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Tender tea cakes flavored with fresh grapefruit and Campari. These mini cakes are naturally sweetened with honey, easy to whip, and elegant enough for a fancy party. | from Lauren Grant of Zestful Kitchen

Grapefruit & Campari Tea Cakes

  • Author: Lauren Grant of Zestful Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 2224 tea cakes or 1 bundt cake 1x

Description

Tender tea cakes flavored with fresh grapefruit and Campari. These mini cakes are naturally sweetened with honey, easy to whip, and elegant enough for a fancy party. Finish with either a honey glaze or cream cheese glaze. 


Scale

Ingredients

Tea cakes:

¾ cup honey

3 large eggs

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled

½ cup whole milk

12 tablespoons minced pink grapefruit zest *

½ cup fresh pink grapefruit juice

¼ cup Campari or Aperol **

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 teaspoon pure orange extract

¾ cup old-fashioned rolled oats (2½ ounces)

2½ cups gluten free all-purpose flour blend (10 ounces), such as NuLife Always Gluten Free All-Purpose Flour or regular all-purpose flour (11 ounces)

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon ground cardamom

½ teaspoon ground ginger

Grapefruit-Honey Glaze:

2 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon fresh grapefruit juice

¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

¼ teaspoon pure orange extract

Pinch table salt

Campari Cream Cheese Glaze:

2 ounces cream cheese, softened

¼ cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted

1 tablespoon whole milk

2 teaspoons Campari

¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

¼ teaspoon pure orange extract

Pinch table salt


Instructions

Tea cakes:

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350°F.

Whisk honey, eggs, butter, milk, zest, juice, Campari, vanilla, and orange together in a large bowl.

Process oats in the bowl of a food processor until finely ground. Add flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cardamom, and ginger to processor and pulse until combined. Gradually whisk flour mixture into liquid mixture until just combined, then let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes. (Skip this resting step if using regular all-purpose flour.)

Baking tea cakes:

Thoroughly coat a standard fluted muffin pan with nonstick spray or oil (12 two-ounce wells). Fill wells of muffin pan three-quarters full with batter and bake until cakes are golden brown, spring back when lightly touched, and a toothpick inserted in the centers comes out clean, about 20–22 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack and let cakes cool in pan 10 minutes, then invert pan onto wire rack, remove pan, and let cakes cool completely. Repeat with remaining batter.

Baking a full bundt cake:

Thoroughly coat a 10- to 12-cup bundt pan with nonstick spray or oil. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake until cake is golden brown, springs back when lightly touched, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 50–55 minutes.

Transfer pan to a wire rack and let cake cool in pan 20 minutes. Gently run a knife around the edges of the pan, invert pan onto wire rack, remove pan, and let cake cool completely. 

Grapefruit-Honey Glaze:

Whisk together honey, juice, vanilla, orange, and salt. Brush over cooled cakes (or cake).

Campari Cream Cheese Glaze:

Beat cream cheese with an electric hand mixer (or some elbow grease) until smooth. Beat in confectioners’ sugar, milk, Campari, vanilla, orange, and salt. Drizzle over cooled cakes (or cake).


Notes

Notes:

A range is given for the grapefruit zest to accommodate preferences. For those who enjoy the tart, slightly bitter, aftertaste of grapefruit, then lean towards the 2 tablespoons of zest. If you aren’t sure you like the bitter aftertaste, stick to using just 1 tablespoon (from 1 grapefruit).

Similarly, I list campari or aperol in the ingredient list. This is also due to flavor preference. Campari and Aperol are both Italian aperitifs that contain floral and herb notes. However, Campari is a more bitter and not very sweet while Aperol is much sweeter and less bitter. Again, if you like a touch of bitter, opt for the Campari. If you aren’t so keen on the bitterness, choose Aperol. If you’re interested in learning more about the two aperitifs, check out this article from Food and Wine, The Difference Between Campari & Aperol, for some more in-depth information.

If you’re using a dark-metal bundt pan for the whole cake version, start checking the cake for doneness around 45 minutes.

If you opt for a different type of gluten-free flour blend, add ¾ teaspoon xanthan gum to the dry ingredients.