Honorable Mention, Sweet: Lemon Chiffon Cake

“My great-grandson-in-law from the UK says a visit to Ojai is never complete until I bake this cake made with lemons from the backyard. We featured this as a cake to buy to help rebuild the Libbey Bowl in Ojai.” --Jane Weirick

By / Photography By Ron Wallace | June 02, 2017

Preparation

To make cake: Preheat the oven to 325°. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Make a well in the center; add water, egg yoks, oil, lemon zest and vanilla. Whisk the dry ingredients into the yolk mixture until batter is blended and smooth. Set aside.

In a large mixer bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar at medium-low speed until foamy. Gradually increase speed to high and beat whites until stiff (but not dry) peaks form. Gently fold ½ beaten whites into batter with a rubber spatula just until blended. Fold in remaining whites just until combined. Pour batter into an ungreased 10-inch tube pan.

Bake 1 hour or until the top springs back when lightly touched with a fingertip and a cake tester inserted into center comes out clean. Immediately invert cake, still in the pan, onto neck of a wine bottle or a large funnel. Cool completely.

To make icing: In a medium bowl, whisk all ingredients until smooth. If icing is too thick, thin with a bit more lemon or water.

Remove the cake pan from the bottle or funnel. Run a long, thick knife around both edges of the cake pan. Invert cake onto a serving plate and remove pan. Spread icing on top of cake, allowing some icing to drip down sides.

Editor’s Note: Push the Ventura County connection on this classic moist cake even more by serving it with fresh strawberries or adding lavender to the icing. Or do both.

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Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup water
  • 7 egg yolks
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 8 egg whites
  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
Icing
  • 1½ cups confectioners’ sugar (powdered sugar)
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
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