The flavors of honey and fresh grapefruit come together in these moist and tender loaves. Topped with a light glaze, honey grapefruit loaves are the perfect balance of sweet and citrus. It's a treat that goes well with tea.
Citrus season is upon us and it seems to me that grapefruit is underused in baked goods. Oranges, and especially lemons, are the go-to for citrus desserts. And don't get me wrong, they make delicious cakes, fillings, curds, pies and so much more. But what about grapefruits? I challenged myself to think outside the box and come up with a grapefruit recipe. And the result, honey grapefruit loaves.
These individual loaves balance the strong acidic flavor of grapefruit with the sweet, floral flavor of honey. The batter produces a cake that is slightly more dense than airy, similar to the texture of a pound cake. The addition of a simple grapefruit glaze completes these individual loaves. They make a wonderful breakfast, dessert or even afternoon treat and serve well with tea (hot or cold).
What you need to make honey grapefruit loaves
Mini loaf pan
Sifter (or whisk)
Stand mixer bowl fitted with paddle
Liquid measuring cup
Wire cooling rack
Small mixing bowl
All-purpose flour. Provides the structure to the honey grapefruit loaves. Because its protein content is average among the other types of flour, all-purpose flour yields a cake that is not too crumbly yet not too dense.
Baking powder. Used as a leavening agent which causes the loaves to rise.
Baking soda. Aids in the leavening of the loaves, but also adds some tenderness.
Salt. Adds a balance to the sweetness of the loaves, but it also enhances the flavors of the other ingredients.
Butter. Use unsalted butter that has been softened to room temperature.
Honey. Use a type of honey that you enjoy most. Darker honey will impart a stronger flavor compared to lighter honey.
Eggs. Contribute to the structure of the loaves. Additionally, eggs help make cakes more tender.
Vanilla. Always use good quality vanilla. It will make a difference in the flavor of your loaves.
Grapefruit. Both zest and juice are needed for the cake batter as well as the glaze. Select grapefruits that are uniform in color, plump and firm to the touch.
Milk. Binds together the ingredients. Always use whole milk in baking. The fat helps to tenderize and add moisture to baked goods.
Powdered sugar. Used to make a simple glaze that can be spooned or poured over the honey grapefruit loaves.
How to make honey grapefruit loaves
- Sift. Begin by sifting together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and set aside.
- Mix ingredients. Beat together softened butter and honey on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 4-5 minutes. The mixture may separate, but continue mixing and it will come together. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until combined and then beat in vanilla and grapefruit zest. Combine the grapefruit juice with milk. Turn the mixer to low speed. In three parts, alternately add the dry ingredients and the milk mixture to the batter, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined.
- Bake. Fill baking tins 2/3 full and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow baking pan to cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes, and then remove loaves and allow to cool completely on wire rack.
Tips and takeaways
- Candied grapefruit peel makes a beautiful garnish for these loaves. Simply bring 200 g of water and 100 g of sugar to a boil in a small saucepan. Meanwhile, slice grapefruit very thinly into rounds, and then slice each round in half. Turn heat to low, and add grapefruit slices. Simmer for 10 minutes, and then turn off the heat. Allow to sit in syrup until ready to use. Before baking loaves, place one candied grapefruit slice on top of each loaf in the baking pan.
- For a thinner and more clear glaze, add extra grapefruit juice to the powdered sugar. And for a thicker, whiter glaze, use less juice.
- To add an extra pop of grapefruit flavor, combine 1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar with 1/2 cup (120 g) fresh grapefruit juice in a small saucepan, and cook over low heat until the sugar dissolves. Spoon grapefruit syrup over slightly cooled cakes.