The Caker's pink grapefruit birthday cake recipe, as made for Miley Cyrus
One day last year I got a call at 2pm asking if I could make a birthday cake for none other than Miley Cyrus - for that evening. The catch was it had to be a gluten- and nut-free olive oil cake.
If you’re familiar with my recipes you know that they almost always contain almond flour especially if they are gluten-free. In a fluster, I remembered I had once adapted a New York Times’ recipe that would work.
It had been a while since I’d baked my version but it turned out great. So I’m sharing it here for all of you who have requested nut-free recipes.
In regards to the flour in this recipe, if you’re making it gluten-free you can use a packaged blend. I love the one by Healtheries, but make sure it’s the non-self raising one, or you can use plain all-purpose flour in the same quantity if you don’t want it to be GF.
For the pink grapefruit curd:
Zest of 1 pink grapefruit
Juice of 2 pink grapefruit
3 free-range egg yolks
50g caster sugar
For the candied pink grapefruit slices:
220g caster sugar
1 cup / 250ml water
1 pink grapefruit
For the cake:
300g caster sugar
3 free-range eggs
240ml extra-virgin olive oil
300ml whole milk
Zest and juice of 1 large lemon
250g gluten-free flour
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
Generous pinch sea salt
For the mascarpone whip:
200ml heavy whipping cream (cold)
1 tsp vanilla extract
For the decorations:
½ cup grapefruit curd
6 candied pink grapefruit slices
Edible flowers/petals and/or sprigs of fresh herbs (optional)
- Make the curd. In a saucepan, combine the zest and juice along with the sugar and egg yolks. Over medium heat, whisk continuously until the sugar has dissolved. Turn the heat down a little and keep whisking until the mixture starts to boil. Continue to cook, now whisking occasionally until the curd has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon, this should take about 15 minutes. Strain using a fine mesh sieve and place in the fridge to set.
- Make the candied pink grapefruit slices. Using a mandolin, carefully slice the grapefruit into very thin rounds and then cut the rounds in half to achieve semi-circles. In a large saucepan, combine the sugar and water. Bring to a boil and then reduce to medium heat and add the grapefruit slices in a single layer. Simmer for 15 minutes, gently flipping once or twice during the cooking process. Transfer the slices to a sheet of baking paper and allow to cool.
- Now make the cake. Preheat the oven to 180C. Line 2 x 22cm cake tin with baking paper.In the bowl of an electric mixer with a whisk attachment, beat the sugar and eggs until very thick and fluffy, for about 5 minutes. With the mixer still going, slowly drizzle in the oil and beat until incorporated, for another 2 minutes. Finally, slowly add the milk, zest and juice.
- By hand, gradually fold in the flour, followed by baking powder, soda and salt. Mix until just incorporated, being careful not to knock too much air out.
- Evenly divide the batter between the 2 tins and spread out to the sides.Bake for about 30 minutes or until golden in colour, springy to the touch and a knife inserted into the centre comes out clean.
- Allow the cakes to sit for 10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Make the mascarpone whip. In the bowl of an electric mixer with a whisk attachment, or using a hand held electric whisk, whip all the ingredients together until thick, smooth and soft peaks have formed. Be careful not to over whip it though!
- Once the cakes are completely cooled, spread some mascarpone onto one layer and place the second layer on top. Neatly ice the top of the cake and then decorate with a pool of the curd, pink grapefruit slices and edible flowers/herbs if using.
- Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days.