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Grapefruit Poppyseed Loaf Cake

This Grapefruit Poppyseed Loaf Cake Recipe is easy to make and a perfect winter dessert! Topped with a bright pink citrus icing, it’s a fragrant olive oil-based cake that’s full of bright flavor. Totally vegan and made in a loaf pan!

hands placing a grapefruit poppyseed load cake on a tray

What is a loaf cake?

A loaf cake is a sweet dessert baked in a rectangular pan that is typically used for baking bread.  Typically, loaf cakes have a base of oil (as opposed to butter). There is no difference between a regular cake and a loaf cake other than the type of pan used. If you’ve ever made banana or zucchini bread, you’ve made a version of a “loaf cake.”  Pound cakes are also often made this way. I chose a loaf for this recipe because it’s a fairly standard pan size that many people have in their kitchens.

How long do you bake a loaf cake?

A loaf cake usually needs at least an hour in the oven. This is because the loaf pan is rather deep and to fully set the batter, it needs at least 60 minutes in a moderately heated (350 degrees F) oven. If you are using a glass plan, bear in mind that it may take longer to heat up and will retain heat once removed from the oven. Glass pans can also cause the sides of a loaf to bake more quickly than the top or bottom. Before removing your cake to cool, always test it by sticking a toothpick or knife into the center, pressing down to the bottom. If it emerges without many sticking crumbs, it is fully baked.

What size is a loaf cake pan?

Usually, loaf pans have dimensions of 8.5 inches long, 4.5 inches high, and 2.5 inches deep. If you particular pan is slightly larger or smaller than this it should not make much of a difference.

slice of grapefruit poppyseed cake with a fork

How to Make a Grapefruit Poppyseed Loaf Cake with Olive Oil

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly oil a standard-size loaf pan
  2. In a large bowl, mix together olive oil, yogurt, poppyseeds, grapefruit juice, milk, sugar, zest, and vanilla extract. Set aside. In a smaller bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. Carefully combine wet and dry ingredients.
  4. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and bake for 1 hour.
  5. While cake is cooling, whisk ingredients for glaze in a small bowl. Drizzle on top of cake and enjoy!

What are the benefits of baking with olive oil?

  • Olive oil cakes are naturally very moist, and thus can last covered on the counter for at least 5 days without drying out. Butter-based cakes, on the other hand, are more prove to crumbling or becoming dry a day or two after preparing.
  • It is naturally plant-based and heart-healthy.
  • Olive oil lends a slightly herbal flavor to baked goods. Try to bake with a rather mild variety, as something sharply pungent may overwhelm the other flavors of your loaf.

I hope you enjoy this grapefruit poppyseed olive oil cake! For more vegan cake recipes, try this classic vegan olive oil cake or this red white chocolate cake.

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hands placing a grapefruit poppyseed load cake on a tray

Grapefruit Poppyseed Loaf Cake


  • Author: Emily
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 1 loaf cake 1x
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This Grapefruit Poppyseed Loaf Cake Recipe is easy to make and a perfect winter dessert! Topped with a bright pink citrus icing, it’s a fragrant olive oil-based cake that’s full of bright flavor. Totally vegan and made in a loaf pan!


Ingredients

Units Scale

For the cake:

  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup greek-style yogurt, non-dairy if needed
  • 2 TBS poppyseeds
  • 1/4 cup grapefruit juice (from about 1/2 large)
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk (or soy)
  • 1 cup organic raw sugar
  • 12 TBS grapefruit zest, optional
  • 1 TBS vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp kosher salt

For icing:

  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 TBS grapefruit juice
  • 1 TBS cranberry juice (for color, feel free to sub with more grapefruit juice)

For optional topping:

  • Candied ginger
  • Dried culinary-grade rose petals

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly oil a loaf pan* (the standard size is 8.5 x 4.5 x 2.5 inches) or line with parchment paper
  2. In a large bowl, mix together olive oil, yogurt, poppyseeds, grapefruit juice, milk, sugar, zest, and vanilla extract. Set aside. In a smaller bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. Carefully combine wet and dry ingredients, taking caution to not over mix but also insuring that all flour is hydrated.
  4. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and bake for 1 hour. Poke with a knife to check for doneness. No crumbs should stick to the knife once inserted.
  5. Let cake cool completely in the pan. While cake is cooling, whisk ingredients for glaze in a small bowl. Drizzle on top of cake and sprinkle optional toppings, if using. Cake will keep for up to 5 days on the counter, covered.

Notes

I used a glass loaf pan because that’s what I have. If you also have this, be aware that it will take longer to heat up and will continue cooking after it’s removed from the oven. If you are using an aluminum pan, you may want to bake for a shorter amount of time (begin checking at 45 minutes).

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 slice of ten
  • Calories: 368 calories
  • Sugar: 29.9 grams
  • Sodium: 254 milligrams
  • Fat: 17.4 grams
  • Saturated Fat: 2.4 grams
  • Unsaturated Fat: 15 grams
  • Trans Fat: 0 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 49.9 grams
  • Fiber: 1.2 grams
  • Protein: 4.3 grams
  • Cholesterol: 0 milligrams

Keywords: grapefruit, olive oil, poppyseed, loaf, cake, citrus, glaze

Portrait of Emily Meyers, founder of Garlic Head

About the Author

Emily (Frigon) Meyers is the founder of Garlic Head, a plant-based recipe website for all eaters who want to easily, affordably, and sustainably incorporate more vegetables into their diets while saving time and money. She is a lifelong vegetarian and 10+ year vegan. Garlic Head does not focus on labels - it focuses on creating food that everyone can enjoy.

Emily earned a certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition from Cornell University along with degrees in Economics, Spanish, and Global Sustainability from the University of Pittsburgh. She has been featured on numerous podcasts and websites including The Food Institute, VegNews, Buzzfeed, and the Boston Globe.

Meet Emily here.

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