Chiffon Cake With Lemon Icing

Chiffon Cake Recipe

Simple and classic, chiffon cake with lemon icing has been an American favorite ever since it was created for the Brown Derby Restaurant by insurance salesman Henry Baker in the late ’20s.–Irma S. Rombauer, Marion Rombauer Becker and Ethan Becker

Chiffon Cake With Lemon Icing Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 30 M
  • 1 H, 30 M
  • Makes 12 to 14 servings


  • For the cake
  • 2 1/4 cups sifted cake flour
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 8 large egg whites
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • For the lemon icing
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter
  • 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted if lumpy
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


  • Make the cake
  • 1. Into a large bowl, sift together the cake flour, sugar, baking powder and salt twice.
  • 2. In another bowl, beat the egg yolks, water, vegetable oil, lemon zest and vanilla on high speed until smooth. Stir into the flour mixture until smooth.
  • 3. In a third bowl, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar on medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add the sugar, beating on high speed until peaks are stiff but not dry.
  • 4. Use a rubber spatula and fold one-quarter of the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture, then fold in the remaining whites. Scrape the batter into an ungreased 10-inch tube pan with a removable bottom and spread evenly. Bake in a preheated 325°F (160°C) oven until the top springs back when lightly pressed and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 55 to 65 minutes.
  • 5. Let cool upside down for at least 1 1/2 hours, setting the tube over a bottleneck or resting the pan on four glasses.
  • 6. To unmold, slide a thin knife around the cake to detach it from the pan, pressing the knife against the pan to avoid tearing the cake. Using the same procedure, detach the cake from the center tube. Pull the tube upward to remove the cake from the pan side. Slide the knife under the cake to detach it from the bottom. Invert and allow the cake to drop onto your hand, a rack, or a serving platter. Invert again, right side up, on a rack to cool complete before icing.
  • Make the icing
  • 7. Melt the butter in the top of a double boiler over low heat. Remove and stir in the powdered sugar, lemon juice, zest and salt.
  • 8. Return to heat and cook over barely simmering water for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove and add the vanilla.
  • 9. Beat until cool (briefly for a pourable glaze or several minutes for a spreadable icing). You can place the pan in a larger pan of ice water to quicken the process.
  • 10. Drizzle or spread over the cake. Let set before serving.
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  1. This cake looks amazing. I want to try it but got confused one step 1 and 3. In step 1 you add the sugar with the flour. And in step 3 you add sugar also in the egg whites. Do I use half of the sugar with the flour and the remaining with the egg whites

    1. Ehab, thanks for asking for clarification. This is an older recipe that precedes all of us currently on staff, so I apologize for the confusing instructions. If you look at the ingredients list, sugar is listed twice. The first is just after the cake flour, and it calls for 1 1/4 cups, which is what you use in step 1. The second time sugar is listed in the ingredient list is after the cream of tartar, and that’s what you use in step 3. Kindly let us know what you think of the cake!

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