Here’s a brief, inconclusive list of all the reasons you might need to bake a cake ASAP:
1. It’s April!
2. But April showers are borderline depressing.
3. We’re halfway to the weekend!
4. And you’ve already been invited to a fabulous party.
5. Or not–and you feel sad about it.
6. You have a sweet tooth.
7. You want to make someone feel loved.
8. You love grapefruits.
9. You love anything glazed.
10. You’ve been juicing so long you need to bite into something solid.
As you can see, many occasions in the life of a modern socialite require the baking of a cake. And this, friends, is my favorite cake recipe. It’s more of a pound cake than a sugary frosted birthday-esque confection, so it’s sweet but not saccharine. The grapefruit gives it an incredibly full flavor, and the yogurt makes it moist enough to please everyone from the brownie fanatics to the chewy cookie converts.
The grapefruit flavor comes through in three ways: 1) zest in the batter, 2) a grapefruit basting juice that soaks into the cake once it’s baked, and 3) a grapefruit-spiked glaze to top of all off. The result is tangy-sweet, making it the perfect cake for the last weekend in April.
Grapefruit Yogurt Cake Recipe
recipe by Smitten Kitchen, the Internet’s reigning queen chef
1 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup plain yogurt
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon grated grapefruit zest (basically, zest of one large grapefruit)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon sugar
1/3 cup freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a loaf pan (Smitten Kitchen says 8 1/2 by 4 1/4 by 2 1/2-inch).
Stir together the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir together the wet ingredients in a different bowl: yogurt, sugar, eggs, grapefruit zest, vanilla. Slowly mix the dry ingredients into the wet ones, and then gently fold the vegetable oil into the batter (using a spatula). Pour batter into the loaf pan and cook for 50 minutes. Test by sticking a knife into the center of the cake–when it comes out clean, the cake is done. I usually start checking around 40 minutes, because I’m paranoid about over-baking.
While the cake is cooking, make the baste and the glaze. For the baste, simply cook the grapefruit juice and sugar in a small pan until the sugar dissolves. For the glaze, just mix together the confectioner’s sugar and the grapefruit juice. Similar ingredients, different products: when the cake is done, let it cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, and then remove and set on a baking sheet. Slowly pour the basting juice over the cake, letting it soak in.
Once the cake is cool, glaze it! Slice and serve. Delicious warm or cold.
photo attribute: Jorge Vicente