One-Pot Wonders

Texas Ruby Red Grapefruit Cake with a Hint of Mint

April 13, 2011
3 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Prep time 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Cook time 45 minutes
  • Serves 10 to 12
Author Notes

Growing up in the Rio Grande Valley we were blessed to have an abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables. In our yard we had grapefruit, orange, lime and tangerine trees, plus a peach and many pecan trees. My dad would squeeze OJ for us and my mom made grapefruit wine. This cake is adapted from Gourmet Magazine's Citrus Chiffon Cake. It's moist and light with subtle flavors of both the grapefruit and mint. —nannydeb

Test Kitchen Notes

WHO: nannydeb is a former restaurant manager (slash waitress, bartender, and more) from Austin, TX.
WHAT: A citrus-kissed cake that has a gloriously soft crumb, topped with a mint-flecked glaze.
HOW: It's as simple as stirring the wet ingredients into the dry and adding stiffly-beaten egg whites, plus the glaze needs just a bowl and a spoon.
WHY WE LOVE IT: The cake's pillowy texture and heady grapefruit flavor contrasts with the crunchy-sweet mint glaze for a cake we'll look forward to at breakfast and dessert alike. —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, divided
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 eggs, separated
  • 2/3 cup canola oil
  • 2/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon fresh grapefruit juice, divided
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh mint, minced
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 10-inch bundt pan. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together flour, 1 cup granulated sugar, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together egg yolks, oil, 2/3 cup grapefruit juice, lemon zest and vanilla. Mix this mixture into the flour mixture until smooth.
  4. In yet another large bowl, beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar until it forms soft peaks. Gradually add the remaining 1/2 cup sugar one tablespoon at a time and beat until it forms stiff peaks.
  5. Gently fold the egg whites into the cake batter and spoon it into the prepared cake pan.
  6. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until golden and tester comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then invert it onto the serving plate. Set aside to cool completely.
  7. For the icing, combine the powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon grapefruit juice and mint. Add powdered sugar and/or juice to get the consistency you want. Drizzle the icing over the cooled cake and serve.
Contest Entries

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Isabelle MP
    Isabelle MP
  • Mollyh
  • Kitchen Butterfly
    Kitchen Butterfly
  • Hark
  • gingerroot

Recipe by: nannydeb

Former restaurant manager (and waitress, bartender, etc). I love food: eating, trying new recipes, shopping for it, talking/emailing about it, etc. My foodie friend and pen pal got me interested in recipe contests and also turned me on to food52 and now I'm obsessed!

58 Reviews

Isabelle M. December 14, 2016
Absolutely delicious! I made sure I took the time to follow each step correctly rather than "winging it" as I often do to save time. The cake came out light and so fluffy - the texture is just incredible. The icing is refreshing and works very well with the cake. The flavour of the cake itself is quite subtil so it's well complimented by the icing. I might just go ahead and make it again next week!
Note: I used rice bran oil as I didn't have canola oil. I also didn't have cream of tartar so I google it and replaced it with freshly squeeze lemon juice at a ratio of 2:1.
jennyk August 3, 2014
Made the cake yesterday as our tree is just bursting with fruit. I have to say one of the nicest cakes I've ever had. Eggs were from our chooks so it had a lovely yellow colour and mint from the garden. :) so fluffy
njlioness April 7, 2014
Just came across your recipe, I adore grapefruit anything! Do you think olive oil could be substituted for the canola oil? Perhaps a lighter grade would not impart any flavor?
Mollyh May 7, 2013
Has anyone tried this using grapefruit zest instead of lemon?
Kari2011 February 9, 2013
Made this for a dinner party tonight. Dying to bite into it now!
ElisaLouk September 21, 2012
Made this last night and it was GREAT. The eggs folded in make the cake so unbelievably moist and bouncy :-) Love the hint of grapefruit. I think I will add a little more juice next time for a stronger hint.
Kitchen B. March 27, 2012
Took half the cake into the office - it was a HIT. Perfect texture, special frosting. Will definitely be making this again. and soon. Thank you
nannydeb March 27, 2012
Thanks KB!
Kitchen B. March 25, 2012
Just made this - delicious. Used a combo of orange and lemon juice as I didn't have any grapefruit. About to make the frosting! Thank you for a great and easy recipe!

BTW, I didn't have cream of tartar so I added about two teaspoons of lemon juice to the egg whites before beating them. I also started the process with (Step 4) whipping the egg whites and then mixing the flour and other liquids together.

It wasn'teasy to get my cake out of the bundt but in the end, it was ok, save for one broken bit which i eagerly ate up. Thank you,
Hark March 17, 2012
Refreshing; really light grapefruit flavor. I was worried when I saw how much batter it made, and when it expanded so much in the oven, but it compressed down to normal size once I let it rest on the cooling rack for a while. I also had to use much more than 1 tbsp of grapefruit juice to make the icing pourable. Great recipe.
gingerroot March 10, 2012
Hi nannydeb, I've been meaning to let you know I made this for an all day party and we enjoyed it for breakfast!! It is such a lovely cake. I did not have lemon so subbed lime and grapefruit zest and it was delicious. Thank you for the recipe!
nannydeb March 11, 2012
Thanks gingerroot! I'm glad you enjoyed it!
cheese1227 February 5, 2012
I love this picture and I am sure I woudl love this cake. It is the same color as the walls in my kitchen!
kaupilimakoa February 2, 2012
congrats! that was an awesome cake. Sophie can't wait to make one at home!
hardlikearmour January 31, 2012
This cake has a lovely crumb, and is delicately grapefruit flavored. The mint icing is a perfect complement to it, too! Thanks, nannydeb!
LocalSavour January 31, 2012
Looks amazing ~ Congrats!
ashleychasesdinner January 29, 2012
Congrats Nannydeb! What a wonderful looking recipe!
Lucy M. January 29, 2012
Just baked this cake - it's beautiful and smells soooo good! No mint in the garden, but I candied the grapefruit peels for a garnish.
Lucy M. January 30, 2012
I took the cake to work & it got rave reviews. No mint in the glaze, but no one missed it. It's a lovely, tender cake with a light citrus flavor.
aargersi January 29, 2012
We had this today at out post race potluck - it is fantastic! Me, Hardlikearmor, Nannydeb, Arielleclementine, Helenthenanny, Kaupilimakoa, Mr L, TiminA, and Bethy, and Sophie and Henry The Great!!! all agree - DEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEElicious!!! (oh and Ginger too!!)
arielleclementine January 30, 2012
wholeheartedly agree!! way to go nannydeb!
culture_connoisseur January 29, 2012
I LOVE the addition of the mint! Will definitely be making this soon!
SavoryinSTL January 28, 2012
Was looking for something to take to a potluck food52 and there was your beautiful cake just waiting for me. It's in the oven right now. Had everything on hand except for the mint (um, sort of crucial!) but I made candied grapefruit peel at Christmas and have that. My plan: finely cut the candied grapefruit peel and sprinkle on top of glaze. Thanks nannydeb!
TastefullyKimS January 28, 2012
I love grapfruit, I am definitely trying this recipe.