Chocolate Chiffon Cake

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

What is Chiffon Cake?

Chiffon cake is 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. This is also why I don’t recommend a non-stick tube pan. You want the batter to grip the sides of the pan and rise high.

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.


  • Vegetable oil 
  • Eggs 
  • Water 
  • Vanilla extract
  • Cake flour
  • Dutch process cocoa powder
  • Granulated sugar
  • Baking powder
  • Table salt

How to make Chocolate Chiffon Cake:

a mixing bowl with eggs and a pile of sifted flour cocoa and sugar on parchment paper
  • Combine the oil, yolks, water and vanilla in a mixing bowl.
  • Sift the dry ingredients with 1 cup of sugar.
a bowl of chocolate cake batter and a bowl of whipped egg whites. Folding egg whites into cake batter.
  • Mix the wet ingredients with the flour mixture and whip the egg whites separately.
  • Fold the egg whites into the base in 3 increments.
a chocolate chiffon cake before and after baking.
  • Pour the batter into an ungreased angel food pan. Do not use a non-stick pan.
  • Bake until the center springs back when pressed or test with a toothpick.
an angel food cake pan upside down on a cooling rack.
  • Cool the cake upside down to prevent shrinking. Do not grease the pan or use a non-stick pan or the cake may fall out before it’s cooled.

I’ve got so many other delicious chocolate cakes for you to try: Chocolate Butter Cake, Chocolate Genoise, Black Forest Cake, German Chocolate Cake, Sacher Torte, and a Flourless Chocolate Cake.

You might also like to try Vanilla Chiffon Cake or Lemon Chiffon Cake.

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

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4.81 from 21 reviews

Chocolate Chiffon Cake Recipe

Chocolate Chiffon Cake is made with whipped eggs and oil. Oil makes the cake moist, and whipped eggs make it light. This recipe can be baked as a layer cake or in a tube pan.
Prep Time20 minutes
Bake Time45 minutes
Total Time1 hour 5 minutes
16 servings
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  • 3 1/2 oz vegetable oil (1/2 cup)
  • 6 large eggs (separated)
  • 6 oz water (3/4 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 8 oz cake flour (1 3/4 cups, see note)
  • 2 oz dutch process cocoa powder (1/2 cup)
  • 12 oz granulated sugar (1 1/2 cups, divided)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt


  • Preheat the oven to 325°F. For a traditional chiffon cake, use an ungreased 10" tube pan (not non-stick). If you want to make a layer cake line two 8”x3" cake pans with parchment paper or butter and flour the bottom of the pans only.
  • Combine the oil, egg yolks, water and vanilla in a mixer bowl. Mix on medium speed until well combined.
    3 1/2 oz vegetable oil, 6 large eggs, 6 oz water, 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • Sift the flour with the cocoa, 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
    8 oz cake flour, 2 oz dutch process cocoa powder, 12 oz granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 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.
    6 large eggs, 12 oz granulated sugar
  • 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.
  • Cool the cake completely in the pan. If your using a tube pan cool the cake upside down in the pan.

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If measuring the flour by volume use the “dip & sweep” method. That is, dip the measuring cup into the flour bin, overfill it, then sweep away the excess.


Serving: 12g | Calories: 224kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 82mg | Sodium: 237mg | Potassium: 124mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 29g | Vitamin A: 119IU | Calcium: 81mg | Iron: 1mg
Have you tried this recipe?Mention @eileen.bakingsense or tag #bakingsense!

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Recipe Rating


  1. I wonder why this recipe is supposed to yield 12 servings only compared to the vanilla version of the same measurements. Is there any particular reason?

    1. No. Servings, of course, are just an estimate based on how thick you cut the slices. I will often adjust the servings when I update a recipe.

    1. Hi, Jenny. Have you tried it yet? I have.
      The result was a higher/fluffier cake, about a centimeter and a half difference in height for a single 8″ pan. Wondering if you ended up with the same results!

  2. Hi Eileen, I want to pair this cake with your chocolate whipped cream. Does it need simple syrup? If so, is 1 batch sufficient? Thank you.

    1. Chiffon cake doesn’t need simple syrup since the oil keeps the cake moist. But you can add the syrup for another layer of flavor if you’d like. One batch of syrup should be plenty.

  3. 5 stars
    I made this cake yesterday. What a beautiful airy sponge! I did make a few tweaks for baking at high altitude and I used a non stick Bundt pan because it was what I had but it turned out perfectly. This one will definitely being going into my recipe box. I think it would be lovely with fresh whipped cream and strawberries when they’re in season.

  4. 4 stars
    I am going to try this recipe soon (probably today!), but I am curious about: 1.) the addition of baking powder, and 2.) the amount of baking powder in a cake that I have, before this, learned to be leavened by the eggs alone.

    1. The baking powder gives the cake extra lift. It’s a very wet batter and could loose some height without the help of the baking powder. You could leave it out and the cake would probably rise. But I don’t believe it would be quite as light.