Grapefruit Greek Yogurt Cake

Light and refreshing grapefruit greek yogurt cake is simple to prepare and drizzled with a grapefruit glaze. Made with creamy yogurt, fresh grapefruit juice, and sweet brown sugar, the flavor and texture are both incredible. 

slices of grapefruit Greek yogurt cake

We’re having cake for breakfast and rearranging the way we eat grapefruit and yogurt every morning.

I don’t actually eat grapefruit and yogurt (or, sadly, cake) most mornings, but if you slapped a thick slice of this grapefruit greek yogurt cake on my plate, I wouldn’t fight it. Today’s citrus cake is a little different from my lemon berry yogurt cake. This one is softer and more cakey, while the latter is more buttery and creamy. I dare you to resist eating only 1 slice!

grapefruit Greek yogurt cake

This Grapefruit Greek Yogurt Cake Is:

  • Extra moist
  • Light and refreshing
  • Made with creamy greek yogurt
  • Super flavorful
  • A perfect balance of sweet and tart
  • Delicious for breakfast, a snack, or dessert
  • Prepared without a mixer
  • Really easy to make– only 2 bowls needed
  • Baked in a loaf pan (just like lemon pound cake)
  • Topped with grapefruit glaze
  • A quick recipe– from mixing bowl to oven in 10 minutes!

grapefruit Greek yogurt cake batter in a glass bowl with a whisk

Ingredients in Grapefruit Greek Yogurt Cake

I love recipes that call for simple, flavorful ingredients. Let’s review what you’ll need for this grapefruit cake:

  • Flour: Sturdy all-purpose flour is the base of this cake.
  • Baking Powder: Baking powder helps the cake rise.
  • Salt: Salt adds flavor.
  • Eggs: 3 eggs add structure and richness.
  • Yogurt: Greek yogurt helps create a rich and super moist crumb. I use plain nonfat greek yogurt. You can use low fat or full fat instead. Vanilla, honey, or any citrus flavors would work wonderfully, too!
  • Brown Sugar: We use all brown sugar for sweetness and an added layer of flavor.
  • Oil: Instead of butter, we use oil for moisture. It creates a cake that’s lighter in texture, not quite as dense or heavy. Use vegetable, canola, or even coconut oil. And since we’re not creaming butter, we can skip the mixer!
  • Grapefruit Zest + Juice: You’ll use both grapefruit zest and fresh grapefruit juice in this cake. 1/2 of a grapefruit will give you around 1/4 cup of juice and 1 and 1/2 Tablespoons of zest.
  • Vanilla Extract + Vanilla Bean Seeds: Pure vanilla extract and seeds scraped from 1/2 of a vanilla bean add mega flavor. When paired with grapefruit, it’s exquisite.

Helpful tip: When zesting your grapefruit, make sure you only grate the pretty rosy yellow part as the white pith is very bitter. Since we’re using both the juice and the zest, zest the grapefruit first, then cut the grapefruit in half and juice it. Expose that bright ruby red center!

grapefruit Greek yogurt cake in a loaf pan after baking

Grapefruit Glaze

Without glaze, this would just be a moist bread. And cake sounds so much better– and looks prettier, too! While this sweet and tangy grapefruit cake doesn’t really need a glaze, we’ve never turned down a little something extra.

This simple grapefruit glaze adds even more grapefruit flavor. It comes together quickly and easily with 3 ingredients: confectioners’ sugar, pure vanilla extract, and fresh grapefruit juice (use the remaining grapefruit half).

The glaze hardens after several minutes– the bites with hardened glaze are my favorite!

overhead image of grapefruit Greek yogurt cake

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overhead image of grapefruit Greek yogurt cake

Grapefruit Greek Yogurt Cake

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 4 hours
  • Yield: 1 loaf
  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Unbelievably moist grapefruit loaf made with Greek yogurt and fresh grapefruit juice. The flavor and texture are both incredible!


Ingredients

  • 1 and 1/2 cups (190g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup (180g) Greek yogurt*
  • 1 cup (200g) packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) vegetable or canola oil (melted + slightly cooled coconut oil works too)
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) freshly squeezed grapefruit juice, strained
  • 1 and 1/2 Tablespoons grapefruit zest
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • seeds scraped from 1/2 of a vanilla bean

Grapefruit Glaze

  • 1 cup (120g) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 2 Tablespoons (30ml) freshly squeezed grapefruit juice, strained
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C) and grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan.
  2. Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs. Once combined, whisk in the yogurt, brown sugar, oil, grapefruit juice, zest, vanilla extract, and seeds. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix with a large wooden spoon or rubber spatula until combined. Avoid overmixing.
  3. Spread batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake for 45-50 minutes. Baking times vary, so keep an eye on yours. The cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. If you find the top of the cake is browning too quickly in the oven, loosely cover it with aluminum foil.
  4. Remove the cake from the oven and set on a wire rack. Allow to cool before drizzling with glaze.
  5. For the glaze, simply whisk the ingredients together and drizzle over cake. Slice and serve. Cover and store leftover cake at room temperature for up to 5 days. I love it cold, so you can store it in the refrigerator too!

Notes

  1. Freezing Instructions: Cake freezes well for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature before serving.
  2. Muffins/Cupcakes: Prepare batter as instructed. Grease a 12-count muffin pan or use liners. Fill with batter all the way to the top. Bake at 350°F (177°C) for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes before serving. Top with glaze. Makes about 12 muffins.
  3. Square or Round Cake: This batter will fit into a 9×9 inch square baking pan or a 9-inch springform pan (it will be too tall for a regular 9-inch round cake pan). Bake at 350°F (177°C) for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Allow to cool and top with glaze.
  4. Greek Yogurt: I use plain nonfat Greek yogurt. You can use low fat or full fat instead. Vanilla, honey, or any citrus flavors would work wonderfully here!

Keywords: grapefruit greek yogurt cake, grapefruit cake

grapefruit Greek yogurt loaf cake with a few slices

44 Comments

  1. In the oven as we speak made with fresh lime juice, lime zest and Chobani blended key lime yogurt! We have kids that aren’t fans of grapefruit so I thought a glazed lime loaf was a nice compromise. 🙂 Thanks! 

  2. Made this today and it’s very good. The crumb is dense but tender and it’s super moist. I found it a bit greasy and will reduce the oil to 1/3 cup the next time. My loaf took an hour to bake. I found zesting the grapefruit frustrating because the skin was too smooth to grate. I tried a microplane and 2 box graters and finally gave up and zested a lemon and orange!

  3. I made this today and it is DELICIOUS!! It came out so moist, but still a dense pound cake texture. Everyone loved it and nobody could guess that it was grapefruit. Thank you Sally for yet another amazing recipe.

  4. Hi Sally, love your recipes and your writing (and pictures!). Question:  are the vanilla bean seeds optional, or can I substitute more extract? If so, how much?  Thanks.

    1. I’m glad, Christi! And you can just use a little more vanilla extract instead. I’d add an extra 1 teaspoon of it.

  5. Hi Sally,

    Love your recipes. Have tried quiet a few and totally a fan of every one.

    Want to try this one too, just one quick question, if I use dark brown sugar instead of light , will it change the flavor? I have two big packets of dark one but no light.

    Thanks

    Neha

    1. You can use dark brown sugar. The flavor will be wonderful, though it won’t change much.

      1. Thanks Sally for the reply,

        I made it yesterday (sorry can’t resist making it so could not wait for your reply). MINDBLOWING!!! it is, so yummy, moist and little dense……just what I wanted it to be. You cannot avoid the glaze, I ate it with and without the glaze….glaze took its taste to yet another level.

        Thanks for the wonderful recipe.

  6. Hi Sally, I have made this cake twice and although I loved the taste, both times it rose in the oven and collapsed after taking it out. I even had all my ingredients at room temperature. Any idea what could have gone wrong?

    1. Typically that could mean the bread/cake is underbaked. Perhaps a little longer in the oven?

  7. I have a friend who loves grapefruit (she always orders a Ruby Red Tonic when we go out to eat) and I always wanted to make this for her. It was finally her birthday and this was perfect for our low-key celebration. She is also not a huge fan of frosting so this was even more perfect! She and her boyfriend were very impressed with the flavor, as was I, even though I don’t usually eat grapefruit. I’m definitely keeping this in my back pocket as something to make and surprise people with again! Thank you for a great recipe! 🙂

  8. This was soooooo good!! I didn’t make the glaze and still thought this tasted incredibly decadent – and definitely breakfast food, right??

  9. I just made this delicious bread..omg…….soooooo good! I skipped the vanilla and added extra grapefruit zest to the batter and the glaze cause I wanted the pure grapefruit flavors. This recipe is a keeper

  10. Great recipe, thank you Sally. I cut the sugar down by a third, and got a more pronounced grapefruit flavour. The cake is wonderfully soft, I’ll never go back to having cereal for breakfast again

  11. Hi Sally. Baked this cake first time today. It’s done by 40 minutes. Tastes really good!!! even though I only used vanilla extract and not that much zest. I think I only used 2 grapefruits. I just added extra juice for my glaze which I shouldn’t have done. Just because I thought that the glaze was too sticky. The trick for that would be to give it enough time to mix with everything else so that it would become more spreadable over the cake.
    My critics, my kids loved it. The flavour is not overwhelming, I ate a whole slice.
    Thanks for the recipe. Cheers !!!!

  12. I made this for a girls night and everyone loved it. Super easy to make and turned out perfectly. I used vanilla lactose free yoghurt, therefore only used the vanilla seeds (no extract). Will be making it again very soon as I bought way too many grapefruits. Couldn’t resist, they just smell amazing.

    Thanks again for yet another fabulous recipe (I also recommend the best ever banana cake 😉

  13. Hi,
    I tried the recipe and bake the same cake twice yesterday. At first I thought it was my mistake when the cake rose in oven but it sink very quickly when out from oven. Then I tried the same recipe for second time, it happened to be the same. Any idea why? And the bottom part of the cake is still wet/heavy and looks uncooked. But the top part of the cake is spongy.

    1. It could be many different things. Cakes usually sink when the cake batter is not completely cooked. You can cover the top of the cake with aluminum foil about half way through the bake time if the top is cooking faster than the inside. Also I suggest testing the temperature of your oven with an inexpensive oven thermometer – if it runs very hot the outside of the cake will be done before the inside.

  14. Excellent! As described, this cake is unbelievably moist. The crumb is loose and tender. I usually follow the recipe the first time I make something, but did make a few minor changes to this one. Because of the yogurt I added 1/4 tsp baking soda. I used a combination of brown and white sugars and rubbed the grapefruit zest into the sugars. I also added 1/2 tsp rosewater which adds something pleasant and unique to the flavor. I subbed a light olive oil for the vegetable oil. None of these changes should have had a noticeable effect on the end result. 5 star!

  15. One more question: would this be good with chopped walnuts added?

    1. Yes, you can add them! I recommend 3/4 cup (100g) chopped nuts.

  16. Mary oftedahl says:

    So good! Could you substitute lemon for the grapefruit juice. I have sooo many lemons

    1. Sure can!

  17. I made this in a 9.5 springform pan and it was fabulous. I topped it with homemade grapefruit curd. I will be making this super moist cake again. Thanks!

  18. I had to modify slightly due to social distancing. I used segmented grapefruit in light syrup and oatmilk yogurt. Since I didn’t have zest or fresh juice, I used about 1/2 cup of crushed grapefruit segments. I also arranged several segments on the top of the cake. YUM! This dairy free, modification was awesome! Thank you!

  19. I am a huge fan of cakes that have more icing than cake BUT I LOVED THIS CAKE!!!! I could not wait to taste it so I didn’t make the glaze. If I could give it more than 5 stars, I would.
    I didn’t have any yogurt so I used sour cream and it still turned out delicious!!! Thank you sooooooo much for this recipe!

  20. I made this tonight with lime instead of grapefruit, as it was what I had on hand. It turned out delicious! My husband is already asking for me to make it again. I can’t wait to try it with grapefruit and other citrus…blood orange or yuzu!

  21. Can’t wait to bake this! I don’t have a vanilla bean. Would vanilla paste work well here? Or should I just add more vanilla extract

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Meaghan, You can use vanilla paste instead!

  22. I am an experienced baker and had great hopes for this recipe because my neighbor gave me a huge bag of fresh grapefruit off of her tree. I followed the recipe exactly using your suggestion to add two tablespoons of yogurt if using butter instead of oil. It came out dense and as heavy as a brick. It ended up in the trash.

  23. So good!!! We had no vanilla, used 3% plain yogurt, and only had white sugar (which we cut by almost a 1/3rd in the cake). The glaze didn’t harden or whiten the same because of white vs powdered sugar, but – it tastes amazing.
    Half the loaf is already gone.
    Thanks for sharing this awesome recipe!
    Looking forward to trying it with lime, next.

  24. Very disappointing! ☹️ I picked grapefruit from my tree, and made the recipe as muffins. Came out looking like corn bread muffins – nothing like a muffin. They are dense, almost wet. Definitely a recipe suited for a loaf. It’s not easy to find baking recipes for fresh grapefruit. At least I tried, Sally.

  25. GF – used 1 cup all purpose GF flour and 1/2 cup coconut flour and added 1 tsp xanthe gum and a dash more grapefruit juice – excellent!

  26. Clarissa K Evert says:

    Delicious! Just the right amount of sweetness and not too overwhelming on the grapefruit flavor. I made this into 2 6″ layer cakes and did a vegan grapefruit SMBC. Definately a keeper!

  27. Does the cake freeze well? I have so many grapefruits from my tree so i may need to save for eating later

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Definitely! See recipe notes for freezing instructions.

  28. Delicious. I reduced the sugar to about 1/2 cup and substituted desiccated coconut to make up the volume. Used regular vanilla yoghurt too as no Greek. Tastes great!

  29. Made into cupcakes- baked for about 25 minutes and they came out flawless. Super moist and rich, but not too dense. And the glaze is divine- I find some glaze recipes to be way too watery but the consistency of this one was ideal and the perfect complement to the cakes.

  30. I had grapefruits I needed to use up so I made a loaf of this this afternoon. It was so delicious! So citrusy and very moist. Thank you for this lovely recipe! Will be making again.

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