BAKING PARTNERS - CHALLENGE #13 - LEMON CHIFFON CAKE


It's our birthday! Our group is turning 1 year old. 
Happy Birthday BAKING PARTNERS!!!!

Chiffon cakes are foamy and airy cakes in texture and combine the richness of a butter cake with lightness of a sponge cake. They are leavened primarily with beaten egg whites, just like Angel foot cakes are. In fact, they are very similar in appearance to angel food cakes and are usually baked in the same type of tube pan. Chiffon cakes, unlike angel food cakes, contain both egg yolks and vegetable oil. These two ingredients keep the cake moist, soft and tender and result in a cake that tastes great and keeps well.  Even refrigerated, the oil in the cake remains soft and makes it much more tender and contain less sugar than an Angel food cake. 

The chiffon cake was created by Harry Baker, a Los Angeles insurance agent, in 1927.  Baker carefully guarded his secret technique for almost two decades, only selling his cakes to celebrities and the famous Brown Derby restaurant. The popularity of his cakes grew quickly, and he eventually sold the recipe to General Mills in 1947. 

Now, Mr. Baker had two big secrets with his chiffon cake recipe. The first is that chiffon cakes use oil instead of butter, which aides in the airy quality of the cake. It is also nice because the cake can be refrigerated without firming up. The second secret of the chiffon cake is to whip the egg whites separately from the yolks and to fold them ever so gently into the batter.  If done correctly, the results are divine. If not, you can end up with an oozy-gooey mess in your pans.

Saraswathi of Sara’s kitchen suggested this Lemon Glow Chiffon cake.


Prep time: 30 minutes
Baking time: 50 to 55 minutes
Makes: 1 ungreased two piece 10 inch tube pan OR can be halved and baked in 9 inch tube pan or 10 inch round cake pan or 8 inch round cake pan + 6 inch cake pan.
Adapted from The Cake Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum

Dry Ingredients
2 1/4 cups (8 ounces) cake flour
1 1/2 cups + 2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 ~ 2 tablespoons lemon zest

Wet Ingredients
½ cup canola oil or sunflower oil
3 large egg yolks
2/3 cup water @ room temperature
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon Vanilla essence

For Meringue
1 ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
2 tablespoons sugar
7 large egg whites
  • Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.
  • Use a 10-inch tube pan with a detachable bottom, but do not grease it as the batter needs to climb up the sides OR line two 9 inch baking pan with wax paper and do not grease the pan. Place a ramekin in middle of the pan.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups of the sugar and the lemon zest. 
  • With your fingertips, work the zest and sugar together until the sugar is grainy and very aromatic.  
  • Add the cake flour, baking soda and salt to the bowl.
  • If using a stand mixer, use the beater attachment and beat on low until the ingredients are well incorporated. You can also do this by hand with a whisk.
  • Make a well in the center of the ingredients and add the oil, egg yolks, water, lemon juice and vanilla.   
  • Mix for about one minute on medium speed until the batter is smooth and there are no lumps.
  • In a second large mixing bowl, beat the egg whites until they are foamy. 
  • Add the cream of tartar and continue to beat on medium speed until they reach soft peak stage. You will know your egg whites have reached this stage when the beaters start to leave a trail or when the peaks fall over when the beaters are raised. 
  • Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar, and continue to beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks when the beaters are raised.
  • Using a slotted spoon or balloon whisk, add 1/3 of  egg whites to your cake batter and gently stir them until they are incorporated. 
  • Add the remaining egg whites to the batter and very gently fold them into the batter until they are incorporated and no traces of egg whites remain.
  • Pour the batter into the ungreased pan and run a small metal spatula or knife through the batter to prevent air pockets. 
  • Bake for 50 to 55 minutes  or until the cake bounces back when lightly pressed in the center.  
  • Once cooked, take the cake out of the oven and immediately turn it upside down over a bottle* or similar to it  until it is completely  cool, which can take up to 90 minutes.
  • Using an up and down motion, use a palette knife to loosen the sides of the cake away from the tin. 
  • Pull out the cake and use the palette knife around the bottom of the cake to release it from the base. 
  • Turn it over so that the base becomes the top (I didn't because I like the rustic look of my funky pan) and sprinkle with a dusting of icing sugar to serve. I used a bourbon lemon glaze.
Cake will stay fresh for 3 days in room temperature, 10 days refrigerated or  2 months frozen.

1 comment:

Martha@SeasideSimplicity said...

Looks delicious! Happy birthday BPs :)