Breakfast, brunch and all things good · Nothing but desserts

Zesty dairy free grapefruit cake

It’s that time of the year again. Hold on to your hats and prepare to say goodbye to your life, the Great British Bake Off is BACK! For those of you who have never had the pleasure of seeing this show, 13 amateur bakers are crammed into a tent situated somewhere in the middle of the English Countryside. Each week they have to master three different bakes while Mazza Berry (The English Ina Garten) and Paul Hollywood (aka Silverback) pretend to hate their baking and then absolutely love it. You don’t fool us any more with that look Silverback, get to work on your faking-it face.

The first ever bake of the series was a simple sponge cake with a twist. It sounds so simple but it leaves you no-where to hide. One of the best bakes was a little grapefruit number. Zingy, fresh and unusual. An unsung hero of the fruit-in-cake world. Well no more! It’s time to grab your grapefruit and your zester and make this baby!


For this fresh and fruity cake we need only a handful of ingredients. We take our grapefruits, flour, sugar, eggs, oil and soya yogurt. This wonder is dairy free and you wouldn’t even tell.

Sugar and grapefruit zest get rubbed together to release the essential oils and make a fragrant sugar mix. We make this dairy free by replacing our butter with oil and soya yogurt. The fruity sugar and eggs get whisked together, and then we drizzle our oil in. This makes our cake uber fluffy and light.

After that, the yogurt and grapefruit juice get a quick whisk together. Then we add this into our sugar, egg and oil mix whilst alternated with the flour. We’re left with a sweet pale orange batter all ready for baking!

This cake is gorgeously moist and light. While it cools we brush a simple syrup of sugar and grapefruit juice on top which creates this soft spongy top layer. Then we’re left with beautiful flecks of jewel like grapefruit flesh on top. In my eyes this cakes needs no more than that.


Adapted from the amazing Smitten Kitchen cookbook, saying you need this book in your life is no word of a lie.

Cake ingredients
190 grams (1 1/2 cups) all purpose plain flour, plus extra for the pan
120 ml olive oil (1/2 cup)
200 grams (1 cup) golden caster sugar
Zest of 3 large red grapefruits
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
80ml soya yogurt (1/3 cup)
3 tablespoons of grapefruit juice

Syrup ingredients
3 tablespoons of grapefruit juice
3 tablespoons of sugar

1. Pre-heat oven to 180C (350F) and grease a loaf tin with coconut oil and dust with flour.
2. Rub the sugar and grapefruit zest together to release the essential oils. Whisk together the sugar and oil till well combined. Add in the eggs one at a time and mix well between each one.
3. In a separate bowl combine the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. In another bowl combine the grapefruit juice and yogurt. Add the flour and yogurt to the egg mix in alternating order, starting and ending with the flour and mixing well between each one.
4. Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bang on the counter a few times to knock out any air bubbles. Bake for 45-60 minutes until golden and a skewer comes out clean. While the cake cooks, make the syrup.
5. Heat the sugar and grapefruit juice in a pan until the sugar dissolves. Swirl the pan gently to help this.
6. Once cooked, leave the cake to cool for 10 minutes in the pan and then tip out onto a cooling rack with a bowl beneath. Poke the cake with a toothpick to allow the syrup to soak in better. Pour or brush the syrup over the cake and leave to cool.


2 thoughts on “Zesty dairy free grapefruit cake

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