Orange Chiffon Cake Recipe

Chiffon cake might look a bit like angel food — what with all those glorious spongy bubbles in its crumb. However, chiffon cake has one thing that angel food cake does not have, and that would be egg yolks. Unlike angel food, chiffon, and particularly this recipe for orange chiffon, which comes to us from recipe developer Jennine Bryant of The Marshside Pantry, is positively rich with egg yolks. And that lends a "beautiful texture," one that's "so light and spongy, it almost feels like eating a cloud," Bryant says. 

"It's great both as an every day cake to have alongside a coffee, or it can easily be dressed up to become a very pretty cake for special occasions," according to Bryant. And as an extra added bonus, it's fairly light on both sugar and fat, which means that it "isn't overpoweringly sweet — it's just so delicate and delicious." 

Gather the ingredients for orange chiffon cake

To get started making this delicious orange chiffon cake, let's gather the ingredients. First, you will need six large eggs that you will need to separate, plus another egg white (so a total of 7 eggs). You'll also need ¾ cup freshly squeezed orange juice and 1 ½ tablespoons of orange zest for that authentic orange flavor, both of which Bryant walks us through. Bryant uses 1 ⅓ cups plus 1 tablespoon of gluten-free flour for this recipe, but you can use the same amount of all-purpose flour if that's what you have on hand. You'll also need 1 ½ cups of superfine granulated sugar (available at most grocery stores), 1 tablespoon of baking powder, ½ cup vegetable oil, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.

Equipment-wise, you will need a chiffon pan or an angel food pan, but please don't grease your pan. "The cake will need to stick to the sides as it bakes," Bryant informs us. You'll also need various mixing bowls, a whisk, and an electric mixer. For the garnish, you'll need some extra orange slices and whipped cream, if you want to make things really fancy! 

Prep your freshly squeezed orange juice and orange zest

First preheat the oven to 325 F. Then it's time to juice your orange. "The absolute easiest way to juice an orange is to slice it in half, then, poke a fork into the orange flesh and squeeze it," Bryant explains. "Keep turning the orange a little every time." Of course, if you have an electric juicer, that's even easier. However, Bryant actually prefers doing it by hand! As for zesting, "the best way" is to "use a zester or the smallest side of a cheese grater." Do take care to make sure to grate just the orange part because the white flesh beneath that is bitter, Bryant advises. 

Separate the eggs

Many people have their own way of separating eggs into yolks and whites. But here is the method Bryant prefers. First have two bowls handy, one for the whites, and one for the yolks. Over the one designated for whites, gently crack open an egg, then transfer the yolk back and forth between the two halves of the eggshell until all of the white has dripped off into the bowl. "Make sure that none of the egg yolks gets into the egg whites, and that the bowl for the egg whites is clean, dry, and free from any oils," Bryant advises. Then repeat again for all the eggs until you have 6 egg yolks and 7 egg whites. 

Mix the batter

For this recipe for orange chiffon cake, ideally you would have a stand mixer. However, a regular hand mixer will work as well. It just requires you to hold the mixer in your hand. In your mixing bowl for whichever mixer you are using, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and orange zest, and then form a well in the middle of the mixture. Add the egg yolks to this well, as well as the the vegetable oil, the orange juice, and the vanilla extract. Mix at medium until all is combined. 

Prep your egg whites, and add them to the batter

In a separate and clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until they are thick, white, and fluffy. Ideally, the finished mixture should be stiff enough to make peaks, with the tips drooping over slightly. Then, using your whisk, gently fold the egg white mixture into the cake batter "in three goes," as Bryant recommends. "Make sure the egg whites are properly combined and there aren't any white streaks left through the cake mixture," she adds for clarity. 

Bake, serve, and enjoy

Your orange chiffon cake batter is now ready to pour into a 10-inch chiffon or angel cake tin, ideally made of aluminum. Place the pan into the preheated oven, and set a timer for 1 hour. At 1 hour, insert a toothpick into the center of the cake, and then remove it and have a look. If it comes out clean, the chiffon cake is ready to come out of the oven. Immediately turn the chiffon cake over, still in the pan, onto a cooling rack, so that it is hanging upside down. Keep the cake like this until it has cooled completely, then use a knife around the edges to free the cake from the pan.

To elevate your cake to the next level, top it with fresh orange slices or whipped cream and serve it to friends!

Orange Chiffon Cake Recipe
5 from 31 ratings
This orange chiffon cake is downright decadent. Enjoy it with your afternoon coffee, or dress it up for a special occasion dessert.
Prep Time
15
minutes
Cook Time
1
hour
Servings
12
Servings
orange chiffon cake
Total time: 1.25 hours
Ingredients
  • 7 large eggs, divided
  • 1 ⅓ cups + 1 tablespoon of gluten-free flour (or all-purpose flour)
  • 1 ½ cups fine sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 ½ tablespoons orange zest
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • ¾ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
Optional Ingredients
  • orange slices, for garnish
  • whipped cream, for serving
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 F.
  2. Separate the egg yolks and the egg whites by gently cracking and opening each egg, and moving the yolk back and forth between the two halves of the egg shells until all of the egg white has dripped into a cup or bowl below. You will need 6 yolks and 7 egg whites.
  3. In a stand mixer, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and orange zest.
  4. Make a well in the middle of this mixture, and add in the 6 egg yolks, vegetable oil, orange juice, and vanilla extract. Mix on medium until combined.
  5. In a separate bowl, whisk the 7 egg whites until they are thick, white, and fluffy, with stiff peaks that have slightly droopy tips.
  6. Gently fold the egg whites into the cake batter in 3 stages using a whisk.
  7. Combine thoroughly, making sure there aren't any white streaks in the batter.
  8. Pour the batter into an ungreased 10-inch chiffon or angel cake pan.
  9. Bake for 1 hour.
  10. When a toothpick is inserted and comes out clean, remove the pan form the oven.
  11. Immediately turn the pan over onto a cooling rack with the cake still in it.
  12. Allow it to cool completely, then use a knife around the edges of the pan to free the cake.
  13. Serve with fresh orange slices and whipped cream, if desired.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 281
Total Fat 12.6 g
Saturated Fat 1.5 g
Trans Fat 0.1 g
Cholesterol 108.5 mg
Total Carbohydrates 38.5 g
Dietary Fiber 1.6 g
Total Sugars 26.9 g
Sodium 132.6 mg
Protein 5.3 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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