Texas Grapefruit Yogurt Cake

in Cakes & Cupcakes, Citrus, Grapefruit, Texas

Grapefruit Yogurt Cake

In every episode of her show Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten glances cooly into the camera and, with a smile, delivers a line something similar to “Clean hands are a chef’s best friend.” You know what runs a close second? Basic improv skills.

There’s nothing more frustrating than getting ready to start baking on a lazy Saturday afternoon and realize there aren’t enough lemons left to whip up Ina’s Lemon Yogurt Cake. The lemons being slightly important to this specific recipe.

Grapefruit Yogurt Cake

I’ve been blowing through pitcher after pitcher of sweet tea lately and with each glass goes a thick lemon wedge. A large bag of lemons will dwindle much faster than I realize. Lemon Yogurt Cake would have to wait another day but I had plenty of oranges and a big ol’ Rio Star grapefruit straight from the Rio Grande valley sitting in the fruit bowl.

Grapefruit Yogurt Cake

I think with enough winking, air quoting, and maybe even a slice of cake as a bribe, I could convince you that it was really as light as it tasted. And since it is flavored with the quintessential “breakfast diet fruit,” we ate a slice of it for breakfast. And it was very good (better without the glaze… but very good).

Texas Grapefruit Yogurt Cake

Grapefruit juice and yogurt yield a wonderfully moist and tangy cake.


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar, divided
  • 3 extra-large eggs
  • 1 Tbsp Texas Grapefruit zest (from about 3/4 of the grapefruit)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 Tbsp + 1/3 cup fresh-squeezed Texas Grapefruit juice
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • For the glaze
  • 1 cup confectioners
  • 2 Tbsp fresh-squeezed Texas Grapefruit juice


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a loaf pan (mine is a 10-inch pan).
  2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl and set aside. In the bowl of a mixer, combine the the yogurt, 1 cup sugar, the eggs, grapefruit zest, vanilla, and 1 Tbsp grapefruit juice on low speed. Add the dry ingredients and beat until just combined. Add the vegetable oil into the batter, mixing to make sure it's all incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 40 minutes, or until a cake tester placed in the center of the loaf comes out clean.
  3. Meanwhile, cook the 1/3 cup grapefruit juice and remaining 1/3 cup sugar in a small pan until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear. Set aside.
  4. When the cake is done, allow it to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Carefully place on a baking rack over a sheet pan. While the cake is still warm, pour the grapefruit-sugar mixture over the cake and allow it to soak in. Cool.
  5. For the glaze, whisk together the confectioners' sugar and juice and pour over the cake.


Yields: ~12 servings

Adapted from Barefoot Contessa at Home

Estimated time: 1 hour

23 comments… add one
  • I completely agree with you about the improvising. The cake looks great.

  • I love Ina Garten’s recipes!! And I love the addition of grapefruit to that yogurt cake 🙂

  • Every morning I have my glass of Pellegrino and pure lemon juice and lemon slices. It’s one of the many things that super-charges me for the day.
    Wonderful cake, I must print this.

  • This is one of my favorite cakes, ever! the greek yogurt brings a tender crumb.

  • Now that’s baking by the seat of your Pants! Well done. looks and sounds absolutely amazing.

  • I swear we go through citrus at alarming rates at my house also.

  • Yum! Way to think on the fly!

  • That looks so good!! It makes me want to run out to the store and pick up some fruit but sadly my car is buried in snow!!

    Glad to see you are feeling better!

  • thebrunettebaker

    Another great one is the Yogurt Marmalade Cake from the Pioneer Woman. I’ve made this twice since Xmas & everyone’s loved it.

  • What a great flavor to use for this cake! Your pictures looks amazing!

  • This cake is my favorite! I have made the lemon one..and a lime version. I can’t wait to try grapefruit! YUM!

  • this looks and sounds so good! i love ina!

  • the cake looks delicious! Are you part of the barefoot bakers? They make all Ina Recipes.

  • I know soooo many people who love this recipe. And sooooo many of them think it’s better without the glaze. You guys must be onto something!

  • Oooh I like the improv! I make this all the time with lemons though – you must try it at least once!

  • I think I’d like it better with grapefruit than lemon!

  • This looks so incredible. The minute I saw its picture on Tastespotting, my mouth literally started to water! I LOVE, love, love the idea of using grapefruit instead of the predictable lemon. I grew up in Florida and ate grapefruit every day. It’s one of my absolute favorite fruits and it’s so nice to see it getting some attention. My only fear in making this is that I won’t share it… I’ll just devour the entire thing in one sitting. Oh well!

  • This cake looks wonderfully refreshing, and your pictures are beautiful.

  • ingrid

    Oh, wow! I made Ina’s cake & posted it yesterday, too! I had to improvise myself as I didn’t have the required extra large eggs. I had mixed emotions on whether or not I liked it. In the end I think I did but it was on the third day.

  • omg… i made that cake too. with home-grown lemons. i think she made hers with blueberry sauce, but i’ve done it with raspberry sauce and strawberry sauce.

    the lemonade that tree’s lemons make is just divine. i mix it with sun tea and make arnold palmers all summer. don’t even get me started on the limoncello 😉

  • Margaret

    Can I use fat free plain Greek yogurt? My other recipe for this (which I’m now throwing out since this one looks sooooo much better) has me using full fat Greek yogurt. I’m a professional ballerina and a foodie, a dangerous combination, so I like to swap healthier alternatives when I can.

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