Sunday, March 27, 2011

Heavenly Cake Baker: Orange-Glow Chiffon Layer Cake

heavenlycakeplace This week's Heavenly Cake Baker cake is the light and airy Orange-Glow Chiffon Layer Cake on page 203 of Rose Levy Beranbaum's Rose's Heavenly Cakes. I am not usually much of a fan of the texture of sponge cakes or angelfood cakes, but now I think that's because I just hadn't met the right one before.

I wasn't holding out much hope, but this cake was a hit. A huge hit, with me and my entire family. My brother, sister-in-law and niece dropped over for a visit and before I knew it, the cake was gone! My Japanese sister-in-law declared it was just like the cakes they have in Japan, and promptly ate 3 slices. I'd only had one slice so after I sent them home with a last chunk of the cake, I had to make another one (one slice wasn't enough)! Yes, that's right...I made two orange-glow chiffon cakes within about 5 hours of each other. And, I'm already plotting to make it again as cupcakes (with chocolate-orange ganache frosting) next weekend for a nationwide bakesale for Japan that my sis-in-law and I are donating baked goods to.

The cake was a snap to make - the second one came together in about 15 minutes or so (the first one only took longer because I was getting the mise en place together and photographing everything). And I love that you don't even have to grease the pan - it's so easy! I was really nervous about not using anything in the pan but it came out just fine.

I used a lot more zest in my second cake so the orange flavor and color was stronger, but both were equally delicious. I didn't bother making the orange whipped cream because - if I'm honest - when I was making the first on, I didn't even think I would like the cake since I'm usually not a fan. And then for the second one, I felt that the cake really didn't even need it. It is just that yummy on its own, with a cup of coffee. Or tea. Or milk. Or...well, you get the picture!

mise en place. I only had a drop of vanilla left so I pulled out my homemade vanilla -
about 20 bottles of which are "curing" for christmas presents this year.
While it was still really light in color, the vanilla smell was
already strong so I went ahead and used it.

wet ingredients, sans egg whites, go into the dry and get mixed for a minute and a half

the orange smell was wonderful!

egg whites (plus cream of tartar and one T sugar) whipped to a stiff peak

fold in the egg whites

pour into a pan and stick a flower nail in the middle
(conducts heat and keeps the middle from sagging)

35 minutes and done! I didn't have any cake strips so I folded some foil about 4 layers thick and
wrapped it around the pan and then baked it on a sheet pan.

after letting the cake sit for a minute until the puffed up top is level
with the pan, turn upside down to cool completely

hello, cake!

such a pretty golden/light orange color

so fluffy

smells sooooo good...

...and tastes even better!

Bye for now...


  1. Beautiful spongy texture, Alice. I love it. I'm a big fan of orange. Too bad I didn't get to make it due to my cold. Nice of you to participate in the bake sale. I'm organizing one at work (my company has pledged to match the donations which is great). I'm thinking of making last week's Devil's Food Cake with Midnight Ganache into cupcakes and call them "Death by Choc" Cupcakes :o) Oh, and I'm also going to take ABC's Zebra Cookies to the bake sale! Good luck at the bake sale!

  2. Thanks, Vicki :)

    Thanks, Hanaa - good luck with your bakesale as well! That's really great that your company will match the donations. I can't wait to see your zebra cookies and Death By Choc cuppies!! Yum.

    Last night I made a trial set of cupcakes for the bake sale using this recipe but with lemon instead of orange and they were delicious as well!! I was so in love with that raspberry syrup from a few weeks back that I made the raspberry ganache again to top them off! We're also going to make cupcakes with the regular recipe with orange so I made an orange-chocolate ganache as well by boiling down some marmalade, orange juice and zest and adding a little sugar and lemon yummy!!

  3. I have been planning to grab a copy of RHC from the library once again to bake this cake. Just wondering what pan size does it call for ? I have 2 8*3 inch pans....will they work ? Can I substitute anything else for the flower nail........a long piping tip perhaps ??