grapefruit poppy seed cake

Breads & Muffins Brunch

Grapefruit Poppy Seed Cake

April 20, 2020

A delicious anytime quick bread with a bright, citrus flavor and topped with a pretty pink glaze. This grapefruit poppy […]

A delicious anytime quick bread with a bright, citrus flavor and topped with a pretty pink glaze. This grapefruit poppy seed cake is a cinch to whip up and makes a delightful treat for breakfast or dessert.

Happy Monday! You all have been busy bakers lately and I’ve gotten a lot of requests for easy and delicious breakfast options for those extra hungry snackers that keep showing up in your kitchen at all hours of the day. This grapefruit poppy seed cake is one of my favorite recipes that can be enjoyed anytime and it’s so versatile you can choose your own adventure depending on what ingredients you have on hand. Don’t have a grapefruit? No problem. You can use lemons, cara cara oranges, or any other citrus fruit you love. Can’t find blood oranges for the glaze? No biggie. Use any citrus that you fancy. You can even use the juice from strawberries or raspberries to stir up that pretty pink glaze which will keep everyone coming back for a seconds.


Quick bread is basically any loaf that is leavened with baking powder or baking soda instead of yeast. Banana bread is a prime example of a quick bread, like this totally irresistible Cookie Butter Banana Bread or my favorite Chocolate Lover’s Banana Bread. Both are easy and delicious breads that I adore. Quick breads are not always sweet like this Meyer Lemon Poppy Seed Loaf. Even corn bread is considered a quick bread. Quick breads come together faster than yeasted breads and they’re easy to whip up with just two bowls and a whisk. Just mix the dry ingredients, mix the wet ingredients and then combine the two. It’s that easy! Quick breads often blur the lines between breakfast and dessert which is probably why I love them so much. Baked in a simple loaf pan, these breads are super versatile and adaptable to almost any ingredient combination you foodie heart desires. They are pretty much a hybrid of cake and bread. Call it whatever you like…cake, loaf, bread. Any way you slice it, this grapefruit poppy seed “cake” is a keeper!


Don’t over mix your batter. This beauty comes together in no time with just two bowls. No mixer required. Use a spatula to gently fold in the poppy seeds and don’t be tempted to over mix the batter or you will end up with a flat, dense cake.

Add oil and yogurt. The combination of oil and yogurt in this loaf helps create a tender, moist crumb and a cake that stays fresh longer. Both good things if you ask me. The acidity in the greek yogurt helps to activate the leaveners {also known as baking soda and baking powder} which gives the cake an extra bit of rise and a subtle hint of tang. I always keep a tub of greek yogurt stashed in the fridge….it lends the most perfect texture to cakes, breads and muffins too!

Bake until golden brown. Keep a close eye on your oven and don’t over bake your quick bread. It can go from a light golden brown to dry and crumbly in a heartbeat. If the top is browning too quickly but the center the cake is not baked through, cover the top of the loaf loosely with a piece of aluminum foil. The cake is done when a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out with just a few crumbs remaining.

It’s all about that glaze. This simple and delicious poppy seed cake is all kinds of wonderful and that pretty pink glaze makes it extra special. The glaze comes together in one bowl with just a handful of ingredients and your trusty whisk. Be sure to let your loaf cool completely before drizzling the citrus glaze over the top. I can never seem to wait long enough to dig in but given the chance, the glaze will set as it sits.

I know you’re going to love this loaf bakers. It’s perfect for a delicious breakfast treat or paired with a cup of tea or milk for an afternoon snack. I’ve even been known to top it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for dessert. SO GOOD! This cake is super delicious, ultra moist, and you can throw it together in a heartbeat. And isn’t that glaze just the prettiest? Bonus point!

Happy baking!

If you like this Grapefruit Poppy Seed Loaf, you will also love:

Meyer Lemon Poppyseed Cake

Lemon Poppy Seed Donuts

Classic Vanilla Pound Cake

Lemon Cake with Raspberry Glaze & Fresh Cherries

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grapefruit poppy seed cake

Grapefruit Poppy Seed Cake

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  • Author: Browned Butter Blondie
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 45 mins
  • Total Time: 55 mins
  • Yield: 1 1x
  • Category: Cakes


A delicious anytime quick bread with a bright, citrus flavor and a tender crumb. This grapefruit poppy seed cake is a cinch to whip up and makes a delightful treat for breakfast or dessert.



For Cake

  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil (I use canola oil)
  • 1 cup plus 1 TBSP granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 TBSP grapefruit zest
  • 4 TBSP grapefruit juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups plus 2 TBSP all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 TBSP poppyseeds
  • 1/2 cup plain full fat greek yogurt, room temperature

For Glaze

  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar, sifted
  • 34 TBSP whole milk
  • 4 TBSP grapefruit or blood orange juice
  • 1 TBSP unsalted butter, melted
  • pinch of salt


For Cake

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spray a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan with non-stick baking spray and line with parchment paper. Leave 1-2 inches of parchment hanging off the short sides of the pan for easy removal of the loaf.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine oil and sugar on medium low speed until well incorporated, about 2 minutes.
  4. Add eggs, one at a time until combined.
  5. Add grapefruit zest, juice, and vanilla. Mix well.
  6. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  7. Slowly add the flour mixture to the egg and sugar mixture, alternating with the yogurt in three batches. Begin and end with the flour.
  8. Mix only until a few streaks of flour remain. Do not over mix.
  9. Using a wooden spoon or spatula, gently fold in the poppy seeds, being careful not to over mix the batter.
  10. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45-50 minutes or until golden brown. A toothpick inserted into the center of the cake should come out clean or with only a few crumbs remaining.
  11. Cool completely on a wire rack before adding the glaze.

For Glaze

  1. Add confectioner’s sugar, milk, melted butter and citrus juice of your choosing to a medium bowl. Stir with a whisk to combine well. The glaze should be thick, but pourable. If too thin, add more confectioner’s sugar. If too thick, add more milk one tablespoon at a time.
  2. Pour over cooled cake and allow a few minutes for the glaze to set before slicing.


  • Reply
    Mikyla Meckelson
    April 20, 2020 at 5:39 pm

    Yummy! I’m going to work on making a vegan version of this!

    • Reply
      Heather Mubarak
      April 21, 2020 at 2:49 pm

      That sounds great! I would love to know how it turns out!!

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