chiffon cakes

Having leftover ground almonds in the pantry from my weekly confections of financier (, I decided to make a Chocolate Chip-Almond Chiffon Cake using the July 26th recipe in Williams Sonoma® Dessert of the Day:


Chiffon cakes use oil instead of butter, so it is important to use canola or sunflower oil for a more neutral taste in the cake.  I used vegetable oil once and it just didn’t taste quite right.  Chiffon cake is also set apart by egg whites beat with cream of tartar being mixed in at the end to add lightness to the batter and help it rise.  For this cake, the base batter was too heavy.  With the almonds and the mini chocolate chips, as thorough as I tried to mix the peaked egg whites into the batter, it just didn’t seem to make things fluffier.  In the end, though, the batter baked quite nicely.  For the most part, it was moist but the end parts of it was quite crumbly.  This was likely due to the egg whites either not being enough in quantity or mixed in enough, so the crumble came from it being too dry.

What if there aren’t any chunky fillings in the batter?  Like with this Lemon Chiffon Cake by Martha Stewart:


This is much lighter and softer than a pound cake but not as airy as an angel food cake.  It uses roughly the same egg to batter ratio as the Williams Sonoma one but it doesn’t have the heavy filling to balance out.  That is why I think the above recipe could have used an extra egg or two.

This is Martha Stewart’s Banana Chiffon cake:


It’s got more egg in the batter and I think that is what really helped to balance the extra weight from the mashed banana in the batter.  This didn’t crumble like the chocolate chip one after it baked.  It was not as light as the lemon chiffon cake but it was just as moist and delicious.

To round things out, I finished off this weeks’ confection with this Kahlua Chocolate Chiffon Cake from Food Network®:


The cake looks marbled from the intertwining of the base batter and the parts that mixed with the peak egg whites.  This had a very light chocolate flavor from 3 Tbsp of cocoa powder enhanced with 2 Tbsp of Kahlua.  The cake was so moist and flavorful that I opted to not make the port wine and raspberry sauce the recipe called.  It’s a great snacking or dessert cake all on its own.

These cakes kept well for several days longer after baking than other bundt cakes or cupcakes.  This is most likely due to the oil in the batter keeping it moist at room temperature (which butter cannot).  So, it seems like a lot to eat at first but they lasted – great treats this week!

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