Thursday, April 19, 2012

Rich in Eggs, Chiffon Cake

In my quest to find recipes and projects that use lots and lots of eggs, I came across the idea of a foam cake.  Apparently some use just the egg whites (angel food cake), some use the whole egg but no added oil (jelly rolls), and some use both eggs and oil (chiffon cakes).  Preferring not to waste the yolks, and not brave enough to attempt to roll up a cake, I opted for the chiffon cake.

The original recipe is from the old fashioned Betty Crocker Cookbook that I received as a wedding gift almost 14 years ago.  It calls for lemon zest to make it a Lemon Chiffon Cake, but I'm not a big fan of lemons outside of lemonade, so I simply omitted it.  What's left is a wonderfully fluffy, slightly vanilla-y cake that is amazing with a chocolate glaze, and has had me dreaming of dipping it in a chocolate fondue.  And it's oh-so-simple.

Basically, you mix a few things in one bowl, mix a few other things in a second bowl, mix them together, and bake.  The hardest part is waiting the two hours for the thing to completely cool.

Simple Chiffon Cake

First mix 2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 and 1/2 cups sugar, 3 teaspoons baking powder, 1 teaspoon salt in a large bowl.  Beat in 3/4 cup cold water, 1/2 cup vegetable oil, 2 teaspoons vanilla, and 7 egg yolks (reserve those whites!) until the mixture is smooth.

In another large bowl, beat 7 egg whites (about 1 cup of egg whites) and 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar until stiff peaks form.  Gently pour the egg yolk mixture over the beaten egg whites and fold with a rubber spatula until no streaks remain.

Pour all this lovely batter into an ungreased tube pan (normally for angel food cake), that is about 10 x 4 inches.  I'm grateful for Gram Lois for passing hers along to me, as this is something I wouldn't normally have in my kitchen.

Bake at 325 degrees for about 1 hour and 15 minutes on the lower oven rack, or until the top springs back when you touch it lightly.  The top should be an inviting golden brown.  Cool this right away by flipping it upside down and creatively suspending it over a jar or funnel.  I realized afterward that the pan has little feet for this, and I needn't have gone through all the engineering theatrics to build a perfect cooling station.

Cool completely, about 2 hours, before running a knife along the inside of the pan to loosen the sides of the cake.  Tap out onto a plate.  

Prepare a simple glaze by melting about 1 cup of chocolate chips with a couple of tablespoons of cream.  Stir until it's creamy-smooth and drizzle over individual slices.  If you choose to glaze the whole cake, you'll need a whole lot more glaze; try twice or even three times as much.

This cake was so simple and snazzy that I can't wait till I have an extra 7 eggs laying around again!

Note: if you like lemony cakes, go crazy and add the 2 teaspoons grated lemon peel along with the egg yolks.  As for me, I'll have my vanilla cake with a side of lemonade.


  1. Hooray! I have about 22 extra eggs laying around. Gonna give this cake a try, as soon as I find a tube pan...

    1. I see in my Joy of Cooking that you can also use a 9x13 inch pan. It says to cool it propped up on four glasses. I like this recipe better overall, though, because it uses the same number of yolks and whites. Trying it today on this rainy afternoon, with all of the lemon!

    2. Will you make a chocolate glaze to go with your lemon cake? Or a vanilla glaze? Happy baking!

  2. Have fun with this, Jen! With all your eggs, you can make 3 of these!