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Lemon chiffon cake

Of Californian origin, the chiffon cake’s deliciously light texture has made it a favourite amongst cake lovers worldwide.

Photographs: Natasha Liviero

Text: Natasha Liviero

Chiffon Cake

Makes 1 cake

Cake ingredients:

320g cake flour

325g caster sugar

15g baking powder

5g salt

110g neutral oil, i.e.Canola oil

7 XL egg yolks

7 XL egg whites

70g lemon juice

Zest of 2 large lemons

120g cold water

5g vanilla/lemon extract

2g cream of tartar

Lemon water icing ingredients:

Icing sugar, sifted

Warm water

Lemon juice


  1. Set oven to 1600C.

  2. Sift the cake flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into a large bowl.

  3. With a wooden spoon, make a well in the centre of the flour mixture.

  4. Mix the oil, egg yolks, lemon juice, zest, cold water and vanilla extract.

  5. Pour the wet ingredients into the flour and gently mix with a wooden spoon until a smooth batter forms.

  6. Whisk the egg whites until soft peaks. Add the cream of tartar and then continue to whisk until firm.

  7. Gently fold the egg whites into the egg yolk batter in three parts until well combined. Be careful of over-folding the batter, or it will deflate.

  8. Pour the batter into an ungreased chiffon tin and bake for 60 minutes or until golden brown and the top springs back when gently touched.

  9. Remove the cake from the oven, immediately invert the chiffon tin and leave the cake to cool completely.

  10. To remove the cake from the tin, gently run a palette knife around the sides, bottom and centre tube of the tin.

  11. Place the cake on a wire rack with the level side facing upwards.

  12. Prepare the water icing by sifting 400g icing sugar into a bowl. Gently add warm water and lemon juice to taste and mix until you have your desired pouring consistency. If the icing becomes too liquid, simply add more icing sugar.

  13. Place a pan or disposable paper under the wire rack and pour the water icing over the top of the chiffon cake, allowing the icing to fall down the sides.

  14. Leave the icing to firm up a little before decorating with edible flowers.

  15. It lasts up to three days in an airtight container.


  • For a more intense lemon flavour, substitute some of the 120g cold water with lemon juice.

  • Replace the lemon juice and zest with oranges for an orange chiffon cake.

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