Tessa Huff


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Sunny Grapefruit Layer Cake

Moist layers of citrus olive oil cake stacked high with eggless grapefruit curd.  A simple vanilla buttercream creates this dramatic, watercolor finish with the help of some sunset-hued gel food coloring.

Grapefruit Cake Recipe

I always buy grapefruit with lofty intentions of halving them for breakfast with a sprinkle of Sugar in the Raw, a nice cup of coffee (hopefully al fresco on the patio), and being totally satisfied and inspired to start my day.  In reality, mornings are much more chaotic than my dreams of enjoying a little continental breakfast at home and the grapefruits usually turn to mush on my fruit stand before I even remember buying them in the first place.  My breakfast these days usually consist of Everett's leftover toast or the other half of his banana (although pre-baby things weren't much better).  Yet still, especially when winter citrus is in abundance, I just can't help but toss a few blushing grapefruits into my shopping basket every time. 

Grapefruit Cake Recipe
Grapefruit Cake Recipe
Grapefruit Cake Recipe

Since I love the tangy sweetness and slight bitterness of grapefruit, just because I can't seem to fit them into my morning routine doesn't mean I won't try to incorporate those bright flavors into a vibrant cake.  After seeing Elizabeth Falkner's recipe for eggless lemon curd pop up in Food 52's "Genius Recipes," I was quickly reminded how much I love all of her adventurous and outside-the-box recipes from her book, "Demolition Desserts."  I decided to try my hand at a grapefruit version, and let me tell you – it did not disappoint!  Made with condesned milk, the grapefruit curd was extra silky and the creaminess cut down a little of the "bite" that is usually associated with grapefruit.  I ended up pairing it with an earthy, yet slightly floral olive oil cake for my column on The Cake Blog.  Here's more of what I have to say about it:

"Sweet mixed with a touch of bitterness, grapefruit makes for a mellow yet unexpected flavor within a layer cake.  While grapefruit might not be as tart and mouth-puckering as some of its citrus cousins, it is perfectly vibrant yet smooth within a cake and filling.  Suffering from the post-holiday or just plain winter blues?  Brighten up your week with this grapefruit cake!

Citrus pairs perfectly with a fresh olive oil cake, and that is exactly what I’ve done here.  Using a light, extra virgin olive oil keeps the cake extra moist and slightly floral.  The added poppy seeds add a bit of texture within the tender layers of cake.  The grapefruit curd filling is silky smooth without being too rich or heavy.  Made with sweetened condensed milk instead of eggs, this curd is a game changer.  I decided to cut my cakes in half to make multiple layers for the curd to be spread in between and almost soak in and moistened each layer of cake even further.  A simple whipped vanilla buttercream was used to frost the cake.  While sometimes this type of buttercream is too sweet for my palette, I find that it pairs well with the slightly bitter and floral elements of the rest of the cake."

Head on over to The Cake Blog for the complete recipe!  For a detailed, step-by-step tutorial for the watercolour buttercream, go here!

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