This cheerful Grapefruit Layer Cake is sure to brighten your day! It’s quite delicate and lightly sweet, with just a touch of grapefruit in the actual cake. A nice, bright citrus taste shines through in every moist bite. The frosting is a fairly thin layer of tangy cream cheese with even more grapefruit juice and zest. It’s wonderfully refreshing and such a nice change from the usual lemon or orange cakes.
This Hollywood Brown Derby grapefruit cake is truly a classic! On its own, the cream cheese frosting is pretty luscious, but paired with the fluffy cake and some juicy pink segments of grapefruit, it’s a perfect balance.
1 ½ cups cake flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¾ cup sugar
3 eggs separated
¼ cup vegetable oil
¼ cup water
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
3 tablespoons grapefruit juice
½ teaspoon grapefruit zest
2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese
1 cup confectioners’ sugar sifted
1 tablespoon grapefruit juice
1 tablespoon grapefruit zest
Yellow food coloring (optional)
Preheat the oven to 325°F (170°C). Spray two 9-inch springform pan with baking spray with flour. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt until combined.
In a separate bowl, beat together the water, oil, egg yolks, grapefruit juice, and zest until smooth. Then add the dry ingredients and beat until just mixed. Do not over beat.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, the egg whites and cream of tartar until whites are stiff but not dry.
Fold gently the egg whites into the cake batter (about ½ at a time) until just blended.
Pour batter into the prepared pans, smoothing top with a small offset spatula.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pans for 5 minutes. Remove sides of pan; let cake cool completely on base of pan on a wire rack.
To Make The Frosting
Place the cream cheese in the bowl of a large stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on high speed until smooth and fluffy.
Add the grapefruit juice and zest. Gradually blend in confectioners’ sugar and beat until well blended. Add food coloring, if desired.
Assemble and frost
Place the first layer of cake on a serving plate or a cardboard cake round. Spread about ¼ of the cream cheese frosting on top of the cake. Distribute the chopped grapefruit over the cream cheese frosting.
Top with the 2nd layer and spread the frosting all over the top and sides. Garnish with citrus slices and serve.