Chiffon Cake

Classic chiffon cake combines the cloudlike texture of angel food cake with a tender richness provided by egg yolks and oil. It can be flavored with citrus, chocolate, vanilla, or any flavoring you choose. Serve chiffon cake with a light dusting of confectioners' sugar or a dollop of whipped cream; a scattering of fresh berries is a nice garnish.

Prep
20 mins
Bake
50 mins to 1 hr
Total
1 hr 20 mins
Yield
one 10" tube cake or two 9" round cakes
Chiffon Cake

Instructions

  1. To make the cake: Preheat the oven to 325°F with a rack in the bottom third. Have on hand an ungreased 10" tube or angel food cake pan.

  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar until foamy. Gradually add 1/2 cup (99g) of the sugar and continue beating until stiff and glossy. Set aside.

  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the remaining 1 cup (198g) sugar with the flour, baking powder, and salt.

  4. In a large mixing bowl using a whisk attachment, beat the oil, reserved egg yolks, and extracts until pale yellow. Add the dry ingredients in thirds, alternating with the milk, beating at medium speed for 2 to 4 minutes.

  5. Gently fold in the whipped egg whites with a whisk or spatula just until the batter is uniform. Scrape the bottom of the bowl to ensure the batter is evenly mixed.

  6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 50 minutes without opening the oven; the cake will rise high above the pan then settle back almost even as it continues to bake.

  7. Increase the oven temperature to 350°F and bake for 10 minutes more, until a gentle touch on the center of the cake leaves no indent; if you listen carefully, the cake should make a crackling sound.  

  8. Remove from the oven and invert the tube pan over the neck of a wine bottle for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, use a thin-bladed flexible spatula to free the cake from the sides and tube of the pan. Turn the cake out onto a serving plate to finish cooling completely. 

  9. To make the Chantilly cream: Place all the ingredients in a large, chilled mixing bowl. Beat until the mixture holds soft peaks.

  10. To serve: Sift confectioners' sugar over the cake, then slice. Top each slice with a spoonful of Chantilly cream or whipped cream; garnish with berries, if desired.

  11. Storage information: Store leftover cake, well wrapped, at room temperature for several days; freeze for longer storage.

Tips from our Bakers

  • Separate the eggs carefully; even a small amount of yolk in the whites will prevent them from beating up properly. The eggs separate most easily when cold, but allow them to come to room temperature before mixing, for best volume in the egg whites.

  • Love lemon? Check out our recipe for Lemon Chiffon Cake. Or craving something chocolate-y? See our recipe for Double Chocolate Chiffon Cake.

  • Chiffon cake maintains its beautifully soft texture even when chilled, making it a great candidate for any type of filling or topping that needs refrigeration, e.g., whipped cream, pastry cream, or mousse.  

  • To make a lovely filled and frosted layer cake, use two ungreased 9" round pans. Pour the prepared batter into the pans, set them on the center rack of your oven, and bake for 40 minutes at 325°F, then 10 minutes more at 350°F. Remove the cakes from the oven and place them upside down on a rack to cool. After 30 minutes, turn them out onto the rack to finish cooling completely. When cool, fill and frost with Chantilly cream, flavored whipped cream, or mousse. We don't recommend buttercream or other heavy frostings, as they can compress the cake and make it dense.