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chiffon cake lemon buttercream

Chiffon Cake with Lemon Buttercream Icing


This recipe is a shared family recipe that has been treasured. It works in a variety of different flavours.

  • Yields: 1 |
  • Rating:

  • Difficulty:

  • Prep Time : 60 mins |
  • Cook Time : 45 mins
Categories: Baking, Birthday, Cakes, Teatime
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Chiffon Cake
280 g cake flour
250 g castor sugar
15 ml baking powder
2.5 ml salt
125 ml oil
5 jumbo eggs, separated
180 ml water
juice and rind of half a lemon
2 ml cream of tartar

Lemon Buttercream Icing
250 g butter, at room temperature
500 g sifted icing sugar
Lemon juice to flavor

Chiffon Cake

Pre-heat the oven to 180 °C. Adjust the oven rack to just below the middle. 

Measure the castor sugar and keep a third aside to be whisked into the egg white.

Sift the flour, remaining castor sugar, baking powder and salt together no less than 3 times. Place in a medium sized mixing bowl.

Add the oil, the unbeaten egg yolks, cold water, lemon juice and rind, in this order, and beat slowly until just combined. You can do this by hand or with an electric mixer.

Place the egg whites and cream of tartar in a separate, squeaky-clean bowl and whisk until the soft peak stage. Add the one third of castor sugar set aside, a little at a time, as though you were making meringue. Beat till stiff and until all of the sugar has dissolved. Just stiff, never dry!

Pour the flour mixture over the meringue and lightly fold in until just combined.

Spoon carefully into the chiffon cake tin and bake for 45 minutes or until the top is lightly browned and springy to the touch.

Turn the cake tin upside down and allow the cake to cool completely before loosening the sides and turning out. The base is the broader side of the cake and the narrower side is the top; basically turn the cake upside down to decorate.

Lemon Buttercream Icing

This is a standard buttercream icing suitable for layering and piping. I use a Wilton 1M nozzle to create the rose swirls and blossoms and a special medium sized petal tube for the flowers. The art of piping lies in the pressure you apply and the movement. Practice makes perfect.

If you are just going to slap on the icing, add fresh lemon juice and zest, but for your own sanity, I suggest that you stay away from even thinking of piping.

Cream the butter until it is almost white in colour in an electric mixer fitted with the K hook. Add a tablespoon of boiling water and beat until the mixture reaches the consistency of thick, clotted cream.

Add the sifted icing sugar and beat until light and creamy. Add the flavour of your choice and colour to your heart’s content.


Notes from the Recipe Developer Kanya Hunt

This is a special family recipe, which is one of my mom’s best. Even my brother bakes this cake regularly over weekends with great success. My favorite flavor is granadilla but lemon is the flavor my mom prefers. You can adjust the flavor as you please – even chocolate.

You will need a special chiffon cake tin with feet as the cake is rested upside down to cool. The texture of the cake is so delicate that it has to hang whilst cooling.

You do not need, and must not, line or grease the pan as this delicate cake needs all the support it can get from clinging to the side whilst hanging.

Another secret from The Hunt House Kitchen is to whisk a third of the castor sugar into the egg white to make a more stable meringue.

And maybe the best tip ever, is to pour the heavy batter over the light meringue when combining them and NOT the other way around. Your cake will be extra fluffy when you apply these tricks.