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one 10-inch tube cake


Chiffon cake, hailed as "the first really new cake in a hundred years" when it was introduced in the 1940s, owes its creation to a professional baker named Harry Baker who had been tempting Hollywood celebrities with his cakes for years to great acclaim.  Harry sold his recipe with its secret ingredient, cooking oil, as the shortening, to General Mills for thousands of dollars.

  • 1 2/3 cups sifted cake flour
  • 2/3 cup sugar or the equivalent of 2/3 cup sugar in granulated sugar substitute
  • 2¼ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 6 extra large or jumbo eggs, separated and at room temperature (see note)
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon cooking oil (corn, canola, or safflower oil)
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon water
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 1½ teaspoons freshly grated lemon peel (see note)
  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 1/3 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
  • Lemon Cream Frosting or additional sifted confectioners' sugar


Sift together the first 4 ingredients into a large mixing bowl.  In a medium bowl, beat egg yolks until thick and light yellow in color.  Add oil, water, lemon juice, and lemon peel to beaten egg yolks, blending well.  Add egg yolk mixture to dry ingredients, beating until smooth.  Do not overmix.  In a large bowl, beat egg whites until they're foamy; beat in cream of tartar.  Gradually add 1 1/3 cups confectioners' sugar, beating at high speed of an electric mixer until stiff, but not dry, peaks are formed.  Carefully fold beaten egg whites into batter.  Spoon batter into an ungreased 10-inch tube pan.  Bake in a preheated moderate oven (350 degrees F.) for 40 to 45 minutes or until cake tester inserted in center of cake comes out clean.  Invert cake in pan on a wire rack until cold.  Loosen cake from sides of pan and around tube with a thin-bladed knife or spatula; remove cake from pan.  Frost cake with Lemon Cream Frosting or sprinkle sifted confectioners' sugar over cake.  


Note: May use 12 egg whites in place of 6 whole eggs; however, the flavor and texture will not be the same.  Beat 6 egg whites until soft peaks form and then add oil, lemon juice and lemon peel.  Beat 6 egg whites separately with the confectioners' sugar as previously directed.

Note: For a more distinctive lemon flavor, may increase amount of lemon peel as desired.


Lemon Cream Frosting

frosts one 10-inch tube cake

  • ½ cup butter or margarine, at room temperature
  • 1 (1-pound) box confectioners' sugar (about 4½ cups), sifted and divided
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon peel (see note above)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice or as needed, divided

In a deep medium bowl, combine 1 cup confectioners' sugar, salt, and grated lemon peel.  Add remaining confectioners' sugar and 1 tablespoon lemon juice, beating until smooth.  Add remaining lemon juice as needed, a teaspoonful at a time, beating until smooth and of desired spreading consistency.  

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