Grapefruit Olive Oil Cake with Candied Grapefruit

Grapefruit Olive Oil Cake with Candied Grapefruit (Vegan GF-Option)

A light and fluffy zesty grapefruit cake topped with a fluffy grapefruit infused buttercream and simple homemade candied grapefruit peel. This cake is great for afternoon tea or for dessert and comes together in one bowl.

I love all flavours that are light and zesty although I tend to go for the richer, more chocolate-y cakes. Now, it’s time for something a little fresher and with a bit of zing. If you’re not a fan of grapefruit, I think this could be the recipe to turn you. While there is a slight tang and zing, the cake is sweet and sponge-y while the buttercream is balanced between tangy and sugary sweet and then the candied peel has the same sweet and sour combination. 

Grapefruit Olive Oil Cake with Candied Grapefruit
Grapefruit Olive Oil Cake with Candied Grapefruit

The base for this Grapefruit Olive Oil Cake with Candied Grapefruit is a simple olive oil sponge cake which means it’s really light and fluffy although it is also rich with a great crumb. The ingredients are fairly simple and allow to the grapefruit to shine:

  • Plant-based milk: any milk will do here.
  • Coconut sugar: or another sugar like golden caster would work well.
  • Fresh grapefruit juice: I love to use fresh grapefruit juice as the flavour is so much fresher and stronger. You need about 1 large grapefruit for the juce and it’s best to sieve or strain it to get rid of the smaller bits of fruit.
  • Grapefruit zest: for a really flavoursome cake.
  • Olive oil: essential for the olive oil cake. You can use any type of olive oil although remember that a stronger extra virgin olive oil will have a stronger flavour so go for a mellow one. You could also use sunflower oil.
  • Vanilla essence: for flavour and the natural sweetness.
  • Plain flour: this keeps the texture of the cake nice and light and you can use a 1:1 GF flour blend, too.
  • Bicarbonate of soda and baking powder: for a little rise and a natural dome shape on the cake.
Grapefruit Olive Oil Cake with Candied Grapefruit
Grapefruit Olive Oil Cake with Candied Grapefruit

Simply whisk together the ingredients for this Grapefruit Olive Oil Cake with Candied Grapefruit and then tap the batter on the surface few times to remove any air bubbles. Bake until golden and then allow to cool. Your kitchen will smell heavenly already!

 Now onto the candied peel: before this recipe I was a little worried that it would be quite a laborious and involved process, but it really is so simple and really satisfying! More detailed instructions are below but here is what to do:

  • Peel the grapefruit: and slice any larger bits into smaller strips.
  • Cover with cold water and boil: bring to the boil and then drain. Do this process a total of 3 times.
  • Boil in a sugar syrup: place the softened peel in some cold water and sugar and then allow to boil and simmer for 20 minutes. They will be nice and sticky.
  • Drain the syrup: keep this for using as a grapefruit syrup!
  • Allow to cool fully: do this on a wire rack and make sure they’re fully cooled. You can use your fingers to encourage natural curls in the peel.
  • Toss in sugar: for the classic candied peel look and taste, it’s best to use white sugar here.
Grapefruit Olive Oil Cake with Candied Grapefruit
Grapefruit Olive Oil Cake with Candied Grapefruit

Then the candied grapefruit peel is ready to top on the cooled cake. First add on a generous layer of grapefruit infused buttercream (I use the juice and zest) and spread it all over. You can also top the Grapefruit Olive Oil Cake with Candied Grapefruit with some fresh berries and/or pomegranate, too.

Slices this cake to serve with tea in the afternoon or mid-morning or enjoy as a dessert. It tastes of summer and sunshine, which is much needed in the UK in February. It is great timing as citrus fruits and Florida Grapefruit in particular (which I used to make this cake) are in season right now so they taste amazing!

I hope you will love this Grapefruit Olive Oil Cake with Candied Grapefruit, it is naturally vegan with easy gluten-free swaps and while it looks impressive, is really easy. It is light and fluffy, rich and moist with a naturally sweet yet tangy frosting and candied peel.

Grapefruit Olive Oil Cake with Candied Grapefruit
Grapefruit Olive Oil Cake with Candied Grapefruit

If you are looking for other simple bakes, how about my:

Grapefruit Olive Oil Cake with Candied Grapefruit (Vegan GF-Option)

  • Servings: 1 x 20cm cake (serves 10)
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A light and fluffy zesty grapefruit cake topped with a fluffy grapefruit infused buttercream and simple homemade candied grapefruit peel. This cake is great for afternoon tea or for dessert and comes together in one bowl.

Ingredients

    Grapefruit Olive Oil Cake:
  • 180ml plant-based milk
  • 80g coconut sugar
  • 120ml freshly squeezed grapefruit juice, sieved (about 1 large grapefruit)
  • 1 tbsp grapefruit zest
  • 120ml olive oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 270g plain flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • Candied Grapefruit Peel:
  • 2 large grapefruits
  • 200g + 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • Grapefruit Buttercream:
  • 100g vegan butter
  • 250g icing sugar
  • 1 ½ tbsp grapefruit juice
  • 2 tsp grapefruit zest
  • To serve:
  • Fresh berries

Directions

    Method for the peel:
  1. Using a peeler, cut the peel from the grapefruit, leaving small amount of the white part attached. Chop any large pieces in half.
  2. Place the peels in a saucepan, cover with cold water and bring to the boil. Drain the water and repeat this process two more times.
  3. Now add the peel, 200g sugar and 120ml water to the saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and continue to cook for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally until the peel is translucent.
  4. Drain the peel (reserving the sugar syrup in a jar) and leave to cool and dry out fully on a wire rack for 3-4 hours, encourage the peel to twist by curling with your fingers. Toss in the 2 tbsp sugar and store in an airtight container.
  5. Method for the cake:
  6. Preheat the oven to 160Fan/180*C and grease and line an 8 or 9 inch loose-bottomed cake tin.
  7. Whisk together the plant-based milk, coconut sugar, grapefruit juice, grapefruit zest, olive oil and vanilla essence in a large mixing bowl.
  8. Sift in the flour, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder and add the salt. Whisk to a smooth batter.
  9. Pour into the tin, tap the tin on the surface a couple of times to remove any air bubbles and bake for 35-40 minutes until golden brown. You may want to cover the cake with foil after 25 minutes – the cake is cooked when an inserted skewer comes out clean.
  10. Allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes then remove from the tin and cool fully on a wire rack.
  11. Make the buttercream by beating the butter until smooth and then slowly beating in the icing sugar, grapefruit juice and grapefruit zest until light and fluffy.
  12. Spread over the cake and top with the homemade candied grapefruit peel and extra berries. Store in an airtight container for 3-5 days, or freeze the un-frosted cake.
Grapefruit Olive Oil Cake with Candied Grapefruit
Grapefruit Olive Oil Cake with Candied Grapefruit

I look forward to hearing what you think of this Grapefruit Olive Oil Cake with Candied Grapefruit so please leave a comment below. Please tag me I your bakes, too, as ai love seeing them! I am @nourishing.amy on Instagram and use the hashtag #nourishingamy. I’m also on TwitterFacebook and Pinterest  – please say hello!

With grapefruit cake and peel love x

I first made this recipe in collaboration with Florida Grapefruit although this blog post is not sponsored and all opinions are my own.

13 thoughts on “Grapefruit Olive Oil Cake with Candied Grapefruit (Vegan GF-Option)

  1. Anna says:

    Would a spelt flour work here? Maybe a lighter spelt flour?
    I’ve never tried grapefruit before and I can’t think of a better way to change that than cake!

    Like

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