Invented in the late 1920s, the Chiffon cake became wildly popular after the public release of the recipe in 1948 in “Better Homes and Gardens” magazine. Hundreds of variations on the recipe sprang up all over the United States, many in response to contests sponsored by General Mills.The cake owes its popularity to its simplified mixing method and its use of baking powder and vegetable oil, which insure its reliability and light, airy texture. It also uses equal quantities of eggs yolks and whites, which makes it practical and economical. It remains a favorite dessert, whether served simply with fresh fruit or made elaborate with chocolate and whipped cream.

Things You'll Need

How to Make a Chiffon Cake

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Have all ingredients at room temperature.

Whisk together, in a mixing bowl, the flour, baking powder, 1 1/4 cup sugar, and the salt. Add oil, water, egg yolks, vanilla and rind to dry ingredients. Whisk until mixture is smooth.

Beat egg whites and cream of tartar to soft peaks in a large mixing bowl. Add 1/3 cup sugar gradually while beating whites, to create a meringue with stiff peaks.

Pour the egg and flour mixture, one third at a time, carefully over the meringue. Fold or whisk in gently after each addition until mixture is smooth.

Pour batter into ungreased 10 inch tube pan. Bake cake at 325° for 55 minutes. Increase heat to 350° and continue to bake 10 to 15 minutes longer.

Remove cake from oven. Invert pan and let cool for about an hour.


  • The cake can be baked in a 13 by 9 inch pan at 350° for 50 to 55 minutes.

  • Vary flavorings by using different rinds and extracts. Omit rind and add 1/3 cup cocoa with dry ingredients.

  • Dust with confectioner’s sugar or glaze with a simple mixture of confectioner’s sugar and juice or milk.