Vanilla Chiffon Cake

A beautifully light and airy cake!  Perfect for any occasion.


Vanilla Chiffon Cake

Yields:  Two 9-inch round cakes

Total Time:  2 hours (includes cooling time)

Prep Time:  20 min

Cook Time:  10 min



  • 4 large egg whites, room temperature
  • ½ tsp cream of tartar
  • 6 oz. granulated sugar (approximately ¾ cup), divided
  • 2 large egg yolks, room temperature
  • 2 oz. vegetable oil
  • 4 oz. milk, room temperature
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 4 oz. cake flour (approximately 1 cup)
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder



  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and 4 oz. sugar until lightened in color.  Whisk in the oil, milk, and vanilla extract.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar until foamy.  Gradually add in the remaining 2 oz. sugar and beat until stiff peaks form on high speed; reserve while the batter is finished.
  4. Sift the flour, salt, and baking powder into the egg yolk mixture.  Whisk until just combined, being careful not to overmix.
  5. Fold 1/3 of the egg whites into the batter until almost incorporated.  Add the remaining egg whites and fold until just combined.
  6. Pour the batter into 2 ungreased 9-inch round pans and bake for 10-12 minutes.  (10.5 oz. batter in each pan)
  7. Cool upside down for 1 ½ hours.  I prop the edges of the pan on top of jars.
  8. Run a knife along the edges of the pan.  Place the pan on a cake platter and tap on the bottom of the pan to release the cake.

Chiffon cake is a cross between an angel food cake and a sponge cake.  This cake is great for those with fillings or toppings that need to be refrigerated.  Also a great option for ice cream cakes – butter based cakes often dry out in the refrigerator, while chiffon cakes stay nice and soft.


The ingredients for this great cake are: cake flour, vegetable oil, milk, granulated sugar, egg whites & yolks (separated), vanilla extract, baking powder, salt, and cream of tartar.


Add 2 egg yolks to a bowl with 4 oz. of the granulated sugar.


Whisk these together until lightened in color.


Next up is the oil, milk, and vanilla extract.


Whisk this until well combined.


In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, add 4 egg whites and cream of tartar.  Cream of tartar helps stabilize the egg whites, so they won’t collapse after they have been beaten.


Beat this until foamy.


Then gradually add in the remaining sugar.


Beat this on high until stiff peaks form.


Stiff peaks are formed when the whisk is lifted out and the egg whites stand up straight.  Stiff peaks are essential to this recipe, as they provide structure and lightness.


Lovely, fluffy egg whites!  Reserve this while we finish up the batter.


Sift the cake flour, salt, and baking powder into the egg yolk mixture.


Lightening up the flour mixture will also help lighten up the cake.


Whisk this until just combined.


Fold in 1/3 of the whipped egg whites.


To fold, put the blade of the spatula down through the center, scraping the blade from the bottom up along the sides, gently flipping the mixture over on top.


Rotate the bowl a quarter-turn and repeat until the egg whites are mostly incorporated.


Add the remaining egg whites…


And fold these in until just combined.


Pour the batter into 2 ungreased 9-inch round pans.  Chiffon cake is similar to angel food cake and needs to cling to the sides of the pan as it bakes.


Smooth out the tops and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 10 minutes.  Insert a toothpick in the center of the cake to check for doneness.


Like angel food cakes, chiffon cakes need to be cooled upside down.  This prevents the cake from collapsing on itself as it cools – instead it will stretch out.  I prop the edges on glass jars.


Let these cakes cool completely for 1.5 hours, before flipping right side up.


To remove, run a knife along the edges of the pan.


Then flip upside down again and tap along the bottom of the pan to release the cake.




Wrap in plastic wrap and store at room temperature until ready to frost.  I like to use a lighter frosting, like whipped cream, on chiffon cakes.  Heavy frosting, like buttercream, tends to weigh the cake down because it is so light.


I hope you enjoy this light, airy cake of wonderfulness!


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