Orange Chiffon Cake

Serves 12 to 16.

Note: “American Cake” author Anne Byrn notes that this “authentically American” cake was created in the 1920s in Los Angeles by Harry Baker, an insurance salesman and hobby baker. “Baker eventually sold his recipe to General Mills in 1948,” writes Byrn. “And the cake was introduced as ‘the cake discovery of the century.’ ”

For cake:

• 2 c. sifted all-purpose flour

• 1 1/2 c. granulated sugar

• 1 tbsp. baking powder

• 1/2 tsp. salt

• 1/2 c. vegetable oil

• 7 eggs, separated, at room temperature

• 1 tbsp. freshly grated lemon zest (about 2 lemons)

• 3 tbsp. freshly grated orange zest (about 3 oranges)

• 3/4 c. freshly squeezed orange juice

• 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar

For glaze:

• 1 c. powdered sugar

• 2 tbsp. freshly squeezed orange juice


To prepare cake: Place rack in center of oven and preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients. Add in the following order, without mixing: vegetable oil, egg yolks (reserving the whites), lemon zest, orange zest and 3/4 cup orange juice. With a strong wire whisk, beat until smooth, about 1 minute. Set aside.

In a bowl of an electric mixer on high speed, beat egg whites and cream of tartar until stiff peaks form, about 3 to 4 minutes. In three additions, fold about three-quarters of the yolk mixture into the whites. Next, fold the whites into the remaining yolk mixture. Gently pour batter into an ungreased 10-inch tube pan.

Bake for 55 minutes at 325 degrees, then increase temperature to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 8 to 10 minutes. Remove cake from oven and immediately hang the pan upside down over the neck of a bottle or a funnel, so that cake is cooling upside down for 1 hour.

Using a sharp knife, trim cake away from edges of pan. Give pan a gentle shake, invert the cake once, and then again, onto a serving plate.

To prepare glaze: In a small bowl, combine powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons orange juice and whisk until smooth. Spoon or drizzle glaze over top of cooled cake.