Ruby Grapefruit Cake

For a slightly different blog post today, there are no British references. I don’t even mention tea, or Mary Berry, or Nigella Lawson (shock of all shocks). Instead, this blog post is set entirely in Melbourne.

There’s a great lady out there, you may know her. She’s a photographer, very talented, also a journalist, is married and again, very talented. She also loves Melbourne and being a Melbourne Creative (MC).

She also knows how tough it can be working in such a competitive industry. So on her birthday, she did something very generous. Instead of simply having a get together with friends, she invited other MCs (Melbourne Creatives) to help her create a special event for her and her friends, thereby giving several other MCs some work and so many incredible connections with other MCs! To my delight, I was invited to participate in this communion of MCs. My involvement on this day, (surprise, surprise) was to make the birthday cake!

The specifications:

  • gluten free!
  • scrummy!
  • pretty!

So I created this: the gluten-free Ruby Grapefruit Tower Cake. The recipe is adapted (naturally, because I think I have issues with authority – and maybe a slight bias against baked goods recipes from from this recipe.

I didn’t get to try any, but every report was positive. In fact, more than that – every person who commented on the cake couldn’t stop talking about how good it was! I honestly didn’t believe them for a long time, but with so many MCs (who seriously know their stuff!) proclaiming loud and clear the goodness of your cake, how could you not at least try to believe them?!

So apparently it’s worth a try. You can also just make a gluten-stuffed version by using normal self-raising flour. The texture will be slightly different, but overall, it won’t impact it too much.

I suggest you serve the cake as it is, with pretty plates, forks and sparkling water, just to make you feel a little bit fabulous.

(All photo credit to Sophie Timothy Photography! Who was, incidentally, the cake recipient and said great lady!)

Ruby Grapefruit Tower Cake


375g butter, softened

1 2/3 cups caster sugar

2 ruby grapefruits, zested and juiced

7 large eggs

2.5 cups gluten-free self-raising flour

250g almond meal

4 tablespoons milk

Frosting Ingredients

125g butter

About 4 cups icing sugar

zest and juice of 1 ruby grapefruit

  1. Preheat oven to 170°C fan-forced. Line 3 17cm tins with baking paper or foil.

  2. Beat butter, sugar and the zest until pale and slightly fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

  3. Add flour, almond meal and milk to butter mixture and mix on the lowest speed, or by hand, gently. Spoon into the prepared pans.

  4. Bake initially for 20 minutes, then in intervals of 5 minutes until a skewer inserted in the middle of the cakes comes out clean. Cool the cakes in their tins and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

  5. Meanwhile, make the icing: beat butter until pale in colour, then add the grapefruit zest.
  6. Add the icing sugar slowly, alternating with some grapefruit juice. Keep adding until you are happy with the consistency.
  7. Once the cakes are cool, trim them to give sharp edges and flat tops and bottoms. Then frost each layer and stack them so it looks something like a tower – that is, tall. And there you have it. The Ruby Grapefruit Tower Cake.

Happy Baking!


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