Grapefruit Vanilla Shortbread

The Hale Groves Team
grapefruit vanilla bread

Prep time:

Cook time:


From not so popular to America’s new favorite, Grapefruit is one of the very few fruits that made America rethink its standards. After years of being frowned upon because of its acrid taste and face-cringing smell, the red-fleshed Grapefruit made this cultivar world-renowned for its sweet taste, rich flavor, and numerous health benefits.

Short History

The white Grapefruit variety first arrived in the US in 1823. It was unpopular for many reasons; it has a thick peel that is tightly adherent to the flesh, the pith is overly bitter, and the flesh is exceedingly tart. Though disliked by many, Grapefruits persevered and thrived throughout the bitter years of being snubbed by many.

In 1929 a wonderful discovery was made in Texas; a mutated sweet, red-fleshed Grapefruit was found growing on a tree, which became the Ruby Red Grapefruit. Since then, many more mutations were created and as the redder the color becomes, the sweeter the Grapefruit is. After more than a century, Grapefruit has finally become America’s sweetheart and favorite breakfast.

How to make Grapefruit Vanilla Shortbread

Prep Time: 1 hr 15 mins

Bake In: 15-18 mins

Yields: 16 servings


  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into pieces, plus more for pan
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated Hale Groves Sweet White Grapefruit or Hale Groves Ruby Red Grapefruit zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more
  • 2 tablespoons fresh grapefruit juice
  • Himalayan pink salt, dried hibiscus flowers, red sprinkles or sanding sugar, dried rose petals, and/or cracked pink peppercorns (optional for serving)

Special Equipment

  • A 9-inch springform pan


  1. Lightly butter pan. Pulse grapefruit zest, vanilla extract, 1/2 cup butter, and 1/3 cup powdered sugar in a food processor until smooth. Add flour and 1/2 tsp. kosher salt; pulse just to combine. Press dough evenly into prepared pan, smoothing top with a flat-bottomed glass or measuring cup. Chill until firm, about 1 hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F. Prick shortbread all over with a fork 1″–2″ apart, and bake until edges are golden and center is pale but firm to the touch, 15–18 minutes.
  3. Remove band from pan and immediately cut shortbread into 16 wedges. Let cool.
  4. Whisk grapefruit juice, a pinch of kosher salt, and remaining 1 cup powdered sugar in a small bowl until smooth. Spread a thin layer of icing over shortbreads with a small offset spatula, leaving a thin border of crust exposed. Top as desired. Let sit 10–15 minutes to allow glaze to set. Retrace cut marks.

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