Orange Chiffon Cake

Here is a retro dessert that I really love.  It makes me feel like a 50’s housewife.  This cake is best served while wearing a frilly apron…

Guess who forgot to take a picture of the ingredients…

Here is what you’ll need

  • Fresh oranges
  • sugar
  • cake flour
  • baking powder
  • eggs
  • salt
  • vegetable oil
  • orange juice (from the fresh oranges)
  • vanilla
  • cream of tartar

This is going to take a few steps and will dirty up a few bowls, but so what,  this is cake and it’s worth it!

First you’ll need to separate the eggs.  you’ll need 6 egg yolks and 7 egg whites.  Just toss the last egg yolk.  After you have separated them set them aside to come up to room temperature while preparing the other ingredients.  Remember how to separate an egg?

Next using a fine grater, zest the oranges and measure out the two tablespoons of orange zest.

As you can see, I just used the very outside of the peel, not the bitter white pith.

Now combine all but 1/4 cup sugar, flour, baking powder, and salt, mix to combine

add the egg YOLKS, oil, vanilla and orange juice and mix well.

next in a very clean bowl, preferably glass or metal, place the egg whites

beat at high speed until foamy, add cream of tartar.

now continue beating at high speed until soft peaks form.  This is what “soft peaks” look like, as you can see the tips of the mounds curl over.

At this point start adding that reserved 1/4 cup of sugar one tablespoon at a time, beating well after each addition.  Continue beating until “stiff peaks” form.  This is how it should look, the peaks stand straight up and the egg whites have a silky smooth look to them.

Next is where some technique comes in.  You want to incorporate this egg white mixture into the other batter, without deflating the egg whites, to make a nice airy fluffy batter.  Here is a link to a previous post that has a good video on how to do this.  How to fold

First mix in 1/3 of the egg whites (just eyeball it) don’t worry to much about this first time, we are just “lightening” the batter.

once that is mixed in, add the second third, folding carefully.

Then add the remaining egg whites, folding gently, just until most of the white streaks are gone.  You should end up with a nice fluffy batter like this

Now the next step is to put it in a pan, not just any pan, a tube pan.  This recipe really requires a 2 piece pan, since we don’t grease the pan at all, it would be really hard to get out otherwise.

Add the batter to the ungreased tube pan, we don’t grease because we want the batter to be able to “climb” the sides of the pan.

Now place in a preheated 325 degree oven for 45-55 minutes, or until it tests done with a toothpick, and springs back when touched.

Immediately invert the cake onto its feet, if your pan has no feet, suspend the center tube on a bottle. (mine has feet, but this is just for a cool visual)

Let cool for an hour.  After an hour run a thin knife or spatula around the sides to loosen the cake, remove the pan.  Run spatula around the bottom of the center piece and remove the rest of the pan.

Place on plate.  If desired, the cake can be glazed with a simple powdered sugar glaze, just take 2 cups powdered sugar, and add just enough orange juice to make a thick glaze that barely drizzles, and pour that over the top and sides of cake.  I didn’t get a picture of it glazed, so here it is naked…

There you have it.  Fluffy refreshing cake.  Go ahead, channel June Cleaver and make one soon!

Click here for printable recipe





4 Responses to Orange Chiffon Cake

  1. Wendy McLaren says:

    I made this substituting lemons for oranges. It turned out really, really well! Thanks, Mike, for a great recipe!

  2. TAM PHAM says:

    Hi Mike,

    Just wonder what size pan do you use?

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