Karen Mordechai | Sunday Suppers Karen Mordechai | Sunday Suppers Karen Mordechai | Sunday Suppers


images by Karen Mordechai | Sunday Suppers

I love the intersection of internet life and real life. Where online friends become real friends, food becomes more than a pretty picture but rather a meal to share, and someone that you’ve put on a pedestal becomes someone that you share the table with.

This happened for me last month when Gabe and I traveled to NYC to teach a class at the stunning studios of Sunday Suppers. It is Karen Mordechai’s home away from home and it is a cook and photographers dream. It is the sort of space that breeds creativity the moment you step into its massive white expanse.

Karen along with her cheery and talented team crafted the menu all from recipes from, Date Night In. But what I love is that the dinner and menu focused on good home cooking. And I think it reminded even me that the recipes in the book can be so much more than date night fodder.

On her blog, Karen is sharing the recipe for Cacio e Pepe, this Grapefruit Olive Oil Cake with Bittersweet Chocolate and even more of her beautiful photos from our time together. 

This cake is one that suites the date night table but also belongs on your plate the next morning with a cup of coffee in hand. It can be dressed up with a touch of crème fraîche and a sprinkle of flake salt as we served it at our dinner in New York or dressed down covered in aluminum foil and enjoyed in the cab on the way to the airport, as I did the next day.

It’s sweet and bitter, scented with fragrant olive oil and capped with a cascading white glaze with flecks of pink grapefruit zest. Similarly to some of the best things in life (wine and people) this cake becomes even more pronounced and dignified with a bit of time. Yesterday’s cake is best enjoyed today.



Karen Mordechai | Sunday Suppers Karen Mordechai | Sunday Suppers


Karen Mordechai | Sunday Suppers Karen Mordechai | Sunday Suppers


images by Karen Mordechai | Sunday Suppers

Grapefruit and Bittersweet Chocolate Cake // Not Without Salt


Grapefruit Olive Oil Cake with Bittersweet Chocolate



from Date Night In


Unsalted butter, for the pan

3⁄4 cup / 180 ml freshly squeezed grapefruit juice, divided

11⁄2 tablespoons freshly grated grapefruit zest, divided

1⁄2 cup / 125 g whole-milk plain yogurt

3 large eggs

2⁄3 cup / 160 ml best-quality extra-virgin olive oil

3⁄4 cup / 150 g granulated sugar

13⁄4 cups / 235 g all-purpose flour

11⁄2 teaspoons baking powder

1⁄4 teaspoon baking soda

11⁄4 teaspoons kosher salt

4 ounces / 110 g bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

11⁄2 cups / 170 g confectioners’ sugar

Crème fraîche, for serving (optional)


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan.

Add 1⁄2 cup / 120 ml grapefruit juice to a small saucepan set over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and reduce the juice by half. Cool slightly.

In a medium bowl, combine 1 tablespoon grapefruit zest, yogurt, eggs, olive oil, and reduced grapefruit juice and whisk to mix well.

In a large bowl, add the granulated sugar, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk to combine.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Mix until everything is well blended. Stir in the chocolate.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and place in the hot oven. Bake until the cake is deeply brown and set and springs back gently when pressed, 50 to 55 minutes.

While the cake bakes, prepare the glaze. In a bowl, combine the remaining 1⁄2 tablespoon grapefruit zest with the remaining 1⁄4 cup / 60 ml grapefruit juice. Gently, in order to prevent a confectioners’ sugar snowstorm, stir in the confectioners’ sugar and continue to stir until well mixed.

Let the cake cool in the pan for 5 minutes before cooling on a wire rack.

When cooled to room temperature, place the cake on a serving platter and drizzle with half the glaze. Reserve the rest of the glaze for serving along with the sliced cake. Serve with crème fraîche, if desired. The cake can be made 1 day in advance.

31 Responses to “Grapefruit Olive Oil Cake with Bittersweet Chocolate”

  1. julia

    It was so lovely to meet you at Sunday Suppers, Ashley! Thank you again for sharing your delicious recipes. The maple roasted carrots have already become a favorite in my house.

    Some of my husband and my favorite dates together are spent together on our couch, sharing a delicious meal and a thoughtful conversation. Thank you for your honesty and bravery in sharing your own stories and reminding us that there is always time to appreciate each other no matter how busy our lives become.

    • Ashley Rodriguez

      SO wonderful to meet you too. And thank you for this note. Sometimes I even lost sight of the heart of the book, too concerned with how it is performing but you have nailed it. It’s about reminding ourselves about the importance of creating time for relationship and for me that is best done at the table served with a bounty of food.

  2. Karen

    So wish I could have made it to Brooklyn when you were there. This cake is on my list to bake, and the roast chicken from your book is a cult hit around my house. Cheers to you, Ashley!

  3. Claudia

    I love loaf cakes and unusual flavour combinations so this is definitely on the list to try. It sounds like the dinner was a success – it is so great meeting new people through shared interests on the internet. Also, just have to agree with you – that kitchen looks incredible! A total dream, like you say.

  4. Kathleen

    That picture of you with the chicken! So beautiful! Your dress, your hair, your apron! If I had a picture like that I might consider taping it to my face when I walked around town. 🙂

    This cake is on the list to be baked. So many amazing baked goods, too little time!

    • Ashley Rodriguez

      You are so sweet. Can I tape you up in my house so you can give me fist bumps when I walk through the door? 🙂 Is that creepy? Thanks for the kind words.

  5. Emily

    This is so inspiring! Beautiful photos and a lovely sounding menu. I just tagged this grapefruit cake to make soon. Love the herb bouquet and that antipasti table is just gorgeous!!

  6. Kathryn

    I’m so struck by your last line – Yesterday’s cake is better enjoyed today. You have such a way of finding the perfect words.

    • Ashley Rodriguez

      Thanks, Kathryn. Perhaps it is me trying to feel better about growing older – no, you know what, I feel damn fine about growing older. And because of the very reason that I feel like I am getting refined. More humble, more in awe of the world, stepping away from the black and white of my younger years and appreciating the gray. So yes, like cake, a little bit of aging does wonders. 🙂

  7. Chrissy

    Beautiful! I wonder how this would work with a flavored olive oil, like lemon, orange (or even grapefruit). Too overpoweringly citrusy? In any case, looks delicious.

    • Ashley Rodriguez

      ohhhh, I haven’t tried it but it sounds lovely. I love a good lemon olive oil. I have never come across an orange one. Do you have one you would recommend?

  8. Yurhe

    So beautiful!!
    Could I ask you where your dress and shoes are from??

    • Ashley Rodriguez

      The shoes I picked up at a local consignment shop and the dress is by a Seattle designer which I found at a shop called Velouria.

  9. Shamit Khemka

    Very beautiful picture you use and appreciate your efforts
    I really said your efforts show in recipe of dish and am ready crazy to eat this

  10. Danielle @So Munch Love

    Good Lord, that photography! Looks absolutely lovely! That cake sounds complex and delicious. What a great opportunity to team up with your internet buddies. Well done!

  11. Brian @ A Thought For Food

    So…. yeah… can we talk about how beautiful this whole post is? I mean, first of all, you’re just radiant in that space. Seriously gorgeous.

    It looks like this event was a huge event, which isn’t a surprise, really. Now, off to check out the cake!!!