I’ve been making this cake for 10 years now and I’ve only had one fail, Haewon told me when she gave me a copy of this tried-and-true Martha Stewart recipe for lemon chiffon cake. Haewon’s version was so fluffy and light–it was the cake for me. Even after I stored mine in the fridge overnight, it did not harden.
You’ll need a tube pan for this, but I got away with an antique bundt pan that I bought for 50 cents at an estate sale and skipped step 6 below. If you’re using a bundt pan, make sure you invert it right away on a smaller bowl as soon as you take it out from the oven. (I thought that the air will still circulate with a bowl rather than inverting and suffocating it onto a plate.) It will only take a few seconds before it collapses and you want to avoid that as much as possible.
My cake did stick on the bottom a bit because of the old pan. The recipe does not call to butter or flour it and I didn’t want to experiment more by lining it with parchment paper. I had to make a more gentle effort to remove the cake from the pan. I could not make a prettier slice than this photo, but hey, it still tasted like a lemon chiffon cake!
3/4 cup non-self-rising cake flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup plus 1 tbsp white sugar
3 large eggs, separated
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp grated lemon zest, from about 4 lemons
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
1. Heat oven to 325º and prepare an ungreased 7-inch tube pan. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, salt, and 3/4 cup granulated sugar. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together egg yolks, vegetable oil, 1/3 cup water, lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla. Add to the reserved dry ingredients and beat until smooth.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat egg whites on medium speed until foamy. Add cream of tartar and beat on high speed until soft peaks form, about 1 minute. Gradually add remaining tablespoon of sugar and beat on high speed until stiff peaks form, about 2 minutes.
4. Fold egg-white mixture into the batter. Start by folding in 1/3, then fold in the remaining 2/3. Mix a little bit to combine. Pour batter into pan. Using a spatula, smooth the top.
5. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean and the cake is golden, about 45 minutes.
6. Remove cake from oven; invert the pan over a glass soda bottle for 2 hours to cool. Turn cake right-side up. Run a table knife all the way down between cake and pan; invert again, and remove cake. Dust cake with confectioners’ sugar before serving.
Haewon bakes at Purplepops