Golden Citrus Chiffon Cake (Orange Lemon Chiffon Cake)

7 comments All Recipes, Cake Recipes, Light Bites

This was the very first chiffon cake that I learnt to bake in baking school. This cake is superbly moist and light, and the orange and lemon juices impart a wonderfully refreshing citrus flavour. 

The original recipe by Chef Judy Koh calls for cake flour, but I prefer the finer, velvety texture of top flour when baking chiffon cakes. I also tend to use generous amounts of grated zest, which is reflected in this recipe, and should you choose to do the same, just be careful to grate only the coloured part of the fruit’s peel and avoid the slightly bitter pith (the white layer of the peel).  As with most of the cake recipes on this site, I also reduced the amount of sugar due to the additional sweetness of the orange juice.

Recipe source (with changes): Creative Culinaire.

Here are the ingredients you will need:


48 gm Egg Yolks
25 gm Castor Sugar
1/4 tsp Salt

50 gm Corn Oil
70 gm Orange Juice
2 tsp Lemon Juice
1 tbsp Orange Zest*
2 tsp Lemon Zest*
1/4 tsp Vanilla Essence
110 gm Cake Flour (I use Top Flour)
1 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp Baking Soda (Bicarbonate of Soda)

180 gm Egg Whites
1/2 tsp Cream of Tartar
90 gm Castor Sugar

* Immediately after grating peel, keep zest fresh by storing in an airtight container or wrapping with cling wrap, and store in the refrigerator till ready to use.


1.  Pre-heat oven to 165 deg Celsius.

2.  In a clean bowl or jug, combine the wet ingredients as follows: corn oil, juices, zest and vanilla essence.  Stir to combine thoroughly, ensuring that the mixture is well incorporated.

3.  In an electric mixer bowl, add egg yolks, sugar and salt. 
Whisk at high speed until the yolks become light and fluffy (the egg yolk mixture should triple in volume and turn a pale lemon colour). 


Reduce mixer speed to medium, and while whisking, slowly pour in the juice mixture from (2) in a steady stream until it is just well incorporated.

4.  Sift the flour, baking powder and baking soda together into the mixture.  Using a hand whisk or spatula, fold in the flour until just well combined. If using the mixer, mix on low speed just long enough for most of the flour to blend into the mixture.  Then remove the bowl from the mixer, and finish folding manually, scraping all flour off the sides of the bowl using the whisk or spatula, and folding it into the mixture until smooth. This will help prevent over-folding or over-mixing.
Transfer to a clean bowl and set aside. Wash the mixer bowl and whisk attachment and dry thoroughly. These must be absolutely dry and grease-free to work the egg whites.
Note: It is perfectly alright to have a mixture that is somewhat lumpy, as long as all the flour is well incorporated and there are no lumps or streaks of unmixed flour.
5.  In the cleaned mixer bowl, pour in the egg whites. Using the whisk attachment, beat at high speed. When the egg whites start to get foamy, add the cream of tartar.  About 30 seconds later, pour in the sugar in a steady continuous stream. 
Continue to beat until egg whites reach the stiff peaks stage.
6.  Add 1/3 beaten egg whites into the yolk mixture and mix using a spatula or hand whisk.  
Using quick but light moves, gently fold in the next 1/3, and then the remaining 1/3.  Ensure that the egg whites are well incorporated with no visible streaks of unmixed whites in the mixture.  Be careful not to over-fold. 
7.  Gently tap the bowl on the counter top to eliminate air pockets. Pour the batter into an ungreased 20 cm chiffon tube pan and gently run a thin spatula in an ‘S’ motion throughout the batter as air pockets may be trapped while pouring batter into the pan. Ensure that the batter reaches the same height all around the pan, and smooth the surface evenly.

Bake at the lowest rack in the oven for 30 mins or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.  When done, remove from the oven and immediately invert the tube pan onto a cake rack to cool for at least an hour before loosening the cake.

To loosen the cake, turn it up again so that the surface of the cake is now facing up. Insert a flat blade in between the cake and pan and run the blade around the circumference of the pan, pressing against the pan as much as possible. Then invert the pan again so that the bottom of the pan is now facing up.  Gently tap or push the pan’s base to loosen the cake from the sides of the pan. Then run the blade between the base and the bottom of the cake to loosen it from the base of the pan.

Simply delicious when taken with a cup of fruit tea!


  1. Thanks Celia. The top (base when served) that collapsed is a bit dense but the rest of the cake is soft and fluffy. Will try again and hope to get the perfect chiffon like yours.

  2. Hi Margaret, thank you for trying this cake! I’m trying to understand what happened, but sounds possibly like a case of over-baking or a slightly too hot oven temperature. During baking, the cake should rise nicely to the rim, and the centre of the cake will rise even above the funnel, so the whole surface is dome shaped. It should stay like this when removed, and until inverted. Which means, when the pan is overturned to cool, you should see the cake holding it’s dome shape. If it sinks a bit into itself, that means there’s a slight collapse.

  3. Hi Celia, thanks for sharing your recipe. I followed it to a T. The egg white was whisked to stiff peak (a little curve at the end same as your photo). The side raise nicely to the rim with a small concave in the centre. But the top sank inwards below the rim (became convex) when it was overturned for cooling. Any idea why this happen?

  4. Hi Doris, a Happy New Year, and soon, Happy Chinese New Year to you and your family! Thank you so much for leaving, not one, or two, but three lovely comments on various recipes here that you’ve tried! I really appreciate all the feedback, and am so happy to hear that you’ve been happy with the cooking and baking outcomes! Yayyyy!!! Thank you for the tip on using the freshest oranges for the zest and juice, I’ll definitely update my post soon with your tips and better pics (it was one of my very earliest recipe posts!). Happy baking and cooking for CNY!

  5. Hi Celia
    Happy New Year 2019. I meant to post my comments much earlier but I am a forgetful person. I have baked your Orange Lemon chiffon cake many times and your recipe is perfect as it gives the best chiffon cake I ever made. Thank you for your kindness in sharing. I used the freshest sweet oranges for the juice and the zest and this made a difference to the cake actually. Best regards, Doris

  6. Hi Sarah, thank you for your kind words! I’m so happy that you found some recipe suggestions here to pique your interest! Gosh, you got me thinking about breakfast ideas, which I’m sorely lacking in at this moment. There are some excellent spreads like homemade kaya (coconut egg jam) that would be great with butter and toast, and ooh…pandan chiffon cake is a sure winner for amytime of day, breakfast included! I’ll try to work in more breakfast recipes in the weeks to come, hope you’ll keep coming back, Sarah! If you try something here, please share how it worked out for you, I’d love to hear about it – the good, the bad (let’s hope this doesn’t happen) and the ugly! Have a wonderful weekend! Cheers, Celia

  7. Hi Celia Lim,

    Thank you for sharing so many recipes! They look great and I would really love to start on some of them soon. I am looking for more ideas for breakfast. Would you have any ideas to share?

    Sarah Chua

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