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Orange Chiffon Cake

This delicate orange chiffon cake has the most amazing airy, fluffy and moist texture. It's simple to make and works well as a light dessert.

overhead of orange chiffon cake decorated with candy orange slices and powdered sugar

As one of the very few desserts with a known origin, chiffon cake began as the invention of a California car salesman, Henry Baker.

It became the cake of Hollywood. Baker became wealthy by providing cakes to all the top Hollywood restaurants.

This cake is so soft and fluffy - similar to an angel food cake. The whipped egg whites and the oil make this cake moist and tender with a delicate crumb.

Be part of the Hollywood legacy and make this orange chiffon cake recipe for your friends and family.


Why this recipe works

  • Both egg yolks and whites are used along with baking powder, orange juice, and oil to give the cake its light and spongy texture.
  • The oil gives the cake its moist and tender crumb.
  • The cake can be dusted with powdered sugar or covered in an orange glaze.

This is the perfect orange chiffon cake for when you don't want a heavy after dinner dessert.

slice being taken out of orange chiffon cake

What you need

The ingredients create the ideal airy, light texture, which chiffon cake is well-known. Let’s discuss just a few of the key ingredients:

Ingredients

This is a short overview of the ingredients I used and why I chose them. The full recipe can be found at the bottom of the post!

  • Sugar: This sweetens the recipe to a desirable level.
  • Flour: Cake flour gives the cake a tender and delicate crumb.
  • Baking powder & salt: Baking powder acts as a leavening agent, while salt balances the sweetness.
  • Eggs: The whipped egg whites create the signature fluffy texture of the cake.
  • Oil: This ingredient helps create the light, airy cake texture.
  • Orange juice & zest: These create the powerful orange flavor in this recipe.
  • Vanilla: This adds a sweet aroma to the cake.

Equipment

This is a list of tools I used to make the recipe.

slice of orange chiffon cake with fork taking a bite out

How to make orange chiffon cake

1. Mix wet and dry ingredients

You'll adjust your oven rack and preheat your oven. Then, you'll mix wet and dry ingredients separately before combining into one.

  1. Adjust the oven rack to just below the center and preheat oven.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk dry ingredients - sugar, flour, baking powder and salt.
  3. Then, in another bowl, whisk wet ingredients - oil, egg yolks, water, orange juice, orange zest and vanilla extract.
  4. Finally, add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Whisk until smooth.

2. Whip egg whites

You'll whip the egg whites to create the signature fluffy texture of orange chiffon cake.

  1. You'll need a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. However, a handheld mixer will work, as well.
  2. Beat the egg whites and cream of tartar on medium-low speed until foamy.
  3. Then, turn up speed to medium-high and whip egg whites until stiff.
  4. Grab your rubber spatula. Stir ⅓ of egg whites into batter.
  5. Finally, fold in the remaining egg whites. Press any egg white clumps into the bowl to make mixing easier.

3. Bake

You'll pour the finished batter into a tube pan. Bake for 45-55 minutes.

  1. Pour the batter into the ungreased tube pan.
  2. Then, smooth the top with a rubber spatula. Gently tap the pan on the counter to settle the batter.
  3. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until the toothpick test indicates doneness.
  4. If you have a pronged pan, invert the pan onto the prongs.
  5. If you do not, you'll need to invert the pan over the neck of a bottle or funnel.
  6. Let cake cool completely before removing from pan. This should take about 3 hours.
  7. To loosen the cake, run a thin knife along the edge of the pan along with gently tapping the upside down pan to release the cake.
  8. Place the orange chiffon cake right side up onto a serving platter. Garnish with candied orange slices, powdered sugar or orange glaze.

Jen's Best tips

  • You must use a tube pan. The tube in the center of the pan allows the heat to reach the center of the cake so it bakes evenly.
  • Be sure to use an ungreased pan which allows the batter to cling to the sides of the pan as it bakes. DO NOT USE A NON-STICK PAN.
  • The cake needs to be turned upside down immediately after removing it from the oven. This prevents the cake from shrinking and losing its volume as it cools.
overhead of orange chiffon cake next to two slices on plates

Storing & Freezing

To store: This cake can be stored for up to 2 days at room temperature.

You can also store it in the refrigerator for no more than 4 days.

To Freeze: I would not recommend freezing this cake.


Watch how to make it

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slice being taken out of orange chiffon cake

Orange Chiffon Cake

Yield: 10 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Light and fluffy cakes are great for when you don't want anything too heavy for dessert. This Orange Chiffon Cake is exactly the thing you need. It's a simple cake with a tender and moist and texture. This delicate orange cake will be your new favorite go-to recipe.

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups (300 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 ⅓ cups (160 g) cake flour, sifted
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup (120 ml) vegetable oil
  • 6 large eggs, separated at room temperature
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) water
  • ½ cup (120 ml) orange juice, fresh
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest, finely grated
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar

Instructions

  1. Adjust the oven rack to just below the center and heat to 325°F.
  2. Whisk the sugar, flour, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk the oil, egg yolks, water, orange juice, orange zest, and vanilla extract until well combined. Add to the flour mixture and whisk just until the batter is smooth.
  4. Using a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or in a clean bowl with a handheld electric mixer, whip the eggs whites and cream of tartar on medium-low speed until foamy, about 1 minute. Turn the speed up to medium-high and whip until egg whites are stiff but not dry, about 3 minutes.
  5. Using a rubber spatula, stir ⅓ of the egg whites into the batter to lighten it up. Fold in the remaining egg whites. Press any stubborn clumps of egg whites into the bowl to make them easier to mix in.
  6. Pour the batter into an ungreased 16-cup tube pan and smooth the top with a rubber spatula. Gently tap the pan on the counter to help settle the batter. Bake for 45-55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  7. If your pan has prongs around the rim, invert the pan onto them. If not, invert the pan over the neck of a bottle or funnel. Let the cake cool completely before removing it from the pan, about 3 hours.
  8. Run a thin knife along the edge of the pan to loosen it, then gently tap the pan upside down to release the cake. Place the cake right side up onto a serving platter.
  9. Garnish with candied orange slices, powdered sugar, or orange glaze.

Notes

Cake flour: Cake flour is made from soft wheat flour and gives this cake its tender and delicate crumb. If you cannot find it you can make homemade cake flour.

Oil: You can use any flavorless oil; vegetable or canola are preferred.

Eggs: Separate them while they are cold then place the egg yolks in one bowl and the egg whites in another. Cover both with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 45-60 minutes. The egg whites must at room temperature or they will not whip to their full volume.

Orange juice: Fresh orange juice offers the best flavor. Once you squeeze the oranges, pour the juice through a fine-mesh strainer to remove any seeds or pulp.

Orange zest: Wash the oranges thoroughly before zesting and remove only the orange outer rind. The white pith underneath can be quite bitter.

Cream of tartar: Adding a little cream of tartar stabilizes the egg whites so they whip to their full volume. It also helps prevent over whipping. You can omit it or substitute it with an equal amount of lemon juice.

Orange glaze: You may wish to glaze your cake instead of dusting it with powdered sugar. Combine 1 ½ cups (185 g) confectioners' sugar, 3 tablespoons orange juice, and 1 tablespoon orange zest. Whisk until smooth then pour over the top of the cake, allowing it to drip down the sides. Let the glaze dry before covering and storing.

Make-ahead tip

  1. The cake can be stored for up to 2 days at room temperature or 4 days in the refrigerator.

Recommended Products

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1 slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 330Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 112mgSodium: 247mgCarbohydrates: 46gFiber: 0gSugar: 31gProtein: 5g

* Nutrition information is provided as a courtesy by an online nutrition calculator and is not guaranteed to be accurate. Always seek advice from a nutritionist or medical professional.

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Tess

Sunday 5th of September 2021

Super delicious and light! Perfect for Father’s Day when an orange cake was requested!

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