Pipe Dream #164: To Cozy Up – Grapefruit Loaf

backyard whiteout

Sometimes, I don’t plan on snow days. Actually, I never plan on snow days, which is ironic, because I live in Minnesota, and that means we get at least three snow days per winter.


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A “snow day” is not just a day on which snow falls. Oh, no. Not every swirly, sparkly day can be called a snow day. A snow day is a complete whiteout, an excuse to cozy up. Heavy snowfall all day and all night, making for a morning of crystalline trees, unopenable doors and all the right conditions for a steaming mug of cocoa by a wood-burning fire.

And in my case, a three-hour morning commute for two days in a row. And two hours at night. I know. I was stupid to think I could make it. Whatever, it’s done.

grapefruit loaf 1

But the day before Monday! The day before Monday was Sunday. And it was the start of the snow day. And I was at home with no obligations to anyone, ever, and I made this cake. Which almost made up for the hellish drive on Monday.

grapefruit loaf 3

grapefruit loaf 2

I had been meaning to make it for ages, actually. I love grapefruit, especially Costco grapefruit in season. Those massive sacks of gold get me every time. But even if you don’t love grapefruit, you could try it with lemon. That’s how Ina does it, but with a sugary, lemony glaze on top. Which would be delicious, obv. I didn’t add one this time because I was afraid it would saccharine all the grapefruit flavor away.

I also substituted the yogurt for buttermilk and sour cream because I had those on hand. I felt so experimental. :]

grapefruit loaf 4

All in all, this cake is comforting and light and perfect. Your sister will probably text you something to that effect from the next room if you make it on a snow day.

She drives,


Grapefruit Yogurt Cake
Adapted from smittenkitchen

1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk

½ cup sour cream

1 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar

3 extra-large eggs

1 tablespoon grated grapefruit zest (approximately one large grapefruit)

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup canola oil

1/3 cup freshly squeezed grapefruit juice

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease an 8 1/2 x 4 1/4 x 2 1/2-inch loaf pan, line with parchment, then grease the parchment.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt into 1 bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the sour cream, buttermilk, 1 cup sugar, eggs, grapefruit zest, canola oil and vanilla. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake for around 50 minutes, or until a cake tester placed in the center of the loaf comes out clean. Make sure to check the loaf around 30 minutes, in case your oven runs hot.

Dissolve the remaining tablespoon of sugar into the 1/3 cup grapefruit juice in a small saucepan over low heat. Set aside.

When the cake is done, allow it to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a cooling rack placed over a sheet pan, removing the parchment. While the cake is still warm, pour the grapefruit-sugar mixture over the cake and allow it to soak in. Let cool.

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