Lemon & Vanilla Chiffon Sponge Cake


For sponge cake (makes 2 x 20cm cakes):

- 8 large eggs

- 1 tsp cream of tartar

- 1 1/2 cups sugar

- 2 cup cake flour (Take 2 cups plain flour, minus 4tbs and replace with 4tbs cornflour)

- 2 1/2 tsp baking powder

- 1 tsp salt

- 1/2 cup vegetable/canola/sunflower oil

- 1 cup milk

- 1 tbsp vanilla extract

- Zest of 1 lemon

For the Lemon Cream filling & frosting:

- 900ml heavy cream

- 1 cup soft icing sugar

- Zest and juice of 1/2 lemon

- 1 tbsp vanilla extract

- 1 tbsp rosewater (optional - this adds a light scent of summery floral notes to the cream)


1. Preheat a fan-forced oven to 160degC

2. Separate egg whites and yolks

3. Using a whisk or electric beater, whisk egg whites with cream of tartar until foaming

4. Slowly mix 1/2 cup sugar into egg whites while continuing to whisk until stiff peaks are formed

5. Combine dry ingredients: flour, remaining sugar, baking powder, salt

6. Combine wet ingredients: egg yolks, milk, vanilla, oil, lemon zest

7. Combine wet and dry mixtures, excluding the egg whites at this stage

8. Gently fold in egg whites into the cake mixture using a spatula. It's important to do this carefully without removing the air from the whipped egg whites

9. Line the bottom of 2 cake pans (aluminum chiffon cake pans that are NOT non-stick) with baking paper. Do not grease inside of pan. This cake batter needs to stick to the sides as it rises in the oven and cools in the pan, so non-stick or greased cake pans will not work.

10. Divide cake batter evenly between the two pans and bake in oven for 35 min

11. Increase oven temperature to 175degC and bake for another 10min, or until a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean

12. Remove cakes from oven and turn and leave cakes upside down in their pans to cool completely, making sure they are slightly elevated to allow airflow below (we put each pan on top of 4 glass tumblers to cool).

13. Once cakes are completely cooled, carefully run a thin spatula or skewer around the edge of cakes to separate them from the sides of a pan. Carefully remove cakes from pan and set aside on flat plates

14. Make the Lemon Cream: Mix all ingredients for the Lemon Cream and whip until stiff peaks are formed

15. Ice the cake: add a generous layer of cream on top of one of the sponges, then place the other sponge over the top. Spread the rest of the cream over the outside of the cake and smooth with a spatula, or simply leave it unsmoothed for rustic appeal! This cake also looks beautiful garnished with fresh flowers.

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