I never have a hard time going through lemons, limes or oranges at my house, but grapefruit is a different story.  Grapefruit is in peak season right now, so thanks to my CSA I have a ton of it.  We actually do love to eat grapefruit, but somehow all of the sectioning and spooning that goes into eating it seems like too much work for breakfast.

Yesterday was warm and I had just read an article about a couple that retired in Tuscany, so I had olive oil and citrus on my mind as I was making dinner.  In my head, I wanted to eat something that tasted like summer in the Italian countryside – olives, citrus, a bit too much sun, and the promise of a savory meal for dinner.  This grapefruit olive oil cake came out just as I hoped.  It’s not too sweet and is a little bit dense.  You can taste the olive oil and just enough grapefruit and there is a hint of flowers and honey.  I don’t have a great photo because the cake was gone within seconds of of placing it on the platter, so hopefully the before photos will work!

Grapefruit Olive Oil Cake

Loosely based on “Grapefruit Cake” from Thomas Keller’s Ad Hoc at Home

2 cups all purpose flour

1 3/4 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp ground cardamom

1 tsp. kosher salt

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 large eggs

1 c. whole milk(use whole milk yogurt for a denser, moister cake)

3/4 olive oil

1 Tbsp. pink grapefruit zest

1 teaspoon vanilla


Grapefruit Syrup

2 pink grapefruits, juiced and strained

1/2 c. honey

Preheat the oven to 350° F and grease a 10″x4″ loaf pan with a tiny bit of olive oil.

Put flour, baking powder, salt and cardamom in a bowl and sift(or whisk well if you’re lazy like me).  Set aside.

Beat eggs and sugar on medium speed in a stand mixer for 3 minutes until whipped and creamy, almost like frosting.  Add in milk, olive oil, grapefruit zest, and vanilla and mix on medium speed until combined, about 30 seconds.  Add dry ingredients in two batches, mixing for 30 seconds and scraping down bowl in between additions.  Mix on low speed for 1 minute.

Pour cake batter into prepared loaf pan and run a lightly oiled butter knife down the middle of the pan, about 1/2″ deep.  This will make the cake the cool “ridge” that loaf cakes often have.Bake for 35-40 minutes.

While the cake is baking, put grapefruit juice and sugar in a small saucepan.  Stir and cook until just boiling, then turn off stove and remove from heat.

When the cake is done baking, allow to cool for 5 minutes, then poke small holes in the top of the cake with a toothpick.  Prick the cake evenly, about every square inch, and go about 1″ in down.  Pour approximately half of the grapefruit syrup over the cake.

Allow cake to cool thoroughly, then remove from pan and slice into 1 1/2″ thick slices.  Lay on a plate and drizzle remaining grapefruit syrup over slices.  Enjoy immediately.