Cake Central › Recipes › Grapefruit Cake with Grapefruit Buttercream

Grapefruit Cake with Grapefruit Buttercream

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.

Comments (17)

Can't wait to try it! looks amazing.
Sounds Yummy, I love grapefruit. I can't wait to try.
This sounds so delicious. Bet it would work as orange or about lime even!
Hmmm looking forward to trying it! Would it work as a cupcake??
Can't wait to try this one! Is it good for those who always find buttercream too sweet?
Can't wait to try it.
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!
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.
I am so glad this is a 'from scratch' recipe not 'out of a box'. Will be buying ingredients tomorrow, sound totally yum!
This was fun to make. Love using the thickened grapefruit juice in the icing.
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.
this is the ultimate grapefruit buttercream. thank you so much!
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.
Would it be ok to replace yogurt with sour cream? Thank you!
Couldn't wait to try this and was so disappointed. Tough and flat are exactly the right words, klperry544. Almost a scone texture.
Edited the cake recipe with cake flour and seperated the  eggs beating the whites and folded in to the batter. Used veggie oil instead.  Beat yolks until creamy and added the rest of wet ingredients.
Icing was amazing.
Did you know over 100 medications react to grapefruit, including one I take? Just be sure to warn people, and don't rename like, "Sunny citrus" so the person eating is aware. I have never heard of grapefruit in a cake, and wouldn't normally think twice about it. Sounds yummy though. 
Cake Central › Recipes › Grapefruit Cake with Grapefruit Buttercream