This recipe is from King Arthur Flour: Original Recipe. I made the lemon variation for a party, served with strawberries, and got rave reviews. The lemon flavor is not terribly strong, so feel free to add more lemon extract, but not more lemon juice. You could also make this in a bundt pan.
My Review: ♥♥♥♥
Great for family gatherings, but not if you are going to be serving the president. (: This cake can’t support a normal icing. Delicious with fresh strawberries that have been allowed to sit for a bit with some lemon juice.
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar or 1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 1/2 cups sugar, divided(1/2 cup and 1 cup)
2 cups (King Arthur) Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup milk (whole or skim, or buttermilk for chocolate cake)
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon almond extract (or 1/4 teaspoon Fiori di Sicilia flavoring)
In a large mixing bowl, beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar or lemon juice until foamy. Gradually add 1/2 cup of the sugar and continue beating until stiff and glossy. It does not have to be stiff peaks; soft peaks are preferable. Set aside.
Whisk together the remaining 1 cup sugar with the flour, baking powder and salt in a new bowl. In a separate bowl, beat the oil, milk, egg yolks and flavorings until pale yellow. Add the dry ingredients and beat until well blended, about 2 minutes at medium speed using a stand mixer, or longer with a hand mixer.
Gently fold in the whipped egg whites, using a wire whip or cake blender. Be sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl so the batter is well-blended. Pour the batter into a lightly greased 10-inch tube pan or angel food pan, or two 9-inch round lightly greased cake pans. Bake the cake in a preheated 325°F oven. If it’s in a tube or angel food pan, bake it for 50 minutes, then turn up the heat to 350°F for the final 10 minutes, making a total baking time of 1 hour. If you’re using two 9-inch cake pans, bake for about 40 minutes at 325°F, then 10 minutes more at 350°F. Don’t open the oven during the first 45 minutes of baking; the cake will rise high above the pan, then settle back down. It’s done when a finger gently pressed in the middle doesn’t leave a print, and you can hear a crackling sound if you listen carefully. Cool the cake upside down for 1/2 hour before removing it from the pan. If you’ve used a tube pan, set it atop a thin-necked bottle, threading the bottle neck through the hole in the tube. For the 9 inch cake pans, one can also cool on large bowls. The middle did not fall in on me. Frost the cake, and cut it just before serving; you’ll need to dip a serrated knife in hot water between each slice if you want smooth, even pieces.
Tube Cake:If you’ve made a tube cake, make a filling.
Cut a 1-inch slice off the top of the cake, and reserve it. Slice a 3-inch-deep tunnel out of the middle of the cake, leaving 1-inch walls on each side. Fill the trench with chocolate filling. Place the top back on the cake and refrigerate it until ready to frost. If you’ve made round layers, simply spread the filling on one layer, and top it with the second layer. The cake should be made at least 4 hours before serving to allow time for the center to set properly.
To make a lemon chiffon cake, use lemon extract(you can add more) instead of vanilla extract and almond flavoring, and add 2 tablespoons grated lemon rind. Or substitute 1/2 teaspoon lemon oil for the extract and peel. For a chocolate chiffon cake, decrease the flour to 1 3/4 cups, and mix in 1/3 cup Dutch-process cocoa. Also, use buttermilk for the liquid, if you have it; it’ll give you the most intense chocolate flavor.