Chef Pilar Valdes' Citrus Olive Oil Loaf

"This is my go-to, easy enough for a weekday, special enough for a weekend dessert, and it can be made a few days ahead. The original recipe is by Dorie Greenspan (Mediterranean Yogurt Cake), and was later adapted by Melissa Clark (Blood Orange Olive Oil Cake). I like making it with a mix of citrus and cut back slightly on the sugar from the original recipes. I opt for some drizzled honey to finish instead. You want to use a good quality, mild-flavored olive oil for this lovely, any-time-of-day cake." - Chef Pilar Valdes


  • 1 small, sweet grapefruit (either Pink, White, or Oro Blanco - just not RED which tends to be too bitter)
  • 2 oranges (navel or cara cara), zested
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup plain or Greek yogurt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 3/4 cup AP Flour (or 1 1/2c AP Flour + 1/2 c polenta)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Orange blossom honey or clover honey, for serving (optional)
  • Whipped cream or marscapone (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

  2. Spray a 9 x 5" pan with oil, and line with 2 overlapping sheets of parchment paper, creating about 2" of overhang on each side.

  3. Combine the sugar and the orange zest in a medium bowl. Rub the sugar and zest together so that the zest perfumes the sugar.

  4. Supreme the grapefruit and the oranges. Set aside. Squeeze the remaining juice from the orange and grapefruit into a measuring cup. Add the yogurt. You should have 2/3 cup of juice and yogurt together (If you have less, add a little bit more yogurt until you reach 2/3 cup total liquid.) Pour mixture into the bowl with the sugar and zest. Whisk in the eggs and the olive oil and mix until combined.

  5. In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

  6. Gently stir the dry mixture into the wet ingredients and continue to mix until there are no traces of the dry mixture. Fold in the citrus segments, and then pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan.

  7. Bake loaf for about 55 minutes, until batter begins to slightly pull away from the sides, and a cake tester comes out clean.

  8. Cool on a rack for 5 minutes, then remove cake from pan and allow to cool to room temperature.

  9. Serve with some whipped cream or mascarpone and/ or a drizzle of honey.