Zesty Grapefruit Almond Cake

For a zesty afternoon tea, this full of flavour Grapefruit Almond Cake is gluten, diary and sugar free, and delicious!

*Note: you could use orange, mandarin (poppy seeds go equally well with these two) or lime (replace the poppy seeds with toasted coconut) if you prefer.


2 1/2 cups almond meal

3 tablespoons of poppy seeds

3/4 teaspoon gluten free baking powder (Bob’s Mill)

4 large eggs, separated

2 heaped tablespoons of honey (you can add a little more if you like a sweeter flavour)

1/2 cup virgin olive oil or melted coconut oil

Zest of 1 grapefruit – yellow or red (or orange, mandarin or lime)

1 tablespoon of grapefruit juice (or orange, mandarin or lime)

Peeled and sectioned grapefruit segments for decorating

20 drops of grapefruit essential oil (optional, but adds that extra burst of flavour and therapeutic value)

1 tablespoon white vinegar (my secret ingredient! It helps the baking powder continue to rise for a lighter fluffier cake)

1/4 cup sliced almonds for decorating the top, before or after cooking


  1. Pre-heat the over to 180C and lightly oil the bottom and the sides of an 8-inch round cake pan, and line the bottom with baking paper.
  2. Combine almond flour, poppy seeds and baking powder in a large bowl and stir well.
  3. Beat the egg yolks, grapefruit zest, olive or melted coconut oil, essential oil (if using) and honey until creamy.
  4. Beat the egg whites separately, until stiff peaks form.
  5. Fold the egg yolk mixture into the dry ingredients, until well combined.
  6. Fold 1/3 of the egg whites in gently, stirring until it is incorporated into the mixture, then repeat twice more, retaining as much volume as possible.
  7. Fold white vinegar lightly into the mixture. The vinegar will act with the baking powder, so that the cake continues to rise as it’s cooking!
  8. Pour the batter into the cake pan, scatter almonds on the top if desired before cooking, or wait until after.
  9. Bake for 40-45 mins until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
  10. If you find the top is browning too quickly, cover the cake with aluminium foil and return it to the oven.
  11. Cool for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool.

You can make a frosting by heating 2-3 teaspoons of honey with 1 teaspoon of grapefruit zest and 1 tablespoon of grapefruit juice in a small saucepan.

Bring to the boil over a medium heat, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, or until the mixture is reduced by one third.

Add 1/2 cup raw cashews, coconut oil and cook for another few minutes until the coconut oil has melted. Remove mixture from the heat, and let it cool for 15 minutes.

Blend at a high speed in a food processor or thermomix until it is silky smooth. Refrigerate for 3 – 4 hours, then use to frost the cake, or add a spoonful on top to serve. Enjoy!

Grapefruit essential oil uplifts and revives, balances the central nervous system, stimulates lymphatic and vascular circulation, and boosts metabolism.

Equally delicious orange and poppy seed cake!

Lime Muffins using the same recipe!


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