Pink Grapefruit Olive Oil Cake with Dressing

by Mary Papoulias-Platis

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Pink Grapefruits are in season, and with a big beautiful bowl of these pink grapefruit on my kitchen counter, I was eager to bake with them and come up with winter desert.  I do love to bake, so I got started baking and experimenting with recipes and I came up with this olive oil cake topped with grapefruit.  I prefer olive oil cakes because of their fruitiness you achieve by using different varietals of EVOO. This cake amazed me at it’s light texture, and smooth feel from the addition of the olive oil. It also allowed the grapefruit to shine without it being overcooked.

My sister-in-law Vicky delivered these fully-rounded lucious grapefruit over the holidays and I can’t get enough of them.  They are so fresh and juicy we have eaten them sliced in salads, quartered in our morning cereal, and now in our dessert. Check out my last post on a California Pink Grapefruit Salad.

To “supreme” the grapefruit, here is a video from Joy of Cooking.

grapefruit supremes

Grapefruits are packed with nutritional benefits. They are rich in powerful fiber, potassium, and and vitamin C.  Full of phytochemicals including liminoids and lycopene, I call them powerballs!

When I experimented with cakes this cake could handle the tangy -sweet taste of the pink grapefruit. It’s moist with a hint of olive oil at the end.  Adding the lime-dressing as a sauce it just knocked it out of the ballpark. The soft light texture of the cake obsorbed the dressing, similar to dipping your crusty bread in a bowl of freshly pressed olive oil. Heaven!

Grapefruit Olive Oil Cake

Pink Grapefruit Olive Oil Cake with Dressing
With an abundance of grapefruit you make cake! I love olive oil cakes, and this one is light and creamy with the addition of olive oil. I added a dressing which is optional. I say don't skip it!
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: California
Serves: 8
  • ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1-3 large limes
  • 1 cup cake flour (not self-rising)
  • 5 large eggs, separated, and 1 egg white removed
  • ¾ cup plus 1½ tablespoons sugar
  • 1-2 pink grapefruit, supremed, sliced, and juice reserved
  • 9" springform pan, lined
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Cover springform pan with some oil, then line bottom with a round of parchment paper. Oil parchment.
  3. Finely grate enough lime zest to measure 1½ teaspoons and whisk together with flour. Halve the lime, then squeeze and reserve 1½ tablespoons fresh lime juice.
  4. Beat together yolks and ½ cup sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at high speed until thick and pale, about 3 minutes.
  5. Reduce speed to medium and add olive oil (3/4 cup) and reserved lime juice, beating until just combined (mixture may appear separated).
  6. Using a wooden spoon, stir in flour mixture (do not beat) until just combined.
  7. Beat egg whites (from 4 eggs) with ½ teaspoon salt in another large bowl with cleaned beaters at medium-high speed until foamy, then add ¼ cup sugar a little at a time, beating, and continue to beat until egg whites just hold soft peaks, about 3 minutes.
  8. Gently fold one third of whites into yolk mixture to lighten, then fold in remaining whites gently but thoroughly.
  9. Transfer batter to springform pan and gently tap against work surface once or twice to release any air bubbles. Sprinkle top evenly with remaining 1½ tablespoons sugar.
  10. Bake until puffed and golden and a wooden pick or skewer inserted in center of cake comes out clean, about 45 minutes.
  11. While the cake is baking, supreme the grapefruit over a small bowl, catching the juices and reserving the juice for the dressing. Squeeze the remaining grapefruit with your hands, into the juice bowl. (see video above). Slice the grapefruit in ¼ -inch thick rounds.
  12. In the last 20 minutes, remove cake from oven and add the grapefruit slices, place back in the oven to continue cooking.
  13. Cool cake in pan on a rack 10 minutes, then run a thin knife around edge of pan and remove side of pan.
  14. Cool cake to room temperature, about 1¼ hours. Remove bottom of pan and peel off parchment, then transfer cake to a serving plate.
  15. Dust lightly with powdered sugar, cut and serve with dressing.
This cake was adapted from Gourmet, 4-2006.

Pink Grapefruit Dressing
This is a simple vinaigrette that can be used to drizzle over this cake. Or it can be used as your next salad dressing for your favorite roasted vegetables or greens.
Recipe type: Dressing
Serves: ¾ cup
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ freshly squeezed pink grapefruit juice (reserved from cake recipe above)
  • zest of ½ lime
  • pinch of salt
  1. Zest the lime and set aside.
  2. In a small container add the grapefruit juice, zest and salt. Give it a quick whisk.
  3. Slowly add the olive oil, until mixed.
  4. Drizzle on each individual piece of cake.

lime zest

Zesting the lime is a wonderful flavor booster to the cake and dressing.

grapefruit olive oil cake

These grapefruit were so large I only needed one for the topping.

olive oil cake with grapefruit

Simply plate the cake and add a small drizzle of the dressing for dipping!

© 2016, Mary Papoulias-Platis. All rights reserved.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Katina Vaselopulos

A cake with a dressing!

I make something similar with butter. Next time, I will use olive oil.
Do you have a favorite fruity oil?

Happy New Year, Mary!

Warmest regards,


2 Mary Papoulias-Platis

Hi Katina,
Most fresh extra virgin olive oils are fruity, but I like a Greek Koroneiki olive oil. I use Bragg Olive Oil or Arianna Trading Co. owned by George Menzelos. Also, check with your local store if you have one nearby.
I would be interested in your butter recipe…

3 Liz Schmitt

Just home from Costco with a HUGE bag of organic pink grapefruit – trying your cake this weekend!

4 Mary Papoulias-Platis

My husband loves grapefruit, so this was a special cake I made him. He loved it with the light cake it was a good balance. I hope you do as well.

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