Classic Chiffon Cake
classic recipe for chiffon cake that can be adapted to make
chiffon cakes in many different flavors.
See also, guava chiffon cake
recipe #1 and
After two decades of carefully guarding his secret recipe, making his
special cake only
for the reigning royalty of the silver screen, the Hollywood
baker-inventor Harry Baker
sold his formula to General Mills, who gave his innovation the
now-famous name chiffon
cake. With numerous variations, it became a nationwide sensation
during the late 1940s
and into the 1950s, and today is still appreciated for its light
and springy texture.
Chiffon cakes, like angel food cakes, are baked in ungreased pans
so that the batter can
cling to the sides as it rises during baking and the cake will not
fall out when hung
upside down to cool.
-2 cups cake flour
-1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
-2 teaspoons baking powder
-1 teaspoon salt
-1/2 cup canola or other high-quality flavorless vegetable oil
-1/2 cup egg yolks (from 6 or 7 eggs), at room temperature, lightly beaten
-2 teaspoons grated or minced fresh lemon zest
-1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
-1 1/4 cups egg whites (from about 10 eggs), at room temperature
-1 teaspoon cream of tartar
-Powdered sugar for dusting (optional)
-Position racks so that the cake will bake in the middle of an oven and
-preheat the oven to 325° F.
Select a 10-inch angel food or other straight tube pan with a removable
bottom; do not grease
or line. Set aside.
Place the flour, 1 1/4 cups of the granulated sugar, baking powder, and
salt in a strainer or
sifter and sift into a bowl. Whisk to mix well. Add 3/4 cup water, the
oil, egg yolks, lemon
zest, and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer at medium speed until
very smooth, about 1
minute. Set aside.
In the metal bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a wire whip, or in a metal
bowl with a hand
mixer and clean beaters, beat the egg whites at low speed until frothy
bubbles cover the surface.
Add the cream of tartar, increase the speed to medium, and beat until very
soft, billowy mounds
form when the beater is slowly raised. With the mixer running, gradually
add the remaining 1/4
cup sugar, about 1 tablespoon at a time, and beat until very thick and stiff
but not quite dry,
about 6 minutes if using a stand mixer, or about 10 minutes if using a hand
mixer. (It is
important that the whites not be underbeaten; they should be stiffer than
for angel food cake
Transfer about one-fourth of the egg whites to the cake batter and stir
gently to incorporate
and lighten the mixture. Add the remaining egg whites and, using a large
balloon whisk or
rubber spatula, gently fold them as directed on page xx into the batter
just until incorporated.
Gently scrape the batter into the reserved pan and smooth the surface with
a rubber spatula.
Bake until the cake springs back when lightly touched in the thickest part
with your fingertip
and a wooden skewer inserted into the thickest part of the cake comes out
clean, about 1 hour;
to prevent falling, do not open the oven door until near the end of the
minimum baking time.
Remove the pan to a work surface and turn it upside down, resting the center
hole of the pan
over a long-necked bottle or metal funnel to elevate the pan. Let stand in a
until the cake is cooled completely, at least 11/2 hours, then remove the cake
from the pan.
Transfer the cake to a serving plate and dust with powdered sugar (if using).
Use a long
serrated knife and sawing motions to cut the cake.
Makes 12 servings.
Butterscotch Chiffon Cake. Substitute 3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown
sugar for 3/4 cup of
the granulated sugar. Spoon Caramel Glaze over the cooled cake.
Chocolate Chiffon Cake. Substitute 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa for 1/2 cup
of the flour. Omit
the lemon zest. Spoon Chocolate Glaze over the cooled cake.
Coffee Chiffon Cake. Substitute 1/4 cup coffee-flavored liqueur or 1
espresso dissolved in 1/4 cup hot water for 1/4 cup of the water. Omit
the lemon zest.
Spoon Coffee Glaze over the cooled cake.
Guava or Passion Fruit Chiffon Cake. Substitute fresh or thawed frozen guava
fruit pulp or thawed frozen juice concentrate for the water. If desired, add
a touch of
pink or red food coloring (for guava) or orange or yellow food coloring (for
along with the vanilla to simulate the fresh fruit color. Spoon Guava or
Passion Fruit Glaze
over the cooled cake. Alternatively, split the cooled cake into 3 layers
and fill with Fruit
Pudding Filling made with guava or passion fruit. Stir 1/4 cup pulp or
juice concentrate and
a touch of pink or red food coloring (for guava) or orange or yellow food
(for passion fruit) into Whipped Cream Frosting and frost the top and sides
of the cake,
then drizzle 1/4 cup of the same pulp or juice concentrate over the top and
swirl with a
Lemon or Lime Chiffon Cake. Substitute 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon
or lime juice
for 3 tablespoons of the water. Add an additional 1 tablespoon finely grated
fresh lemon or lime zest. Reduce the vanilla to 2 teaspoons and add 1
lemon extract. Spoon Citrus Glaze made with lemon or lime juice and zest
over the cooled
Orange or Tangerine Chiffon Cake. Substitute freshly squeezed orange or
for the water and 3 tablespoons finely grated or minced fresh orange
or tangerine zest
for the lemon zest. Reduce the vanilla to 21/2 teaspoons and add 1/2
teaspoon pure orange
extract. Spoon Citrus Glaze made with orange or tangerine juice and
zest over the cooled cake.
Guava Chiffon Cake Recipes
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