Lemon Chiffon Sheet Cake
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AUTHOR:
Chiffon Cake has traditionally been baked in a tube pan like Angel Food Cake. This recipe is an easy-to-make sheet pan version, which allows you to have chiffon cake in any number of desserts, such as layer cakes, roulades, cake rolls, or as a cake layer in individual desserts. The way you scale the batter in the pans determines the thickness of the cake, making it very versatile, and from there you can cut it any way you like.

YIELD: NET WEIGHT OF BATTER = 1650g (3# 10 oz)
- NUMBER OF HALF-SHEET PANS DEPENDS ON THICKNESS OF THE CAKE
- SEE #11 IN THE INSTRUCTIONS FOR HOW TO SCALE
INGREDIENTS

  • ALL INGREDIENTS @ ROOM TEMPERATURE:
  • DRY INGREDIENTS:
  • 335 grams cake flour (2½ cups)
  • 20 grams baking powder (4 teaspoons)
  • 10 grams fine sea salt (2 teaspoons)

  • EGG YOLK MIXTURE:
  • 160 grams egg yolks (8 large)
  • 30 grams egg whites (1 large)
  • 250 grams granulated sugar (1¼ cups)
  • 160 grams canola oil (3/4 cup)
  • 20 grams freshly grated lemon zest (zest of 4 extra-large lemons)
  • 15 grams vanilla extract (1 Tablespoon)

  • LIQUID INGREDIENTS:
  • 160 grams lemon juice, freshly squeezed (2/3 cup)
  • 40 grams water (2 Tablespoons + 2 teaspoons)

  • MERINGUE:
  • 290 grams egg whites
  • 1¼ teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 290 grams granulated sugar (1½ cups minus 1 Tablespoon)

  • 1780 grams = Total 62 oz (3# 14 oz)

INSTRUCTIONS
  1. PRE-HEAT OVEN TO 350° F (175° C).
  2. PREP SHEET PANS: Spray half-sheet pans lightly with Pam. Have ready half sheets of parchment. When ready to spread batter, press the parchment into pans and spray the parchment with Pam (with flour). (Note: Spraying parchment paper ahead of time will cause it to form wrinkles, giving the cake a wrinkled surface.)
  3. MIX THE BATTER: SIFT dry ingredients and whisk to blend.
  4. PLACE yolks and 30g of whites in bowl of Kitchen Aid mixer. With the whisk, beat on high speed for 3 minutes until starting to thicken. Turn the speed down to medium and gradually add the sugar, a little at a time, over a period of 2 minutes. Continue whipping, back on high speed, until very thick and pale, another 2 minutes.
  5. TURN speed down to medium and pour in the canola oil in a slow steady stream with the mixer running. Add the lemon zest and vanilla extract and whip 1 minute longer. Turn off mixer and scrape down sides.
  6. ON LOWEST SPEED, add the dry ingredients alternately with the liquid, dividing the flour into 3 parts and liquid into 2 parts, starting and ending with flour.
  7. SCRAPE down the sides and scrape up the bottom of the bowl. Mix in and beat for 10 seconds longer.
  8. TRANSFER batter to large stainless steel bowl. If you have two Kitchen Aid bowls, this is a good time to use both: one for the batter and on for the meringue. If not, wash the mixer bowl and whisk in hot soapy water. To be certain that there is no fat left on the bowl or whisk, clean with vinegar and salt.
  9. MAKE THE MERINGUE: Whip the whites on medium speed until frothy, about 2 minutes. Add cream of tartar and continue whipping until soft peaks form, about 3 minutes. Gradually add the sugar over a period of about 5 minutes and whip to stiff glossy peaks. The meringue should stand straight up when tested with your finger.
  10. FOLD ⅓ of the meringue into the batter, using a whisk. Then add balance of meringue and fold in very gently with a rubber spatula.
  11. SCALE LEMON CHIFFON SHEET CAKE BATTER ACCORDING TO USE - ALL WEIGHTS ARE FOR HALF-SHEET PANS: - FOR ½" (12 mm) THICK CAKE, SCALE @ 500g - 550g. This will produce thin layers for roulades, cake rolls or individual desserts. - FOR ¾" (19 mm) THICK CAKE, SCALE @ 820g. This will produce layers that are the right thickness for regular layer cakes where you want 3 or 4 layers of cake. - FOR 1" THICK CAKE, SCALE @ 1000g. This is a nice thickness for old-fashioned, vintage-style two-layer cakes, or for cutting in squares. At this point, place parchment paper in the sheet pans and spray with Pam (with flour). Spread batter to an even thickness in the pans and make sure it goes into the corners. Don't allow the batter to be thicker in the center of he pan.
  12. BAKE @ 350° F (175° C) for 20 - 23 minutes for the ¾" (19 mm) size, until cake springs back when touched lightly in the center, and is starting to pull away from the sides of the pan. The cakes should be a light golden brown when done. Thinner cake will take a little less time and thicker cake, a little more time.
  13. COOL sheet cakes in the pans.
  14. TO CUT CAKE ROUNDS: Freeze overnight before cutting.
  15. FOR CAKE ROLLS OR ROULADES: Proceed while the cake is still warm. See Lemon Chiffon Roulade for procedure.
Recipe Ancestry Notes:
The Lemon Chiffon Sheet Cake adapted from The Cake Book by Tish Boyle (2006).