Chocolate Chiffon Cake

Inverting this cake while it cools is key to its delicate texture.

Chocolate Chiffon Cake
Photo: Photographer: Antonis Achilleos, Prop Stylist: Christine Kelly Food Stylist: Ali Ramee
Active Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
3 hrs 15 mins

Recipes for light and airy chiffon cakes have been around since the 1920s and were once a poplar ways for home bakers to show off their skills. One bite of this dessert will convince us that it's time to use a chiffon cake to establish our own bragging rights. You'll need a 10-cup tube pan, what some bakers call an angel food cake pan. (Don't try to substitute a Bundt pan, which won't hold all the batter and makes the cake rubbery and tough.) This hint might sound like a prank, but inverting the cake while it cools is key to its delicate texture. When the cake comes out of the oven, gently flip the pan over and slip the center tube over the long neck of a heavy bottle, such as a wine or vinegar bottle, which suspends the cake above the counter so that its spongy texture doesn't collapse before it has a chance to cool and set. It's easy, and worth it.


  • 2 ¼ cups (about 9 5/8 oz.) all-purpose flour

  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar

  • cup (about 1 1/8 oz.) unsweetened cocoa

  • 1 tablespoon baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 8 large eggs, separated

  • ¾ cup brewed coffee, at room temperature

  • ½ cup canola oil

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar

  • Powdered sugar

  • Whipped cream

  • Fresh raspberries


  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Line bottom of a 10-cup tube pan with parchment paper cut to fit bottom of pan; set aside. Sift together flour, granulated sugar, cocoa, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl; stir to combine. Make a well in center of mixture. Add egg yolks, coffee, oil, and vanilla to the well; whisk into flour mixture until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Set aside.

  2. Beat egg whites and cream of tartar with an electric mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form, about 2 minutes. Gently fold egg white mixture into flour batter. Pour batter into prepared tube pan.

  3. Bake in preheated oven until a wooden pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 50 to 55 minutes. Remove cake from oven; immediately invert pan onto legs of pan, or onto a bottle such as a wine or vinegar bottle. Let cake cool completely, about 2 hours.

  4. Run a knife around edges of pan to release cake from sides; remove cake from pan. Remove and discard parchment paper from bottom of cake. Garnish cake with sifted powdered sugar. Serve with whipped cream and raspberries.

How to Cut the Parchment Paper

Measure the diameter of the pan base, and cut a circle of parchment paper to that size. Measure the inner tube diameter of the pan base, then cut a circle in the center of the parchment paper circle to that size. Make small slits in paper as needed to fit in bottom of pan.

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