best recipe yet — her lemon pound cake — and tries to lighten it up. As I’ve already expressed my disdain for Food Networkian notions of “light food,” I’ll skip the there’s-no-hope eye roll and simply state that in comparing the new and the old recipes, the butter is replaced with an equal amount oil, one-third of a cup of buttermilk is replaced with one cup of whole milk yogurt, and an extra egg is added and in the “lighter version.” That said, just because it may not exactly mesh with whatever your notion of diet food is doesn’t mean that yogurt does not a wonderful cake crumb make.

grapefruit yogurt loaf

I figured if she can make a lemon as well as an orange version of the pound cake, with and without chocolate chunks, each more fabulous than the last, that this recipe as well as technique — zest in the cake, basting with juices and draping with a citrus icing — would work for grapefruit as well. (Lime and blood orange, you’re next.) The trick was trying to figure out how to adjust the replacement to really make the grapefruit flavor come forward, as it is more sweet and mild than lemon, less than orange and the zest has less… zing, couldn’t resist. (Secretly, I also hoped for a ‘ruby red’ tinge, but alas, not much luck with that one.)

I threw in an extra teaspoon of zest and dialed the sugar back in the glaze almost entirely and from our nibbles last night and another this morning, I think it did the trick. Having divided the batter into two miniature loaves, one for us and one for friends, I skipped the glaze due to nothing but laziness, though in truth it doesn’t need it for anything but show. The grapefruit shows up enough to announce it’s presence but not too brashly and the yogurt makes for a lighter, springier and more coffee-cake like crumb, and best yet, Alex has admitted he was misguided in his lack of faith. Like, duh.

grapefruit yogurt loaf

Grapefruit Yogurt Cake
Adapted loosely from Ina Garten

1 1/2 cups (190 grams) all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup (230 grams) plain whole-milk yogurt
1 cup (200 grams) plus 1 tablespoon (13 grams) sugar
3 extra-large eggs
1 tablespoon grated grapefruit zest (approximately one large grapefruit)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup (120 ml) vegetable oil
1/3 cup (80 ml) freshly squeezed grapefruit juice

For the glaze:
1 cup (120 grams) confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons (30 ml) freshly squeezed grapefruit juice

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease an 8 1/2 by 4 1/4 by 2 1/2-inch loaf pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper. Grease and flour the pan.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt into 1 bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the yogurt, 1 cup sugar, the eggs, grapefruit zest, and vanilla. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. With a rubber spatula, fold the vegetable oil into the batter, making sure it’s all incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 50 minutes, or until a cake tester placed in the center of the loaf comes out clean.

Meanwhile, cook the 1/3 cup grapefruit juice and remaining 1 tablespoon sugar in a small pan until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear. Set aside.

When the cake is done, allow it to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Carefully place on a baking rack over a sheet pan. While the cake is still warm, pour the grapefruit-sugar mixture over the cake and allow it to soak in. Cool.

For the glaze, combine the confectioners’ sugar and grapefruit juice and pour over the cake.

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183 comments on grapefruit yogurt cake

  1. Celeste

    I’ve heard good things about something called Hollywood Grapefruit Cake, but I’ve never made it or eaten it. I know there are a lot of recipes for it if you can stand to peel any more of these fruits. ;o)

  2. The color thing is always an issue with grapefruit. I made some grapefruit jelly with a friend and we ultimately resorted to adding a few drops of red food coloring because her kids kept telling us it looked like snot and wouldn’t eat it. The dye brought it to an appropriate pink that everyone much preferred.

  3. Yum!
    Nigella does her “Mother-in-law’s Madeira cake, with yummy lemon and it’s decidedly not light! I’ve wondered how one could tamper with variations upon it.
    I myself am crazy about pomelos right now, but I just don’t think they’re juicy enough to use in baking.
    BTW, does anyone know of a website where one can go to find what kind of spices and herbs would go with any given food? Like grapefruit for example?

  4. deb

    Celeste — Oooh, I just dug up a couple Hollywood grapefruit cake recipes and they look very good! I love the pairing of cream cheese frosting (though find the whole segement on top kind of odd). It reminds me of these Cupcake Blog cupcakes I’ve had bookmarked for so long. How awesome does grapefruit curd sound? I think it’s time for me to try them.

    Erin — Tempting! I actually thought about it too. I am such a sucker for pink these days.

  5. Celeste

    Deb, those cupcakes seem like they would be amazing!!

    ITA on the segments on top of the cake. I always get a little weird about fresh citrus on a dessert–the little paper thin wafers of lime on key lime pie, for example. I don’t think I would even serve fresh grapefruit with the cake; I would rather have people just wondering where the different flavor was coming from.

    On a related note, have you ever used blood oranges for anything? I always think of them in the winter. The one time I ate some, I thought they tasted almost fermented. I know they’re just oranges with a pedigree, but I think they’re intriguing. I have this idea that they would make a good citrus glaze for poultry.

  6. Yvo

    Mmm, that sounds interesting. It looks suspiciously like pound cake, which will surely trick me into thinking it’s yummy and bad for me. And therefore even yummier? ;)

  7. AngAk

    Beautiful loaves. I bet they were good the next day as well(if there was any left). Maybe add the juice of one blood orange for a natural way to add some pinkness? Just enough to add some color.

  8. Cooks Illustrated tested seems to indicate that cooking destroys the pungency of citrus. So I have always glazed my lemon cakes right out of the oven by poking them with a skewer and dribbling on a mixture of lemon and sugar(regular not confectioners). I bet the grapefruit was yummy this way too.

    This would be fantastic with some grapefruit curd!

  9. Sweet Potato

    I have approximately 40 pink grapefruit languishing in my cold cellar, waiting to be eaten and I have been searching for recipes. This looks sooo delicious! Unfortunately I have no mini loaf pans… the size adds to their charm. I have also recently made Martha’s Pink Grapefruit Sandwhich cookies (see http://www.marthastewart.com/page.jhtml?type=content&id=recipe3430030&layout=martha) but found the grapefruit flavour was too subtle for my tastes. And I added pink food colouring.

  10. Christine

    Damn South Beach!!!!! I would literally rip my arm off and give it to you if it meant I could have just a crumb of that!!!!!

  11. Yum, this looks so good. I was wondering if you meant 3 tablespoons zest instead of 3 teaspoons? It seems like a whole grapefruit would have more zest than that. Thanks for the recipe!

  12. I love grapefruits as well. I have some hints for you–

    place the sugar and the citrus zest in the food processor before adding either to the batter. this helps the oils get released, and the flavour comes through more. try to use organic fruit because commercial grapefruits are heavily waxed… you can also wash the rind in hot water.

    squeeze about a cup of GF juice and reduce in a non-reactive saucepan until syrupy. add this to the batter.

    use regular sugar instead of 10X for the glaze– the cornstarch in the 10X lessens the taste of the juice/zest. and same with the glaze– put some zest in food processor, cook glaze down a bit and pass through fine meshed sieve if you don’t want zesty bits.

    citrus is hard to bake with. but it can be so gratifying when one works out the logistics.

    for a nice garnish– “brulee” some citrus segments before serving. mmmmm!

  13. deb

    Jennie — Oh, you should try! In the end, you really only need about a half-cup of juice. Or, if you can find the juice somewhere unsweetened, you could use that (with sugar) for the basting and the fresh zest in the cake. Not sure of any site like you mentioned, but I’d say go with whatever you’d like with it.

    Celeste — I used them once for something, maybe a salad dressing but I think they’d be really fun in this cake.

    Yvo — The original recipe is totally a pound cake, so this is just a variation, minus the butter. Tastes just as good, however, and incredibly moist.

    Susan — Quite possibly true, though I respect her for not throwing skim milk into her hot chocolate so she can use the word “healthy” on tv! Should you want to go all the way over to a low-fat version, I believe the old trick used to be to replace the oil with apple sauce. In a dessert cake, I think it’s odd, but for a breakfast, brunch-y snack, I think the additional fruit would fit nicely.

    Jocelyn — What we need is someone to have a birthday so I can try that grapefruit, orange and lime-curd filled cupcake varieties with cream-cheese frosting. Or just cake. Cake, much easier.

    AngAk — Possibly. Though I also liked, in that link above, Cupcake Blog’s use of candied grapefruit curls to let people know what was inside. I really want to make grapefruit-gettes too! (But again, the husband wrongly thinks they’ll be funny-tasting.)

    Sweet Potato — Martha’s recipes always look so darling, always just-exactly-what-I’m-in-the-mood-for and so often disappoint me, too. I feel your pain!

    Luisa — Thank you. I bet almond paste, like in the tea cake you made last week, would be awesome in here. Or do I just have a one-track-mind? Heh.

    Eileen — Nope, I got about 1 tablespoon/3 teaspoons with our microplane. The grapefruit was medium/large. I’m pretty skimpy when I use it, though, only hitting each spot once with a back and forth motion.

    shuna fish lydon — Ah Shuna! Really, sometimes I make things and just hope you’ll leave me a comment, making everything better. This was one of those things, as I remember you mentioning candied grapefruit peels a while back, leading me to suspect you know a bit about these paradisis. Thanks for all of your advice: the grinding with sugar sounds wonderful (and reminiscent of this sorbet I cannot WAIT to make again) and I’ve often felt the rind was very waxy and disturbing to zest, so good point (is it the same for oranges and lemons?). As for the glaze, the confectioners sugar is supposed to make a second white glaze, just for decoration (that Ina, always ridiculously over the top), the first was just the 1/3 cup juice and a tablespoon granulated sugar, melted together and sort of basted on. I skipped the white glaze, but used the juice baste. Brulee-ing sounds awesome, and better yet, I got a brulee torch for Hanukah! (Not from the husband, mind you, who has since installed an extra smoke alarm muttering “well, uh, you are a little clumsy…“)

    Ryan — Indeed.

    Flicka — Oh, but it has yogurt in it. It’s “light.” ;)

  14. My mum loves grapefruit and she always has way too many this time of year- bruleed grapefruit, grapefruit in syrup, grapefruit and avocado salad, and on it goes. She’s so obsessed she even made a grapefruit tart once (yeah, don’t try it). I’ll pass this recipe along to her.

    I’ve had my eye on this Martha Stewart recipe for grapefruit/poppy seed layer cake with mascarpone frosting for a while, but have never gotten around to making it.

  15. Mmm, this looks lovely. One of my favorite fruit/cake/bread recipes comes from a friend: she demolishes a whole (yes, whole, skin and all) orange in a blender, then blends in the other ingredients. The whole thing takes one dish (the blender) and whips together (literally) in a flash. I love orange breads and etc because they’re usually not too sweet. I must ask, though – how do you get such wonderful looking crusts? Mine always end up too dark!

  16. Okay, I arrive in Houston safe and sound and OFCOURSE I had to visit Deb’s site. What does B say as the pictures of the pound cake appear on his monitor, “Make me some now!” Deb, he was quite taken by this recipe and I’m sure I will be making this cake in the near future (three to four days) since he wanted to rush out and buy the ingredients for it after ten hours of driving.

    I think I’m going to make a roasted compote to go with. It’s just any type of berry mixed with honey and a little sugar and a pinch of salt heated in the oven at 300 degrees until soft and mashed with a fork. We can thank Michael Chiarrello (sp) for this recipe.

  17. Mmmm! Looks delish. The blood orange is a great idea also, and I just happened to pick some up from the farmer’s market today, without a real plan as to what would happen with them. If I give it a go, I’ll make sure to let you know how it turns out! :)

  18. Mmmmm. Next you should make grapefruit curd to spread on it! (I just made some using Martha Stewart’s recipe and it was too sweet, but really really good – next time I’ll use half to 3/4 of the sugar and it will be totally AMAZING.)

  19. Christine

    Deb,
    Do you have a recipe for lemon curd??? I am making cupcakes for our super bowl party and I want to put a dolop of that lemony goodness in the middle…Thanks so much!

  20. Christine

    Thanks Deb!!! I am planning on using Ina’s flower cupcake recipe with that amazing frosting and a sweet tart treat in the middle. I think your suggestion will work amazingly!!!!! Thanks so much!

  21. When you’re ready to do this full-time in your own restaurant, please let me know. I’d like to invest. :)

    And, uh, how about a series on “Cooking for Single Guys – There’s more to life than bologna”. :)

  22. Cath

    Your grapefruit cake couldn’t have come at a better time. The other day I came home with a bag of ultra cheap limes, read your recipe, and then your comment that limes should look out and thought i would give it a whirl. I’m in awe, inspired and already 3 kilos heavier than i was when i first read your post. I also had to convert the recipe to gluten free and couldn’t be happier with the results. The limes were fragrant and very very zesty, the cake offered up the crumb you said it would, and with a mound of oh so sweet vanilla ice cream a perfect end to a summer barbecue. Keep throwing the suggestions out there ’cause i’ll keep trying them out. Love the site, love your writing…

  23. Oh Deb, your mention of grapefruit curd had me dreaming of the luscious possibilities for days. I finally caved in last night and made a grapefruit curd tart. You were right, it was amazing. If you want the recipe, it’s here. Thanks for the inspiration!!

  24. Hello :) It’s a great recipe, thanks. I substituted the grapefruit for lemon, did without the vanilla, and it works perfectly. A cup of tea and iced lemon cake. Perfect! Hello from Ireland.

  25. I made this for a (small) potluck, and it was a hit. Just to get rid of any hint of this being healthy, I also offered whipped cream for the top, and that was accepted with pleasure. I used an actual grapefruit for the juice, and the flavor comes through pretty well. I remember you once saying that you don’t like cakes, because they don’t stay moist…well, this is one super-moist cake! And so yummy! I have requests to make it again.

  26. okay, so i made this yesterday in a lower sugar, lower fat version – substituting non-fat plain yogurt for the whole fat yogurt, and splenda for the sugar. it tastes awesome, maybe not quite as rich as the fattier version, but definitely worthwhile. it’s still insanely moist and the grapefruit leaves a lovely aftertaste.

  27. Hannah

    I tried this with non-fat plain yogurt and lime instead of grapefruits or lemon…. Love the moistness and the zesty lime flavor of the cake. Working the oil into the batter was a bid of struggle for me, but as long as you use a large bowl you shouldn’t have that issue. As for the glaze, 2 tbsp will not make it smooth. I added 1-2tbsp water to smooth out.

  28. Amy

    I know this post is a year old now, but I rediscovered it from your 2007 in review post. I don’t even like grapefruit, but we got some as a Christmas gift, and I used one to make this cake for a potluck. It was fantastic. Everyone loved it, especially me! I’m going to have to make another one to keep for myself.

  29. Laura

    This bakes up so nice – the timing is perfect. So yummy, even skeptics loved it! Don’t substitute applesauce for oil – it comes out gummy and not good at all. Tonight I’m trying to make them into cupcakes/muffins

  30. Yulia

    Thanks for another great recipe, Deb!
    We adore our red grapefruits here and already mourn the time when the supply from the last season runs out. Only peaches and nectarines can make up for that…
    But I digress. The cake is excellent! I made it several times already, and here are my comments:
    1. To achieve the best grapefruit kick, the amount of vanilla should be halved, and the amount of grapefruit zest doubled. Tried it last time, that’s how I’ll make it from now on. Two large grapefruits for the zest!
    2. How can a cake be soaked with juice while on a rack?! I poked a bunch of holes in the top of the cake, and spooned the juice over it while still in the pan, then ran a knife along the edges of the pan to let any excess liquid slide down to soak the bottom. The holes do look strange, but that’s when the sugar glaze comes in handy. And I don’t think it merely a decoration, at least for the sweet teeth that we are! It adds all the more to deliciousness!
    3. Now, this is something I haven’t tried yet, because I don’t have it at hand… adding Campari to the the batter/juice/glaze. I love the pairing of grapefruit juice with Campari in a cocktail, and it may give the cake the much sought after pinkness, adding more bitter complexity along the way…
    Oh, this comment got a bit over-sized… sorry about that.

  31. Lydia Chan

    I was looking for an easier version of Ina’s lemon pound cake recipe and saw this… it was delicious! I used lemons, low fat yogurt, and three small eggs because that’s what I had on hand, and it turned out so nicely. The lemon flavor just zings the tongue, and my coworkers devoured it this morning.

  32. This was an amazing cake! I ended up making it twice in one week. See my post here. I didn’t do the glaze, but I agree with Yulia that attacking the cake with a fork is helpful to let the syrup really soak in. On my second try, I also went ahead and put the cake in the tupperware where it would live and then did the syrup so the rest would just soak into the bottom.

  33. karen

    it’s marinating in the grapefruit juice as i speak. i’m using a raspberry cream cheese frosting rather than the glaze and i CAN’T wait. my parents have been nay-saying it the entire time telling me there’s no such thing as loaves with grapefruit but they can’t wait for me to serve it to them.

  34. Susan

    Love the website, love your recipes!

    The recipe says 1/3 cup freshly squeezed grapefruit juice, but the directions mention 1/3 cup LEMON juice. Which is correct?

    Thanks!

  35. Elissa

    Hmm, thinking of taking a lemon version to a xmas potluck party to offset the chocolate/frosting overdose I’ll be likely to encounter there. So, in the original recipe, it was 2tsp lemon zest? You mentioned that you tossed in an extra tsp-ful of zest for the grapefruit version–just checking! Wonder if it should still be 3tsp if I’m using meyer lemons…

  36. I am an avid reader of your blog but never comment (let alone on a year old post) – but I just had to tell you that I made this and it was absolutely amazing. I used the glaze but I don’t believe anything can be too sweet :) I am completely addicted, this is my new winter time treat!

    (as a side note: I would LOVE to see a post sometime with your photography set up/process – as a photographer that is food-photography challanged, I would love to learn from you. How do you manage to get all these great shots while you are cooking? And, what sort of lighting do you have in your kitchen?)

  37. Georgia

    Well, I was intrigued by this post, so I mentioned it on my facebook status. Oh My GOD – I got no less than 19 comments about this. People were up in arms about putting yoghurt, not to mention grapefruit, in a cake. I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it or not, but with a response like that how could I refuse?! So, I made it this morning and just had a slice; I must say, it is quite tasty. I’ve only made one other cake with yoghurt, and I remember it having a similar texture – kind of chewy/spongey. It’s not my favourite cake, but I do really enjoy it. The novelty/controversy factor alone is worth it, but the flavor is really delicate and nice. Thanks a million Deb – I really enjoy your site.

  38. Jazzalto

    I adore this recipe. I squeezed the juice by hand and without straining the bits of flesh and poured it over the cake multiple times. It had a pink confetti topping effect and more grapefruit taste.

    If I thought it was good, let me tell you how amazing it was frozen! I had to store half of it because there were only two of us and both my husband (who hates grapefruit normally) and I would almost prefer it frozen.

    Give it a try.

  39. I just made this cake with brown sugar and goat’s milk yogurt and it is delicious! I only had half a cup of yogurt left so I halved the recipe and baked it in a small round Pyrex dish. The cake took longer to bake due to the deepness of the dish, but the extra time developed a crispy crust and the inside cake was moist and light. My cake didn’t look as pretty as yours though, but I prefer the crispy crust.

  40. I made this cake on Friday. It was a winner for my tea party. I substituted the vegetable oil with Olive Oil, and added blueberries to the cake. Heavenly. I will make this cake over and over again!

  41. FinnLucy

    Made this cake today —

    I used 2x the zest per the request above, and made it with nonfat yogurt that I make. No sugar frosting — totally does not need it.

    I also didn’t want to “waste” the glaze and let it soak in the pan — this is what I do with my lemon poundcake.

    Thought the cake was really great — not too sweet, and really moist. The yogurt is genius, I think. I thought perhaps I would substitute melted butter for the oil (I used canola) — but it was totally unnecessary. I was perfect with my cup of tea!!!

  42. becky

    I just made this twice! First, I made it with blood oranges. The oranges zested beautifully, and the juice made for a really pretty glaze; most importantly, the taste was perfect. I omitted the second glaze because, as said above, it was not needed.

    I’m making one right now with kumquats. About half a pint of whole kumquats and the sugar got put through the food processor first, and then I continued the recipe as normal. The other half pint was boiled down with some sugar and water to make the glaze. It’s real tasty!

  43. Emma

    This cake is amazing! I made it a few weeks ago and my family demolished it immediately. I also added zest to the glaze but it did resulted in a bitter aftertaste. Just baking another now and I’m leaving the zest out of the glaze. Top marks from me, my friends, my family and my manager!

  44. Erica

    I am in love with this cake! I made it yesterday, and both my husband and daughter loved it as well. The icing is fun, but I think it would be just as good without. We made it with nonfat yogurt, and honestly, I can’t imagine it tasting any better!

  45. Sarah

    I discovered your site only recently and knew that I had to try this recipe as soon as I saw it. Citrus cakes are among our favorite desserts. I made the cake this afternoon. Delicious! Thank you so much. I am a devotee of Ina’s, but the one recipe I’ve made and disliked was her lemon pound cake. It sunk in the middle and wouldn’t cook through before it became too brown on top. No such trouble with this recipe. Thank you ever so much for the alterations! I will use this base for future lemon pound cakes. Wouldn’t this be lovely in a trifle layered with whipped cream, curd, and berries?

  46. stephanie

    This is one of my favorite recipes and make it whenever i have an excuse to, my friend is going away to collage in two days and i am going to make her one as a parting gift.

  47. Fatima

    I tried this recipe to use up some leftover grapefruit. It came out wonderfully (even though I burnt the top and sides slightly). I took it to my in-laws who seem to only like cakes that have no frosting (anything I bake with frosting remains untouched) and it was consumed within 2 days. Thanks Deb!

  48. Angel Celeste

    I just dug out this recipe and made it last night, with one minor addition and one major substitution. Vanilla extract was added to the glaze for an extra bit of flavor. But my major change was using a one-to-one swap of sour cream for the yogurt, simply because I already had two cartons of sour cream in the fridge. The cake was divine, with a pretty yellow hue.

  49. Misty

    Thx for this one! I made it for a Christmas Eve brunch with the inlaws. I SPILLED about half of the grapefruit juice I needed for the glaze so I subbed in some freshly squeezed orange juice with the remaining grapefruit and it came together nicely. This cake was SO moist. I also used a skewer to poke holes though the top of the cake to let the first glaze really soak in.

  50. Julie

    Hi – I’d love to make this cake today, but I don’t have an 8x4x2 loaf pan. Would it work as muffins, do you think? Thanks – it looks wonderful!

  51. Jill

    Cooking novice question! I just attempted this and got a massive overflow and a very liquid-y center (with just five minutes to go). The outsides, which are cooked, taste delicious from my sampling, but the rest just didn’t come together. Could I have not incorporated the oil fully enough? There was no sheen or visible oily patches when I poured into the loaf pan, but I may have missed something. Thanks!

  52. Gretchen

    I read in the intro that the “light” version of this recipe called for one more egg than the regular version, so three instead of two.

    I thought the bread tasted a little too eggy and the texture was a bit too spongy.

    Has anyone tried it with the cup of yogurt and just two eggs? Still workable?

    Jill — I baked mine for about an hour and fifteen minutes because the center was still wet. Wonder what would’ve happened if you just would’ve kept it in for another 15-20 minutes.

  53. Rae G

    I just pulled a loaf of this out of the oven and it is fantastic -super tender and moist. I’m going to skip the glaze- it’s really delicious and sweet without it. I’m wondering how this recipe might do in muffin tins- has anyone tried that?

  54. Hi Deb!

    This is the first time I try a recipe of Smitten Kitchen :)

    I had three big organic grapefruits in the fridge (for the last ten days!) and had had no idea what to do with them -despite sinking teeth into them! :D

    Lucky me! Found a recipe that charms me :)

    My grapefruite loaf is in the oven now (just the first quarter of the baking time!) and can’t wait to see the result.

    I’ll let you know :)

    Cheers from Istanbul!
    Banu

  55. YL

    I just tried this recipe with low-fat yogurt, in a 9×5 loaf pan, and it was utterly delicious. I took it out of the oven in 40 minutes. The middle was perfectly baked. I also had trouble getting the glaze to take, but solved the problem by poking the crust with one end of a bent paper-clip and pouring the glaze over drop by drop (it is easier and faster than it sounds).

    I too am curious about reducing the number of eggs to 2 (or to use more whites than yolks). Maybe I will just have to try it out this weekend. :)

  56. Lynnie

    I made this yesterday using a 9 inch springform pan (baked it for about 40 minutes)…it was excellent! Very moist, easy and the flavor was great. I did use the glaze, and it was a perfect compliment to the cake. Thanks for yet another great recipe.

  57. Sarah Graham

    Hi Deb,
    I know this is ages after the original post, & no-one else seems to have made the same mistake, but never mind.
    I read through this recipe quickly today & noticed that there was a glaze. I did what I do when I make all cakes – I put all ingredients into my Kitchen Aid blender & blitzed the hell out of them. (Hey, it usually works.) I then poured the batter into the loaf tin & put it into the oven & made the glaze. Only then did I realise that there were TWO glazes… Since you separate out ingredients for the final glaze, could you maybe in the ingredients list just separate out ingredients for the SYRUP? or call them 1st glaze & 2nd glaze? I accept that I misread it & that was my own stupid fault for not studying it more carefully, but that might have made the instructions clearer.
    I have to say, though, that once I’d removed the burnt ‘lid’ – oven too hot – & let the cake cook for another 20 minutes, it was still delicious, if a little soggy!
    I’m looking forward to making this cake again, properly this time!

  58. Connie

    I just had the same idea of “why not make a grapefruit cake?” and love the Ina Garten Lemon Cake recipe, so this is EXACTLY what I was looking for!

  59. Tara

    Just made this but split it into 3 mini loaves. one for my co-worker’s birthday, 1 for hubby & I (he too is a skeptic of the grapfreuit cake) and one for other co-workers…it smells & looks PERFECT! Cannot wait to eat it!!!
    Thanks…your newest fan…

  60. Tara

    Oh…and I was short on yogurt (used 0% Fage Total) and substituted 1/4 cup homemade buttermilk to make up the difference…the are perfect, golden & moist!!

  61. Fallon

    This cake (in cupcake form) is in the oen, but I have to comment that 2 Tbsp of liquid and 1 C of powdered sugar will NOT make a glaze! I started with that, and it formed an absolutely solid blob that took several more Ts of juice to make it pourable!

  62. Have you ever tried grapefruit pie? When my husband first told me about his mom’s grapefruit pie I was a huge skeptic, but on first trying it I devoured three pieces. Grapefruit, strawberry gelatin and a few other things – it’s amazing!

  63. Jocelyn

    First time visitor to your site-tried this recipe and it was wonderful! I followed the advice of another reader and rubbed the zest into the sugar before combining with the other ingredients. It really released the oils of the grapefruit skin and enhanced the flavor greatly. Fabulous!

  64. Anne

    Good Morning! I just want to say that I love love love your recipes, their photographs and your style is so, dare I say, accessible.That being said, I love grapefruit and I am going to try this today. Actually, I am staring at a bowl of grapefruits as I post. A few years ago, I made a phenomenal grapefruit meringue. Sounds totally bizarre but it was delicious! Crumb crust in a spring-form pan, grapefruit custard-y filling (juice and zest), drizzled with caramel and topped with the meringue. I believe it was a Food and Wine recipe and it was AH-MAZING!!!! As I am sure this is too.

  65. Long-time reader, first-time commenter, and literally YEARS behind on this recipe, but I just made it as muffins. Came out perfectly! Baked for about 12-15 minutes and then spooned the grapefruit/sugar mixture over the top of each muffin. I too skipped the glaze, and these definitely don’t need it!

  66. Just made it this evening and gobbled down my first piece. I didn’t have a loaf pan, so I used a round cake pan and reduced the baking time to 40 minutes. Heavenly! Needed something to use up all the grapefruits Dad sent me from Florida for Christmas. {{eyes the other four}}.

  67. tnovak

    Hi all. This is a greatlooking recipe! I’m a huge grapefruit fan myself and usually would use that ingredient over other citruses, but I have a crate of clementines to finish! I’ve read the other awesome looking clementaine recipes on the site but this one is really calling out to me. Any suggestions for subbing w/ clementines? Thanks!

  68. tnovak

    baked it today with grapefruit and clementine, sticking to the recipe only subbing about 1/2 the grapefruit juice with clem juice. it is a lovely cake; moist, elegant, yet simple. a nice step away from chocolate too, not that i’m knocking that big C. thanks!

  69. Stefanie

    oooohhh! I know Im a little late to the party BUT Ina Gartens Lemon Yogurt Cake was the first thing I ever made from scratch! Everyone adored it and she is now my personal kitchen hero. You are a very close second. I sing your praises often. Stumbling upon THIS… magic. I wanted to make something my grandparents could enjoy for their 60th wedding anniversary and this is perfect!

  70. Amy

    YUM! This was rapidly devoured, before I even had time to make the second glaze. I made the following adjustments for high altitude (7000 ft) and the cake came out FANTASTIC (pardon all the “about”s, I adjust lots of recipes for altitude in this way and kind of eyeball it):
    Added about 1 Tbsp flour
    Added about 1 Tbsp yogurt
    Removed about 1 Tbsp sugar
    Removed about 1/8 tsp baking powder

    And that did the trick for a wonderful texture.
    I also swapped 1/2 cup of whole wheat pastry flour for all-purpose because my husband is a health nut. I love these “healthy” pound-cake-like yogurt cakes and this is by far the best recipe I’ve tried for one. THANKS!

  71. alice

    I’m currently out of baking powder. I read that using 1/2 tsp of cream of tartar and 1/4 tsp of baking soda is equivalent to 1tsp of baking powder. Have you tried this substitution before?

  72. Mrs D

    Baked this beauty today, so so lovely! Thank you for yet ANOTHER fab recipe Deb. My adaptions were:

    * about 4 tsp finely peeled and chopped rind (my grapefruits really struggled against my microplane, probably super waxy)
    * dark muscovado sugar (all I had)
    * didn’t cook the first syrup – just used fresh juice and stirred in a tbs agave syrup. I strained this and poured over the cake immediately out of the oven (pierced cake with a skewer first) and still in the tin. Cake then sat for about 10 minutes before turning out onto my cake rack.

    *best operatic soprano* YUUUUUUUUUUUUUUM! PS your son is utterly adorable…
    * skipped the glaze

  73. Anne

    Great recipe! I used plain non-fat kefir instead of yogurt and melted earth balance instead of vegetable oil and it turned out great! Yum!

  74. Nina

    Deb, I just love your blog so much! Now that I’ve gushed, do you have any suggestions for lightening this up a bit? Do you think it still would be good if I left out the vegetable oil at the end or took out an egg? What about using whole wheat flour? I don’t mind if it doesn’t taste as much like pound cake. I actually really love baking with yogurt and try to use it as a substitute as often as I can!

  75. vanessa t.

    shout out for this recipe! ‘the babe ruth of cakes’! totally delicious, perfect bitter/sweet flavor and great texture. thanks!

  76. kmast

    Mine just finished baking, and tastes wonderful. I don’t like to use food coloring in my food, so I used just a slosh of pickled beet juice. (Gasp!) There wasn’t enough juice to give it any taste, just a nice soft pink color. Thanks for the recipe!

  77. Kath

    Deb! Help! I’ve made this recipe a few times over the past year and it’s turned out FANTASTIC! Today I’ve failed twice! I made it this morning with plain greek yogurt and thought that might be the issue. It fell in the center and the texture was really eggy. This afternoon I picked up plain yogurt and double acting baking powder and it still was flat. I have guests coming this evening, so I haven’t tried a slice of the second try, but I’m just lost about what’s going wrong! Hopefully this second attempt just looks weird, but tastes fine!

  78. I tried this recipe, and it happen exactly what KATH said, follow everything exactly and the cake did not turn out as it look in your pic, for some reason its too moist, eggy,fell in the middle, the batter was very liquid, I think i should have added more flour. And about the frosting I had to used 5 teaspoons of grafruit juice for a cup of confectioners sugar, but it still taste ok to me, my hubby did not like it. I am sure I did everything ok. what could it be?
    My yogurt was plain and I used all purpose flour. I will still try more recipes from your webpage

  79. Krista

    I didn’t have oil so I used butter and it turned out awesome, next I am going to try it in a muffin pan and freeze some, this is now one of my favourite recipes.

  80. I made this cake for a Spring Potluck this weekend and it was so fresh and moist! My sister doesn’t really like pound cake type cakes but she said that the texture was amazing. I thought it would have a stronger grapefruit flavor (definitely citrus, but somewhat indistinguishable), but it still was delicious and was a big hit! I will make this again for sure.

  81. Grace

    Sad to admit I was a little disappointed with this cake – I just love grapefruits and I think my expectations were a little too high :/ I just wish it had more of that delightful grapefruity zing! This could be due to generally disappointing grapefruits though…

    I tried making them into cupcakes, but this also failed, because the bottoms are permanently attached to the papers (I should have realized this would be a problem when I read “grease and flour and parchment”)

    One thing that did work well, was stabbing the cupcakes with a fork, holding the holes open, and pouring lots and lots of that basting juice inside =D

  82. This is a great recipe. I fiddled a bit: replaced one egg with chia gel because our chooks are off the lay (first time I’ve tried this), replaced some flour with almond meal and used low GI sugar, ended up with a very dense cake, not your gorgeous crumb, but it was so tasty, great afternoon tea and I think it will be even nicer tomorrow. I followed Shuna Fish Lydon’s suggestions, and the sugar tasted beautiful after whizzing around with the zest. I used two grapefruits worth of juice reduced down, and yellow grapefruits because that was what I had – the flavour was pretty knock-you-out grapefruit. I didn’t do the glaze because I thought the syrup was enough.

    Was a great way to use the grapefruits we got in our organic box and my kids really liked it too. Thanks for the recipe (and all your lovely recipes)

  83. Nicole

    Hi Deb!

    This cake was super yummy and my family just loved it! Such a perfect summer pound cake. I just have one question, although a small detail, about the parchment paper. Is there a way to use it so that it does not fold in when pouring in the batter? Although it turned out beautifully the edges were not as neat as I would have hoped.
    Thanks again!

    1. deb

      If the paper is rolling in, it’s best to flip it over first. Otherwise, just pour it in carefully. Sometimes, pour a little batter in and using an offset spatula to smooth the batter to the edges (in one direction, pulling back will cause the pachment to roll up) helps, but I’ve never needed to do that with this cake.

  84. Dawn

    I made this, and it was soooo wonderful! In a brazen attempt to make it mine, I added poppyseeds and dried cherries. Taste was awesome, but the cherries sank to the bottom, even though I coated them with flour. Is there a better way, as I loved this combo!

  85. Beth

    I halved the vanilla, which I think brought out the grapefruit. I also made the second glaze with campari instead of grapefruit juice. Beautiful color and great flavor.

  86. I’ve baked this cake and the blood orange olive oil cake (with grapefruit instead of blood orange). I loved them both but I found this cake (paradisi) to be much more moist and delicious. I also accidentally added the extra tablespoon of sugar/grapefruit juice (what was supposed to be the glaze) to the batter before baking and it was delicious! Love these every day cakes.

  87. Jill

    This looks amazing! I think I’ll be trying the lemon version with lemon cream cheese frosting and mashed raspberry sauce for my best friend’s birthday this weekend. I was wondering if you had ever had a baked grapefruit? They serve them at Egg in Brooklyn, and I think are as simple as brown sugar (maybe some cinnamon and mint? I can’t remember) plopped on grapefruit halves, which are then baked in the oven into cups of sweet, juicy joy. Anyway, just wanted to send out that suggestion, and say thank you for your beautiful pictures and writing. I get so much d-lite from your blog.

  88. Layne

    just baked this…took first bite and LOVED IT! i’ve always been a fan of grapefruit and this was a fantastic variation to the superfruit i’ve always loved!

  89. Anna

    I baked this yesterday – DELICIOUS!! However, I used some beautiful blood oranges in place of grapefruit – the cake was SO yummy! Thanks for a keeper recipe!

  90. Jay

    @Dawn – The cherries were probably just too heavy. You might try chopping them into smaller bits before flouring them. Not quite the same, I realize, but it might work.

  91. Sarah

    I made this yesterday, and out of all the smitten recipes I’ve tried, this one wins for “most resembles Deb’s awesome photos” (despite going without the glaze). Very moist and yummy cake!

  92. Dana

    I just made this cake yesterday, and it turned out wonderfully. It was very moist yet light, and had a beautiful light yellow color. Thanks for a terrific recipe!

  93. Priya

    Wow! I just pulled this out of the oven (it is marinating in the yummy syrup) and it smells heavenly. I can’t wait to dive in. I think I’ll be skipping the glaze, as well, since we’re having this for brunch, but thanks for the recipe that uses my favorite fruit :) Plus, this was a great way to use the remainder (I still ate the fruit itself!). All your recipes have turned out beautifully.

  94. Rianne

    Oh, it looks and sounds so delicious! Can anyone do me a favor and post the measurements in grams (or even ounces?)? As I’m European, and everybody around here works with grams instead of cups I have no idea how to convert a cup to a weight. Since, of course, different ingredients have different masses.

  95. Jessica F

    This bread was smelling amazing while I was baking it. Pulled it out and saw your’s was a bit higher and fluffier but didn’t worry. Tried moving it after setting it to cool and found it hard to move and rather mushy. Figured the juice/sugar took some time to absorb and to just wait and let it do its thing. Twenty minutes later I remembered I failed to add all. three. eggs. Whoops.

    So should there be any curious souls out there, this tastes delicious without the eggs. It’s a bit smaller/denser and rather mushy/hard to move. But taste wise, excellent.

    Next up…. making this with all the ingredients.

  96. Sharon

    I’ve just made this cake today! I made two of them, actually. They turned out great, and I used one grapefruit for both cakes. I baked them in pyrex pans, which may be what made the bottom of the cake turn brown, but did not affect the overall outcome. I followed the advice on grinding the zest with sugar in a food processor. I also added a drop of red food coloring for a nice pink tone. We had it with a ball of vanilla ice-cream on the side. De-licious! I will most definitely be making this quite often, it was loved by all, and a great way to use a grapefruit.

  97. Jen

    Absolutely wonderful!!!! I used fat-free greek yogurt instead of the whole milk yogurt, as well as coconut oil instead of the vegetable oil….. added a hint of the islands and was so delicious!!! I ate it all by myself throughout the week (oops), so I’m going to make it again to share, this time with coconut milk yogurt.

  98. Sal

    Got a whole bunch of grapefruits from a friend and made this cake tonight. it’s delicious, and now I have breakfast for tomorrow as well!

  99. ZIA

    My family and I really enjoye the flavour! It’s just right for the summer. Thanks for sharing this awesome recipie with us!

  100. Made this for a Christmas party. BIG hit with children and adults alike. I really enjoyed making it, too. Easy, but there is something about zesting the grapefruit that makes you feel you’ve worked for that praise!

  101. Maria

    This recipe is very similar to the Grapefruit Olive Oil Pound Cake recipe that is in your book. What are the differences in the final products in terms of taste, texture, etc. when compared with each other?

  102. deb

    The big differences are in the ingredients — that’s a olive oil pound cake, so it is flavored with olive oil and has the tight crumb of a pound cake, this is a yogurt loaf, so it has the tangy yogurt flavor and a more coffee cake like crumb.

  103. GREAT cake – bf and I loved it! I subbed the oil for butter (because thats all I had) and I added some slices of nectarine to it as well which was really good. I don’t think it’s going to last long!

  104. ellen goldman

    I came across your recipe for grapefruit yogurt cake and made it last week. Absolutely one of the best cakes ever!! This will definitely be my go to dessert recipe now. Excellent!!

  105. Many thanks for this recipe. I have started to get organic fruit & veg boxes delivered every week and received 2 grapefruit’s which I hadn’t a clue what to do with until I found this recipe. I am going to give it a whirl today and take it to my Scout Meeting later tonight to share with everyone.

  106. Prissnboot

    Is it possible to substitute applesauce for the oil in this recipe? I know you can do this with box mixes with no problem, cuts down on the fat.

  107. Kori

    Made this for Mother’s Day! So moist with the perfect citrus taste. I followed the recipe exactly as stated minus the glaze. Thanks Deb!

  108. Niki

    I don’t know what I’ve done wrong but my cake turned out to have this under cook pancake consistency, just dense brick. I’ve used plain flour which is all purpose flour with baking powder. I didn’t use oil because I’ve ran out so I’ve added milk. Could that be it? This is just weird :(

    1. deb

      Niki — If you used flour that already had baking powder in it, that was the culprit. Because you then add more in the recipe, you’d end up over-leavening the cake, leading to it rising and then collapsing.

  109. Valentina

    Thanks for this wonderful recipe!! I had a bit of a problem, anyway, making it, because I read the directions too fast and made a mistake that was fixed afterwards: I added the 1/3 cup grapefruit juice to the wet ingredients for the cake. So, seeing the mixture with the dry ingredients was too liquid, I added more flour (about 1/3 cup) until it got gooey enough.

    Even though I did that and also used low-fat vanilla yoghurt and flour that already had baking powder in it, it worked! The cake was soft, delicious and had that hint of sour that I love from grapefruits.

    I have to say I love the fact that one can make mistakes and fix them when it comes to this kind of recipes.

    I’ll keep trying your recipes, thank you so much!!!

  110. Nikki

    My boyfriend turns 30 on Sunday and has requested this cake as his birthday cake!
    It is the best cake I make, apparently! Obviously much more subdued and sophisticated tastes than me ( I would have gone for salted caramel cheesecake).

    But wanted to say thank you to you and your readers for the ideas to jazz it up- no syrup a very thin layer of grapefruit curd and cream cheese frosting and quadrupling the recipe to feed the 30 guests will I hope turn it into an occasion cake, but still with cake he so loves.

    Good luck with the move.

  111. Lex

    I just made this, but with pomelo! I love the results. Pomelo is slightly sweeter than grapefruit, but still has some bitterness. I used the zest of half a pomelo, and i juiced the pomelo in an electric juicer to get all the juice out of it. It was pretty labor intensive because I took not only the pith off, but the skins of the individual wedges too, but I really wanted to make sure most of the bitter parts were not in the juice.

    I didn’t make the glaze but unless you are totally down with a bit of bitterness, you might want to add it.

    The other change I made was that I used olive oil instead of vegetable oil. This cake was so delicious and I like to tell myself it’s better than pound cake, even though it’s only slightly healthier.

  112. We use grapefruit bitters in cocktails and sparkling water, and I’m wondering if a couple of shakes along with the vanilla step might add an extra layer of grapefruityness? I also love an earlier commentor’s suggestion of Campari.

  113. Rebecca

    My friend and I recreated the Fleur de lis cocktail from J. Alexanders. It has grapefruit juice and elderflower liquor. I think I’ll try this cake with elderflower liquor instead of vanilla. Thanks for the inspiration!

  114. Jane Kantor

    Slightly personal question–is Jocelyn from South Orange, N.J. I knew someone of that name back in the 80’s–worked with her. Something, somehow, just rang a bell–

  115. Mindy

    Homesick Texan does a mean ruby red grapefruit cookie. They are my favorite thing about grapefruit season. I too think they are underused in desserts and can’t wait to try out this recipe!

  116. StepWh

    Sorry if you’ve covered this before- tried looking through previous comments and they were extensive! 1) Can I use whole fat Greek yogurt instead? 2) Is canola oil an ok substitute? Just ran out of veg oil. Thanks!

  117. Marcie

    Hi Deb, can I replace the extra large eggs with large plus a little? Ina Garten, while I love her, always uses extra large eggs and it drives me nuts cause I always get large and the majority of recipes call for large. It is her thing along with saying “big stir”! :)

    1. deb

      Marcie — Yes, I totally just make this with large eggs and its fine. Unless you’re going over, say, 4 eggs, I don’t think the difference in volume between large and extra large is significant enough to add another egg and I don’t bother. I’ve never noticed this big stir thing; what does she say it in reference to?

  118. Joanne, funny thing- I made this other nights for friends and they raved about it so much (I actually didn’t get to try it bc it was a drop off kinda thing) that I’m making it again for other friends tomorrow… And just about five mins after popping it in the oven I realized I left out the oil this time! Wasn’t sure what to do but it looks like its rising and it’s an easy enough recipe, I figured why not let it go and see what happens since I’ll have time for a redo if needed. So glad to scroll down and see that you say it still tastes good!! Yay for Friday night brain ;)

    Deb- what is the reason for adding in the oil later, just curious, is it a pound cake thing, or another baking reason? What’s it do differently than adding to the rest of the wet ingredients? Sorry if I missed a comment above that explains it, and thank you for the great recipe!!

  119. Marcie

    Hi Deb – it is one of her phrases I feel like I hear her say all the time – give everything a “big stir” – especially in her giant Le Crueset pot, just listen for it the next time you watch! She also says fantastic alot but her life is pretty fantastic so why not?

  120. Olivia

    Hi Deb – I totally forgot to fold the vegetable oil into the cake (I even put it right on the counter, and I still forgot it!). By the time I realized my mistake, the cake was already baking. To my delight, though, I don’t think it made any difference! The cake was airy and moist and delicious. Just FYI to all you inadvertently negligent cake bakers like me :)

  121. Jessica

    I was so very intrigued when I saw this! Predictably, my husband (who doesn’t share my love of the grapefruit (weirdo!), wrinkled his nose and said it sounded weird.

    I made it (with just one modification – I zested the grapefruit into the sugar and worked it in to get the oils all incorporated in the sugar), and it was just delightful.

    Husband not only liked it, he ate most of the loaf and made a special trip to the store to buy more grapefruit and yogurt so I can make this again.

    I’m excited to try this with orange and a good flavorful olive oil with an orange/honey glaze.

  122. Alisha

    I made this last night and it was AMAZING! When I took the cake out of the oven I immediately poked holes in it with a fork and poured the grapefruit juice over top, let it sit for 10 minutes, then served. I skipped the glaze too, but feel that this cake is so light and fluffy and moist you almost don’t need it. Thank you for a wonderful recipe! I can’t wait to make it again!

  123. Lily

    Hi Deb! Thanks so much for this delicious recipe, grapefruits are one of my most favorite foods. I just wanted to say I made this recipe as written but replaced the yogurt wth full fat buttermilk, and the results were delicious! Basically the same texture as when I’ve made t before with yogurt, which I was excited about because I was out of yogurt but really craving this.

    The other modification I made that I learned from the four and twenty blackbirds grapefruit custard pie (which I *heartily* recommend!!) is to add a little bit of Campari and angostura bitters to anything grapefruit flavored, to bring that sweet bitterness. I would say I did a tablespoon of Campari and two dashes of bitters to the soak, and it was *awesome*. Thanks again!