Thomas Keller’s Grapefruit Cake

I like having a simple loaf of something sweet and homemade around, not only because it makes snacks and breakfast so much more special, but also because it gives me an occasion to invite someone over for a slice and some tea.

In the case of this cake, I made it to serve as an incentive for my bloggers to come to blog meetings for Penn Appetit, the food magazine at the University of Pennylvania. I have found (maybe unsurprisingly) that providing delicious sweets is a great way to ensure attendance at meetings.


This cake is basically a citrus loaf cake like any other, but the usage of grapefruit rather than a more common citrus like lemon gives it the air of something exciting. Grapefruit’s bitterness tempers the sweetness of the cake and makes it seem more sophisticated than its loaf shape would suggest.


The cake is also super moist because grapefruit syrup is poured over the top after baking, infusing the whole thing with a wallop of grapefruit flavor and giving it a slightly pink hew. If it wasn’t obvious from my description, I highly recommend this cake.

Adapted from Ad Hoc at Home by Thomas Keller

Grapefruit Loaf Cake

2 cups all purpose flour

1 3/4 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1 2/3 cups granulated sugar

2 eggs

1 cup whole milk (I used 2% and it was fine)

3/4 cup canola oil

1 tbsp grapefruit zest

1 tsp vanilla extract

for the syrup:

1 cup freshly squeezed grapefruit juice

2/3 cup granulated sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and grease a loaf pan. Mix the flour, the baking powder, and the salt together in a bowl and set aside.

Combine the sugar and eggs in a large bowl and beat until light and fluffy. Beat in the milk, oil, grapefruit zest, and vanilla. Once you have a homogenous mixture, slowly mix in the flour mixture, just to the point of incorporation.

Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 1 hr, turning halfway through if your oven bakes unevenly.

In the meantime, make the syrup by bringing the grapefruit juice to a simmer in a pan and stirring in the sugar until it dissolves. Once the cake is out of the oven, while it’s still warm, poke a few holes in the top and brush the syrup over the whole thing. It may look like a lot but put all of it! Let it sit 10 mins before enjoying.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s