An Easy, Citrus Spiked Orange Chiffon Cake
Chiffon cakes are often baked in angel food cake pans so they look quite similar. Chiffon cakes, however, use egg yolks, and often include extra egg whites and a bit of oil, which makes for a springy, light cake with a bit more substance than angel food. Using a microplane zester to zest the oranges guarantees that the zest will be the preferred fine texture for this orange chiffon cake.
Another similarity to angel foods cakes is that I think these cakes cut best with an angel food cake cutter as seen below. If you don’t have one, use a serrated knife and very gently cut the cake with light pressure. (PS: that’s Dédé’s son, Freeman, who stopped by the Test Kitchen after his graduation from the CIA (Culinary Institute of America).
- 2¼ cups sifted cake flour
- 1½ cups superfine sugar, divided into 1¼ cups and ¼ cup
- 2½ teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 6 large eggs, divided, plus 3 additional egg whites
- ½ cup flavorless vegetable oil
- ¾ cup fresh squeezed orange juice
- 2 tablespoons orange zest
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- Confectioners’ sugar
- Position rack in center of oven. Preheat oven to 325°F. You will need a 10-inch, two-piece (loose bottom) tube pan; leave it ungreased.
- In a large bowl with an electric mixer on low-medium speed, combine flour, 1¼ cups sugar, baking powder and salt. Make a well in center of dry ingredients and add egg yolks, oil, juice, zest and vanilla; beat for about 2 minutes on medium speed until smooth.
- In a clean, grease-free bowl, with an electric mixer on low-medium speed, beat egg whites until frothy. Add cream of tartar and beat on high speed until soft peaks forms. Slowly add remaining ¼ cup sugar and beat until stiff, but not dry, peaks form. Fold egg whites into cake batter just until blended, then scrape into prepared pan and smooth top with offset spatula.
- Bake for about 50 to 60 minutes or until a wooden skewer just comes out clean. The top will also spring back when lightly pressed. Immediately invert pan over a long, narrow-necked bottle to cool upside down. Cool completely. Dust with confectioners’ sugar. Cake is ready to serve. Alternatively, wrap in plastic wrap (before dusting with confectioners’ sugar) and store at room temperature for up to 24 hours.
- You may make your own superfine sugar for this cake but buzzing regular granulated in a food processor.
- This is a simple unadorned cake but it can be gussied up. Cover the cake’s top and sides with whipped cream and/or serve with fresh berries or a fruit compote alongside.
Images: Dédé Wilson