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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.

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 might also like these other sponge cake recipes: Angel Food Cake, Vanilla Genoise, Peach Melba Cake.

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.

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  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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ashok

Thursday 17th of December 2020

Guys, Thanks For sharing this Great Recipe. My Family Loved it. I am definitely sharing this recipe and this website with my friend. Hope they also love it. Thank you again for sharing such a great recipe.

Steph

Monday 28th of September 2020

Overall a great recipe! I was actually quite surprised by how fluffy the batter was and the cake in general. It's pretty interesting that there are two leavening agents used in this recipe - fluffed-up egg white as well as the baking powder.

I'm also not sure why, but I my cake had a slightly bitter taste on the top of the cake that I presume is due to the tablespoon of baking powder. It wasn't apparent within the cake, however, it was distasteful enough to me that I had to cut off the tops of my cakes. I'll most likely adjust the baking powder next time to perhaps 2 teaspoons or so. Otherwise, a great recipe and very easy too!

Thank you for this :)

Janice

Saturday 5th of September 2020

Can i use this recipe for 10x10x2 square pan? The first time i made a chiffon cake it was okay then the 2nd time i tried adding 1 egg because the recipe i followed says 6 large eggs but we only have small eggs, the upper part is kinda sticky, some parts of the cake are dry and other parts are moist. I just want my chiffoncake to be moist and not dry

Eileen Gray

Sunday 6th of September 2020

Have you been using this recipe or another one? Regarding the eggs, 6 large eggs would weigh about 10.5 oz (without shell). I'm not sure of the weight of a small egg, but use enough that you have 10.5 oz total. Baking in a 10" square pan should be fine. Don't fill the pan more than about 2/3 full since it won't bake from the center as it does in a tube pan. As far has the cake having dry spots, moist spots and sticky spots- that sounds like a mixing problem.

Nina Sarah

Friday 4th of September 2020

Hello, I baked the cake in a 12x12x2 inch rectangular pan for 33 minutes, sometimes they came out dry and i think it's because I over baked them. Does the height of the batter in the pan changes the baking time? Thank you.

Eileen Gray

Friday 4th of September 2020

Yes, the height of the batter and the shape of the pan can make a big difference. Also, baking times are always just an estimate. How quickly the cake bakes can be affected by the material, weight and color of the pan, by the room temp and by the accuracy of your oven. Use the time listed in the recipe as a guideline but go more by the touch and toothpick test.

Shiela

Thursday 20th of August 2020

Hello Can I use 3- 6 inch pan for this recipe?

Eileen Gray

Thursday 20th of August 2020

Yes, you might have some extra better which you can use to make cupcakes.