Try this recipe for National Lemon Chiffon Cake Day, as if you needed an excuse
Lemon Chiffon Cake Day is March 29, a celebration of the light lemon dessert credited as the 1927 creation of Los Angeles insurance agent Harry Baker.
Baker was frequently pestered for his secret to the cake's incomparable softness, which comes from beating the egg whites until stiff and then folding them into the batter. Baker eventually sold his recipe to Betty Crocker, but the Lemon Chiffon Cake remains a spring favorite.
We've provided a recipe for the traditional cake below, courtesy of King Arthur Flour.
- Looking for something similar but flour-free? Try this Lemon Chiffon Pie recipe.
- Or try this: These individually-sized lemon cakes “magically” separate into an ethereally light sponge and creamy lemon curd as they bake. Get the recipe
Classic Lemon Chiffon Cake
This cake would be perfect served with berries and fresh whipped cream.
If you don't have an angel food cake pan you can try baking this in a 10" x 3" round tube pan, but beware: some of us have made a high-rising cake in a 10-inch tube, while others have seen the cake overflow. An angel food pan is your safest bet.
Reprinted with permission from King Arthur Baking Company.
Total time: 1 hr 40 mins
Yields: I 10-inch tube cake.
2 cups (240g) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 1/2 cups (298g) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (99g) vegetable oil
1 cup (227g) water
8 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon fresh, grated lemon zest
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon extract
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar or lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Have on hand an ungreased 10-inch round angel food cake pan.
Sift into a large mixing bowl the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt.
Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add (in order) the oil, water, egg yolks, vanilla, grated lemon peel, extract, and 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Mix until smooth; scrape the bowl and mix for 30 seconds more.
In a separate bowl with clean beaters, combine the egg whites and cream of tartar or 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice. Whip until very stiff.
Fold one-quarter of the beaten whites into the egg yolk mixture to lighten it up, then gradually (in four additions) pour the yolk mixture back over the remaining whites, folding gently just until blended each time. Pour the batter into the pan.
Bake the cake for 55 minutes, then increase the oven temperature to 350°F and bake for an additional 10 to 15 minutes (or an additional 5 to 10 minutes if using a tube pan), until a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Remove the cake from the oven, and cool it upside down, inverted over the neck of a bottle.
When completely cool, run a thin-bladed metal spatula between the cake and the pan, and turn the cake out onto a serving plate. Garnish as desired.
Mackensy Lunsford is the food and culture storyteller for USA TODAY Network's South region and the editor of Southern Kitchen.
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