Use olive oil in place of butter to make this citrus spiked cake. (Kate Lawson / The Detroit News)
Whenever there's evidence that baking is about to ensue in my kitchen, I can usually detect a fearful sigh coming from the person I live with.
Then the pleading begins: "Please don't bake …" "I love it but I don't want to eat it." "You make such a mess …" and on and on and on. It's sad, really. For the most part, my baking exploits turn out favorably even though yes, that means there will be a mess, but oh, what a nice home-baked treat we'll have.
I enjoy baking on the weekends, especially when the weather keeps me indoors. I love looking out the window as I stir batter or knead dough and even as I wash all the dishes.
The protests usually subside once the terrific smells come wafting from the oven. Homemade muffins, quick breads, pound cakes, cookies and tarts are set upon the counter to cool. Then the sampling begins. I give away a lot of the goodies, and the mistakes go straight to the squirrels, but after sampling this grapefruit pound cake, I decided to keep it all for us.
It lasted only a few days as we nibbled away, scraping the glaze off the platter and redistributing it on the moist, golden slices.
I rationalized that because the cake was made with olive oil instead of butter that it could be included in our Mediterranean diet way of eating. I don't know if it does or not; what I do know is that the protests turned to praise after the first bite.
Grapefruit Olive Oil Pound Cake
Recipe from "Smitten Kitchen" by Deb Perelman.
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan.
In a large bowl, rub the grapefruit zest into the sugars with your fingertips. This will bruise it and help release as much grapefruit essence as possible. Whisk in the oil until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, and whisk until combined. Scrape down the bowl.
Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a second bowl. In a liquid measuring cup, combine 2 tablespoons of grapefruit juice and buttermilk/or yogurt. Add the flour and buttermilk/or yogurt mixtures, alternating between them, to the oil-and-sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour.
Spread the batter in the pan, smooth the top, and rap the pan on the counter a few times to ensure there are no air bubbles trapped. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until a cake tester comes out clean.
Make the grapefruit syrup:
Combine 2 tablespoons of sugar with 1/3 cup grapefruit juice in a small saucepan and cook over low heat until the sugar dissolves.
When the cake is finished, let it cool for 10 minutes in the pan and then invert it onto a rack set over a tray. Poke holes in the cake with a skewer or toothpick, then spoon or brush the grapefruit syrup over the cake. Let the cake cool completely while it absorbs the syrup.
Make the glaze
Combine the confectioners' sugar, grapefruit juice and pinch of salt in a bowl, whisking until smooth. Pour the glaze over the top of cooled cake and allow glaze to drizzle decoratively down the sides. Serves 10.
More Kate Lawson
- Day-boat scallops add tasty twist to caprese salad
- Easy dinner pasta allows heart to stay in the garden
- Enjoy Sicilian salad as a side dish or a supper
- Flavored vinegar makes rhubarb blush
- Sip a ginger julep to watch the Run for the Roses
- Effortless flan finishes off the fiesta
- What to make before Michigan strawberries arrive