mostly about food and cooking, but also the stories about the Bread and the Butterflies!

A Piece of Cake…

In Desserts, Eggs, Tea Party on June 12, 2007 at 11:28 pm

lemon chiffon cake

Chiffon: a breezy fabric perfect for the Indian summer; lemons: refreshing, and in plenty from my parents’ trees; a birthday in the family. The perfect situation for a Lemon Chiffon Cake, just not the perfect weather to be in the kitchen. Far from it. Delhi has been an oven this past week with temperatures in the mid-40s. But already there are signs of some relief with cooler easterlies blowing our way.

But that was not the case when I was baking this cake. I made the cake a day earlier so that it would be ready for the frosting on the day of the big dinner. I wanted to incorporate some of the lemon bounty and decided to make this cake which is halfway between a true sponge cake and the heavier, more buttery, regular cakes. Using a little fat, and a lot of air from well beaten egg whites you get a sponge that is light but not dry.

As I was separating the eggs a little speck of the yolk fell into the whites, but I tried to pretend I didn’t see it. That was the last egg, and I was not stepping out of the house for more in the sweltering afternoon.

egg white

Beating the egg whites with an electrical beater was a breeze, and despite the speck of yolk, it was all fine and dandy. The last time I attempted this (a very long time ago) it had been an utter disaster, with the whites getting flatter and flatter, till there was not the tiniest of air bubbles. This time I made sure I started with a completely dry mixing bowl.

The cake stuck to the dish a little bit, but nothing that could not be fixed. Maybe I should have greased the pan after all, or maybe taken the cake out sooner. I had a light cake but a small problem. The son, whose birthday cake it was, didn’t seem so enamoured about the lemony bit. To accommodate his love of chocolate I decided to cover the cake with chocolate fudge frosting, and all was well. Served with scoops of his favourite coffee flavoured ice cream, it was a perfect antidote to the hot summer evening.

lemon chiffon cake

Lemon Chiffon Cake
(adapted from Nic’s Baking Bites recipe for Lime Chiffon Cake)

2 ¼ C sifted all purpose flour
1 ¼ C sugar, powdered
1 T baking powder
½ t salt
½ C milk (I used 3%)
5 T refined peanut oil
zest and juice of 2 lemons
1 ½ t vanilla essence
6 eggs, separated

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F or gas mark 6. In a large mixing bowl combine all the dry ingredients (measuring the flour after sifting), reserving 2 tablespoons of the sugar. In another bowl mix the yolks, oil, vanilla essence, lemon juice and zest, and milk. Pour into the dry ingredients and mix till smooth.

In another completely dry bowl beat the egg whites till very foamy. Add the reserved 2 tablespoons of sugar and beat till stiff peaks form. Using a metal spoon, gently fold half of the egg whites into the cake batter, till it is evenly mixed. Fold in the remaining egg whites. Pour into a prepared 9-inch by 9-inch pan, and bake for 45-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

lemon chiffon cake

After it has cooled run a knife around the edges to loosen it from the sides and turn onto a platter. Serve drizzled with a lemon-sugar glaze or the following Chocolate Fudge Frosting over a hot cuppa. Combine with vanilla or coffee flavoured ice cream for a truly decadent dessert.

Chocolate Fudge Frosting
(adapted from Nicole’s recipe)
(covers one 9-inch by 9-inch cake)

1 C granulated sugar
¼ C Cocoa powder
2/3 C milk (I used 3%)
¼ C salted butter
1 t glycerin
1 t vanilla essence
1 ½ – 2 C icing sugar

In a pan gently heat the first three ingredients whisking till the sugar dissolves. Add the butter and cook over medium heat till the mixture comes to a boil. Boil gently for 5 minutes. Cool to room temperature (which was 35 degrees that day!), about 20 minutes. Beat in the icing sugar, glycerin, and vanilla essence, and pour over the cake. Use a knife, if needed, to help spread the frosting to the ends. Let it overflow on to the sides and allow to set (few minutes).

Tags: lemons, cake, chocolate, Lemon Chiffon Cake, tea party, cocoa

  1. Belated Happy B’day to your son. Cake looks lively and lemons from your parent’s tree. Wow!
    I have had troubles with egg whites too and then I read somewhere about the dry utensil and no specks of yolk. It has been okay ever since.
    By the way, I made gulkhand with your recipe minus citric acid crystals and it is one of the best things I ever made. It is soooooo good and I am having it spread on Italian bread and it is heaven!! Thanks again for that wonderful post. Can’t wait for next summer to make another batch.

    Giniann: We learn best from the mistakes we make.

    The citric acid crystals in the gulkand are optional – I am hoping they will help retain the beautiful colour. But if you are consuming yours at the rate that you are, you needn’t worry!

  2. I can’t believe I said cake looks ‘lively’.


  3. That looks like a delicious cake…and I’m with your son on chocolate 😀

    The cake was good – it was a small gathering and much was leftover! I’m with my son too! On chocolate, at least! 😀

  4. Chocolaty frosting on such a light cake.. Cool (Even in Delhi summer, that is).. You don’t have to say how the cake came out. One look at the photo, and we know it was light as air 🙂

    Thanks, Suganya. The frosting is made for a sugar-chocolate high!

  5. WOW! looks great!! lovely!!

    Thanks, Manasi! You should try it!

  6. The cake looks perfect! Light and beautiful. Glad it came out well, even with the speck of yolk 🙂

    So now we all know there is no need to worry about specks of yolk!

  7. Your son’s very lucky. It was only when the day was over that I realized that I hadn’t made or bought Medha a cake. Oops! She hasn’t realized it yet so this is just between us, ok?! Shhh!

    I’m sure there were other things that she didn’t even realize that there was no cake!

    I’ll keep it between us but you should make her one. She so dotes on you!

  8. wow!!!…this is so very moist and yummy …pics is excellent ..Belated happy birthday wishes ….

    I took the pictures next day, my mid-morning snack with a chilled coffee! Thanks for your wishes, Deepa.

  9. The picture talks more than your write up. Really we could see the texture of the cake clearly. Beautiful. Viji

    Thanks, Viji!

  10. Now thats what I call a coincidence!!!! 🙂 I made the same cake from Nic’s as well!!! 🙂 And it was super delicious!!! 🙂 Absolutely light and fluffy! 🙂
    Belated happy birthday to your son. 🙂

    Coffee, chocolate, vanilla, and lemons – wonderful flavours to work with! Thanks for the birthday wishes.

  11. wow, if i cud reach in and have a bite… you look like a baking pro… am gonna learn so much from your recipes… i have a phobia of baking cakes too… gotta pluck up all my courage and give it a go… especially knowing im going to get a fluffy end product like the one in the pic… thanks for the recipe…

    I’ve had my share of baking disasters…but that apology of an oven (the box kind – with no temperature control!) was to blame for a lot of those. Just follow the recipe and you should be fine.

  12. Happy Birth Day to your Son. The cake is indded “chiffony” if there is such a word.

    Thanks, Sandeepa. The son was pleased…

  13. Hey Anita,
    Now i know what i missed out on 😉 Lovely cake, and yes, i am with your son on the chocolate thing and having it with coffee ice-cream 🙂

    Welcome back! Told ya, you should’ve braved the traffic and come! Maybe next time!

  14. Hey! Beautiful baking work Anita, especially in the summer heat. That was so nice of you to help make your son’s day so special.
    Cocoa powder is readily available there? You may very well be able to compose dark chocolate by combining it with cocoa butter, sugar, and vanilla… soy lecithin is often added these days to emulsify the mixture/inhibit the oil from separating. I don’t know the main ratio(cocoa to oil)…let me play a bit and I’ll get back to you!
    Musical returns! A day for a cake! 🙂

    Cocoa powder we’ve had forever! It is most used for dusting on the foam of a cappuccino (here referred to as espresso, in the pre-Barista days). But where will I get cocoa butter….? That is also probably available nowadays – at specialty shops maybe. I know people who have started making (adding flavours, decorating, etc.) chocolates at home for exotic gift-giving. I won’t find it at the supermarket yet.

  15. awwwwww, what a great mom u are! Belated birthday wishes to ur son Anita! That cake looks perfect, can’t take my eyes off that picture… fluffy and smooth…chiffon it is!

    Thanks, Sig. It is impressive what we’ll do for our kids – even bake on days when the world feels like a virtual oven! And now it’s recorded for posterity – I won’t have to say anything – just point him to the blog when he’s older. 🙂

  16. Well, a cappuccino <em>is</em>, after all, an espresso…glorified a bit. Having milk with coffee must be the default in Delhi? So much nicer…
    There are cheaper chocolates that substitute coconut oil for the cocoa butter; any saturated fat would work, I’d think, but cocoa butter has its own flavour…it appears here in lotions too. Very good for diminishing stretch-marks.

    Yes, espresso with foamed milk, the way I, and most of my country folk, like it. With sugar.

    Cocoa butter has got to be the better additive to chocolate – I’ve heard about its cosmetic use. You should have told me about the stretch-mark diminishing thing sooner… 🙂 Others to take note.

  17. u brought me an image of yash chopras’s chiffon sarees with ur delicate cake. yum!!!!

    Ooooh, sheer delight! 😉

  18. With sugar. Oh yes… I had a black cappuccino 🙂 with no sugar once- my first time! It nearly killed me…

    At least you have a valid excuse for your stretch-marks. Mine were from 7 years of creamed soups, home-made pizza, and deep-fried things… perhaps? 🙂

  19. My kind of cake – looks mouthwatering!

    Hi, Patricia. I hear ya – buttery chocolate and sugar on a light sponge – what’s to not like!

  20. Anita, what are stretch marks and why do you have them?

    You want all the marks, eh? There are some marks where it is best not to be competitive – so it is a good thing if you didn’t score here! 🙂

  21. Your cake is beautiful and looks delicious. I will definitely give this recipe a try.

    Thanks for stopping by, Betty!

  22. Somehow I missed this one before. Better late than never. Wish him success for the year to come. I love the grain of the cake. I don’t use eggs so my cakes turn out slightly heavier.

    Thanks, Anjali. Why don’t you use eggs? If it is because of the smell, use just the whites. This was super light – there were twice as many eggs as I usually put in my regular cake.

  23. Well i prepared it but didn’t like the taste though it looked very light.

    You didn’t like the taste…of what? The cake..the chocolate? Too eggy for you? Turned out fine and dandy for me…a nice spongy lemony cake with an icing to die for! IMO, anyway! 😉

  24. Hi Anita,
    I’ve been a regular at your blog from a long time now,and your recipes are simply great. I have tried a lot of things…pizza,kahwa,pita to name a few. I tried your chocolate fudge frosting today and we’ve been licking our fingers since. The only addition I did to your recipe was a tsp of coffee,and it was worth it.
    You are doing a great job….keep up the good work!!

  25. myself karthik ,chef in lsg skychef hyd…
    good recipe but pls can u give me diet free suger chiffon cake recipe………

  26. […] is the month of birthdays at my house. For my son’s birthday I made the Lemon Chiffon Cake that was every bit as light as the name suggests. It was topped by a decadent chocolate fudge icing […]

  27. can u pls send me the receipe of vegetarian chiffon cake,thnks

  28. […] Lemon chiffon cake By mandira Leave a Comment Categories: cakes Tags: chiffon, lemon, light I became an ardent fan of Anita’s blog, A Mad Tea Party after we tried her zamodod at home some time back. We’ve made the zamodod a hundred times since then.I tried her chiffon cake a few weekends back. She’s adapted her recipe from Bakign bites but I followed her recipe exactly, except for the fact that I halved it. A 6 egg cake seemed too big for my small family. You can read her original here. […]

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