Cooking Through A Cookbook

Grapefruit Olive Oil Cake Review

Recipe 83 from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook by Deb Perelman


WW Note: If you cut the cake into 12 slices you’ll get one slice for 9 points! I think you could replace the granulated sugar for monkfruit sweetener and get the slices down to 6 points a piece. If you go one more step and also replace the turbinado sugar with monkfruit sweetener then the points go down to 4 points a slice. I definitely want to try it to see how that would taste!


This recipe can be found in Deb Perelman’s “The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook” on pages 241- 243 or from the following sites:

Crumbs and Nibbles

The Zen of Slow Cooking

By Way Of Blog


I am super excited about this recipe for a few reasons.

First, it’s just easy to make. I love easy, non technical recipes that take no time at all. Deb’s hard work figuring out this recipe just makes you look good!

Second, it’s all about Grapefruit in this recipe which is a citrus I always wish I liked! Grapefruit is lost on me. It’s too tart despite adding a sweetener (I tried to eat it again with this recipe and I still feel the same way….just thought I would check!). They are beautiful and really deserve more attention because I love citrus and want to love these too.

Good news…this recipe gave me a reason to love them!

And better yet…. it’s definitely grapefruit season right now. I’ve had 2 people tell me they have grapefruit trees and are offering their harvest to me because they have so many. I may just be printing off this recipe and having them try it too!

Maybe a 3rd reason to love this recipe is because I was able to break out my citrus loaf pan that was just passed along to me! It’s a Nordic Ware pan so it’s sturdy and beautiful and I’ve been trying to figure out what to use it for which means this is my new favorite recipe to use in it!

I’m happy to say this is also a toddler friendly recipe! My daughter did a lovely job of helping me rub the grapefruit zest into the sugars, dump in ingredients and stir the batter. I love ways of having my 2 1/2 year old join me because she’s always grabbing a chair and pushing it over saying, “I’m going to help you!” She then proceeds to touch EVERYTHING before I have a chance to stop her. Recipes that don’t involve a bunch of stove time or sharp knives is a good thing!

Alright let’s jump in.

I grabbed 5 grapefruit from my parents and ended up using about 3 or 4 for both zest and juice. You’ll be adding zest and juice to the batter, and then juice to the syrup and again to the glaze. I thought the flavor would be strong but, when I took a bite of it the flavor that came through was more was the olive oil! It has a strong presence in this cake so I see why she infused grapefruit juice and zest into each step.

I think I might try to sub out both sugars for monkfruit sweetener next time to see what happens. I am trying to cut back on sugar and my husband is cutting it out completely for the immediate future (terrible time to be in this chapter 🤦). So looking for new ways to enjoy these kinds of recipes!

I was a tad uncertain how the loaf would come out of this beautiful pan but her first tip of butter and flouring the pan worked like a charm and made me with I had done that with a recent recipe that didn’t have the same effortless result! I always forget how helpful flour is and I appreciate her adding it to the instructions because most people forget to say that.

It really came out beautiful and would have been fine looking with just some powdered sugar. But the glaze seemed important to flavor so I didn’t want to skip it.

You’ll poke the cake with a toothpick before pouring the syrup over the top. After the cake cools the glaze can be poured on the top to finish it off.

It lost a little of it’s pretty with the glaze…I’m thinking if I had thinned it out a little more it may have shown the design a little better. Next time I’ll try that.

I’ll definitely be making this guy again! So tasty and unique!

Hope you give this one a try!!