Glazed Grapefruit Cake

A little over a week ago, I shared the very first grapefruit recipe on this site. To quickly recap, prior to trying those cookies I was firmly in the hater camp when it came to grapefruit. And though I loved the cookies, I didn’t really think I’d be developing a serious addiction to grapefruit anytime soon. I even chuckled when Shawnda commented that the cookies were the “grapefruit gateway” and that I’d soon be hooked. No way, not me.

Or so I thought. How wrong I was.

I always grab a few lemons or limes when I’m grocery shopping – you know, just in case I want to bake something. But over the past 2 weeks, I’ve walked right past them, stopping instead to load my cart with grapefruit. I’ve scoured my cookbooks and the internet for every grapefruit recipe I could find, and have been working my way through them one by one. Let’s just call it making up for lost time.

Glazed Grapefruit Cake

I baked this grapefruit cake without any real expectations, but I wound up loving it so much I kept it all for myself. I was completely selfish, breaking my own rule of sending anything I bake to the office with Shane, my mom or Shane’s dad. It’s not a fancy layer cake, but this humble loaf packs a 1-2 punch – perfect texture and just enough grapefruit flavor to let you know it’s there. I’ve justified it for breakfast a few times, but it’s also great as an afternoon snack or late night treat.

I’m sharing this recipe as part of my friend Di‘s blog event celebrating all things citrus. You can check out the other recipes or link up one of your own here!

Glazed Grapefruit Cake
from Ad Hoc at Home by Thomas Keller

{Note: I skipped the syrup, and thought the result was great (and not at all dry) without it, but I imagine it probably ups the grapefruit flavor. I’ve included it in the recipe below – you can’t go wrong either way.}

Cake
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
1 tablespoon grapefruit zest
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup whole milk, at room temperature
3/4 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Syrup
1 cup grapefruit juice
2/3 cup granulated sugar

Glaze
3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon grapefruit juice

Preheat oven to 350 F. Coat 9×5-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, rub the sugar and zest together with your fingertips until the sugar is moist and fragrant. Add the eggs to the bowl with the sugar mixture and beat on medium speed for about 3 minutes, or until the mixture is thick and the whisk leaves a trail. With the mixer running, add the milk, then the oil and finally the vanilla. With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients, beating just until combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Spray a small paring knife with nonstick cooking spray, then run the knife lengthwise down the center of the batter, about 1/2-inch deep. (This helps the cake develop an even crack down the center as it bakes.) Bake for 30 minutes, then rotate the pan and bake for another 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached.

While the cake is baking, make the syrup: Combine the grapefruit juice and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar, then continue to simmer for 1 minute.

When you remove the cake from the oven, transfer to a wire rack (still in the loaf pan). Immediately use a skewer to poke deep holes into the cake (about 3/4-inch apart). Brush the cake with the syrup, pausing as necessary to allow it to soak in. Keep brushing the cake until you’ve used all of the syrup.

Let the cake cool for 10 minutes after you’ve brushed it with the syrup, then turn it out onto the cooling rack. Allow to cool to room temperature.

To make the glaze: In a medium bowl, stir the confectioners’ sugar and grapefruit juice together until the glaze is smooth – it should be thick but with a pourable consistency. Drizzle over the cake allowing the glaze to drip down the sides. Let the glaze set before serving. Well wrapped, the cake will keep at room temperature for 2 days.