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.
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.
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:
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.
This is a list of tools I used to make the recipe.
- Tube pan: You must use a tube pan for this recipe because it distributes heat appropriately.
- Mixer: You'll need a stand mixer with whisk attachment. However, an electric hand mixer will work, as well.
- Zester: Use a microplane zester.
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.
- Adjust the oven rack to just below the center and preheat oven.
- In a large bowl, whisk dry ingredients - sugar, flour, baking powder and salt.
- Then, in another bowl, whisk wet ingredients - oil, egg yolks, water, orange juice, orange zest and vanilla extract.
- 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.
- You'll need a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. However, a handheld mixer will work, as well.
- Beat the egg whites and cream of tartar on medium-low speed until foamy.
- Then, turn up speed to medium-high and whip egg whites until stiff.
- Grab your rubber spatula. Stir ⅓ of egg whites into batter.
- Finally, fold in the remaining egg whites. Press any egg white clumps into the bowl to make mixing easier.
You'll pour the finished batter into a tube pan. Bake for 45-55 minutes.
- Pour the batter into the ungreased tube pan.
- Then, smooth the top with a rubber spatula. Gently tap the pan on the counter to settle the batter.
- Bake for 45-55 minutes or until the toothpick test indicates doneness.
- If you have a pronged pan, invert the pan onto the prongs.
- If you do not, you'll need to invert the pan over the neck of a bottle or funnel.
- Let cake cool completely before removing from pan. This should take about 3 hours.
- 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.
- 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.
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.