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Saturday, January 15, 2011

Grapefruit Birthday Cake

Last weekend, Howard made me a birthday cake! It may come to a surprise to you, but after making lots of decorated cupcakes, I only wanted a simple cake.

This grapefruit cake has been on my "to try" list since I got Ad Hoc at Home. So what was a better way to try it without even lifting a finger? Have Howard make it! =)

He was quite the sweetheart, bought the ingredients home, and rolled up his sleeves. He especially likes recipes where he gets to use the microplane zester.

Grapefruit Cake
Recipe from Ad Hoc at Home
(Makes 10x4 or 9x5 loaf, we made two 6-inch round cakes)

2 cups of all-purpose flour
1 3/4 teaspoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of kosher salt
1 2/3 cups of granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup of whole milk
3/4 cup of canola oil
1 tablespoon of grated pink grapefruit zest
1 teaspoon of vanilla paste or pure vanilla extract

Grapefruit Syrup
1 cup of strained fresh pink grapefruit juice
2/3 cup of granulated sugar

Grapefruit Icing
3/4 cup of powdered sugar
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon of fresh pink grapefruit juice
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line your pan with parchment paper or use nonstick spray.
  2. Sift the flour and baking powder together, then stir in the salt. Set this aside.
  3. Using a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, beat the sugar and eggs at medium speed for about 3 minutes.
  4. Beat in the milk, oil, grapefruit zest, and vanilla.

  5. Reducing the speed to low, add in the flour mixture.
  6. Spread the batter in the pan. Spray or lightly oil a paring knife and run the knife lengthwise down the center of the batter, about 1/2 inch deep. This will give the top of the baked cake an even crack down the center.

  7. Bake for 30 minutes and rotate the pan in the oven so that the cake will colour evenly. Bake for another 30 minutes or until a cake tester comes out with just a few moist crumbs on it.

  8. While the cake is still baking, make the syrup! Combine the grapefruit juice and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring it to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Simmer for 1 minute and set aside.

  9. Transfer the baked cake to a cooling rack. Using a long skewer, poke deep holes every 3/4 inch over the top of the cake. Immediately begin brushing the syrup over the cake. You may have to wait for the syrup to soak through, but continue until you've used all the syrup. Then let the cake cool for about 10 minutes.

  10. Unmold the cake and let it cool to room temperature on a cooling rack.
  11. For the icing, stir the powdered sugar and grapefruit juice together into a bowl until it is smooth. We got a great light pink tint with ours!

  12. Using a spoon, drizzle the icing over the top of the cake, allowing it to drip down the sides!

Trust us when we say you need to make all three components to truly enjoy this cake. My parents even enjoyed it with the grapefruit icing and they shy away from anything that is "too sweet!"


  1. You are so lucky! I don't think my Husband would ever dream of baking me a cake for my birthday (many happy returns for the day by the way!)
    Grapefruit must of given the cake a bright citrus tang.

  2. yummm! Looks like something to try :)

  3. Such an interesting idea :)))) I adore grapefruit :)) happy birthday to you :))

  4. Happy Birthday, that looks like the perfect cake. And even better that you didn't have to make it yourself!

  5. Chele, Thank you! My birthday is the only time I can get Howard to do something he normally wouldn't, but it still took awhile until he agreed! I'm asking for cupcakes next year! The grapefruit syrup helps give it the "tang," so you must add it to the cake!

    Jessiker, flour & sugar, yes something yummy to try!

    Just Cake Girl, thank you!

    Monica H, hahaha thank you and exactly!

  6. Oh you lucky girl! What I would give to have a boy bake for me :)
    The pink color is truly lovely :)

  7. Avanika [YumsiliciousBakes] - It's probably more difficult to get him to bake than to do it myself!

  8. Really a nice way to explain the complete recipe... can't stop myself to try... Thank you :)