Lemon chiffon cake

I truly love chiffon cakes - that springy, light, moist and tender cake that showcases everything eggs have to offer.  So here I am with another version I made a few days ago - lemon.
My love for chiffons is pretty well-documented.  I started with "plain" vanilla (still my favorite go-to) and went on to banana-chocolate, chocolate, and orange.  Now, I can add lemon to my list of delicious chiffon cake options.  And really, they never disappoint so please pick one and make it!
When it comes to cake, I think my family and I are up for anything regardless of the season or temperature.  But if we're going to be more mindful about it, a light chiffon cake - especially one flavored with fresh lemon zest and a touch of lemon juice - is a great way to go as far as dessert for these hot summer days.

After the whirlwind of June, and as we adjust to our new summer routine, I still can't seem to stay away from the kitchen for long.  It's nice to sit and be idle for a bit but I quickly feel the urge to get into the kitchen and bake something (then write about it here).  I make old favorites but also want to try something new.  And not finding myself with a huge backlog of things I want to make, I had the pleasure of looking through some of my cookbooks the other day for inspiration.  This lemon chiffon cake is what I landed on.
And it did not disappoint!  It's classic chiffon cake, with a flavor that's clearly lemon but yet mild and oh so familiar.  I could eat this anytime (and I say that every time I eat it)!
Since we all know how well lemon goes with fruit, feel free to grab some of those strawberries or blueberries you very likely have in the fridge and enjoy it together.


This recipe for lemon chiffon cake comes from Martha Stewart's Cakes (recipe here) and it's intended for a 7-inch tube pan.  I only have a larger, 10-inch, pan but it just so happens that I was shopping at Sur La Table last weekend and bought a couple of 8-inch paper ring molds (I really like these paper molds that I've been using).  It was meant to be.
To adapt for the slightly larger mold I was using, I used 2 extra-large plus 1 large egg instead of 3 large ones.  It worked out well but if you want to play it safe, go with 2 large eggs and 1 extra-large if you find yourself using one of these paper molds.  The cake rises quite a bit, as it should.  Mine did not overflow but it did rise slightly above the rim. 
The paper molds are quite sturdy and removing the cake (after it has cooled upside down for a couple of hours) is fairly easy as long as you take it slow.  You might not get a perfect round the way you would using a metal pan but it worked well enough for me that I'd use it again.
I like to enjoy my slice of chiffon cake all by itself.  A cup of tea (or iced tea) alongside would be nice.  If I'm having some fruit, I like it separately...
...but if you're like my husband, you pile on the whipped cream and strawberries and have a little party on a plate!  Either way, I think you'll be happy.
Real life eating, through a filter  : )
I think I now have most chiffon cake versions that I'd like to eat covered.  Maybe a matcha/green tea one will happen one day so stay tuned!  

Recipe:

Lemon Chiffon Cake
From Martha Stewart

- Makes one 7-inch cake (or in my instance one 8-inch cake with minor adjustments*) - 

3/4 cup cake flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, divided
3 large eggs*, separated
1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest (from about 3 lemons)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting

* I used an 8-inch paper ring mold and instead of 3 large eggs, I used 2 extra-large eggs plus 1 large egg.  The cake will rise above the rim.  To be a bit more conservative about it, use 2 large plus 1 extra-large egg.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Set a 7-inch tube pan nearby*.  

In a medium bowl, sift together cake flour, baking soda, salt, and 3/4 cup of sugar. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla extract.  Add the dry ingredients and whisk together until smooth.  

Place egg whites into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Start beating on medium-speed until egg whites are foamy.  Add cream of tartar and whip on high until soft peaks form.  Slowly add the remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar and continue whipping to stiff peaks.

Fold 1/3 of the egg whites into the batter.  Then add the remaining whites and fold together until just incorporated.  Transfer batter into the tube pan, smoothing the top with an offset spatula.  Bake until a cake tester inserted into the cake comes out clean, about 40-45 minutes. 

Remove cake from the oven and invert the pan over a glass bottle to cool upside down (the cake could sink/deflate otherwise).  Let cool completely, about 2 hours.  To remove, run a sharp knife around the insides of the pan, angling the knife towards the pan to try to keep the crust intact.  (If using a paper mold like I did, run knife around edges of the cake and gently peel away the paper).  Dust with confectioners' sugar and serve.  




38 comments:

  1. Light fluffy and delicious! I love lemony desserts even better than chocolate. I have the very same paper cake holders here at home. (I am always nervous about getting those paper cake holders in the oven without pouring cake batter everywhere... )

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    1. I can't say I like lemon desserts over chocolate but right after chocolate, I tend to think lemon. : ) I am turning into a big fan of these paper molds. I baked it on a sheet pan for easy transfer...it definitely helps. : )

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  2. I love everything about this cake! Baking is an itch but must be scratched from time to time :) Love the paper molds and I have a pile of them I need to use. I can't believe I've never made a chiffon cake but you are my inspiration! Lovely recipe - love the light texture and especially served with fruit! Have a great week Monica!

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    1. I am honored to be your inspiration in any small way, Tricia! : ) This cake was super delicious and went quick - the best kind of recipes. Enjoy the week.

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  3. This looks so soft and airy! I love mine with a pot of freshly brewed tea too.

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    1. We all need a little cake and tea in the afternoon. That's a good life... : )

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  4. There is something about lemon that DOES make it appropriate for any time of day! I think simple cakes (without sweet frostings and glazes) are the most refreshing with a glass of iced tea. Monica, you are definitely my go to resource for chiffon cake recipes. :)

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    1. haha - I feel like if it's lemon, it's light and refreshing somehow and perfectly okay to enjoy any time. : ) I am happy to be a champion for the chiffon cakes! Love 'em!

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  5. Oooh it looks like you're the master of chiffon cakes! The lemon one sounds super scrumptious, and I'm really looking forward to a matcha version! Also, the paper mold is brilliant; I might have to try it out myself (:

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    1. haha - don't know about that but I sure love them and it's fun to try all these versions. Just more excuses to eat them. : ) The paper molds are good - for the cake, it's not so perfect a round and the center ring is a little wider than I'd like but a great improv when you don't have that particular pan size. Enjoy your week!

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  6. I've been wanting to make a chiffon cake for a long time. They are so perfect for summer and this lemon one looks especially good. Those paper molds look really awesome. I am going to have to look for them the next time I am in Sur La Table.

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    1. It is great for summer as far as cakes go! And you'll find different sizes/types of these paper molds by the baking aisle at Sur La Table (love that place)! : )

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  7. Replies
    1. It really is...it was gone in a jiffy.

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  8. So fluffy and love the meringue in the batter!

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    1. The egg whites are a little bit magical, aren't they. Thanks!

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  9. Oh Monica, your chiffon cakes are all mouthwatering and I am drooling over this lemon one. Lemon desserts are my favorite and I can see how light and fluffy this is. Serving it with strawberries and whipped cream sound perfect! Wish I could snatch that piece off the plate, it looks perfect!

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    1. haha - yes, my husband loves to load it up. I like to just savor these cakes. They taste so good and really don't miss/need/want any glazes or anything. Enjoy the rest of the week, Kelly!

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  10. Lemon just makes me happy and I can't help but smile looking at this cake! It's gorgeous!

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    1. I think it's that bright yellow color. Now you've got me thinking of Minions! Can't wait for that movie. haha

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  11. I adore the light texture of chiffon cakes! This looks like a lovely version for an afternoon tea! :D

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    1. I love any kind of tea cake and this definitely fits nicely in that category. Thanks, Lorraine!

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  12. I can't wait to see which other flavours you infuse into your fabulous chiffon cakes. They are always amazing!

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    1. I could still live off of just the "plain" vanilla one but can't resist trying something new here and there. Thank you, Sonali!

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  13. I love how light and fluffy this looks! I have never made a chiffon cake but I really want to give it a try! It sounds so perfect for this time of the year!

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    1. You must try and I think you'd like it. Very light and soft... : )

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  14. OMG! I totally crave this cake! Looks stunning!

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    1. Thanks so much! I love these very simple cakes, too.

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  15. Doesn't the thought of a chiffon cake make you want to get dolled up, maybe curl your hair and put on some lipstick, and have all the neighbor ladies over for tea and gossip? I don't have any neighbors... so you'll have to live out this dream of mine for me? Although who am I kidding, this tasty cake is probably long gone! :)

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    1. ha - yes! The table would be set, maybe I should be wearing some white lace gloves, and slicing/serving this cake on some good china. ; ) Makes a pretty picture, I tell you. I wouldn't mind living an afternoon like that but you are right. In reality, cake is long gone and was consumed in no lipstick, curly hair, or gossip. : (

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    2. We'll have to settle for some back and forth internet banter then ;)

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    3. I don't think I'm witty enough to banter with you...you'd be bored quickly! ; )

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  16. This cake looks so good!! I just bought some lemons, so I am looking for recipes to try!

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    1. Lemons are so expensive these days...what happened?! Hope you make good on your stash. : )

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  17. Chiffon cake is the best. So light and fluffy! Yours is gorgeously done! Absolutely the best to serve with strawberries and whipped cream.

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  18. You know i love a chiffon, Monica, and this one looks gorgeous! I love those paper ring molds, but have always been apprehensive about trying them (fear of the unknown? strong feelings about metal cake pans? hard to say), but your cake came out so beautifully that i just may make a trip to Sur La Table myself to grab some.

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    1. They are very sturdy but the only thing is the inner ring is wider than the metal pan would be and there's a chance of not getting exactly a perfect circle. I'm willing to accept that, and I need to stock up on more of them!

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