This week I baked a Lemon Chiffon Cake with Lemon Butter Icing. I love the look chiffon cakes—they bake up big and tall like a sponge cake, yet are still moist, rich, and flavorful like a butter cake. As with my last chiffon cake, Butterscotch Chiffon Cake with Penuche Frosting, this recipe is adapted from my grandma’s cookbook which has lots of variations of flavors, sizes, etc. for chiffon cakes. Chiffon cakes were popular during the 1950’s and 60’s, but seem to have gone out of fashion.
Who knew that just like clothing and décor, cakes also go in and out of style? This is evident when you look at pictures in older cookbooks. The cakes pictured in my grandma’s cookbook look so different from the cakes you see today. One of the first things you notice is that they have lots of fluffy frosting swirled all over the cake, not the clean lines that seem popular today. Using a saying that a friend of mine likes to use, cakes of the 1950’s “look a hot mess”! A closer look reveals that many of the frosting recipes call for egg whites, egg yolks, or whole eggs. Interestingly enough many of these recipes are not cooked frosting recipes. I guess there is a reason those particular recipes have gone out of style. I will pass on the raw egg frosting recipes, but will continue to try the different variations of chiffon cake.
DetailsPrep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 1 cake
Lemon Chiffon Cake with Lemon Butter Icing
The lemon chiffon cake and lemon butter icing recipes adapted from my grandmother's 1950's cookbook.
- 2 1/4 cups cake flour
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup cooking oil
- 5 egg yolks, unbeaten
- 3/4 cup cold water
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 1 cup (7 to 8) egg whites
- 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
- For Lemon Butter Icing:
- 3 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
- 1/2 cup butter
- 3 - 4 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 2 - 3 drops yellow food coloring, optional
1. In a large bowl, sift together the cake flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.2. Make a "well" with the dry ingredients and add the oil, egg yolks, cold water, lemon zest, and vanilla to the well; beat until smooth.3. In a separate bowl add the cream of tartar to the egg whites and beat until they have very stiff peaks; do not underbeat.4. Carefully pour the egg yolk batter over the surface of the beaten egg whites.5. Gently fold the egg whites into the batter by bringing a scraper from the bottom of the bowl, up the sides, and over the batter until completely blended.6. Pour into ungreased 10" (4" deep) tube pan (NOT a bundt pan) and bake for 55 minutes at 325°F and then for 10-15 minutes at 350°F.7. Invert cake and let it hang upside down until completely cooled.8. Loosen sides with a knife or spatula, then turn pan over and knock pan to release cake.9. To make lemon butter icing, blend together the confectioners' sugar and the butter; stir in the lemon juice, lemon zest, and food coloring (optional) until frosting is the desired consistency to spread.
Recipe adapted from Betty Crocker's Picture Cookbook, First Edition, McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc. and General Mills, Inc. 1950.