Pink grapefruit and kirsch savarin

Pink grapefruit and kirsch savarin recipe, refined sugar-free!

Celebration cakes, Special everyday cakes and treats

Once baked and golden brown allow the savarins to cool at least half an hour before the next stage.

Last week on the phone mum said she’d like a rum baba for her birthday cake next month.  I guess they’ll always be considered as treats for special occasions by the French, including mum.  At the time I happened to be experimenting with a kirsch savarin using leftover dough from my mojito rum babas.  Savarins are brioche-like yeasted cakes traditionally baked in ring moulds then soaked in alcohol.  Mum definitely sounded interested and said she had the kirsch, a beautiful cherry liqueur sweeter and mellower than rum.  So this might be a practice birthday cake!  It’s a deliciously moist and ‘delicately’ alcoholic Pink grapefruit and kirsch savarin soaked in a syrup beautifully balanced between the grapefruit, kirsch and refined sugar-free sweetener maple syrup.  It’s filled with lashings of cream whipped with vanilla and kirsch then topped with a rose of grapefruit segments.  Decorated with optional glacé cherries and angelica if you like the full 70s effect!  Where’s the disco?  Or more importantly, where’s my lovely dessert?  Another one I’ve fallen in love with! 🙂

Pink grapefruit and kirsch savarin

Pink grapefruit and kirsch savarin

The recipe

This recipe was invented based on the idea of a balanced syrup that is neither too sharp nor too sweet, with enough to completely soak and moisten the savarin.  Then there’s loads of cream with a more subtle flavour and sweetness.   The vanilla and maple syrup are hovering in the background supporting the main stars:  pink grapefruit and kirsch, who are not fighting each other but being friends and holding hands.

Pink grapefruit and kirsch savarin


To make the savarin:  30 mins work over a stretch of 2-3 hours and 15-40 mins baking.  5 mins for the syrup and 5-10 minutes for the cream. 10 minutes for assembly.  Total:  50-55 mins work.  If you’re using frozen savarin dough a total of 25-30 mins work.  Soaking and assembling is faster with a single large savarin than with 8 small ones.

Over 2 days:  You can bake the savarin(s) and soak in syrup the previous day, as I did this time.  Refrigerate in an airtight container then the following day whip the cream and assemble.

The savarin(s)

SavarinsPlease follow the recipe on my Savarins page.  You use half the dough and freeze the other half.  My halves weighed between 210g to 230g/8oz each.  You can make a big savarin or 8 small ones.

Once baked and golden brown allow the savarins to cool at least half an hour before the next stage.

The syrup

Grapefruit and kirsch syrup

  • 200g/1 scant cup freshly-squeezed pink grapefruit juice
  • 120g/half a cup water
  • 173g/half a cup and 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 vanilla pod with seeds scraped out (use the pod and seeds)
  • 1 tablespoon of kirsch cherry liqueur added off the heat plus 2 tablespoons added when cooler (3 tablespoons/40g in total)

Pink grapefruit and kirsch syrup recipe


  1. Your syrup should be fairly hot (around 48°C/120°F) but not very.  If you like a stronger taste of alcohol (taste the syrup now) add a tablespoon or 2 of kirsch.
  2. Prepare a wire rack over a tray to catch the dripping syrup.
  3. Soak the savarin completely in your big bowl of syrup for 30 seconds to 1 minute. 
  4. Take the savarin out delicately making sure it doesn’t break.  If the top has not been soaked, turn it upside down and repeat step 3.
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 if necessary.  The savarin need to soak the syrup up like a sponge until it’s heavy and completely moist.  But it shouldn’t fall apart.
  6. If the level of syrup is getting low then place the savarin carefully on the wire rack and brush syrup over it.  Use the syrup that’s dripped into the tray to keep brushing the savarin.
  7. Allow to cool completely (or overnight) before decorating with the cream.


Whipped cream

Notes:  for a stronger vanilla flavour bring the cream to a simmer with the vanilla then infuse for an hour or so and chill the cream well before using.  The mascarpone helps stabiliise the cream so it doesn’t flop.  It’s optional and with thick double cream it’s less necessary.

  • 300g/1 and a quarter cups whipping cream 35% or double cream (very cold)
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 30g/2 tablespoons mascarpone cheese (optional – replace with cream if preferred)
  • 1 tsp kirsch, or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup, or to taste

Vanilla and kirsch whipped cream recipe

Assembly (note to self:  remember to brush with apricot jam before decorating!)

Pink grapefruit and kirsch savarin

Pink grapefruit and kirsch savarin

  • 2 tablespoons of apricot jam (I used sugar-free) warmed slightly with a teaspoon of water
  • your whipped cream
  • 160-200g grapefruit segments (see here on how to cut segments) – around 2 or 2 and a half grapefruits
  • Some green candied angelica cut into small triangles
  • About 4 glacé cherries rinsed, dried and cut into halves

Brush your savarin with the apricot jam to cover completely so it glistens.  Spoon some cream in the middle hole then use a disposable piping and nozzle to pipe rosettes or swirls on top.  Piping cream on your savarin

Make a rose with the grapefruit segments on top of the cream – mine’s a bit messy!  You can also sprinkle little bits of grapefruit over the cream.  Then finally, if using place the glacé cherries and angelica triangles artistically on your savarin.  Add a vanilla pod for a French new pâtisserie style.  Tada!

Pink grapefruit and kirsch savarin

Pink grapefruit and kirsch savarin

This cake keeps really well in an airtight container and in the fridge up to 4 days.  It might be even better on Day 2.  Actually anytime is perfect!  🙂

So I think I’ll take my cake along to Recipe of the Week hosted by Emily@aMummyToo and Bake of the Week hosted by Helen@Casacostello.  Also to Fabulous Foodie Fridays hosted by Lucy@BakePlaySmile and Lauren@CreateBakeMake and of course to And also to the September Perfecting Patisserie challenge hosted by Lucy@BakingQueen74Please help yourselves to a slice of cream with some heavenly Pink grapefruit and kirsch savarin cake.  🙂

Pink grapefruit and kirsch savarin

Have a slice of pink grapefruit and kirsch savarin!

Farewell and till next time sweet reader!  May you have a bright and colourful week with some happy baking and eating! 🙂 x

P.S.  (A month later)  Here’s mum’s birthday cake!  🙂  Instructions, How to make cake bunting, are in my cake decorating section.Grapefruit and kirsch savarin


Posted by

Baking on Sundays with my French mum was a lovely part of my childhood. Later I experimented with baking books or internet recipes and did the pâtisserie course at Le Cordon Bleu Paris. Still trying out new recipes and inventing cakes with influences from all around the world, including some healthier ones. Yes, love cakes!!! Hope you'll love them too and have fun baking. :)

23 thoughts on “Pink grapefruit and kirsch savarin recipe, refined sugar-free!”

  1. Pingback: Weeks (32) and (33) of cakes and cake bunting! | lili's cakes

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.