Chiffon Magic: Mastering the Art of Orange Chiffon Cake!

Orange Chiffon Cake

This Orange Chiffon Cake is an ethereally light delight! Chiffon cakes are a spectacular cake with a light sponge texture. This neverfail chiffon cake uses orange zest and orange juice for a beautiful, naturally flavoured cake. The cake is then filled and covered with Chantilly cream. I called her Alani. This is a pushy recipe Dear Reader if you love light, sponge cakes.

Orange Chiffon Cake

Chiffon cakes are such beautiful version of sponge cakes. Once you've invested in a chiffon cake tin (they're inexpensive, buy them online or from Asian grocery stores) then it's so easy to turn out an array of beautiful chiffon cakes. The key to a classic chiffon cake is the non stick tube tin that comes in two parts. The batter for a chiffon cake is a fluffy batter leavened with egg whites and baking powder and is not a runny batter and so it doesn't sink through the gaps with the two parts.

Chiffon cakes are as spectacular uniced as iced. But for this orange chiffon cake I wanted to give it a whipped Chantilly vanilla cream frosting between layers and on top. The cream balances the tangy lightness of the cake. However if you don't want to ice it with whipped cream if you just want to keep it at room temperature it is still perfect without the cream.

Orange Chiffon Cake

I made this chiffon cake using oranges from Valentina's garden and eggs from her chickens. I love using citrus in cakes as it gives rich cakes a lightness. Chiffon cakes come in myriad flavours. Other Chiffon Cake Recipes: Black Sesame Chiffon Cake, Rainbow Chiffon Cake, Lemon Chiffon Cake, Pandan Panda Chiffon Cake, Blood Orange Chiffon Cake, Coconut Chiffon Cake, Strawberry & Rose Chiffon Cake and Boba Chiffon Cake. This Neopolitan Chiffon Cake is also made without a tube tin as is this Funfetti Chiffon Cake and Guava Chiffon Cake.

Speaking of oranges and orange, we've finally been able to do some renovations on our upstairs bedroom. The bedroom is one of the reasons why we bought this house. It's enormous with high ceilings and looks out onto the garden below. There were some things that really bothered me about it though and I discovered one of those things one night. I went outside to call Milo in and looked up at the bedroom.

You could see pretty much entirely into the bedroom even with the blinds!

Orange Chiffon Cake

I'm convinced the lady that lived here before was a bit of an exhibitionist. There are 16 (yes 16 windows!) in the bedroom and all but one of them were clear so that you definitely feel like are on show when you are in the bedroom. We frosted over a lot of these but didn't realise that the Roman blinds were actually very see through especially at night.

We asked our decorator Kathy what we should do with the curtains. I love colour and we have a teal velvet bedhead and a huge leopard print rug and painting. Kathy suggested burnt orange velvet curtains. "Wow, that's bold," I said to Mr NQN showing him her suggestion. I'm terrible at trying to envisage what things will look like so we hunted down some beautiful wool velvet curtains and ordered them. They promised us that they were very opaque and we put them up. Once I steamed them to get all of the wrinkles out they were gorgeous. I never would have thought to go to burnt orange but they fit perfectly. And most importantly, you cannot see through them at night whatsoever!

So tell me Dear Reader, do you like colour in your house or do you prefer a neutral palette? Do you ever make chiffon cakes? And are you good at envisaging designs or colours?

Orange Chiffon Cake

Orange Chiffon Cake

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An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott

Preparation time: 45 minutes

Cooking time: 1 hour

  • 1.5 cups/225g/8ozs. cake flour*, sifted twice see note
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 2/3 cups/250g/8.8ozs caster or superfine sugar
  • 180ml/6flozs. orange juice
  • 100ml/3.5flozs. oil
  • 110g/3.9ozs egg yolks (around 6 yolks)
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated orange zest (from 2 oranges)
  • 250g/8.8ozs egg whites (around 6 large egg whites)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/4 cup/55g/2ozs. caster or superfine sugar

For Cream

  • 600g/21flozs cream
  • 3 tablespoons caster or superfine sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

You will need a chiffon tin to make this cake. This is a non stick cake tin in two parts with a tub in the centre.

Cake flour can be bought at the supermarket. You can also make it at home. To make 1 cup/150g/5.2ozs of cake flour replace 2 tablespoons of plain all purpose flour with cornflour/fine cornstarch and whisk well. I usually mix up a big batch of this and keep it in a container ready for baking cakes as it produces a softer texture.

Step 1 - Preheat oven to 170C/340F and have a 23cm/9inch chiffon cake tin ready (do not grease and it must not be a non stick tin). Also it's important that the whisk and bowl are very clean and have no traces of fat on them.

Step 2 - Whisk the cake flour, baking powder and sugar in a large bowl together until well combined. In a jug whisk the juice, oil and egg yolks together until emulsified. Make a well in the centre of the flour and gradually add the oil mixture in stirring with a spatula so that there are no lumps. Add the zest, and mix until distributed.

Orange Chiffon Cake

Step 3 - Whisk the egg whites and cream of tartar until you get soft peaks. Add the1/4 cup of sugar in a stream and whisk until firm peaks form. In four lots, gently fold the meringue mixture into the main batter trying not to deflate the mixture. Make sure that the egg whites are incorporated well and there are no streaks.

Orange Chiffon Cake

Step 4 - Spoon into the tin leaving 2cm or 3/4 an inch space from the top. Smooth over with an angled spatula. Bake for 50-55 minutes or until the top springs back when touched.

Orange Chiffon Cake
Slicing cake in 3 horizontally

Step 5 - As soon as the cake is ready, immediately turn it over onto a plate and allow to cool upside down until it is completely cooled. Run a thin knife along the sides of the cake tin and then run it across the top to dislodge it from the tin (you can also use dental floss for the top). Place on a cake disc or a serving plate.

Orange Chiffon Cake
Crumb coat

Step 6 - Chill the mixer bowl, beater and an angled spatula in the fridge. Whisk the cream, sugar and vanilla until you get stiff peaks that can hold their shape. Take 1/3 of this cream and store in the fridge. Then cut the cake in three parts horizontally. Spread each cut layer with cream and place another layer on top. Use the rest of this cream to cover the cake-this will be a crumb coat to catch the crumbs, you will then cover the cake again with the remaining cream. Using the angled spatula spread the remaining third of the whipped cream over the cake. Cover and store the cake in the fridge.

Orange Chiffon Cake

Orange Chiffon Cake

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