Grapefruit Yogurt and Thyme Pound Cake


Grapefruit Yogurt Pound Cake

Some recipes have no real story, no history or emotional meaning. My grandmama didnt make this cake for us while we sat on the porch and listened to her hum. My mom didn’t make this for us when we came home from school. And this cake doesn’t compliment an upcoming holiday.

This cake came into my life because Trader Joe’s always makes me buy more than I want/need. Yes.

I wanted to make this drank BADLY, so I went to the store to buy ruby red grapefruits because I was envisioning a blush colored drink. I drink in colors! So, I walk in and the yellow (less cuter) grapefruits were sold individually, while the ruby red grapefruits were sold in a big bundle. Ugh. I bought the big bag of cuter, pinker grapefruits. After I made the drink, I found myself with three pretty grapefruits that had no home.

So, I baked ’em.

Grapefruit Yogurt Pound Cake

This cake is cake–it’s dessert, most definitely. But it’s a healthy…ish. There’s less sugar than most pound cakes (I think) and instead of butter and buttermilk there’s yogurt.

The grapefruit is so bright, floral and packs a refreshing punch. Into it!

The thyme is cooked with grapefruit juice, sugar and a splash of water. The thyme steeps in the syrup while the cake bakes in the oven. This results in a syrup that’s so flavorful and herbaceous.

I poked a few holes in the top of the cake a few minutes after it came out of the oven and then poured the thyme/grapefruit syrup on top. The syrup seeps into the cake and makes it SO moist and awesome. Not soggy. Just moist.

(Moist is a bad word around here but I literally didn’t know what else to use. So, I’m sorry.)

While the cake is cooling, a grapefruit and sugar glaze is made.

(I know I promised this to be healthy but that’s why I added the “ish.”)

And yes, if you noticed that I took a slice of the cake (on the right), pre-glaze, I’m here to confirm it. I did. It was awesome without the glaze! So, the good news is that if you wanted to skip it, you totally can.

Grapefruit Yogurt Pound Cake

I enjoyed this cake when it was warm as the syrup was soaking in. I enjoyed it room temperature with some coffee. And I even enjoyed it the next day, after dinner while standing in my (sort of) cozy kitchen.

Grapefruit Yogurt Pound Cake

Grapefruit Yogurt and Thyme Pound Cake


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
  • 1 cups white granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons grated grapefruit zest, 1 grapefruit
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil

Cake Syrup:

  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed ruby red grapefruit juice, 1-2 grapefruits1/2 cup white granulated sugar
  • 4-5 sprigs fresh thyme

For the glaze:

  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 2 tablespoons reserved cake syrup


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8 x 5-inch loaf pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper. Grease and flour the pan.
  • Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the yogurt, sugar, eggs and grapefruit zest. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. With a rubber spatula, fold the vegetable oil into the batter, making sure it's all incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 40-45 minutes, or until a cake tester placed in the center of the loaf comes out clean.
  • Meanwhile, to a small saucepan, add grapefruit juice, sugar, a splash or two of water and the thyme. Cook until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear. Set aside so the thyme can steep, about 30 minutes. Strain and set aside.
  • To make the glaze, add two tablespoons of the grapefruit/thyme syrup to a bowl. Sift in the confectioners' sugar and mix until smooth.
  • When the cake is done, allow it to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Using a skewer, pierce a few holes into the cake's top. Pour the grapefruit/thyme syrup on the cake and allow it soak in. Let the cake cool to room temperature.
  • Pour the glaze over the cake and garnish with a few sprigs of thyme.

Adapted from Ina Garten

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    Leave a Reply

  • Reply Averie @ Averie Cooks March 15, 2013 at 12:18 am

    Oh wow, it looks so moist and packed with great flavors and I love your food styling and props and the colors!

  • Reply Anne @The Cooking Campaign March 15, 2013 at 3:34 am

    Love this! I haven’t had good pound cake in forever.

  • Reply Le Grumeau March 15, 2013 at 4:20 am

    OOHH, I Love thyme pound cake, I’ve tasted it in the south of France years ago and never found the recipe! Have you tried it without the grapefruit?
    xx Le Grumeau

    • Reply Adrianna March 15, 2013 at 8:45 am

      I haven’t. But there’s no reason you couldn’t just leave out the grapefruit zest and call it a delicious “yogurt pound cake.”

  • Reply Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar March 15, 2013 at 5:17 am

    This is such a fabulous bread to wake up to! What an awesome flavour combo!

  • Reply karen March 15, 2013 at 5:17 am

    This looks so beautifuuuuuul!

    Can you please, for the love of god, tell me where that wood
    cutting board is from???

    • Reply Adrianna March 15, 2013 at 8:46 am

      Oh! Michael’s Craft Store. I think was like $8.

  • Reply Tieghan March 15, 2013 at 6:08 am

    I love how moist this looks and your pictures are so pretty!

  • Reply Abby @ The Frosted Vegan March 15, 2013 at 6:29 am

    Oh goodness, stop it with this business, I need this now!

  • Reply cindy March 15, 2013 at 6:48 am

    pink grapefruits are my fave–it’s the cuteness that gets me. I love an herbal addition to dessert! and the colors happening here are my fave, LOVE!

    • Reply Adrianna March 15, 2013 at 8:46 am

      Thanks, lady! xo

  • Reply Marie @ Little Kitchie March 15, 2013 at 7:03 am

    I am supposed to bring a pound cake for a brunch tomorrow… will be making this! I love the flavors here!

    • Reply Adrianna March 15, 2013 at 8:47 am

      Oh this is the perfect pound cake for a brunch. Hope everyone loves it!

  • Reply Monica March 15, 2013 at 7:21 am

    I recently made this yogurt cake with lemon and then orange. I “accidentally” found out that 1/3 cup of oil was enough. The citrus syrup keeps it moist for days and days (I skipped the glaze). Love your creative grapefuit and thyme version. Your pics are so pretty to look at.

    • Reply Adrianna March 15, 2013 at 8:47 am

      The additional fat (i.e., the oil) is just to give some extra moisture, but I totally agree, since it has the syrup it’s all good with or without it.

  • Reply Tina March 15, 2013 at 7:25 am

    This is fab A! Thyme glaze pretty genius pairing. I can’t totally hear your voice when reading these posts. Do u write the way u speak? Nonetheless ur soooo cute 🙂

    • Reply Tina March 15, 2013 at 7:25 am

      I can is what I meant 🙂

    • Reply Adrianna March 15, 2013 at 8:48 am

      I think I do! UR CUTE TOO! XO

  • Reply Johanna March 15, 2013 at 8:54 am

    Looks incredible! Will definitely have to try this 🙂 I love the idea of including herbs in sweet cakes. A couple of years ago I made lavender cake (ok not a classic herb, but you know…) and it tasted really good too 🙂

  • Reply Liza in Ann Arbor March 15, 2013 at 9:54 am

    This sounds absolutely delicious and reminds me of a french lemon yogurt cake that I make. I once tried it with blood oranges and it turned out literally hot pink. I think I’ll go the grapefruit route next time.

  • Reply Erin R. March 15, 2013 at 10:22 am

    HA! Why is the word “moist” so creepy? I once heard Robin Williams’ performance in Patch Adams described as “moist” and have never felt the same since.

    But this cake does indeed look incredibly m**** and delicious. Simple syrup is a huge ace in the hole with cakes, isn’t it? Okay, saving this one. Thanks.

    • Reply Adrianna March 15, 2013 at 1:00 pm

      Oh gawd. I need to watch this then!

  • Reply Jane March 15, 2013 at 11:13 am

    Just the from the title; I was hooked!

  • Reply Adri {Food-N-Thought} March 15, 2013 at 11:36 am

    I love herb syrups, I have one coming up soon too! But I love them more on top of cake fo’ sho!

  • Reply Kelly March 15, 2013 at 12:28 pm

    What an interesting twist to traditional pound cake, LOVE the combination of grapefruit and thyme! 🙂

  • Reply Stacey March 15, 2013 at 12:41 pm

    I’m in south Texas and the ruby red grapefruits from the Rio Grande Valley are KILLER right now. I’m going through, like, 3-4 a day. Breakfast, snacks, juicing them, and making your wonderous Sparkling Grapefruit Rosemary drank with lots of gin!

    • Reply Adrianna March 15, 2013 at 1:00 pm

      Oh I’m jealous! I’ve made these two recipes and I’m not over grapefruits. Not one bit.

  • Reply Bernadette @ Now Stir It Up March 15, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    I am having a current obsession with grapefruit too. I love that you paired grapefruit and thyme together. Sounds amazing.

  • Reply dervla @ the curator March 15, 2013 at 8:50 pm

    Love this combo of flavors. Have to try this one. Happy weekend!

  • Reply Heather March 15, 2013 at 10:49 pm

    Making this for my mahj game at the beach tomorrow.

  • Reply Sharon March 16, 2013 at 6:45 pm

    I’m always looking for new pound cake recipes! Can’t wait to try this.

  • Reply Marebear March 17, 2013 at 3:20 pm

    I made this today and it filled the house with a wonderful, warm fragrence that just perked us all up on a snowy Canadian afternoon. Will have to fight the locals off so it sits undisturbed until dinner is done … in the meantime, it looks lovely sitting on the counter. Thank you so much for sharing your creations!

  • Reply Aimee from AL March 17, 2013 at 4:43 pm

    I completely forgot to add the oil (oops!) and it is still SUPER DELICIOUS!

  • Reply Jayne March 17, 2013 at 6:40 pm

    Grapefruit cake! This is new. 🙂 Imma have to try this out when grapefruits go on special around these parts.

  • Reply Spring Recipe Round-Up | Dinner Series March 18, 2013 at 7:37 am

    […] Grapefruit Yogurt Pound Cake with Thyme After you’ve consumed your nutritious and tasty salad from above, you can happily indulge in a slice of this not so nutritious cake. But for what lacks in the health department, it totally makes up for in flavor. Grapefruit is zesty and totally screams spring, and when paired with tangy yogurt and herbaceous thyme, it’s such a winning combination. […]

  • Reply Gourmantine March 18, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    Thyme is so underused in desserts though it goes wonderfully with such flavors. This is such a lovely cake!

  • Reply Rosie @ Blueberry Kitchen March 18, 2013 at 4:03 pm

    Your photos are just stunning and your cake sounds delicious!

  • Reply Aya March 20, 2013 at 12:31 am

    You had me at Grapefruit!! I’ve been looking for way to include more herbs in baking, and your cake is a sure winner! I might even venture and add some thyme to the cake. Thanks for the inspiration.

  • Reply Jackie March 20, 2013 at 7:04 pm

    Hi Adrianna

    I was wondering how strong is the thyme in the syrup glaze.

    • Reply Adrianna March 20, 2013 at 7:48 pm

      I would say it’s mild. If you want it less mild, then you can steep it for less time or leave it out completely.

  • Reply Orange Poppy Seed Pound Cake - Cookie and Kate March 21, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    […] subconscious wouldn’t let the idea go, though. At home several days later, I came across A Cozy Kitchen’s grapefruit-thyme pound cake, which reminded me of that Ina Garten yogurt cake I’d bookmarked ages ago. And what do you […]

  • Reply March Stuff! April 1, 2013 at 5:34 pm

    […] everything I could get my hands on. First, there was this Grapefruit and Rosemary Spritzer and this Grapefruit Yogurt and Thyme […]

  • Reply Sheila April 2, 2013 at 8:20 am

    Wow! This sounds amazing…love the idea of using grapefruit! Beautiful photos too!

  • Reply Lettuce Help You Save Some Thyme With This Week's Meal Plan!|Greenling Austin| San Antonio April 16, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    […] Meal Four: I am going to count this Grapefruit, Yogurt, & Thyme Pound Cake as meal four, but it could easily be dessert (especially with  glaze!). I’m thinking I’ll make double the grapefruit thyme syrup and make a cocktail with it!  […]

  • Reply [email protected] April 29, 2013 at 7:31 am

    This cake looks lovely. I’ve never included fresh herbs in baked goods before, what kind of taste does It give the cake?

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme April 29, 2013 at 9:07 am

      I would say it’s creamy, very citrusy and has a really great effervescent aroma from the thyme.

  • Reply Lemon Yogurt Pound Cake March 17, 2014 at 12:00 am

    […] cake is light and moist and so amazing. It’s much like this Grapefruit Thyme Yogurt Cake I made last year, but there’s no thyme, lemons are used in place of grapefruit, there’s […]

  • Reply Jasmine December 21, 2014 at 10:00 pm

    This cake looks incredible! Definitely going to serve it to my “healthyish” friends. I was wondering if Greek Yogurt would work in this cake?

  • Reply Megan January 21, 2018 at 12:55 pm

    Could dried thyme be substituted for the fresh thyme?