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Lemon Chiffon Cake

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close up shot of a cake on a cake stand with a slice missing
Our lemon chiffon cake is a light, airy cake that is drizzled with a sweet glaze to create a dreamy dessert. 
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Table of Contents
  1. Lemon Chiffon Cake Ingredients
  2. How to Make This Lemon Chiffon Cake Recipe
  3. How To Serve
  4. Storage
  5. More Recipes You’ll Love
  6. JUMP TO RECIPE

 Lemon chiffon cake is a light and fluffy dessert that’s perfect for spring. This recipe is simple to make, and the results are impressive; I’m certain you’ll love the tangy lemon flavor and soft texture of this divine cake. 

Lemon is such a refreshing flavor, and we have plenty of ways to enjoy this citrusy taste. You can’t go wrong with either our lemon fluff or lemon lasagna recipes. 

close up shot of a cake on a cake stand with a slice missing

Lemon Chiffon Cake Ingredients

Lemon Chiffon Cake raw ingredients that are labeled

 You’ll need: 

For the Cake

  • 1 box lemon cake mix
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • Zest of one lemon (1 to 2 teaspoons)
  • 7 large eggs, separated, room temperature
  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar

For the Glaze

  • ¾ cup powdered sugar
  • ⅛ teaspoon lemon oil
  • 3 tablespoons cream

SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS

LEMON: Lemon extract or lemon juice can be substituted for lemon oil, but we love lemon oil for its potent and delicious flavor. Be sure to use food-grade lemon oil. 

CITRUS: This dreamy cake could just as easily be made using other citrus fruits such as lime or orange. Just substitute the equivalent extract and zest. If you can’t find an equivalent flavored cake mix, you could substitute white cake mix and increase your extract and zest a bit to compensate. 

How to Make This Lemon Chiffon Cake Recipe

STEP ONE: Preheat the oven to 325°F.

STEP TWO: In a medium bowl, beat together cake mix, oil, buttermilk, lemon zest, and egg yolks.

cake batter ingredients being whisked together in a bowl

STEP THREE: In the large bowl of a stand mixer (or a large mixing bowl and a hand mixer), whisk the egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form (about 5 minutes).

Our Recipe Developer Says

A chiffon cake is traditionally made with a high proportion of eggs. Whisking the egg whites to soft peaks yields a combination of an angel food sort of cake and a traditional sponge cake.

eggs whites and cream of tartar whisked in a bowl

STEP FOUR: Use a rubber spatula to fold the whipped egg whites (½ at a time) into the cake batter. 

egg whites being folded into the cake batter

STEP FIVE: Pour batter into an ungreased 10-inch tube pan. Do not grease the pan, as the batter needs to cling to the pan in order to climb and stay fluffy. 

PRO TIP:

A chiffon cake rises tall in an ungreased tube pan or bundt pan. Use this type of cake pan, so the cake cooks evenly. Leaving the pan ungreased allows the batter to cling to the center tube and the sides to make that nice puffy cake.

STEP SIX: Bake approximately 50 minutes, or until a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out with just a few crumbs, and the cake top springs back when pressed gently. 

before and after cake is baked in a cake pan

STEP SEVEN: Cool cake UPSIDE DOWN. Most tube pans have little metal “feet” on the top edge of the pan for standing the pan upside down. Cool completely. The cake will not fall from the pan as long as you do not grease the pan. 

PRO TIP:

You can also place the pan on the neck of a wine bottle to cool upside down if your pan doesn’t have feet to stand it on.

STEP EIGHT: Loosen the sides and center of the cake from the pan. Turn the cake out onto a serving plate. 

STEP NINE: Whisk together the powdered sugar, lemon oil, and cream until a smooth glaze forms. Drizzle the glaze over the cake and spread it a bit over the sides and top of the cake. Let the glaze drizzle down over the sides of the cake also.

glaze being drizzled on top of a cake

How To Serve

This delightful cake is light as a cloud, and you will love the freshness of the bright citrus flavors. Serve on its own or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a bit of whipped cream on top for an extra indulgent treat. 

Storage

IN THE FRIDGE: Store this lemon cake covered on the counter for up to 5 days. 

IN THE FREEZER: Lemon chiffon cake can be stored in the freezer for up to three months.

close up shot of a slice of cake on a spatula in front of a cake on a cake stand

A slice of moist lemon chiffon cake sounds like the perfect way to end a meal or have as a snack. It’s light, fluffy, and lemony, basically everything you could want in a dessert!

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Can I freeze chiffon cake?

You can freeze this lemon chiffon cake for up to three months in the freezer as long as it is well-wrapped and stored in an airtight container. 

Why is my chiffon cake dry?

The cake may come out dry if you overbeat your eggs and if you bake the cake for too long. 

Why do chiffon cakes crack on the top?

If your oven is too hot, then the outside of the cake will bake much faster than the inside. This causes a crust to form on the outside of the cake, and when the inside of the cake continues to cook and rise, the outside crust will crack.

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close up shot of a cake on a cake stand with a slice missing

Lemon Chiffon Cake

5 from 1 vote
Our lemon chiffon cake is a light, airy cake that is drizzled with a sweet glaze to create a dreamy dessert. 
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 12

Ingredients
  

For the Cake

  • 1 box lemon cake mix
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • 1 lemon zest, 1 to 2 teaspoons
  • 7 large eggs separated, room temperature
  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar

For the Glaze

  • ¾ cup powdered sugar
  • teaspoon lemon oil
  • 3 tablespoons cream

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 325°F.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, beat together cake mix, oil, buttermilk, lemon zest, and egg yolks.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large mixing bowl), whisk the egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form (about 5 minutes).
  • Use a spatula to fold the egg whites (½ at a time) into the batter.
  • Pour batter into a 10-inch tube pan. Do not grease the pan, as the batter needs to cling to the pan in order to climb and stay fluffy.
  • Bake approximately 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out with just a few crumbs, and the cake springs back when pressed gently.
  • Cool UPSIDE DOWN. Most tube pans have little metal “feet” on the top of the pan for standing the cake upside down. Cool completely. The cake will not fall from the pan as long as you do not grease the pan.
  • Loosen the sides and center of the cake from the pan. Turn the cake out onto a serving platter.
  • Whisk together the powdered sugar, lemon oil, and cream until a smooth glaze forms. Drizzle the glaze over the cake and spread it a bit over the top and sides. Let the glaze drizzle down over the sides as well.

Notes

  • A chiffon cake is traditionally made with a high proportion of eggs. Whisking the egg whites to soft peaks yields a combination of an angel food sort of cake and a traditional sponge cake.
  • A chiffon cake rises tall in an ungreased tube pan or bundt pan. Use this type of cake pan, so the cake cooks evenly. Leaving the pan ungreased allows the batter to cling to the center tube and the sides to make that nice puffy cake.
  • You can also place the pan on the neck of a wine bottle to cool upside down if your pan doesn’t have feet to stand it on.

Nutrition

Calories: 247kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 102mg | Sodium: 367mg | Potassium: 100mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 27g | Vitamin A: 218IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 125mg | Iron: 1mg
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