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Grapefruit Layer Cake

Total Time

Prep: 45 min. Bake: 30 min. + cooling.


16 servings

I grew up in Florida where we had 10 grapefruit trees and were constantly trying to use the fruit in different ways. This luscious cake was one of my "grapefruit experiments." A nice, bright citrus taste shines through in every moist bite. —Sara Pleso, Sparta, Tennessee
Grapefruit Layer Cake Recipe photo by Taste of Home
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  • 2 grapefruit slices
  • 2 orange slices
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • CAKE:
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup 2% milk
  • 1/2 cup white grapefruit juice
  • 2 packages (8 ounces each) plus 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 8 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons grated grapefruit zest
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons grated orange zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Place grapefruit and orange slices on a greased and foil-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 170° for about 2 hours or until dried (fruit will be slightly tacky). Remove to wire racks. Let stand for 2-3 days or until completely dried.
  2. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in vanilla and lemon zest; mix well. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda; add to creamed mixture alternately with milk and grapefruit juice. Beat just until combined.
  3. Transfer to two greased and floured 9-in. round baking pans. Bake at 350° for 21-24 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.
  4. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Add the confectioners’ sugar, citrus zests and vanilla; beat until smooth.
  5. Cut each cake horizontally into two layers. Spread frosting between layers and over top and sides of cake. Garnish with citrus slices.

Nutrition Facts

1 slice (calculated without garnishes): 624 calories, 23g fat (14g saturated fat), 91mg cholesterol, 391mg sodium, 101g carbohydrate (76g sugars, 1g fiber), 6g protein.

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