Now that summer is in full force, I am not as eager to do much heavy baking. It’s been pretty obvious I’ve been avoiding heavy cakes with frosting, and overly sweet desserts. I love the summer and all the fresh produce it has to offer, so I try to take advantage of what I can.
But because I love the tartness of curd, I was in the mood to try a new flavor. Grapefruit, to me, has a very bright and vibrant flavor. Perfect for a hot summer day.
When I was looking for grapefruits there were only big bags, no individuals. Of course I got the economy sized bag. I thought I could eat them for breakfast. A few days after making the curd I still had about 5 grapefruits and they were on their last days…
And I needed to do something with the curd. My boyfriend suggested cupcakes, and while that was a splendid idea, I went with something I had never tasted, grapefruit layer cake.
A layer cake was ideal for another reason, I could easily fill the layers with curd instead of frosting (I ended up using frosting as a filling along with the curd). And what is a cake with out frosting? So with the remaining grapefruits I made a tangy grapefruit buttercream. It was the perfect compliment to the cake.
One of the many great qualities of this cake is each component can be made ahead of time. If you have enough time one day to make the curd, then the next day the make the cake, and the third day make the frosting and assemble.
This is a large cake. Be prepared to share!
Recipe from Honey & Jam
- 8 large egg yolks
- 1/2 cup freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
- 1/2 cup lemon juice + 2 tbsp lemon juice
- Zest of 1 grapefruit
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1 1/4 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
To Make the Curd:
- Combine the egg yolks, juices, half the zest, and sugar in a saucepan. Whisk everything together.
- Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly and being cautious to not boil the mixture. It needs to be thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon.
- Remove sauce pan from the heat, add salt and butter 1 cube at a time.
- Stir until smooth. Keep refrigerated until ready to use.
Recipe from TasteofHome.com
- 2/3 cup butter, softened
- 1 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 3 cups cake flour
- 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup fresh grapefruit juice
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1 tsp grapefruit zest
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
To Make the Cake:
- Preheat oven to 350ºF – grease/flour cake pans (I used 3 small rounds for a 3 layer cake).
- For about 5 minutes, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs, 1 at a time, mixing after each addition. Stir in the zest and vanilla.
- Mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add in alternately with the grapefruit juice, starting and ending with the flour mix. Stir in the milk.
- Bake 20-30 minutes (depending on the size of your pans). The cake is done when an inserted cake tester is clean when removed. All the cakes to cool completely before frosting and filling.
Tangy Grapefruit Frosting
- 2 1/2 grapefruit’s worth of freshly squeezed juice (I had 1 – 1 1/2 cups)
- 1 stick unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 cups powdered sugar
To Make the Frosting:
- Reduce the grapefruit juice to about half. I did this in a saucepan over medium – medium low heat. You want it to be syrupy. Allow the syrup to come to room temperature.
- Using the whisk attachment in your stand mixer (hand mixer works well too) mix together the softened butter, vanilla, salt, and powdered sugar.
- Slowly pour in the grapefruit syrup. Use as much/as little as you like. You can always use a little more powdered sugar to adjust to how sweet you like.
To assemble the cake…
Place layer one on the plate.
Spread a thin layer of the curd on the cake, then spread a layer of frosting on top of the curd. (In hindsight, I should have layered the frosting and then curd, but it still turned out fine)
Repeat with layer 2, and place the final layer of cake on top. **If you only have 2 layers, you will only have 1 layer of curd/frosting.
Refrigerate the cake for 15 minutes.
Remove the cake, and cover it with a thin layer of frosting. Refrigerate for 15 more minutes, then decorate with remaining frosting as desired.