Chiffon Cake

Chiffon cake is moist and airy-like sponge cake with delicate flavor. our version is light and is topped with a citrusy frosting with berries.

This chiffon cake pairs perfectly with this light and fluffy orange flavored frosting. You can also enjoy the moist and fluffy cake along with whipped cream or custard cream!  For more wonderful cakes try Neiman Marcus Cake, Easy Carrot Cake, or Chocolate Bundt Cake.

Chiffon cake slice on plate

What is Chiffon Cake?

A chiffon cake is light and airy like sponge or angel food cakes, but it differs in that it uses vegetable oil for fat instead of the more traditional butter or shortening.

It 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 chose. And of course, it can be topped with any of your favorite fruits or berries for even more flavor.

We have a feeling you are going to love the spongy texture and delicious taste of this cake! You will wow your friends and family with this elegant dessert that is actually quite simple to make.  

How to make chiffon cake process pics

How to Make Chiffon Cake

PREP. Preheat the oven to 325.

SIFT. Sift the cake flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt into a large mixing bowl.

MIX. Make a well in the center, and add the oil, egg yolks, cold water, vanilla, and orange extract. Mix until smooth.

CREAM. In another large mixing bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar together until they form stiff peaks.

FOLD. Pour the batter mixture into the egg whites, folding it in gently so the egg whites don’t deflate.

BAKE.  Pour the batter into an ungreased 10 inch angel food tube pan, and spread evenly. Bake 55 minutes, then increase the heat to 350 and bake an additional 10-15 minutes, until the cake is golden brown on top and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

COOL. Remove from the oven and let cool upside down. Allow to cool completely, then release from the pan by running a plastic knife around the edges of the pan. Invert onto a serving platter.

Chiffon cake frosting

To Make the Frosting:

When the cake has cooled, make the frosting by adding the butter to a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer.

BEAT. Beat until light and fluffy.

ADD. Add the orange juice, orange zest, vanilla, and powdered sugar, and mix until combined. Increase the speed to high and beat until light and fluffy.

SPREAD & DECORATE. Spread the frosting over the cooled cake and decorated with fresh fruit, if desired.

Note. The original frosting recipe had ¼ cup of orange liqueur in it, which seemed pretty crazy considering it was supposed to be a birthday cake for kids? 🙂 I substituted orange juice for the alcohol and it worked great!

Recipe Troubleshooting Tips

Another important aspect of this cake is to beat the egg white until they are fluffy, then folding them into the batter. This helps give the cake a nice fluffy rice. 

It can be disappointing and quite frustrating to expect a beautiful fluffy cake only to have it sink. It can be hard to pinpoint exactly what happened if something goes wrong, but here are a few common reasons:

  • The oven temperature may be too high which causes the cake to rise too quickly and or bake unevenly.
  • Too many air bubbles can cause hollow spots when the cake cools those spots collapse.
  • Not inverting (turning the pan upside down) to let the cake cool.
  • Humidity can cause the cake to not bake correctly and fall
  • Greased the pan: The batter cannot cling as well to the sides if it is greased, and will not rise as high

Chiffon cake recipe process pics

More Cake Tips

A few more tips to keep in mind when making this recipe. 😉

  • Cake flour substitute: Add 2 tbsp of cornstarch to the bottom of a 1 cup measuring cup. Fill the rest of the cup with all purpose flour and level off the top. 
  • Alcohol free: The original frosting recipe listed ¼ cup of orange liqueur in it, but I substituted ¼ c orange juice and it turned out great. 
  • Use room temperature ingredients, especially the eggs. Room temperature ingredients whip up better and combine easier.
  • Use two 9 inch rounds in place of the tube pan. Do not grease and remember to invert to cool. 

Chiffon cake recipe

Storing Tips

Make ahead: you can make the cake base ahead of time and store unfrosted on the counter, in the fridge, or in the freezer. No matter which way you store it let the cake cool and wrap tightly in plastic wrap.

  • Counter or fridge: store for 4-5 days
  • Freezer: wrap again with foil and freeze for up to 3 months.

Leftover cake can be covered and stored at room temperature for 1-2 days or in the fridge for 3-4 days. Be sure to refrigerate it if you decide to add fruit. 

Easy chiffon cake recipe

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Chiffon Cake Recipe

5 from 6 votes
Chiffon cake is moist and airy-like sponge cake with delicate flavor. our version is light and is topped with a citrusy frosting with berries.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 12
Author Lil' Luna

Ingredients

for the cake:

  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 7 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup cold water
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon orange extract
  • 7 egg whites
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

for the frosting:

  • 1/2 cup butter softened
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • zest of one medium orange
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • fresh fruit optional

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 325.
  • Sift the cake flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt into a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the center, and add the oil, egg yolks, cold water, vanilla, and orange extract. Mix until smooth.
  • In another large mixing bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar together until they form stiff peaks. Pour the batter mixture into the egg whites, folding it in gently so the egg whites don’t deflate.
  • Pour the batter into an ungreased 10 inch angel food tube pan, and spread evenly. Bake 55 minutes, then increase the heat to 350 and bake an additional 10-15 minutes, until the cake is golden brown on top and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool upside down. Allow to cool completely, then release from the pan by running a plastic knife around the edges of the pan. Invert onto a serving platter.
  • When the cake has cooled, make the frosting by adding the butter to a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat until light and fluffy. Add the orange juice, orange zest, vanilla, and powdered sugar, and mix until combined. Increase the speed to high and beat until light and fluffy.
  • Spread the frosting over the cooled cake and decorated with fresh fruit, if desired.

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About the Author

Kristyn Merkley

My name is Kristyn and I’m the mom of SIX stinkin’ cute kids and the wife to my smokin’ hot hubby, Lo. My mom’s maiden name is Luna, and I’m one of the many crafty “Lil’ Lunas” in the fam. On this site I like to share all things creative - from recipes to home decor to gifts and home decor ideas. Welcome!

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Comments:

  1. 5 stars
    This cake is so light & airy! Love that it’s not dense & just sits in your stomach. The hint of orange in the frosting is incredible!

  2. 5 stars
    Chiffon cake is not an easy cake to make for beginners, so all the tips were extremely helpful. Thank you for sharing this delicious recipe!