Grapefruit Olive Oil Cake for Adopt a Gluten-Free Blogger

Grapefruit Olive Oil Cake

We’ve been on a grapefruit kick lately. We always seem to have one or two hanging out on the counter. And there was the grapefruit frozen yogurt. Zoe from Z’s Cup of Tea commented that she had used grapefruit in an olive oil cake, which sounded quite tempting. But I’m making 3-4 food projects a day testing recipes for the cookbook, so we’re already drowning in food. But then Sea from Book of Yum put out this month’s Adopt a Gluten-Free Blogger announcement. Perfect timing: I could adopt Zoe and make the Grapefruit Olive Oil Cake for work, which was much easier to rationalize in my head.

As you probably guessed, olive oil cakes use olive oil instead of butter. They’re generally more of a rustic-type cake, not usually frosted. Perfect for me, as I hate messing with frosting.

Zoe did a lovely job with her recipe. I don’t own a 9×9 cake pan, so per her notesĀ I used a 9×5 loaf pan and baked the cake an extra five minutes. I also followed Zoe’s suggestion of adding the zest to the batter at the end, instead of infusing the honey with it.

I ran into one snag that the grapefruits I had on hand were a bit old and squishy, which made it pretty much impossible to zest them. I ended up using a paring knife to cut off the skin, then finely minced it. I suspect I ended up with way more skin (and pith) than one would get by zesting, so my cake had a slight bitter aftertaste — which in the end doesn’t matter, because you should be following her recipe anyway. ;)

Baked Cake

Oh, I should also mention that this is a dairy-, nut-, and gum-free cake. (It does have eggs though.) And that it’s super moist, and the olive oil and grapefruit are good compliments to each other. And that you should probably make it soon while citrus is still in season. (You do have to eat the rest of the grapefruit, of course.) Here you go, grapefruit olive oil cake, enjoy!

Looking for More Gluten-Free Vegetarian Recipes?

Take a look at my book, The Wheat-Free Meat-Free Cookbook: 100 Gluten-Free Vegetarian Recipes.

A sampling of the recipes included:
  • Breakfasts: Cinnamon Quinoa Muffins, Yeasted Waffles, Gooey Butter Cake,
  • Sides: Patatas Bravas, Pea and New Potato Salad, Braised Celery,
  • Mains: Corn Waffle Sandwiches, Enchiladas with Green Sauce, Pesto Asparagus Galette, and
  • Desserts: Blueberry Mango Crisp, Baklava Rolls, Amaretto Cake.

You can see the full recipe list on the Amazon page.


  1. This is so beautiful, Kalinda! Thank you so much. The cake looks like it turned out wonderfully – the crumb looks lovely and moist and delicate. I’m glad you liked it.

    You’re writing a cookbook? Somehow I missed this news! Congratulations! :)

    • It was great, I’m glad I made it. And yes, it did have a delicate crumb. This was my first encounter with coconut flour. I’ll have to see where else I can work it in.

      And yes, working on a cookbook for a few months now. Mike made me announce not that long ago so that I couldn’t back out on it. It’s still in fairly early stages though.

  2. WHOA. This looks good. I’ve been totally craving sour desserts, like lemon bars. I’ve never even thought of some kind of grapefruit baked good. Awesome!

    • I know, people never think to use grapefruit aside from eating it for breakfast. I think it’s actually my favorite citrus fruit. Now you’ve got me thinking I need to try to make grapefruit bars. I bet they’d be awesome.

  3. Your pictures of this cake are good enough that I’m tempted to try one myself, and the description is even better!

  4. Diane Jacobs says

    Now this recipe really intrigued me…so I made it with some slight modifications. Due to health challenges, I am finding that I need to be more aware of the (often times) very high glycemic index of many gf foods. I made the following changes to the recipe, which by the way, was very good!

    I found that for my taste, there was too much zest in the recipe. I will make the recipe with just one grapefruit zested, or even less, since my grapefruit were very small. Instead of honey, I used the same amount of agave syrup. I used sugar free Blue Diamond almond milk. I reduced the oil to 1/2 cup (and used some coconut oil along with the almond oil to make up the 1/2 cup). I increased the grapefruit juice to 1/3 cup to offset the reduction in the oil.

    I used a combination of quinoa, chia, and millet flour for the 1 cup total of grain/seed flour, I did use the 1/4 cup of coconut flour, and used 1/4 cup of arrowroot in place of the cornstarch (which is high glycemic, of course). Baking powder, soda and salt remained the same.

    I also baked the cake in a 9″ spring form pan. Those were my changes. :-)

    Do you mind if I share this recipe on my blog, if I give credit back to both of you?

    LOVED this recipe! Thank you!

    • Glad to see I inspired someone. As far as sharing your version, it’s not my recipe. You’d have to ask Zoe.

      • Hi Diane and Kalinda, from what I understand the standard rules of posting a modification of someone else’s recipe is okay as long as you provide credits and a link to the original recipe. Some bloggers have their own policy on that, so be sure to check. Personally, I am okay with this standard policy and procedure.

        Now, this is not technically my recipe. I only made it gluten-free (as well as dairy-free and refined sugar-free). I made the recipe from Smitten Kitchen, which had been adapted from Melissa Clark’s A Good Appetite. The only other slight difference is that the original recipe uses blood orange.

  5. This sounds lovely and it looks incredibly moist. What a nice change from regular old cake. Grapefruit and olive oil….yum

  6. Gorgeous! Great adoption post, Kalinda. Love Zoe! I keep buying citrus (most recently blood oranges) to make this cake and then using it for something else … usually smoothies. ;-) It’s on my agenda though!


  7. Kalinda, I’m so happy to have discovered your blog through Book of Yum’s event! I love it… and your photo of Zoe’s lovely recipe is making me drool.

  8. I made this last night for my newly diagnosed with food allergies 6 yr old son and it was the BEST wheat free thing we’ve stumbled on so far! Delish! His eyes lit up with that sparkle again. Thank you!

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