Sticky Grapefruit Honey Squares

These cakes are dense and sticky, a homage to the honey-drenched cakes I enjoyed from many Cypriot relatives and family friends in my youth. Theirs were studded with crumbled walnuts and pistachios; I have opted to spike mine with the lip-smacking tartness of tinned grapefruit. The honey syrup is mandatory; the cake just isn’t the same without it.


  • 1 x 540 g tin of grapefruit (you need 150 g drained weight)
  • 250 g natural yoghurt
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 180 g runny honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 60 ml light cooking oil, plus extra for greasing
  • 300 g plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder


Preheat your oven to 160°C/140°C fan/gas 3 and set a shelf just below the centre. Lightly grease a 20 cm x 20 cm cake tin.

Place a fine-mesh strainer over a large bowl and drain the grapefruit well. Press the segments down gently with your fingers to extract as much juice as possible. Reserve the juice – you’ll need it later.

Weigh out 150 g drained grapefruit into the large cup of a bullet blender. Add the yoghurt, eggs, 120 g of the honey, the vanilla and the oil. Blend to a smooth liquid and set to one side.

Weigh your flour and measure your baking powder into a large mixing bowl, and pour in the grapefruit-yoghurt liquid. Mix well to make a loose, frothy batter. The froth is the reaction between the acidic juices in the grapefruit and the baking powder – it settles back down after a minute.

Pour the cake batter into the greased tin and bake in the centre of the oven for 50 minutes, until risen and firm. It will be considerably denser than a standard cake – and it’s about to get even more so.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes in the tin. While it is cooling, warm the remaining honey and grapefruit juice and mix well together to make the syrup.

Cut the cake into squares, still in the tin. Pierce all over with a cocktail stick, around 60 times. Pour the honey syrup liberally over the top and let it soak into the cake as it cools.

Serve warm or cool or heat through to piping hot, it’s enjoyable every way. Keeps for 3 days in an airtight container – best stored in the fridge.