This cake is fresh, bright, with a flavor you can truly appreciate whether you simply love a good grapefruit or have spent a month and unaccountable dollars trying to replicate.

This Grapefruit Cake with Grapefruit Buttercream has an original flavor, both clean and pure. After the warm cake emerges from the oven, it is brushed with grapefruit juice which soaks deep into the layers, making an unbelievably moist and tender cake (with just a hint of true tartness). The Grapefruit Buttercream lends a sweeter aspect to this cake. Made with a grapefruit juice reduction, the sourness of the juice balances out the sweetness of the powdered sugar. This cake itself, however, is the true star and is lovely when enjoyed in the afternoon, when the sun is bright and thoughts of spring are on your mind.

Original Recipe and Photos by


Amount Ingredient
1/2 cup granulated sugar
Zest of 1 grapefruit
2 large eggs
1 cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt
1/3 cup light olive oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed grapefruit juice (about 1 grapefruit)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt



Cake Directions:

Yields 8-inch 2-layer cake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Grease 2 8-inch cake pans.

In a large mixing bowl, mix together sugar and grapefruit zest with your fingers until fragrant. Beat in eggs one at a time, mixing well between each addition. Mix in yogurt, olive oil, vanilla extract, and 2 tablespoon grapefruit juice (reserve 1/3 cup for later). Stir in flour, baking powder, and salt.

Divide batter evenly between cake pans and bake for 35-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Using a pastry brush, brush remaining 1/3 cup grapefruit juice on top on the cake layers, allowing the juice to soak into the cake. Allow to cool to room temperature.

Grapefruit Buttercream

  • 3/4 cup freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, room temperature
  • Zest of 1 grapefruit
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • Heavy cream

In a small saucepan, bring grapefruit juice to a boil and simmer until it reduces and thickens to about 1/4 cup. Cool to room temperature.

In a large mixing bowl, beat together butter and grapefruit zest until smooth. Mix in thickened grapefruit juice. Gradually add powdered sugar until incorporated and smooth. Because the thickened grapefruit juice will vary in amount, add heavy cream one tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is achieved.


Spuddysmom Says... 12 Mar 2012 , 11:31am

Can't wait to try it! looks amazing.

jazycakes Says... 12 Mar 2012 , 12:44pm

Sounds Yummy, I love grapefruit. I can't wait to try.

carmijok Says... 12 Mar 2012 , 4:18pm

This sounds so delicious. Bet it would work as orange or about lime even!

caymancake Says... 12 Mar 2012 , 7:29pm

Hmmm looking forward to trying it! Would it work as a cupcake??

Marie_eveB Says... 13 Mar 2012 , 3:43am

Can't wait to try this one! Is it good for those who always find buttercream too sweet?

yolina Says... 13 Mar 2012 , 8:12am

Can't wait to try it.

pummy Says... 13 Mar 2012 , 1:46pm

I made this and added a little more sugar than it called for. Even with adding sugar it needed more for the amount of flour used. Overall, the flavor was very good. The flavor of the grapefruit really comes through. My children liked it. Can I use butter instead of oil next time? Thanks for the recipe!

all4cake Says... 14 Mar 2012 , 9:12am

Wow! What a write-up! Looks quite close to the lemon yogurt cake recipe I tried a couple of weeks ago. The tooth of the lemon one was similar to banana bread.

bymichaela Says... 19 Mar 2012 , 2:17pm

I am so glad this is a 'from scratch' recipe not 'out of a box'. Will be buying ingredients tomorrow, sound totally yum!

Spuddysmom Says... 21 Mar 2012 , 1:20pm

This was fun to make. Love using the thickened grapefruit juice in the icing.

Marie_eveB Says... 26 Mar 2012 , 8:18pm

I did it this week-end and the taste was amazing! Used vanilla greek yogourt instead and I didn't play with the amount of sugar and I was perfect! Total my cake was about 2 and 1/2 inch tall, is that what it is supposed to be? Next time for shure I will doubble the cake recipe. I covered it with fondand but wanting only a buttercream cake I'm not sure I would have had enought of icing.

geekjive Says... 28 Mar 2012 , 9:31am

this is the ultimate grapefruit buttercream. thank you so much!

klperry544 Says... 28 Mar 2012 , 4:25pm

The texture of this cake was terrible in that it was tough and flat. The icing was very good and I will use it again for cupcakes.

DaryaC Says... 15 May 2012 , 11:48am

Would it be ok to replace yogurt with sour cream? Thank you!

lincardel Says... 9 Jun 2012 , 11:34am

Couldn't wait to try this and was so disappointed. Tough and flat are exactly the right words, klperry544. Almost a scone texture.

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