A Chiffon Cake with white icing and lemon zest curls
Lemon Chiffon Cake
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Prep: 20 min
Bake: 55 min
Yield: 1 (10-inch) tube-removable bottom
Light and airy with a hint of fresh lemon flavor, this chiffon cake is fundamental to the home baker’s repertoire of classic cakes. It’s perfectly delicious served simply on its own or topped with freshly whipped cream.
  • 2 1/4 cups sifted Swans Down® Cake Flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 7 large eggs, cold, yolks and whites separated
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup grapeseed oil (or other neutral flavored oil)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 teaspoons lemon zest, finely zested
  1. Preheat oven to 325℉. Use 1 ungreased, non-stick tube pan with removable bottom.
  2. Sift flour, baking powder, sugar and salt together in a medium bowl; set aside.
  3. Whisk together egg yolks, water, oil and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Add flour mixture to yolks and whisk until well combined.
  4. Whisk egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer with whisk attachment on medium speed until just stiff but not dry.
  5. Fold 1/3 of the whisked egg whites (meringue) into the egg yolk mixture until combined. Fold in another 1/3 of the meringue until combined. Fold in the remaining meringue until completely incorporated.
  6. Gently spoon the batter into the ungreased tube pan and run a knife through the batter to help eliminate air pockets. Place on bottom rack in oven and bake for 50 to 55 minutes or until the top springs back when lightly touched. Remove from oven; invert the pan and cool the cake completely while upside down. When cooled, run a knife around the cake to release from pan.
  • Whipping and folding in the egg whites are important steps to get right when making chiffon cakes, since it is the main leavening ingredient. When whisking the whites, whip until stiff peaks but not dry. To check for peaks, lift the whisk up to form a peak; the whites should stay up but fall over slightly at the tip as if taking a bow. When folding the whites into the yolks make sure they are completely combined.
  • Balloon whisks are great for folding egg white. The batter easily slips through the wires, lessening any deflating of the batter.
  • Using a chiffon cake pan is key. The best type is an aluminum pan with a removable bottom. It is also important that the pan is non-stick. Do not grease the pan because the cake needs to cling to the sides.
  • Cool the cake upside down in order to allow the cake to continue expanding while cooling, instead of collapsing into the pan.

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