Basic Chiffon Cake

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 12
Calories 311kcal

Ingredients

Dry Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups (280 gr) cake flour (*see substitution)
  • 1 tsp (4 gr) baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp (2 gr) baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp (3.6 gr) Morton kosher salt or table salt (use 1 1/2 tsp if using Diamond kosher)
  • 1 1/2 cups (294 gr) granulated sugar

Wet Ingredients

  • 5 TBSP (70 gr) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1/2 cup (118 ml) vegetable, canola, or avocado oil
  • 1 cup (237 ml) buttermilk, room temperature (*see note for substitute)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 6 large egg yolks, room temperature

Meringue

  • 3 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (50 gr) granulated sugar

Instructions

NOTE

  • this cake is traditionally baked in a tube pan but also works beautifully baked into layers for a layer cake. This is enough batter for three 8-inch round pans or two 9-inch round pans.
  • Prep: Preheat the oven to 350 F (177 C). Prepare your pan(s). If you are using a tube pan grease only the bottom of the pan and not the sides or the tube. If using traditional round tins, line the bottom with parchment and grease the bottom and sides of the pans. Measure out all of your ingredients for each section of the recipe and keep each grouping together to help with the flow of the recipe.
  • Mix the Dry Ingredients: Sift the cake flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and sugar into a large bowl and then whisk together to combine. Set aside.
  • Mix the Wet Ingredients: In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the melted butter, oil, buttermilk, vanilla extract, and egg yolks and set aside.
  • Make the Meringue: In the bowl of a stand mixer fit with the whisk attachment or with a hand mixer, beat the egg whites on medium/high speed until they start forming medium peaks. With the mixer still running, slowly stream in the sugar and keep beating until you reach stiff peaks.
  • Combine the Components: Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredient bowl and stir together with a rubber spatula. Once the dry ingredients are saturated, add about 1/2 cup of the egg whites into the mixture and stir it in completely to lighten the batter. Next add in 1/2 of the rest of the egg whites and gently fold them in being careful not to deflate them. Add in the rest of the egg whites and fold them in gently until completely combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  • Bake at 350 F (177 C) for 38-45 minutes if baking in a tube pan or 20-24 minutes if baking in layers. To check if the cake is done, gently press in on it and if it is firm but springs back it is done.
  • Cool & Serve: Set the cake pan on a cooling rack and allow it to cool completely before turning it out of the pan. Serve plain, dusted with powdered sugar, with a powdered sugar glaze, or frosted as a layer cake!
  • Store cooled cake covered at room temperature for up to 4 days.

Notes

Notes

  • It is traditional for this cake to be baked in a tube pan because it can climb up the center, resulting in a very spongy texture. However, this cake can also be baked in 2- 8" or 9" round cake pans and be stacked as a layer cake. Adjust baking time to 20-22 minutes when baking it in round cake tins.
Substitution Notes
  • Cake Flour: Cake flour is really the best option for making the most light and airy chiffon cake. However, if you need to make a substitute combine 2 cups plus 2 TBSP of all purpose flour with 6 TBSP of cornstarch. Sift the two together 4 times (yes, 4 times) before adding into the cake.
  • Buttermilk: The acidic properties of buttermilk are necessary in this recipe to activate the baking soda. If you do not have buttermilk you can make a substitute by measuring out 1 TBSP of white vinegar or lemon juice and adding enough regular milk to equal 1 cup. Stir and let sit for 5 minutes before using. As another option, combine 3/4 cup of sour cream or plain yogurt with 1/4 cup of water and use in place of the buttermilk.
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