December 23, 2021

Cardamom Brûléed Grapefruit

Cardamom Brûléed Grapefruit is an easy, yet elegant side dish for your holiday brunch. Enjoy winter citrus season with this delicious, simple recipe!

Ruby red grapefruit are a holiday tradition in my family. Every Christmas morning, in addition to our overnight breakfast casserole, we each have half a ruby red grapefruit, garnished with half a maraschino cherry. It goes back as far as I can remember!

This year, I’m elevating our Christmas morning grapefruit with this Cardamom Brûléed Grapefruit recipe. The sweet crunch of the caramelized sugar, with the citrusy spice of the cardamom, and the tangy ruby red grapefruit is an incredible, seasonal flavor combination. You don’t need any fancy equipment to make this impressive recipe, either! I brûléed the sugar under the broiler in my oven. It might not get quite as crunchy as if you were to use a kitchen torch, but it definitely does the job. You also need only a sharp paring knife to prepare the grapefruit halves, too. (This is the season each year I get to break out my grapefruit knife, though!)

True to family tradition, I garnished my brûléed grapefruit with maraschino cherries. It’s a festive little addition to these ruby-hued jewels. I hope you’ll pick up some big, juicy grapefruits and give Cardamom Brûléed Grapefruit a try this season! 

Ingredients assembled for Cardamom Bruleed Grapefruit
Assemble your ingredients.

Sugar and cardamom combined in a small bowl
Combine granulated sugar and cardamom and set aside.

Stages of preparing he grapefruits
Prepare the grapefruits - slice each grapefruit in half to create four servings. Use a small sharp paring knife to loosen the segments. Drain for a few minutes upside down on a towel.

Stages of preparing the bruleed grapefruit
Place the grapefruit halves on a small sheet pan. Sprinkle each half evenly with the sugar-cardamom mixture. Broil in the oven for about 7 minutes, until the sugar is caramelized.

One bruleed grapefruit half garnished with a maraschino cherry and served in ared glass bowl
Garnish each grapefruit half with a maraschino cherry, and serve warm!

Cardamom Brûléed Grapefruit

Cardamom Brûléed Grapefruit is an easy, yet elegant side dish for your holiday brunch. Enjoy winter citrus season with this delicious, simple recipe!


Kira Freed - The Joyful Plateful











2 large ruby red grapefruit

2 Tbsp. granulated sugar

1/2 tsp. ground cardamom

Maraschino cherries, for garnish (optional) 


  1. Cut the grapefruit in half (around the equator). If the grapefruit halves do not sit level, slice a thin piece off the bottom of the skin to help the grapefruit sit level. Remove any obvious large seeds. Use a small, sharp paring knife to cut the segments. Start by slicing the fruit away from the membranes, going all the way around the grapefruit until each segment is loosened. Then, run the knife around the outside to separate the segments from the white pith. After each grapefruit half is prepped this way, turn it upside down to drain on a paper or kitchen towel. (This will help remove excess moisture and allow for better caramelization.) Repeat this step with each grapefruit half. 
  2. In a small bowl, combine the granulated sugar and ground cardamom. Set aside. 
  3. Line a small sheet pan with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. (I like to use a silicone mat for these because it will not burn.) Set aside. 
  4. Position your oven rack at the highest position under the broiling element. Turn your oven broiler on to high while you finish assembling the grapefruit. 
  5. Arrange the grapefruit halves on the sheet pan. Sprinkle each grapefruit evenly with one quarter of the sugar-cardamom mixture. Immediately place the pan under the broiler (so the sugar doesn’t begin to dissolve!). 
  6. Broil the grapefruit halves on high for about 7-8 minutes, until the sugar is bubbling and caramelizing into a deep golden brown. (Start watching around the 5 minute mark, in case your oven broiler is extra hot!)
  7. Remove from the oven and let cool for several minutes before serving. Garnish each half with a halved maraschino cherry in the center (optional). Enjoy warm! 
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