This light and refreshing olive oil grapefruit cake is made with whole grain flour, yogurt, and freshly-squeezed grapefruit juice. It's perfect for a spring get-together or Easter brunch!
I've been making this grapefruit cake for a few years now, and look forward to making it every March through April as a spring breakfast treat. I know I'm calling it a cake - primarily because the texture more resembles cake than bread - but this is a cake that's totally appropriate for breakfast! It's so yummy with coffee in the morning or a cup of tea in the afternoon. The olive oil and yogurt make it super tender and moist and the flavor of the olive oil is so nice with the freshly-squeezed grapefruit juice. I just can't get enough - I'm already planning to make another batch this coming weekend!
How to Make Olive Oil Grapefruit Cake
- Use room temperature ingredients - make sure your eggs and yogurt are at room temperature before mixing them into the cake. This will ensure that everything blends together more evenly and gently. Simply set out your eggs and yogurt out at room temperature for about 30 minutes before you plan to bake the cake.
- Be careful not to overmix - quick breads such as banana bread and this olive oil grapefruit bread tend to be tough and dense if you get a little ambitious in the mixing process. We aren't looking to incorporate a lot of air here with this recipe, so follow the recommended mixing times for each step. Use a light folding motion to make sure all the ingredients are incorporated from the bowl before pouring the batter into the pan.
- Line your pan with parchment paper - this cake is so good because the olive oil and yogurt make it very moist and tender. Because of this, you will want to take an extra step of caution to ensure the cake is easily removable from the pan. I like to spray my pan with cooking spray, line it with parchment paper, then spray it again. I will leave a 2-inch overhang of parchment on both ends of the loaf pan that serve as handles for lifting the cake from the pan once it has cooled a bit.
Olive Oil Grapefruit Cake Ingredients + Recipe Modifications
- Good quality olive oil - for any baked good that calls for olive oil, you want to choose a high-quality olive oil with a bright and fruity flavor profile. The oil should smell grassy and clean - try and buy a single varietal (uses one type of olive) and single-origin oil if you can. I find California Olive Ranch's Everyday or Mild and Buttery versions to be just what I like when baking, so I would highly recommend that brand!
- Fresh grapefruit juice - I love the sweet flavor of Texas-grown Ruby Red grapefruits! You will use the juice and zest in the bread, and extra juice for the glaze once the bread is baked.
- Whole milk yogurt - the yogurt + olive oil provide the fat that the cake needs to be tender and moist. While you can sub in low-fat yogurt, I recommend using whole milk yogurt for the best texture and flavor. Brown Cow cream top European-style yogurt is my all-time favorite for baking and eating! For dairy-free needs, substitute full fat coconut milk yogurt.
- White whole wheat flour - while I grind my own flour from soft white wheat kernels at home, I recommend and buy King Arthur White Whole Wheat flour when needed. Their flours have consistent protein content and are so high-quality; producing reliable results every time!
- Poppy seeds - for texture and a hint of crunch!
- Natural cane sugar - I've recently switched to using natural cane sugar (this one is the kind I buy) for all of my baking because I think that it adds a little more depth of flavor. This type of sugar lends a light caramel note to baked goods, which I really enjoy!
Are you ready to try this Olive Oil Grapefruit Cake? I’m so excited for you to try this recipe! Once you get the chance to make it, please let me know how it turns out for you! Leave a comment and rate the recipe below. This will help me with the creation of future recipes! I’d also love to feature your creation in my monthly newsletter, so you can upload a photo to Instagram or Twitter with the tag @sweetcayenne5 to be featured!
Olive Oil Grapefruit Cake
- Cooking spray
- Parchment paper
- 1 ½ cups white whole wheat flour (or you can use ¾ cup white flour and ¾ cup whole wheat flour)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons finely grated grapefruit zest (I grated on a microplane)
- ¾ cup natural cane sugar
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¾ cup plus 1 tablespoon plain whole milk yogurt, divided
- 6 tablespoons freshly-squeezed grapefruit juice, divided
- 1 tablespoon poppy seeds, plus more for garnish
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9 x 5'' loaf pan with parchment paper (cut to fit the length of pan) and leave the overhang on the long sides of the pan. Spray the insides of pan with cooking spray and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, combine the sugar and grapefruit zest. Use your fingers to rub the zest into the sugar until the mixture is fragrant, about one minute. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the eggs, oil, sugar + zest mixture, and vanilla. Beat with a handheld mixer on high speed until the mixture is light and thick, about 4 minutes. Reduce the speed to low and add in half of your flour mixture. Mix until just combined, then add the yogurt, mixing again on low until just combined. Add the remaining half of your flour mixture, followed by 5 tablespoons of the grapefruit juice and 1 tablespoon of the poppy seeds. Mix until just combined, then use a rubber spatula to gently fold in anything that may remain on the sides of your bowl.
- Pour the batter into your prepared loaf pan and give it a slight shake to settle the batter into the corners of your pan. Bake for 45-60 minutes until the cake is set and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center of the loaf.
- Remove the finished loaf from the oven and set the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Remove the loaf from the pan and take carefully remove the parchment paper. Cool the loaf completely on a wire rack before glazing.
- To glaze the cool loaf, combine the powdered sugar, the remaining 1 tablespoon of yogurt and 1 tablespoon of grapefruit juice in a small bowl. Whisk until smooth, then spoon the glaze over the loaf.
- Store the loaf in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
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