My freshman year of college I lived with my brother in a ghetto house, which happened to be in a sketchy neighborhood. It was also the year I was carjacked (whole other story) a block from where we lived. Although the house was small and a bit run down, it had about 12 redeeming qualities, which came in the form of lemon, orange & grapefruit trees. I would go out and pick lemons, slice them up and dip them in sugar. If I was feeling saucy, then I would sprinkle salt on them instead. Let’s just say I was in no danger of getting scurvy that year.
There were at least four grapefruit trees, producing big O.T.L. (Over The Line is a game in AZ, but I’ve never seen it anywhere else and the ball is about double the size of a softball) ball size grapefruit. Unfortunately, I never cared for grapefruit much. I wasn’t going to be cutting it in half and sprinkling it with sugar for a perfect morning breakfast like some. I ended up giving most of them away. It’s only now, about 12 years later, that I have really come to appreciate grapefruit juice with seltzer.
So, as I had this lonely grapefruit on my counter from our bi-weekly produce delivery, I wondered how I could make it into a dessert. After looking at Barefoot Contessa at Home cookbook, I came across the Lemon Yogurt Cake recipe I had made a while back. And this is what I came up with to share with my friends and Ben’s co-workers. It isn’t overly strong like a lemon cake would be, but it’s nice & subtle. And it seemed to suit this Spring in January we’ve been experiencing this week.
Grapefruit Yogurt Loaf Cake (printable recipe)
This recipe is adapted from Barefoot Contessa at Home cookbook. It is a lemon yogurt cake using all whole-milk yogurt and more sugar in the cake part, while using less simple syrup for the cake. However, since grapefruit flavor is not as strong as lemon flavor, I found using 2/3 cup of grapefruit juice & 2/3 cup sugar was more adequate to give it that grapefruit flavor. Notes are in italics within the directions
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup plain whole fat greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup non-fat yogurt
- 1 1/3 cups sugar, divided
- 3 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons grated grapefruit zest (1 grapefruit)
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
For the glaze:
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 2-3 tablespoons freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8 1/2 by 4 1/4 by 2 1/2-inch loaf pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper. Grease and flour the pan (I used a stoneware loaf pan and didn’t grease & flour after using the parchment and it worked fine)
Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt into 1 bowl. In another bowl, whisk together both yogurts, 2/3 cup sugar, the eggs, grapefruit zest, and vanilla. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. With a rubber spatula, fold the vegetable oil into the batter, making sure it’s all incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 50 minutes, or until a cake tester placed in the center of the loaf comes out clean.
Meanwhile, cook the 2/3 cup grapefruit juice and remaining 2/3 cup sugar in a small pan until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear. Set aside.
When the cake is done, allow it to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Carefully place on a baking rack over a sheet pan. While the cake is still warm, pour the grapefruit-sugar mixture over the cake and allow it to soak in. (You will most likely need to do this in batches allowing the cake to absorb the syrup. I poured the syrup on the top and turned it to its side to pour syrup on the sides, in order to really get the juice flavor into the cake.) Cool.
For the glaze, combine the confectioners’ sugar and grapefruit juice (I only used one grapefruit, which measured barely above 2/3 cup of juice. I used some of the juice syrup to the confectioner’s sugar to make the glaze thin enough) and pour over the cake.