Seattle Chiffon Cake

A delicate cake with a secret ingredient.


Chiffon cakes tend to feature delicate aromas such as lemon. This cake takes a different route to flavor with rich-tasting cocoa powder, cinnamon, and brewed espresso. Walnut oil gives the cake a delightfully nutty quality, but you could also use extra-light olive oil or canola oil.

[quicklook-recipe prep_time=”15 min” cook_time=”45 min” serves=”16″ details=”” ]

[ingredients-list title=”Ingredients” serving_size=””]


  • 2 1/4 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup walnut oil, extra-light olive oil, or canola oil


  • 2 large eggs, separated, plus 4 large egg whites
  • 3/4 cup brewed espresso or other dark-roast coffee, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • Confectioners’ sugar


[step-list-wrapper title=”How to make it ” time=” “]

[step-item number=”1″ image_url=”” title=”” ]

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl.


[step-item number=”2″ image_url=”” title=”” ]Whisk the walnut, olive, or canola oil with the egg yolks, espresso or coffee, cocoa powder, and vanilla together in a large bowl until smooth. Fold the flour mixture into the egg mixture until well-combined.[/step-item]

[step-item number=”3″ image_url=”” title=”” ]Beat the 6 egg whites until frothy in a small bowl. Beat in the cream of tartar and continue beating until stiff peaks form. Gently fold egg whites into the batter.[/step-item]

[step-item number=”4″ image_url=”” title=”” ]Spoon the batter into an ungreased 10-inch tube or Bundt pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes.[/step-item]

[step-item number=”5″ image_url=”” title=”” ]Invert the pan to cool. Once cooled, run a metal spatula around the inner and outer edges of the cake and invert it onto a serving plate. Dust the cake with confectioners’ sugar. Cut into 16 slices and serve.[/step-item]


Popular Videos

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest