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Vanilla Chiffon Cake

Vanilla Chiffon Cake is made with whipped eggs and oil. Oil makes the chiffon cake moist and tender, and whipped eggs make it super-light. This recipe can be baked as a layer cake or in a tube pan.

A vanilla chiffon cake on a cake stand being sprinkled with sugar

I think “chiffon” is a great word. Not only is it a pretty sounding word, it also conjures up images of softness, airiness and luxury, like the namesake fabric.

Those are all lovely traits for a cake, no? Who doesn’t want a cake that is soft, airy and luxurious?

a four layer strawberry and cream cake on a glass cake stand
Strawberry Tall Cake

What is Chiffon Cake?

What makes chiffon cake unique is the fact that it’s sort-of a cross between a rich buttery cake and an airy sponge cake. It’s got the best of both worlds.

The lightness comes from first whipping up the yolks with the other ingredients and then folding in whipped egg whites. There’s also a generous dose of baking powder in the batter to help expand all those air bubbles.

When baked in an ungreased tube pan, this cake puffs up super-high and is light as a cloud.

The cake is made with oil and water in the batter, which help create the soft crumb in the cake. The oil not only adds moisture to the cake, but the oil coats the flour which prevents gluten formation. So this cake is very, very tender.

Oil stays liquid when chilled, so a chiffon cake will stay soft, even when refrigerated.

That means this is the perfect base for cakes that require refrigeration. One of my favorite ways to use vanilla chiffon cake is to make a spectacular cream-filled Strawberry Tall Cake. You could also fill this cake with light and airy Fresh Strawberry Mousse.

Watch the recipe video to see exactly how to make Vanilla Chiffon Cake:

a bowl of cake batter and an angel food cake pan
Traditionally, the cake is baked in an ungreased Angel Food Cake pan.

FAQs about Vanilla Chiffon Cake:

What type of baking pan should I use for vanilla chiffon cake?

Chiffon cakes are traditionally baked in an angel food cake pan. The batter can also be baked in two 8″ or 9″ round pans to make a layer cake. This recipe can also be baked into a dozen cupcakes (use cupcake liners).

How do I cool the chiffon cake?

If the cake is baked in a tube pan, treat it like an angel food cake and cool it upside down. Cool layer cakes in the pans.

Why did my Chiffon Cake collapse?

If you baked the cake in a tube pan and greased the pan the cake can sink. If you took the cake out of the pan before it was completely cooled, or if you didn’t cool it upside down, the cake could sink. If you overwhip the eggs your cake won’t rise as high as it could.

How long does Vanilla Chiffon Cake stay fresh?

A chiffon cake will stay fresh at room temperature (if it doesn’t have a filling) for 3-4 days.

How do I store Chiffon Cake?

A cake without filling can be stored at room temperature for 3-4 days. If the cake has a perishable filling, it should be refrigerated.

Cake Chiffon Cake be refrigerated?

Yes, because it’s made with oil instead of butter, chiffon cake will be soft even if refrigerated.

Can Chiffon Cake be frozen?

Yes, wrap the cake in two layers of plastic wrap and freeze for up to 3 months. You can also freeze individually wrapped slices. Defrost in the wrapping at room temperature.

a slice of vanilla chiffon cake on a plate

You also should try my Lemon Chiffon cake and Chocolate Chiffon cake recipes.

I have so many cake recipe for you to try. Vanilla Buttermilk Cake, White Cake, Vanilla Butter Cake, Chocolate Butter Cake, Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake, Genoise sponge cake, Angel Food Cake and Chocolate Genoise.

If you love this recipe as much as I do, I’d really appreciate a 5-star review.

Vanilla Chiffon Cake

Vanilla Chiffon Cake

Yield: 12 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Bake Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

Chiffon cakes are made with whipped eggs and oil. Oil makes the chiffon cake moist, and whipped eggs make it light. This recipe can be baked as a layer cake or in a tube pan.


  • ½ cup (3.5 oz, 105g) vegetable oil
  • 6 large eggs, separated
  • ¾ cup (6 oz, 180 ml) water
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 ¼ cups (10 oz, 280 g) cake flour
  • 1 ½ cups (12 oz, 336g) granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. For a traditional chiffon cake, use an ungreased 10" tube pan. If you want to make a layer cake line two 8” cake pans with parchment paper or butter and flour the bottom of the pans only.
  2. Combine the oil, egg yolks, water and vanilla in a mixer bowl. Mix on medium speed until well combined.
  3. Sift the flour with 1 cup of the sugar, the baking powder and salt. With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients to yolk mixture. Whip on high speed for 1 minute, then set aside
  4. Whip the egg whites on medium speed to soft peak. Gradually add the remaining ½ cup sugar, increase the speed to medium high and whip to full peak. Fold the whites into the yolk mixture in three increments.
  5. If making a layer cake, divide the batter between the two pans. If you're using a tube pan, pour all the batter into the pan. Bake until the middle of the cake springs back with lightly pressed, 30-35 minutes for the layers or about 50-60 minutes for the tube pan.
  6. Cool the cake completely in the pan.

Did you make this recipe?

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Thursday 27th of April 2023

Could I sub gluten-free flour for this recipe?

Eileen Gray

Thursday 27th of April 2023

I would think a commercial gluten free flour would work.


Saturday 14th of January 2023

Hello! I have these baking strips to put around the cake pans to prevent the domes from forming. Would I be able to use them to get even layers or would you not recommend them?

Thank you.

Eileen Gray

Sunday 15th of January 2023

You can use the cake strips. They do work to make the cake bake more level.


Sunday 11th of December 2022

Can I use two 9 inch x 2 inch pans? These are all the pans I have. Would the batter over flow?

Eileen Gray

Sunday 11th of December 2022

I think you'd be pushing it with 2" tall pans. I would divide the batter in 3. Bake the first two cakes. Then when the cakes come out of the oven reuse one of the pans for a third layer.


Sunday 20th of November 2022

Could I use 4”,6” and 8” pans to make a tiered cake?

Eileen Gray

Monday 21st of November 2022

Yes. Since this recipe fills two 8"x3" pans, you probably want to double the recipe to fill all three pans.

Sue C.

Sunday 24th of April 2022

If I would want to make this a lemon chiffon cake, how would you suggest doing that; maybe with limoncello? Also, all I have is 8x2 pans, is that deep enough?

Eileen Gray

Monday 25th of April 2022

To flavor the cake with lemon, use finely grated lemon zest and lemon extract. You can use 8"x2" pans but don't fill them more than half way.

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