Monday, June 21, 2010

Chiffon Cupcakes

(above) Chiffon Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting

My obsession with cupcakes continues as I venture into a new type of cake - the chiffon cake. Up to this point I have never made chiffon cake. In fact, I'm not quite sure if I had ever even tried it. Anyway, chiffon cake is unique in the sense that it uses beaten egg whites for leavening and oil instead of the traditional butter. This results in a fragrant vanilla-scented cake that is spongy and light in texture. It is very similar (if not the same!) to the cakes seen in many Asian bakeries. I chose to top these chiffon cupcakes with my favorite chocolate frosting. I wanted to try a new chocolate butter cream recipe, but I felt that the heaviness of a sugary chocolate butter cream just wouldn't pair up with the light cake. I can't wait to use this cake recipe (which I highly recommend!) with different combinations of flavors and frostings. I can imagine that a lemon-scented chiffon cake (with lemon zest mixed into the cake batter!) and a cream cheese frosting would go together brilliantly. Or perhaps sliced strawberries and some fresh whipped cream? Yum.

(above) The beaten egg yolks at the "ribbon" stage.

(above) 1/3 of the beaten egg white ready to be folded in.

(above) The folding in of the egg whites.

(above) You can see how much the egg white lightens up the batter!

(above) The batter is divided into paper cups. [Not shown: I smoothed the tops of the cupcakes before putting it in the oven. I don't know if this made a difference in the outcome]

(above) I recently bought these mini cupcake baking cups and I wanted to test them out! Aren't they cute?

(above) The chiffon cupcakes baked! They took around 11 minutes. The cakes rise in the oven and fall a bit during the cooling process. Just thought you should know.

(above) I guess I was a little skimpy with the batter with the first tray of cupcakes. This is the shortest cupcake. Look at the texture! It is light and spongy.

(above) The cupcakes baked up and cooled.

(above) The mini cupcakes, frosted.

(above) Cupcakes - frosted and sprinkled.

(above) More cupcakes.
Side note: Last week I received a lovely award from the very sweet Adriana from Bittersweet Baker. Thank you for thinking of me!

I'm sharing the love with 10 other food bloggers:
10 things that make me happy:
  1. Running
  2. Chick flicks
  3. Accomplishing new things
  4. Pad Thai
  5. Frosting cupcakes
  6. Listening to Owl City or Taylor Swift
  7. Hot chocolate
  8. Toothpaste that makes your teeth feel all clean and polished
  9. Kind words
  10. Long, rambley chats with friends during sleepovers
The rules are: Copy and paste the award on your blog. List who gave the award to you and use a link to their blog. List 10 things that make you happy. Pass the award on to 10 other bloggers and visit their blog to let them know!
Chiffon Cupcakes
Recipe from Alton Brown on the Food Network, with slight adaptations
Makes 24 cupcakes
5 1/4 ounces cake flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
5 large eggs, separated
6 ounces sugar, divided
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5/8 teaspoon cream of tartar

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Place paper liners into 2 (12-cup) muffin tins and set aside.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
    Place the egg yolks and 5 ounces of the sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk on high for 2 minutes or until the mixture becomes pale yellow and 'ribbons' when lifted. Add the water, vegetable oil and vanilla and whisk to combine. Add the dry ingredients and whisk just to combine. Transfer the batter to a mixing bowl while you whisk the egg whites.
  3. Place the egg whites and cream of tartar into a clean bowl and whisk on high using the whisk attachment, until it becomes foamy. Decrease the speed to low and gradually add the remaining ounce of sugar. Increase speed to high and continue whisking until stiff peaks form, approximately 2 minutes.
  4. Transfer 1/3 of the egg whites to the batter and whisk until well combined. Add the remaining egg whites and fold in gently. Transfer batter into prepared muffin tins, evenly dividing the batter between the cups. Place both muffin tins on the middle rack of the oven. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean or the cupcakes reach an internal temperature of 205 to 210 degrees F. Remove from the oven to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely before frosting.


  1. Hey Lisa, thanks so much for the nomination! Your blog is so yummy, I am drooling at my screen while at work. ;) I'm now a subscriber, keep up the baking!

  2. These look great. I love chiffon cakes/cupcakes. So light and fluffy but gull of flavor unlike angel food cake!

    Would you mind checking out my blog? :D

  3. A Hello from a brazillian reader :)
    Thanks for the recipe! I saw your cupcake on and it looked so delicious! It's a shame that it's so difficult to find those baking cups and even the muffin tin around here. But i'll improvise!
    Your blog is very cute, the photos are great and very usefull! keep it up, girl!

  4. A Hello from a brazillian reader :)
    Thanks for the recipe! I saw your cupcake on and it looked so delicious! It's a shame that it's so difficult to find those baking cups and even the muffin tin around here. But i'll improvise!
    Your blog is very cute, the photos are great and very usefull! keep it up, girl!

  5. Hi Lisa! Thank you so much for the nomination! I'm not really sure how these blogs awards work, but it feels great to know what u did ! :D
    really cute cupcake liners btw. Im obsessed with buying those, but in Vancouver, we don't much of a variety =/

  6. These look delicious! Love the sprinkles!

  7. What a delightful recipe for when you just want a light sweet. Bookmarked, thanks.

  8. That's a great recipe from Mr. Brown. Chiffon is such a treat.

  9. I just found you via a search. I had just put my chiffon cupcakes in the oven and had no idea how long to bake them. I would have baked them too long. Thanks for saving me!

  10. Hi Lisa, Your recipe is delicious, however, as an "old" cupcake baker and chiffon cake maker since probably before your mother was born, the cooking time is too short. Chiffon cakes are not ready when a toothpick inserted comes back clean, but, when you press them lightly with two fingers and they spring back. Yours are too flat and should never have depressed centres after cooling. I did mine for 18 minutes and they were perfect, tops rounded and light and spongy. Good luck with your baking,I am also a runner and recently completed a half marathon. Not bad for an old lady of 63!!! Cheers, Janice