This chocolate chiffon cake is light, fluffy, and cottony-soft. It’s a cross between a sponge cake and a dark chocolate fudge cake, topped with a rich chocolate ganache. A slice of chocolate chiffon cake topped with chocolate ganache and an blood orange slice.

What is chiffon cake?

Chiffon cake is a very light and fluffy cake made with eggs, sugar, water, oil, flour, baking powder, and flavorings. Because it’s made with oil instead of a solid fat like butter or shortening, it’s easier to beat air into the batter, making for a much lighter or airy texture.

Why this recipe is so great:

  • It uses the same number of egg whites and yolks – So there is no waste or having to wonder what to do with the leftover yolks.
  • Easy streamlined method – By starting with the egg whites first and by mixing the rest of the dry and wet ingredients in one bowl, you don’t have to wash your whisk attachment in between and you only need two bowls to make the batter.
  • Light and indulgent at the same time – The cake is light and not as calorie-heavy as most chocolate cakes, yet with a touch of creamy chocolate ganache, the cake tastes decadent.

Chocolate chiffon cake topped with ganache and orange slices on a white cake plate.

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • Unsweetened cocoa powder – regular or Dutch-processed
  • Eggs – room temperature
  • Cake flour – or AP flour mixed with cornstarch
  • Granulated sugar
  • Baking powder & salt
  • Vegetable oil – or any neutral-tasting oil
  • Cream of tartar – white vinegar or lemon juice works too
  • Vanilla extract
  • Heavy or whipping cream
  • Chocolate chips – dark, semi-sweet, milk, or even white

How to make chocolate chiffon cake:

(the ingredient amounts are listed in the printable recipe card further below) a picture collage of how to make chocolate chiffon cake

  1. Whisk together the cocoa powder and boiling water. Set aside to cool.
  2. Beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, sift in the flour. Whisk in the sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the oil, egg yolks, vanilla, and cocoa mixture. Mix until just combined.
  4. Fold in 1/4 of the beaten egg whites to lighten up the mixture. Then gently fold in the rest in 3 equal parts.
  5. Pour the batter into an ungreased 10″ tube pan with a removable bottom. Bake at 325F for 1 hour. Invert to cool completely.
  6. Once cooled, remove the cake from the pan onto a serving plate and top with chocolate ganache.

chocolate chiffon cake batter in pan and cooked topped with chocolate

Expert tips:

  • Beating the egg whites – Take the time to beat your egg whites to stiff peaks. Check often and once your whisk or beaters can hold a peak that stands straight up, you’ve reached stiff peaks.
  • Folding the batter – Fold in the beaten egg whites in batches using an under and over motion to maintain as many air bubbles as possible. Turn your bowl, a quarter of a turn every few folds.
  • Cooling the cake – As soon as you remove the cake from the oven, invert it upside down to cool to prevent it from collapsing. The structure of a chiffon cake is very fragile while it’s warm.

FAQ:

What is the difference between chiffon cake and sponge cake:

A basic sponge cake is made with just flour, sugar, and eggs. Chiffon cakes are a type of sponge cake made with the addition of baking powder and oil for a silkier and fluffier cake.

Why is it called chiffon cake?

The name comes from the fact that the cake’s texture is light and silky like chiffon fabric.

How to make moist chiffon chocolate cake:

The key is to use enough oil and to NOT overbake the cake.

Can you freeze a chocolate chiffon cake?

Yes, you can freeze the cake without any frosting. Once completely cooled, tightly wrap in a layer of saran wrap and a layer of aluminum foil and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and top with ganache before serving.

Chocolate chiffon cake topped with chocolate sauce on a white plate.

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Chocolate Chiffon Cake


  • Author: Lily Ernst
  • Prep Time: 20 min
  • Cook Time: 55 min
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 12

Description

This chocolate chiffon cake is light, fluffy, and cottony-soft. It’s a cross between a sponge cake and a dark chocolate fudge cake, topped with a rich chocolate ganache.


Ingredients

Cake

  • 1/2 cup (50g) unsweetened cocoa powder (regular or Dutch-processed)
  • 3/4 cup boiling water
  • 7 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 & 3/4 cups (205g) cake flour
  • 1 & 3/4 cups (350g) granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 7 large egg yolks
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Ganache

  • 1/2 cup heavy or whipping cream
  • 4 oz chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325F.
  2. Whisk together the cocoa powder and boiling water until smooth. Set aside to cool.
  3. In a large bowl, beat the egg whites until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and continue beating until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
  4. In another large mixing bowl, sift in the flour. Then toss in the sugar, baking powder, and salt. Make a well in the center and add the oil, egg yolks, vanilla, and cocoa mixture.
  5. Using the same beaters, mix until smooth and combined, scraping the bowl as needed.
  6. Fold in 1/4 of the beaten egg whites to lighten up the mixture. Then gently fold in the rest in 3 equal parts. Pour the batter into an ungreased 10″ tube pan with a removable bottom.
  7. Bake for 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Invert to cool completely.
  8. Meanwhile, place the chocolate chips and cream in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat in the microwave at 50% power for 30 seconds at a time, stirring in between, until completely melted and smooth.
  9. Let cool to thicken for about an hour. Invert the cooled cake onto a serving plate. Spread the ganache on top.

Notes

Leftovers can be covered and stored at room temperature for 3-4 days.

  • Category: dessert
  • Method: bake
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: chocolate chiffon cake recipe

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