Monday, January 9, 2012

Grapefruit Cake

Happy 2012! We are finally back in our little abode after a whirl-wind tour back up North with family and loved ones, and are settling back in to our mellow day-to-day life. 

As with many fellow bloggers, I vow to get more posts up this year, as last year had such an extreme (yet understandable) drop off in my postings with the birth of our darling son. Now that we are settled and moved in down here in sunny Louisiana, and our traveling should calm down for a while, I am going to hit the ground running! 

When we returned from our holiday travels last week, we found a bag of beautiful, fresh grapefruit waiting for us on our doorstep. Our very charming elderly neighbor had left them from us, as he has a huge grapefruit tree out in his front yard. We've been enjoying the delicious fruits just as is, in smoothies and as fresh juice, but there were are still a few left that I wanted to find a way to use up. In keeping with my recent foray into Southern-inspired cooking, I remembered catching a broadcast of Paula Deen making a grapefruit cake, so I hopped online and found the recipe. While the cake recipe itself looked fantastic, I wasn't overly excited about the cream cheese frosting- which is a 180 from my usual behavior! Few are the times that I have turned down am opportunity to make (and eat!) cream cheese frosting, but for some reason the pairing didn't seem quite right on this one. The cake appeared to be light, fluffy and delicate in taste and texture, and I thought that the cream cheese frosting (and food coloring???) would weigh it down, so instead I went with a simple grapefruit glaze. I also doubled the amount of  grapefruit juice and zest called for in the recipe, since I had an abundance of both, and  the batter seemed a bit dry before I folded in the egg whites, so I just went for it. 

The cake is wildly easy to put together (even for a novice/nervous baker such as myself), bakes up in about 25 minutes, and has a delightfully fluffy texture, much like an angel food cake. I thought the glaze was a perfect compliment to the clean flavor, and I'm thinking next time I might do supremes of ruby red grapefruit simmered in simple syrup to dress up the top a bit. Do follow Paula's advice, though and be sure to line your cake pan, as I thought I could get away with not doing it, and removing it was a bit dicey!

 It's the perfect cake for tea, as a light desert, with a scoop of good vanilla ice cream, or really anytime- I'm enjoying a slice now while watching the BCS Championship and snuggling with the babe! 
Gratuitous photo of my sous chef- doing a bang up job of being awesome.

Paula Deen's Grapefruit Cake (from
For the cake:
-1 1/2 Cup cake flour, sifted
-3/4 Cup sugar
-1 1/2 Tspn baking powder
-1/2 Tspn salt
-1/4 Cup water
-1/4 Cup vegetable oil
-1/2 Tspn fresh grated grapefruit zest (I used 1 Tblspn)
-3 Tblspn fresh squeezed grapefruit juice  (I used about 6-7 Tblspns)
-3  Egg yolks
-3  Egg whites
-1/4 Tspn cream of tartar

For the glaze:
-2/3 Cup confectioners sugar, sifted
-3 Tblspns fresh squeeze grapefruit juice
-1 Generous tspn fresh grated grapefruit zest

Preheat oven at 350 degrees. Line cake pan with waxed paper and spray with nonstick oil. 

Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into a mixing bowl. Make a well in the center for dry ingredients. Add water, oil, zest, grapefruit juice and egg yolks. Beat until smooth. Beat egg whites and cream of tartar separately until whites are stiff but not dry. Gradually fold egg whites into flour mixture with a rubber spatula until just blended. Do not stir the mixture. 
Pour batter into prepared cake pan. 
Bake for 25 minutes or until cake springs back when gently touched with a finger. Invert pan on cake rack to cool. Run spatula around edge of cake. Carefully remove from pan and place on platter.

Whisk together confectioners sugar, grapefruit juice and zest. Drizzle all over cake and allow to drip down sides.