Sweet And Crumby

Baking, a Love Story

Pucker Up for this Grapefruit and Olive Oil Cake (GF)

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If life gives you lemons, I say pucker up sister. Skip the lemonade, and just figure out how to live with a little tartness. In my case, life gave me grapefruits and oranges from a friend’s neighbor’s tree. Yes, life in sunny (HA!) So Cal often bestows citrus-y delights. Another reason to love California.


Albeit, sunny So Cal has recently turned me into an umbrella toting, coat wearing, freeway dweller. Because once you hit the highway in wet weather in L.A., you have just signed your life away so pack extra water and snacks, make sure your playlist is at the ready, and add an an extra hour or two to your eight mile drive; In other words, pucker up my friend.

This cake is absolutely worth the unattractive wince and slight pucker you will make with your mouth. So don’t plan on taking a cute selfie when eating a bite. This snap will NOT make your dating profile pic, but this cake WILL make your top five favorite cakes list. It is fresh and zingy with several tablespoons of grapefruit and orange zest and juices. The cornmeal gives the texture a nod to richness, and the olive oil lends a floral note. The sprinkling of almonds ends your bite with the perfect crunch.

So, as usual, this post comes with a little wisdom imparted (please take THAT with a grain of salt). Not everything in life can be made sweet with enough sugar mixed in. Sometimes, you just need to pucker up, take the hit and move forward.

Grapefruit and Orange Olive Oil Cake (GF and Non GF Options)

Modified from Saveur – Made simpler by Moi (their recipe brought out the mathematician in me, and I saved you from that he!!)
Serves 8 normal people and 16 Carb Fearing Californians
Non-stick spray coating
Baker’s Note–I used the zest and juice from 2 large yellow grapefruits and 3 oranges, measured accordingly below. You will have left over sections of both for topping the cake. The recipe calls for pink grapefruit but I had yellow and it worked well.
Cake Batter
1/2 cup of granulated sugar (I prefer superfine)
2 teaspoons orange zest (no white pith)
2 teaspoons pink grapefruit zest (no white pith)
3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon juice from an orange
2 tablespoons juice from a pink grapefruit
2/3 cup full-fat Greek Yogurt
1 large egg
1/3 cup almond flour
1/3 cup cornmeal
*2/3 cup brown rice flour (I use extra fine)
*1/4 cup potato starch
*2 tablespoons tapioca starch
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground mace (you can substitute 3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg if needed– a slightly different flavor profile but it would pair nicely with the other ingredients)
1/2 teaspoon salt (I prefer sea salt)
1/4 cup sliced almonds
*If you don’t have the rice, potato starch and tapioca flours, you can substitute 1 cup of an all purpose gluten-free substitute flour mix such as King Arthur for ease.

For a Non GF version, I have not tried this, but I can’t see any reason in the world that you couldn’t use one cup of cake flour in place of the rice flour, tapioca starch and potato starch. Do not substitute the almond flour or cornmeal; these are integral to the cake

Syrup for Cake
1/3 cup granulated sugar (I prefer super fine)
1/4 cup water
2 teaspoons orange zest (no white pith)
2 teaspoons pink grapefruit zest (no white pith)
2 tablespoons of juice from an orange
2 tablespoons of juice from a pink grapefruit

Optional serving suggestions: Serve with vanilla ice cream or very lightly sweetened home made whipped cream.

How to make the Cake:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Amply spray a 9″ springform pan with cooking spray.

To make the cake batter: In a medium mixing bowl (one with a spout makes it easier later), combine zests through egg and whisk until combined. It is important when zesting citrus fruit, that you do not use your zester to scrape off the white pith. The pith is very BITTER and will impart a very bitter flavor to your baked goods.

In a large mixing bowl or bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, whisk together almond flour through salt. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and pour in your wet ingredients. Mix on low speed.

Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and sprinkle evenly with the sliced almonds. Bake for approximately 35-45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when testing. While the cake is baking, make the syrup.

To make the syrup, put 1/3 cup of sugar and 1/4 cup water in a 1 quart saucepan, stir and bring to a boil on medium high heat until sugar dissolves. Turn down heat to medium, and add orange and grapefruit zest and juices, stir. Once simmering, turn to low heat and cook for five minutes until a syrup forms. It should reduce by half and get a bit thicker.

After taking the cake out of the oven, using a tooth pick, poke holes all over the top of the cake for the syrup. Pour the syrup evenly over the top of the cake. Let sit for 5 minutes, and then carefully release the spring form sides from the cake. Let cool completely before transferring to a serving platter. Top with sections from the leftover grapefruit and orange sections and sprinkle with a few more slices of almonds. Serve with vanilla ice cream for the piece de resistance!

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