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+ servings
Fresh Grapefruit Cake on a serving platter

Fresh Grapefruit Olive Oil Cake

Simple and bright cake perfect for brunch, afternoon tea, or dessert. This cake features grapefruit zest and olive oil for a light and flavorful treat. Recipe makes one 9-inch round cake and serves 12. Vegetarian (contains eggs and dairy).
Course Brunch, Dessert
Cuisine American, Holidays
Keyword Brunch, Citrus Cake, Grapefruit, Olive Oil, One-Layer Cakes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Resting Time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 220kcal
Author Emma J. Watling


  • cups All-purpose flour (210 g)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp fine salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup sugar (201 g)
  • 1 to 2 Tbsp grapefruit zest (zest of 1 grapefruit)
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sour cream, at room temperature
  • 6 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp grapefruit juice (~1/4 of a medium grapefruit)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • powdered sugar, for serving


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray or grease a 9 inch round cake pan and sprinkle lightly with powdered sugar (just to coat, no excess). In a medium bowl, whisk together dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, salt, ginger, and nutmeg. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer), add the sugar. Zest the grapefruit over the sugar and working with hands or a fork, rub mixture together until fragrant and evenly distributed, about 30 seconds.
  • Add in eggs, sour cream, olive oil, grapefruit juice, and vanilla. Beat on medium-low speed until thin and smooth (ingredients should be fully incorporated and a few bubbles will appear).
  • Using a spoon or rubber spatula, fold in the dry ingredients until just combined (no visible streaks of flour remain; batter may contain a few lumps-- don't overmix).
  • Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for about 35 minutes, or until crust and top are golden brown and toothpick inserted comes out clean. *depending on your oven and baking pan, bake time may be between 30 to 40 minutes.
  • Let cake cool in pan for 15 minutes, then remove to a cooling rack. Let cool completely before dusting with powdered sugar, if desired. Cake will keep covered at room temperature for up to 4 days.


Serve cake slices with powdered sugar and fresh fruit, if desired. 
If topping with fresh grapefruit segments, only do so just before serving (to prevent cake top from sweating)
Cake may be frozen for longer storage: wrap individual slices in freezer safe wrap (plastic then foil and add to a freezer safe bag). Thaw to room temperature and enjoy. Frozen cake should be used within 2 months.


Serving: 1slice | Calories: 220kcal | Carbohydrates: 29.8g | Protein: 3.4g | Fat: 10.2g | Saturated Fat: 2.5g | Cholesterol: 47mg | Sodium: 119mg | Potassium: 121mg | Fiber: 0.5g | Sugar: 16.8g | Calcium: 55mg | Iron: 1mg