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grapefruit cake

New Brown Derby Grapefruit Cake Clone

Revised version of the Brown Derby Grapefruit Cake recipe served at Disney. You can substitute fresh grapefruit for the canned and leave out the food coloring (I actually forgot it!) if desired.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 8
Author Cookie Madness


  • 1 1/2 cups sifted cake flour 5.25 oz
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar 5.25 oz
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon grapefruit zest I used closer to 2
  • 3 tablespoons grapefruit juice
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

Grapefruit Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 16 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 1 tablespoon grapefruit juice
  • 1 teaspoon grapefruit zest
  • 1 cup powdered sugar sifted
  • 6 to 8 drops yellow food coloring optional
  • 16 oz can grapefruit sections well drained (or use fresh grapefruit sections)


  • Preheat oven at 350 degrees F. Grease a 9x2 inch round cake pan and line with strips of parchment. Dust with flour.
  • Whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt together in a mixing bowl.
  • Make a well in the center of the flour and add water, oil, vanilla. zest, grapefruit juice and egg yolks; mix with a heavy duty scraper until well blended.
  • In a separate bowl, using an electric mixer, beat egg whites and cream of tartar until whites are stiff but not dry. Gradually fold egg whites into flour mixture with a rubber scraper until blended.
  • Pour batter into the pan and bake for 25 to 27 minutes or until cake springs back when gently touched with a finger.
  • Remove the cake from the oven and let cool slightly, then turn the cake from the pan and let cool completely.
  • Prepare the icing while cake cools. Beat cheese until fluffy. Gradually blend in sugar, then add grapefruit juice and zest. Mix until well blended. Add food coloring if using. Crush several grapefruit sections and add to frosting. Use however many you like.
  • With a serrated knife, split the cake into two layers. Spread frosting on bottom half of cake. Top with some more chopped up grapefruit sections. Cover with second layer of cake and frost top and sides. Garnish with remaining grapefruit sections.


If you have a kitchen scale you can skip sifting the flour and just weigh out 5.25 oz. If you don't have a scale and are using cups, it's important to sift so that the flour will be well-aerated and your 1 1/2 cups of flour will be nice and light.
The original frosting called for 12 oz of cream cheese, 3/4 cup of sugar and less grapefruit zest and juice. I used the original amounts but just barely had enough frosting and recommend going with 16 oz of cream cheese, 1 cup sugar, etc. etc. as written so that you'll have plenty of frosting.