Thursday, February 10, 2011

coffee chiffon cake

I've been wanting to try making a chiffon cake for a while now, so when we found out it was our our friend K's birthday last week, I thought it would be the perfect time to try making one.  I decided to try this recipe for coffee chiffon cake.

It took me three tries to get a decent chiffon cake.  The recipe called for an angel food cake tube pan, but I wanted to make a layer cake with two 8" pans instead.  I knew that I'd have to change the baking time, but I just didn't know by how much.  I ended up underestimating the baking time for my first batch - I had never made chiffon cake before and didn't know what to look for to tell if it was done.  But the toothpick came out clean so I assumed it was done!  I was wrong.  A few minutes after being taken out of the oven, my cakes started deflating ... and pulling away from the sides of the pan ... and eventually collapsed into a sad, lumpy mess.

So I made a second batch.  This time I almost doubled the baking time, still not knowing how to tell if it was done or not.  But when I pulled it out of the oven, it was already collapsed!  What was I doing wrong?

After a couple of searches on the internet (thanks Google!) I discovered that I was preparing the pans wrong.  Angel food and chiffon cakes rely on the whipped egg whites for their height, and if you grease the pans (which I was doing, like I normally do for regular cakes), the cake has nothing to grip onto for stability while rising.  And so it will collapse.  Aha!

So I had to make a third batch.  This time I didn't grease the pans at all, but still kept a piece of parchment paper on the bottom of the pan.  When I took the cakes out of the oven, I set them upside-down to cool (as Google instructed me to do), to help keep the cakes from deflating.  After they had cooled, I turned them right-side-up and was happy to see that they didn't deflate at all!  But ... as soon as I used my offset spatula to release the edges of the cake from the cake pans, they deflated.  But only a little bit.  So I was still happy.

To go with the lightness of the chiffon cake, I filled it and covered it with cream that I whipped up with cocoa powder and sugar.  Then I dusted the top with more cocoa powder, and decorated it with some whole coffee beans.  Hope you enjoyed it K and C!


  1. Such a lovelly cake!!!Loved...


  2. Oh it looks so yummy...
    sometimes it is really hard to adjust the recipe to make it fit at our specific baking pan, but as we can see you did a great baking job:)

  3. hi dear, how big is your pan and do you mind sharing how u did the frosting?

    Cause i really wanna try this for my anniversary :D

    Here's my email:

  4. @genevieve - i used two 8" pans. also the frosting is just whipped cream with a little sugar and cocoa powder, and then i dusted the top with more cocoa powder. let me know how it turns out!

  5. Hi Michele,

    Thank you for such an inspiring blog. I've been looking for a chiffon cake recipe that uses 8" cake pan instead of angel food pan. Would you mind sharing the tempurature and time you'd used for this recipe. Thank you :)

  6. @Jen - i just checked my notes and i had written that i ended up baking it at 350F for 25-30 minutes. good thing i wrote it down because i wouldn't have remembered! let me know how it turns out! :)

  7. Hi, your cake looks so tempting. I have done many version of chiffon but used a tube pan. Would love to try with 8in pan but i fell off the pan as I cooled it and also was sticky on the top. Would you have any idea what went wrong. Thank you. You can email me