Grapefruit Yogurt Cake

Since I posted last, the weather took an unseasonable turn. We had a weekend in the 70s! Most of another week was in the 60s. I took Amelia on walks and to parks several days to let her burn off some of her endless 2-year-old energy. It takes her a while to run out of steam, and I began to fear we’d sunburn in February.

Having had a taste of beautiful weather and sunshine, I have spring fever. I’m pretty sure I’ll cry if we have cold weather again, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

In the meantime, I’d like to share this bright Grapefruit Yogurt Cake with you. I first made it in 2011 and have made it several times since, although not since I moved to New Jersey.  Although it’s been a while since I made it, I love this recipe. The cake has a subtle citrus flavor that people can’t quite place, but usually assume is lemon. There are so many lemon recipes out there, that it’s nice to do something a little different. This cake is sweet but not too sweet, so it’s perfect for breakfast or a snack.

The cake is simple to assemble. It takes oil but not butter, and yogurt helps keep it tender. Grapefruit zest lightly flavors the batter, but grapefruit juice poured onto the hot cake shortly after it comes from the oven helps keep it moist and gives it extra grapefruit flavor. A simple glaze of grapefruit juice and powdered sugar pretties it up (particularly if your edges brown excessively like mine tend to do). I find it gives the cake an extra bit of flavor, but feel free to omit it.

Grapefruit Yogurt Cake
adapted from Smitten Kitchen
  • 1½ cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • zest of 1 grapefruit
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • ⅓ cup grapefruit juice (you can use more and heat and reduce it to this amount, for more intense flavor)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons grapefruit juice for glaze
  • 1 cup powdered sugar for glaze
  1. Zest grapefruit into large mixing bowl, then slice and juice grapefruit. Add 1 cup sugar, yogurt, eggs, vegetable oil, and vanilla to the large mixing bowl with the zest. Whisk until combined. Add flour (sift if you're concerned for lumps), baking powder, and salt, and stir until just combined. Pour into a greased and floured 8.5x4.5 inch loaf pan. Bake at 350F for about 50 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. (Don't be surprised if yours takes more or less time, because sometimes mine takes up to 10 minutes longer).
  2. Meanwhile, combine ⅓ cup grapefruit juice and 1 tablespoon sugar. Heat for 20 seconds in the microwave, then stir to dissolve sugar. Or, heat on stove until sugar dissolves.
  3. Cool cake for 10 minutes, then remove from pan to a wire rack over a baking sheet or cake plate (if you're impatient and don't mind chancing a soggy cake bottom). Drizzle sweetened grapefruit juice on the cake. (Juice will run off.)
  4. Cool at least 1 hour before adding glaze. Combine 2 tablespoons juice and 1 cup powdered sugar. Glaze will definitely run off the cake if cake is still warm.


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