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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


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


  • 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.


  • 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.