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Lemon chiffon cake

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Recipe may contain gluten, milk, soy, sesame and egg.

Chiffon cakes are made with separated eggs and oil (instead of butter) which makes them airy and tender. Our version is not only super light in texture, it also delivers a delicious lemon zing. This lovely tea cake is easier to make than it looks, but check out our Notes section for some important tips.

13 Ingredients


  • 250g (1 2/3 cups) plain flour

  • 3 tsp baking powder

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 270g (1 1/4 cups) caster sugar

  • 6 eggs, separated

  • 125ml (1/2 cup) grapeseed or light-flavoured olive oil

  • 125ml (1/2 cup) fresh lemon juice

  • 1 tbsp finely grated lemon rind

  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
  • Icing


  • 250g butter, chopped, at room temperature

  • 1 tbsp finely grated lemon zest

  • 450g (3 cups) icing sugar mixture

  • 2 tbsp milk

8 Method Steps


  • Step 1

    Preheat oven to 160C/140C fan-forced.

  • Step 2

    Sift the flour

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    (250g (1 2/3 cups) plain flour), baking powder (3 tsp baking powder), salt (1 tsp salt) and 215g (1 cup) of the sugar into a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the centre. Add the egg yolks (6 eggs, separated), oil (125ml (1/2 cup) grapeseed or light-flavoured olive oil), lemon juice (125ml (1/2 cup) fresh lemon juice), lemon rind (1 tbsp finely grated lemon rind) and 60ml (1/4 cup) water. Whisk to combine.


  • Step 3

    Use electric beaters to beat the egg whites in a clean, dry bowl until soft peaks form. Add the cream of tartar (1/2 tsp cream of tartar) and gradually add the remaining 55g (1/4 cup) sugar, beating constantly until the sugar has dissolved and firm peaks form. Gently fold one-quarter of the egg white mixture into the flour mixture until just combined. Fold in the remaining egg white mixture in three more batches.

  • Step 4

    Pour the batter into a 21cm (base measurement) angel food cake pan (see note). Bake for 1 hour or until springy to a gentle touch. Invert the pan onto a wire rack and set aside to cool completely (see note).

  • Step 5

    Turn the pan over and run a knife around the edge of the cake to loosen it. Invert onto a serving platter. Run a knife along the inside of the pan and gently ease the base from the cake.

  • Step 6

    To make the icing, use electric beaters to beat the butter (250g butter, chopped, at room temperature) and lemon zest (1 tbsp finely grated lemon zest) for 3 minutes or until pale and creamy. With the beaters running, add the icing sugar (450g (3 cups) icing sugar mixture), a few spoonfuls at a time, until combined. Beat in the milk (2 tbsp milk).

  • Step 7

    Spread the top and sides of the cake with a thin layer of icing to make a crumb coat. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes or until the coating is firm. Cover the rest of the icing with plastic wrap and keep at room temperature.

  • Step 8

    Spread remaining icing all over the cake and swirl decoratively. Cut into slices to serve.
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Recipe Notes

An angel food cake pan is a deep ring (or ‘tube’) pan that has 3 little ‘feet’ around the rim, which allows a gap so you can cool the cake in the pan upside down. This helps the cake keep its shape while cooling. You can find them at specialty cooking ware shops, or online.

If your rack isn’t large enough to fit the ‘feet’ of the tin without danger of slipping off, just cool on the benchtop.

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