Loaf cakes are my favourite to make at the moment, as they’re so easy to slice up and take to work (they satisfy the 4pm munchies perfectly). For a long time I stuck mostly to the classic lemon drizzle, or the banana, pecan and cacao loaf as a one-off, but recently I started to experiment.
This recipe is a result of that. The heady, aromatic fragrance of the pink grapefruit is an instant mood-lift, while the thyme acts to subtly balance its sweetness. It also makes your house smell amazing.
– 100g butter, softened
– 150g caster sugar, plus 3 tbsp for the drizzle
– 2 eggs
– 1 pink grapefruit
– 150g self-raising flour
– 4 tbsp milk
– 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves, plus extra sprigs to decorate
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C, and grease and line a 1lb loaf tin. In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, then beat in the eggs, one at a time.
2. Zest the grapefruit and add to the mixture, reserving a few strands for decoration. Fold in the flour. Stir in the milk and thyme leaves, then pour the mixture into the prepared tin. Bake for 50-60 minutes, until risen, golden and springy to the touch.
3. While the cake is still warm, mix the juice from half the grapefruit with the 3 tbsp caster sugar. Prick the cake all over using a cocktail stick, then drizzle over the juice mixture. Allow to cool in the tin before removing, then scatter over the remaining thyme sprigs and grapefruit zest.
Tip: If you’d prefer a classic lemon drizzle cake, simply omit the thyme and use a lemon in place of the grapefruit. Use the juice from the whole lemon to make the drizzle.