Lemon Chiffon Cake

 

close up shot of Lemon Chiffon Cake on a cake stand
Lemon chiffon cake is light, fluffy, and lemony. This dreamy dessert is drizzled with a delicious lemon glaze to create an impressive citrus cake.
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Table of Contents
  1. Lemon Chiffon Cake Ingredients
  2. Substitutions and Additions
  3. How to Make This Lemon Chiffon Cake Recipe
  4. How to Serve
  5. Storage
  6. Frequently Asked Questions
  7. More Recipes You’ll Love
  8. JUMP TO RECIPE

Lemon chiffon cake is a dreamy dessert that’s drizzled with a delicious lemon glaze. This light and airy cake is a citrusy treat that is bound to brighten up your day. 

If you love lemony desserts you’ll want to make Lemon Cheesecake, Lemon Crinkle Cookies, or Lemon Lush.

Lemon Chiffon Cake on a cake stand

Lemon Chiffon Cake Ingredients

Lemon Chiffon Cake raw ingredients that are labeled

You will need:

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
  • 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 mixing bowl, beat together cake mix, oil, buttermilk, lemon zest, and egg yolks.

cake mix, oil, buttermilk, lemon zest and egg yolk mixed together in a bowl

STEP THREE: 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).

PRO TIP: 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.

egg white and cream of tartar whisked in a bowl

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

egg whites being folded into the cake batter in a bowl

STEP FIVE: 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.

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 for 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.

cake batter in a baking pan and then baked

STEP SEVEN: 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.

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 platter.

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 top and sides. Let the glaze drizzle down over the sides as well.

glaze drizzled on top of the cake

How to Serve

Serve this delightfully delicate citrus cake all on its own or enjoy it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, a spoonful of whipped cream on top, or maybe a handful of fresh berries. Tender and fluffy, you’ll want to serve this lemon chiffon cake at showers, birthday parties, or gatherings with friends and family.

Storage

ON THE COUNTER: 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.

a piece of Lemon Chiffon Cake on a spoon and Lemon Chiffon Cake on a cake stand

Lemon chiffon cake is an impressive dessert with incredible lemon flavor. Light, fluffy, and lemony, friends and family will gush over the tart freshness of this tender cake. A summer favorite, you can enjoy a slice of this bright and sunny cake all year long. 

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.

More Recipes You’ll Love

close up shot of Lemon Chiffon Cake on a cake stand

Lemon Chiffon Cake

Lemon chiffon cake is light, fluffy, and lemony. This dreamy dessert is drizzled with a delicious lemon glaze to create an impressive citrus cake.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12

Ingredients
  

For the Cake

  • 1 lemon cake mix
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • 1 to 2 teaspoon lemon zest (one lemon)
  • 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.

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