Grapefruit Pistachio Olive Oil Cake

A spring loaf cake perfect for any occasion - tea party, birthday party, family meal, baby shower, and so much more. Grapefruit and pistachio are best buds in this flavorful cake, and the olive oil helps create a tender and moist crumb that is highly addictive. It’s glazed in a vibrant, zingy grapefruit glaze that is the perfect finishing touch to this cake. Grapefruit Pistachio Olive Oil Loaf Cake is only made better when paired with a cup of tea or coffee and shared with a friend.

I have always been a lover of loaf cakes. They're delicious, easy to throw together, and are a great afternoon snack with a cup of tea or an iced shaken espresso.

This loaf cake is even more special than most because it is loaded with real pistachios that are ground up and added into the cake batter. No fake flavors, added extracts, or anything like that. Pure, unadulterated pistachio flavor. To bring harmony to the real pistachios, fresh grapefruit zest and freshly squeezed grapefruit juice are added into the batter to bring a lightness to the cake.

and, the cake is extremely moist and tender thanks to our friend, olive oil. The olive oil also provides a subtle taste that pairs well with both the pistachios and grapefruit. This loaf cake showcases the friendship that can exist when grapefruit, pistachios, and olive oil are tossed in the same bowl.

Ingredients for a Grapefruit Pistachio Olive Oil Loaf Cake

- Roasted, salted pistachios (shelled)

- Granulated sugar

- Fresh grapefruit zest and juice

- Kosher salt

- Eggs, room temperature

- Olive oil

- Milk

- Vanilla extract

- All purpose flour (or gluten free flour blend)

- Baking powder

Ingredients for Grapefruit Glaze

- Unsalted butter, melted

- Fresh grapefruit juice

- Heavy cream or half and half

- Powdered sugar

- Kosher salt

- Vanilla Extract

- Soft pink gel food coloring, optional

How to Make a Grapefruit Pistachio Loaf Cake

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and line an 1 lb loaf pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In a food processor, pulse the pistachios until coarsely chopped. Remove 2 tablespoons of the chopped pistachios and set aside (for topping the loaf before baking), and pulse the remaining pistachios until very finely ground.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the sugar, grapefruit zest, and salt and rub together with your fingers until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. This helps release all the natural oils in the zest.
  4. To the zest and sugar mixture, add the eggs and finely ground pistachios and whisk to combine.
  5. Whisk in the olive oil, milk, grapefruit juice, and vanilla extract. Lastly, stir in the flour and baking powder and stir until no streaks of flour remain, but do not over mix.
  6. Pour batter into the prepared loaf pan and sprinkle the reserved 2 tablespoons of coarsely chopped pistachios down the center of the loaf.
  7. Bake for 55-60 minutes, or until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted. Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan for 20 minutes before removing and allowing to cool completely.
  8. While the cake is cooling, make the glaze.

How to Make Fresh Grapefruit Glaze

  1. Combine the melted butter with the grapefruit juice and cream in a small bowl and whisk together. Add the powdered sugar, salt, vanilla, and pink gel coloring (if desired) and whisk until combined. If the glaze seems too thick, add an additional teaspoon of cream until it reaches a drip-able consistency. 
  2. Once the bread has cooled completely, remove from the pan and pour over the glaze. Let the glaze sit for a few minutes to set before slicing and digging in.

Tools & Ingredients for Making a Loaf Cake

kitchen scale: I will never not have one of these within reach. Everyone needs a scale. Let me say it again - everyone needs a scale! Even if you're not the "biggest" baker or cook. You need one of these. It helps with accuracy, making of less dishes, and is so much quicker than using measuring cups and spoons.

- small food processor: I don't often have use for a large food processor, so this smaller version is great for jobs like this. Plus, it takes up way less room in a cabinet. I love it.

glass mixing bowl set: for mixing together all the ingredients

- microplane zester: I'm not always brand-specific, but when it comes to a zester. Microplane is the ONLY option. 

rubber spatula: here's my very favorite one. I have it in many colors, and I've never found a better spatula. Worth. Every. Penny.

whisk set: sizes for all jobs & tasks

- olive oil bottles: I love storing my olive oil in bottles like these for easy pouring and a nicer look.

xanthan gum: the ingredient that acts as gluten in gluten free baked goods. I love being able to add this into recipes myself, rather than be restricted to however much or little was put into the purchased blend. Each recipe needs a different amount and ratio of xanthan gum.

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Recipes to Browse & Make

- Loving the refreshing citrus? Add this Iced Lemon Loaf (with instructions for both gluten free and regular) to your baking list. It's tender, moist, and so flavorful. It's essentially lemonade in sliceable cake form.

- Easing our way into spring, Strawberry Shortcake Rice Crispy Treats are a perfect sweet bite. Each square is loaded with freeze dried strawberries, chopped white chocolate, and crushed graham crackers - the flavors meld together in a way that taste just like strawberry shortcake. Yuuum.

- As a fan of baking with olive oil, these Blueberry Olive Oil Cookies with pistachios and white chocolate are an easy bake that can be made dairy free. No softening butter required, thanks to olive oil! So fun and so flavorful.

- Strawberry season is almost here, and I will be making these salads on repeat once again. Strawberry Goat Cheese Salads with homemade balsamic vinaigrette are the PERFECT meal. I meal prep these for the whole week, and I never grow tired of them.


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