Saturday, January 22, 2011

Weekend Cooking...Brown Derby Grapefruit Cake

Sunday evening I was at my brother's house, watching the Golden Globes with the SIL and The Niece. We had great fun ripping apart their outfits..
But when that movie about the start of Facebook started to win a number of awards, a discussion started about the new technologies and the new social medias. The SIL is quite concerned that we are losing our ability to really communicate, face to face, talking, what with all the texting and e-mails and Twitter/Facebook posts. Well, she may have a point but...I must say, sometimes texting can be a lot of fun. What does this have to do with food you might ask. Well...

On my last trip to Disney World a couple of months ago, I was all alone. Now, I have been there many times, most times with other people and a couple of times alone and each way has it's own pluses and minuses. One minus for me of being there alone is that I am not really a fan of eating alone in a 'nice' restaurant. I spend too much time staring at other diners and eavesdropping on their conversation while trying to look like I am not. :-)  With no one to talk to, the whole experience just goes too quick..or something. But, when I have been there with my family before, we always eat at least once at the Brown Derby in Hollywood Studio and it is one of my favorite Disney Restaurants. Very attractive, great service, cool and quiet and a nice relaxing pace...and great food.

So there I was having a nice lunch, duck I think, after a scallop appetizer, when as I remember it, the Niece texted me. Or maybe I texted her. But either way, there we were having a little 'conversation' as I ate lunch. Did I mention that they have the best rolls in the world? Oh my heavens...

Anyhoo, the duck was consumed and I was going to skip dessert and get ready to go find a good place to watch the afternoon parade, until the Niece texted me that I had to try the famous Brown Derby Grapefruit Cake! I had never had it before, but I took her recommendation and ordered a slice, with some excellent coffee, and it was delightful. Sweet and tart, light and luscious.

So, while I have not tried the recipe, it is from the Disney site, so I assume it is the same as the one they sell. And if it is, it is delicious. And pretty , as the picture from that ever handy phone camera shows.

Brown Derby Grapefruit Cake

1 1/2 cups sifted cake flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs (separated)
3 tbsp. grapefruit juice
1/2 tsp. grated lemon rind
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into mixing bowl. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Add water, oil, egg yolks, grapefruit juice and lemon rind. Beat until smooth. Beat egg whites and cream of tartar separately until whites are stiff but not dry. Gradually fold the whites into the cake batter, folding gently with a rubber spatula until just blended. Do not stir the mixture. Pour into an ungreased 10-inch cake pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the cake springs back in the center when touched lightly. Place the pan on cake rack until cool. Run spatula around edge of cake. Carefully remove from pan. With a serrated knife, gently cut into two layers. After cutting the cake in two, slide a flat cookie sheet between the layers to lift the top one off; after frosting the bottom layer, simply slide the top back on.

Grapefruit Cream Cheese Icing

2 6-oz. pkgs. cream cheese
2 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. grated lemon rind
3/4 cup powdered sugar (sifted)
6 to 8 drops yellow food coloring (optional)
1 1-lb. can grapefruit sections, well-drained, reserving 2 tbsp. of juice; or 3 fresh grapefruits, peeled, sectioned, and drained, reserving 2 tbsp. of fresh juice.

Let cream cheese soften at room temperature, then beat until fluffy. Add lemon juice and rind. Gradually blend in sugar and beat until well-blended. Add food coloring, if desired. Add reserved 2 tablespoons of grapefruit juice and blend. Divide the frosting evenly into two bowls. Roughly chop 2/3 of the grapefruit sections and add them to half the frosting. Spread this mixture on the bottom layer of the cake. Top with the second layer of cake, and frost the top and sides with the remaining frosting. Garnish each portion with a grapefruit slice. Serves six.

This is my contribution this to this week's Weekend Cooking.
"Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend."
Be sure to check out the other entries this week. As always, hosted by Beth Fish Reads.


  1. I've been to that Brown Derby and had that Grapefruit Cake before. It was delicious as I recall. Of course, if you top anything with cream cheese icing, it tastes pretty good. LOL

    Disney World is the best place for people watching. My daughter and I used to spend half our time noticing other people and their quirks, especially after she was a teenager.

  2. you are right on both counts, the people watching and the cream cheese icing!

  3. I love citrus (and posted a citrus recipe myself today!). That looks wonderful.

    Was that really your phone's camera? What kind of phone do you have? I'm never really happy with my BlackBerry's photos.

    Anyway, I haven't been to Disney in about a hundred years. Maybe I'll have to think about going back -- for the food if nothing else. LOL.

  4. That looks so good, but I can't have grapefruit because it interferes with my medication.

  5. ooh, does that look good and sound good! I love pink grapefruit but alas, TBG can't eat it for medication reasons too. Still copying the recipe.

  6. I'm not into grapefruit, but this looks great! I bet one could switch to orange...

  7. Sounds dee-lish! I love grapefruit so must give this a try. And, I'd like to participate in the Weekend Cooking thing, too. What a great way to gather some new recipes...

  8. The recipe does sound good - but the presentation is just beautiful. I am not sure that I could duplicate that at home.

    I love the idea of using texting as a way to provide company while dining alone. I too hate to eat in a restaurant by myself, but this gives me something to ponder the next time I am faced with room service or fine dining.

  9. I like the way you made this post personal. I see the value of texting in your example. You wouldn't have tried the cake and we wouldn't be reading about it.

    I must say I've never heard of grapefruit in a cake, but why not as we use citrus in other desserts. It's worth a try.

    I also love that you travel by yourself. I used to travel for business by myself and liked trying new restaurants. So many of my friends were horrified that I did that. I loved it. It was peaceful and great for people watching. And, I always had a book with me, if it was a boring place. So, good for you.

  10. Loved the whole episode in the restaurant - the type of thing I would do. This is my first week here in this meme so pleased to meet you.

  11. I think it's great to just go to a restaurant by yourself. Many people (incl. me) find it hard to go and sit alone and be judged :S
    This cake is just mouth-watering btw, I was just remarking to the bf today that we should do something with all the grapefruits we have! I am so tempted now... thank you for sharing this recipe!

  12. Welcome to those new to Weekend Cooking. Hope you post something and add your link over at BethF's!

    I hate to not eat in a nice restaurant when I am alone. If I am 'judged', so be it!! ;-) It is worth a great meal.
    I remember on a trip to Ireland, where I have been many times but only once alone, I used a book to keep busy while eating at various places. I pretended to read it but rarely turned the page. Too busy people watching. But the texting may be more fun..and I can always read a book on my phone while eating, which I have also

    Beth, my phone..on which this camera a Droid Incredible. which I love. except the original battery that stinks. I replaced that and now it is lovely. BTW, my WW this week, the Shadow Men, was also taken on my phone.

  13. I love grapefruit but am the only person in my household that does...I agree with Kay though, anything with cream cheese icing is delicious!!

  14. Gosh, I've never been there, alone or with others!

  15. OMG that cake looks AMAZING! I don't think I could never ever make it though... That grapefruit cartwheel looks way too difficult to start with! LOL

  16. Oh, this cake sounds wonderful! Thank you for the recipe.

  17. this looks heavenly. I am going to try it as I love to bake cakes.

    I didn't know that you could buy grapefruit in a can. I am thinking pink grapefruit instead of the yellow for a better colour.

  18. Anyway, I haven't been to Disney in about a hundred years.


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