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I love chiffon cakes because they're light, fluffy, and super moist. Chiffon cakes use both whipped whites and a leavener to create the airy texture, and use oil as the fat, which makes for a really moist crumb. Chiffon cakes are similar to an angel food cake, but less sugary and so much richer. Most importantly however, is that they're really easy to mix up. Most of the ingredients for the batter are briefly combined in the mixer (you can even hand whisk it), then whipped egg whites are folded in. That's it.
While there are many variations on a chiffon cake, lemon is among my favorites. Lemon matches perfectly with the light, spongey texture. The effect is a light-as-air lemon pound cake. How can you go wrong with that?
I made sure this version was quite zingy by adding a good amount of lemon juice and zest to the batter. It's important to be gentle when folding the meringue into the batter so as to not deflate the whites.
Unlike an angel food cake, which gets turned over to let the cake cool (so that it doesn't shrink), I never turn my chiffon cakes over. I've tried, and it flops out every time (must be the weight or the oil in the cake). Regardless, even though it shrinks slightly upon cooling, the texture is as light as ever. Serve it with a dollop of whipped cream, a dusting of sugar, or a smear of blueberry preserves.
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About the Author: Yvonne Ruperti is a food writer, recipe developer, former bakery owner, and author of The Complete Idiot's Guide To Easy Artisan Bread. You can also watch her culinary stylings on the America's Test Kitchen television show. She presently lives in Singapore working on her new baking cookbook, and as a recipe developer for HungryGoWhere Singapore. Check out her blog: shophousecook.com . Follow Yvonne on Twitter.
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