A chiffon cake, or chiffon cake, is a cake made with vegetable oil, eggs, sugar, flour, water, yeast, and cream of tartar, flavored with lemon or vanilla.
Its special feature lies in the use of vegetable oil instead of butter, the incorporation before baking of stiffly beaten egg whites, and the use of yeast.
Even when taken out of the refrigerator, this cake is still as soft as ever. It is notably used to make layer cakes that need to be put in the refrigerator.
The recipe is credited by Harry Baker in 1927, a Californian insurance salesman who became a caterer. The latter kept the recipe secret for about twenty years before selling it to General Mills. Under its Betty Crocker brand, General Mills made it public in the 1940s and 1950s, calling it “the cake rag” and calling it “the first new cake in 100 years.
Difficulty level: easy
Preparation time: 25 min
Cooking time: 55 min
Total time: 1h 20 min
- 300 g of extra-fine sugar
- 290 g flour
- 200 ml of water
- 120 g sunflower oil
- 6 large eggs
- 1 vanilla bean
- 1 grated lemon zest
- 1 sachet of baking powder
- 8 g of cream of tartar
- 1 pinch of salt
- powdered sugar
- slices of lemon peel (optional)
- Sift the flour into a bowl with the baking powder.
- Then add the sugar and salt. Mix well.
- In another bowl, separate the yolks from the egg whites and set aside the egg whites.
- Add water at room temperature and oil to the egg yolks.
- Add grated lemon zest and the seeds of a vanilla bean to the egg mixture. Beat with a whisk until smooth.
- Incorporate the egg mixture into the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, and yeast) in one go.
- Mix well with a whisk until smooth and creamy.
- Whisk the egg whites until they become white and foamy.
- Add the cream of tartar and continue whisking for a few minutes.
- Pour some of the egg whites into the appliance and mix quickly with a spatula to soften the mixture.
- Then gently add the remaining egg whites, using slow up and down movements to avoid breaking up the egg whites.
- Gently pour into a 23 cm diameter cake tin fitted with a baking parchment but not buttered or floured.
- Spread evenly and level.
- Preheat the oven to 160° C.
- Bake in the oven for about 55 to 60 minutes.
- Remove from the oven. Leave to cool.
- Unmould and use or serve sprinkled with powdered sugar and/or lemon peel strips.