Yorkshire's Independent Restaurant Guide

Grapefruit Olive Oil Pound Cake

Grapefruit CakeWe’ve told you how good Smitten Kitchen is and if you’re not yet convinced,  we’ve made Deb Perelman’s fabulous Grapefruit Cake just to show. Deb adapted the lemon drizzle cake by using grapefruit and olive oil in place of butter. Grapefruit syrup is poured over while still warm and it’s finished with a grapefruit glaze. Need any more convincing?


Butter for tin

190g plain flour. Plus more for tin

2 tbsp freshly grated grapefruit zest (from 1 to 2 large grapefruits)

100g granulated sugar

95g raw or light Muscovado sugar

120ml olive oil

2 large eggs, at room temperature

1 teaspoon baking powder

quarter teaspoon bicarbonate soda

half teaspoon table salt

2 tablespoons grapefruit juice

80 ml buttermilk or plain yoghurt


2 tablespoons granulated sugar

80 ml grapefruit juice


120g icing sugar

2 tablespoons grapefruit juice

Pinch table salt.


Heat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/Gas 4. Butter and flour a 900g loaf tin.

In a large bowl rub the grapefruit zest into the sugars with your fingertips. This will bruise it and help release as much grapefruit essence as possible. Whisk in the oil until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, and whisk until combined. Scrape down the bowl.

Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a second bowl. In a liquid measuring cup, combine 2 tablespoons of grapefruit juice and buttermilk. Add the flour and the buttermilk mixtures, alternating between them, to the oil-and-sugar mixture, beginning and ending with the flour.

Spread the batter in the tin, smooth the top, and rap the pan on the counter a few times to ensure that there are no air bubbles trapped. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until a cake tester comes out clean.

 Grapefruit Syrup: Combine 2 tablespoons of sugar with the grapefruit juice in a small saucepan and cook over low heat until the sugar dissolves.

When cake is finished, let it cool for 10 minutes in the pan before inverting it onto a rack set over a tray. Poke holes in cake with a skewer or toothpick then spoon or brush the grapefruit syrup over the cake. Let the cake cool completely while it absorbs the syrup.

The Glaze: Combine the icing sugar, grapefruit juice, and pinch of salt in a bowl, whisking until smooth. Pour the glazeover the top of the cooled cake, and allow glaze to drizzle decoratively down the sides.