Sunday, March 11, 2012

Citrus Swirl Bundt Cake and Red Grapefruit Curd

It had been years since I'd tasted a grapefruit.  The thought of them conjured up memories of fad diets with unappealing dishes like watery cabbage soup and styrofoam rice cakes.

But a few weeks ago, when it was Jamie's turn to plan our dinner menu for the week, he made a dish using a recipe he found in one of our cookbooks, salmon with a shallot and grapefruit sauce.  He made it with orange roughy instead of salmon, and the result was so delicious.  I found myself stealing little pieces of the red grapefruit segments off the cutting board to sample before dinner, and they didn't have any of the sour flavor I remembered, but they were sweet and tart and completely yummy.

I found myself to be newly in love with grapefruits.  After finishing what grapefruit we had left for breakfast the next day, I bought a few more, with the intention of making red grapefruit curd - I love making citrus curds, and it's the perfect time of year to use all the wonderful citrus fruit that's available.  I've mastered lemon curd, and more recently orange curd, and soon I'll be sharing a recipe that I made this morning for a kiwi-lime curd!  But you'll have to wait for that one...

Today is about the red grapefruit, though.  It came together just as easily as I expected, and the citrus left such a nice zingy feeling on my tongue.  (I'll admit that I added a little drop of red food coloring to enhance the color a little, since the red of the grapefruit juice and zest couldn't quite compete with all the yellow of the egg yolks and butter.)  To use it up (there's only so much curd two people can eat on muffins, after all), I made a vanilla bundt cake, with swirls of the red grapefruit curd all throughout.

The cake turned out beautifully, and a crunchy topping of sugar with grapefruit zest added just the right touch.  Of course, store-bought lemon or lime curd would work just as wonderfully in the cake.  I took the cake to work, and as my coworkers are starting to think I'm trying to ruin their diets, I think I need to make friends with my neighbors.  Any volunteers to sample my next cake?  :)

Citrus Swirl Bundt Cake
printable recipe

  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 8 ounces low-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 cup low-fat buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1 cup citrus curd (lemon, lime, grapefruit, orange, etc.)
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated citrus zest
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon skim milk
  • 1/2 tablespoon light corn syrup

Preheat the oven to 350 F.  Thoroughly coat the inside of a bundt pan with non-stick baking spray.

In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Set aside.

With an electric mixer, beat the butter, cream cheese and sugar on medium speed for 2-3 minutes, until smooth.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Add the vanilla.

On low speed, add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the buttermilk, starting and ending with the flour.  Once all the flour and buttermilk is added, beat the cake batter on medium speed for 2 minutes.

Pour half the batter into the prepared pan.  Drizzle or dollop half the citrus curd over the batter (if the curd is too thick or stiff, warm it ever so gently for a few seconds in the microwave);  pour the rest of the cake batter into the pan and dollop with the rest of the curd.  Use a knife to gently swirl the curd through the batter.

Bake for 50 minutes, or until golden and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.  The cake will have a deep golden brown, cracked crust on top, like a pound cake, with a very soft and moist texture to the cake.  Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes, then invert onto a serving dish and cool completely.

In a small bowl use your fingers to infuse the granulated sugar with the zest, and set aside.  In another bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, corn syrup and milk for the glaze.  Drizzle the glaze over the cake, letting it run down the sides.  Sprinkle the top of the cake with the sugar/zest mixture.  Serve each piece of cake with a slice or two of the citrus fruit you used for the curd.

Yields 12 slices.
WW Points Plus Value:  11 points per slice

Recipe from Curly Girl Kitchen

Red Grapefruit Curd
printable recipe

  • 6 egg yolks (reserve whites for another use)
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup red grapefruit juice
  • 2 tablespoons red grapefruit zest
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
  • 1-2 drops red food coloring (optional)
Fill a saucepan with about 2 inches of water and bring to a simmer over medium to medium low.
In a heat-proof metal mixing bowl (one that can sit on top of the saucepan without touching the water) whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, grapefruit juice and zest until smooth (1-2 minutes).  (Two red grapefruits will yield enough juice and zest for this recipe.

Place the bowl over the saucepan.  Stirring constantly with a silicone whisk or spatula, cook the mixture until thick enough to coat a spoon.  (Note that this process can take anywhere from 7-15 minutes, depending on how fast the water is simmering, how close the bowl is to the water, etc.  The mixture will not appear as thick and jellied as store-bought citrus curd, but will have the consistency of warm pudding.  It will also thicken more when it cools.)

Remove the bowl from the heat, and add the slices of butter, one at a time, whisking well after each slice until the butter disappears before whisking in the next slice. Whisk in the red food coloring if you'd like a deeper color.  Pour the mixture through a mesh strainer, pushing it through with a spatula, to strain out the zest. (Note, it's fine if you want to skip this step, but straining out the zest yields a beautifully smooth and creamy curd.) 
Pour into a glass jar and store in the fridge until ready to use.  It will be at a spreadable consistency straight from the fridge, or you can gently rewarm it for a "pourable" consistency.
Yields about 1 2/3 cups.
Weight Watchers Points Plus Value: 2 points, per tablespoon
Recipe from Curly Girl Kitchen


  1. I like your cake and glaze but your grapefruit curd has just bumped things down my must try list..Such a nice item

  2. It looks so soft! And citrus fruit add such a great flavor! Yummy!

  3. I love grapefruit too, even though I remember the same fads you do. I can't wait to make the curd and the bundt cake. That gentle swirl is so gorgeous. Many thanks for sharing!

  4. This post makes me wish i were your neighbor... diet be damned, this looks wonderful.

  5. I'd happily volunteer to be your cake-testing neighbor =)

  6. I could spoon this curd right from the jar and eat every last drop. I'm looking forward to making this cake.