A Grapefruit Cake Recipe That Makes Eating Dessert Seem Healthy

I have to be honest — I've never really been a fan of grapefruit. There's just something about it being way too sour — beyond “tart,” as most describe it. Yet with February being National Grapefruit Month, I was determined to include it in a recipe and actually enjoy it. Hence, this grapefruit cake recipe was born. (Side note: all these “National ___ Days/Weeks/Months” make my job as a food blogger very easy. Just looking at a calendar I immediately am guided on what I should be making. So thank you to whoever you are, making up all of these ridiculous and delicious holidays!)

Still on my quest to make grapefruit more enjoyable, I started brainstorming ingredients that could bring out more sweetness. My first and most obvious ingredient choice was sugar. A lot of times I’ll opt for honey or an organic sweetener to make a dessert recipe just a little bit healthier, but with the acidity in grapefruit I figured I would just go for the real stuff — granulated sugar. Mixing that with a bit of water to create, you guessed it, sugar water, I then soaked the grapefruit in the water until it resulted in a sort of candied fruit. It definitely cut the sourness of the grapefruit, and I was so surprised with how simple the candying process was. This is certainly a technique I’ll be using with some of my other favorite fruits: lemons, blood oranges, clementines — maybe even a sweeter fruit such as apple slices!

As for the cake itself, you can easily swap out the zest and juice for any other fruit you’d like (lemons would be a safe and delicious choice). The loaf cake is one of my favorite recipes to date. It's so moist and full of creamy flavor on the inside, while golden brown on the sides. This is definitely one of those recipes that if properly stored (on a plate with tin foil completely covering it or in a sealed container), it can stay perfectly fresh over an entire week. I found I preferred it a day after as opposed to the day of, since the flavors of the candied grapefruit and icing were truly able to sink into the cake.


For the cake:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 1/4 cup vanilla yogurt
  • 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 extra-large eggs
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tbsp. fresh squeezed grapefruit juice
  • Zest of one red grapefruit
  • Pinch of salt

For the glaze:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp. fresh squeezed grapefruit juice
  • Pink food coloring

For the slices:

  • 1 grapefruit, sliced
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3/4 cup sugar


  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine all cake ingredients. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spray a loaf pan with baking spray, and pour cake mix into the pan. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes until a toothpick is inserted and comes out clean. Let the cake cool for five minutes, and then place it onto a serving dish.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, combine all glaze ingredients. Drizzle it with a spoon over the cake.
  4. In a medium saute pan, combine water and sugar over medium heat. Lower heat to low-med once the sugar has dissolved. Add in the grapefruit slices next to one another, and let them sit for 10 minutes. Flip, and let them sit another 10 minutes. Repeat one more time on each side.
  5. Using a spatula, remove grapefruit slices from the remaining sugar water, and place atop cake. Serve and enjoy!

For more ideas, check out Bustle on YouTube.

Bustle on YouTube

Images & Recipe: Public Lives, Secret Recipes