Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Icing Capades: Brown Derby Grapefruit Cake

Sunday I baked the Brown Derby's grapefruit cake for my wife on Mother's Day, and for the 2nd time in my life, I iced a cake. I lack the skill to perform this seemingly simple task, so my cake looked like I used some primitive tool carved of stone to ice it. I guess, I should have expected this. After all, my only formal art training consisted of attending weeklong sessions of Vacation Bible School every summer as a child. There I constructed Biblical dioramas that utilized too much glue and way too much glitter, so my scenes looked like a parade of drag queens.

Despite my shoddily iced cake, it's still a better Mother's Day gift than a vacuum cleaner, unless it's one of those Dyson vacs, and then it would all be good.

Brown Derby Grapefruit Cake

  • 1 1/2 cups sifted cake flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons grapefruit juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 can (16 ounces) grapefruit sections, drained well
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9-inch round cake pan. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper and lightly grease the paper.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, oil, water, grapefruit juice, and lemon zest until smooth. Whisk in the flour mixture.
  4. Beat the egg white and the cream of tartar with a mixer in a medium bowl until stiff peaks start to form. With a spatula, gently fold the egg whites into the yolk mixture, until blended. Pour into prepared pan.
  5. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. While it's still in its pan, invert the cake, and cool on a wire rack.
  6. Run a knife around the edge of the cake. Carefully remove the cake from the pan.
  7. With a serrated knife, cut cake in half horizontally. Spread the cream cheese frosting on the bottom half of the cake. Top with several grapefruit sections. Cover the second layer of the cake and frost the top and sides.
  8. Serve the cake garnished with remaining grapefruit sections.
Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 cup sifted confectioners' sugar
  1. In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese at high speed until light and fluffy.
  2. Add the lemon juice and zest. Gradually add the confectioners' sugar and beat until well blended.
Never eat anything bigger than your head,


Marianne said...

Yum! Your wife is a lucky woman.

Kate said...

I commiserate in your icing woes. Also, I particularly like your sign off on this post. Very nice.

Anonymous said...

I thought everyone bought their baking and decorating equipment at the Home Depot.