Vanilla Citrus Pound Cake

Roo is on school vacation this week.

Translation: “I’m going to pout about having to go to work and try to wake you up at 6 a.m. anyways.”

Sighing heavily when the alarm sounds, stomping around the bedroom in the dark, then accidentally turning on the lights, may or may not have happened this morning.

I’m a real treat, I know.

But, for what I lack in manners, I make up for with cake.

You can totally apologize for not being a “morning person” with cake.

Accidentally throwing away your boyfriend’s $100 Xbox headset because you thought it was broken? And it totally wasn’t?


You apologize for that one with your credit card.

Seriously.  Cake will not make up for that one.  But this is why Amazon has free shipping.  Just for these circumstances.

But hitting snooze more than three times?  Cake.  And this cake is lightly scented with sweet, citrus notes from ruby red grapefruit, full of body from olive oil infused with vanilla bean, but not heavy and dense.

A pound each of butter, eggs, flour and sugar?  No.  This is not that kind of pound cake.

And what results is a crumb that’s soft, light and even a bit nutty from the ground flax seed (which I adore seeing flecks of throughout).

This cake is what you make to leave for your boyfriend when he (eventually, hopefully, maybe?) gets up that morning.  And the grapefruit glaze, when it hardens, seals all that goodness inside with a sweet and tart crust.  (Yes that’s a thing, ask Willy Wonka.)

But then again, glaze only if you feel really guilty about it.  This cake is just as delicious without it.

Adapted from Cooking Light

Makes One Bundt Cake


For the Cake

One and a half cups of unsweetened unflavored soy milk (or your preferred non-dairy milk)

2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons of ground flax seed

6 tablespoons of mild tasting olive oil

1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise

Quarter cup of butter (like Earth Balance), softened

Quarter cup of unsweetened applesauce

One and a half cups of sugar (and a bit extra to sprinkle the bundt pan with, optional)

Zest from one grapefruit (I used ruby red)

3 cups of cake flour or whole wheat pastry flour (I’ve used both and loved them equally – cake flour had the lightest most delicate texture – but you can also use all purpose if stuck for ingredients)

2 teaspoons of baking powder

Quarter teaspoon of salt

For the Glaze (optional)

Half a cup of freshly squeezed grapefruit juice

1 cup of powdered sugar

One eighth of a teaspoon of fine salt


A small saucepan (used twice so clean it after first use!)

A small mixing bowl

A medium mixing bowl

A large mixing bowl

A whisk

A spatula

A bundt cake pan (I used a 12 cup) greased with cooking/baking spray or buttered and floured

Take a couple big pinches of sugar and sprinkle the inside of your bundt pan with it.  This is entirely optional, but I like the slight crunch that results (especially if you decide not to glaze the cake).

Place your oven rack to the middle position in the oven.  Preheat the oven to 350F.

In a small mixing bowl add the soy milk, apple cider vinegar and ground flax seed.  Stir till well combined and set aside.

In a small saucepan, add the oil and split vanilla bean.  Place the saucepan on the burner over medium high heat.  Bring the oil to a simmer and remove the saucepan from heat.  Set aside for at least 10 minutes.  When the oil has cooled, scrape the seeds out from the bean and stir them into the oil.

Add the oil, softened butter, unsweetened applesauce, sugar and grapefruit zest to a large mixing bowl.  Beat the ingredients until well combined.  *If you have a stand mixer this would be a good time to use it as it takes about 5 minutes.*

In a medium mixing bowl add the whole wheat pastry flour, baking soda and salt.  Whisk the ingredients together till well combined.

Add the soy milk mixture and dry ingredients to your large mixing bowl alternately (starting and ending with the dry mixture), until the ingredients are just combined.

*Do not over mix this cake!  I suggest to stop stirring when a few dry patches are visible.  Fold in the rest of the batter with your spatula to prevent over mixing.*

Scoop out the batter into the prepared bundt pan.  Spread the mixture out evenly, then bake at 350F for 45 – 55 minutes.  At the 45 minute marker, use a cake tester (like a wooden toothpick or even tines of a fork), inserting it in the center of the cake.  If it comes out clean, the cake is done.  If not, bake it for another five minutes until the tester comes out clean (for me, the cake was done at 50 minutes).

Let the cake cool in the bundt pan for about ten minutes.  Remove the cake (invert it onto a cooling rack) and allow to cool to room temperature before glazing (if doing).

While the cake is cooling, prepare the glaze (if doing).

Using the same small saucepan from before, add the grapefruit juice.  Place the saucepan on a burner over medium high heat.  Bring the juice to a boil.  Continue cooking the juice until it reduces to about 3 tablespoons (about 4 minutes).

Let the reduced juice cool for thirty seconds, and add the powdered sugar and salt.  Whisk the ingredients in till they’re dissolved.

Drizzle the glaze over the cake then serve either while the glaze is still warm, or cooled and set (both ways are equally delicious).


8 thoughts on “Vanilla Citrus Pound Cake

    • Aw, thank you! Yes, bundt is where it’s at! I’ve been creeping on Amazon lately looking at various patterned ones. I really should prioritize though as the electric bill is due soon. But, pretty cakes! Hmmm.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  1. I’m getting more and more convinced to get into baking. I’ve always been intimidated because you can never tweak it once it’s inside the oven. Your recipe looks so good though I have to give it a try! Good luck to me 😉

    • Oh wow, I feel all this pressure all of a sudden! 🙂

      Honestly, I find baking quite relaxing. I love scooping and sweeping (using a knife to make it level) cups of flour. I love eating the batter when (I think) no one’s looking. And I love love love seeing the end result of something that used to be this homogenous mess in a bowl, rise and become something pretty and delicious.

      I hope you’ll enjoy it too! And feel free to ask any questions about the recipe. I hope I explained it clearly enough. I can say that this cake has become a fast favorite in our apartment. I’ve made it three times and I have yet to be sick of it!

      Thanks for reading!

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