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Orange Chiffon Cake

This recipe yields a very fluffy (think cloud or pillow), very soft, and still very juicy orange chiffon cake.

Chiffon cake is probably one of the most delicate cake one can bake. In Indonesia, we call this type of cake “kue bolu”. We always serve it plain, and it is argueable one of the most commonly served daily during tea-time when we fancy some cake. This orange version is very popular, not only in Indonesia, but also among other Southeast and East Asian countries.

Orange Chiffon Cake - the ingredients and how to prepare the batter

Orange Chiffon Cake - the ingredients and how to prepare the batter

Chiffon cake pan

Most people will insist that you need to bake this in a tube pan. I grow up calling it a chiffon cake pan, but here in United States, it is sold as angel food cake pan.

The one we use widely in Asia is actually the 7-inch angle food cake pan, which can be harder to find compared to the regular 10-inch pan. You can try Amazon, or Bed Bath and Beyond. I myself use the one from Wilton.

There are also many people baking chiffon cake with an 8"x3" round cake pan with great success, so if you already have that in your kitchen, you may want to give it a try. You need to make sure that the pan you use is made with aluminum, and you need to get a NOT non-stick version.

Chiffon cake, like an angel cake, must be baked in an ungreased pan. So please be sure to skip greasing the pan with any butter/oil.

Orange Chiffon Cake - make sure to invert the pan while cooling the cake to prevent it from collapsing

Orange Chiffon Cake - make sure to invert the pan while cooling the cake to prevent it from collapsing

Controlled cracking

Any chiffon cake you bake will probably produce some sort of cracks on top. Once the cake is removed from the pan, the cracks are usually hidden from view if you place the top part on the bottom of your cake plate.

But, you can actually control how the cake cracks by pulling it out from the oven at around 15 minutes of baking time and quickly cut some slits on top. This way, the cracks look designed, and you can serve the cake as is, without flipping the top to bottom and the bottom to top.

Orange Chiffon Cake - if you want regular cracks like this, make sure to make your own slits mid baking

Orange Chiffon Cake - if you want regular cracks like this, make sure to make your own slits mid baking

Invert the pan to cooling the cake

Another key technique when preparing chiffon cake is the method to cool the cake. You need to invert the cake pan and cool the cake upside down.

I usually just grab three little bowls and place them on a wire rack, then stand the three little feet from the tube pan on top of the bowls. Only remove the cake from the pan once it has fully cooled.

If you don’t follow this method of cooling the cake, you risk ending up with a collapsed cake, which after all the care you take to bake the perfect chiffon cake, is just a shame if that happens.

Orange Chiffon Cake

Orange Chiffon Cake

Orange Chiffon Cake

4.9 from 22 reviews

Author: Anita Jacobson




Prep Time: 30 mins

Cook Time: 45 mins

Total Time: 1 hour 15 mins

Serves: one 7-inch angel food cake pan

Print Recipe


  • 100 gram (3.5 oz. / ~ 14 tablespoon) cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 30 gram (1 oz. / ~ 3.5 tablespoon) powdered sugar
  • 80 ml (1/3 cup) neutral flavored oil (e.g. vegetable, canola, e.t.c.)
  • 100 ml (6 tablespoon + 2 teaspoon) freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 5 egg whites
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar (or 1 teaspoon vinegar)
  • 60 gram (2 oz. / ~ 7 tablespoon) powdered sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350 Fahrenheit (180 Celsius).
  2. Sift together cake flour, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In a mixing bowl, beat egg yolks and 30 gram powdered sugar until well mixed. Add in oil, orange juice, and orange zest. Beat until well mixed. Add the cake flour mixture in 3 batches, and beat until well mixed. Set aside.
  4. In another mixing bowl, whisk egg whites until foamy. Then add cream of tartar (or vinegar). Add powdered sugar in 3 batches, and keep whisking until stiff peak.
  5. With a spatula, gently fold the egg whites into the egg yolks batter in 3 batches.
  6. Pour into a 7-inch angel food pan (I use the one from Wilton). Gently tap to remove air bubbles. (*)
  7. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes.
  8. [Optional] Remove pan from oven, quickly make thin slits on the top to control the cracking pattern of the chiffon cake.
  9. Reduce heat to 320 Fahrenheit (160 Celsius). Continue baking for another 25-30 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.
  10. Cool the cake by inverting the pan to prevent the cake from collapsing. Once the cake is completely cool, gently run a thin knife along the edges of the pan to unmold the cake.


  • (*) I am using a smaller size angle food cake pan which holds 50% volume of a regular 10-inch pan.
Indonesian Pantry
Indonesian Kitchen


  • Heidy L. McCallum Heidy L. McCallum says:

    This Orange Chiffon Cake reminds me of a cake my Grandmother used to make and it was AMAZING. I can't wait to try yours to see if it is similar since I lost her recipe.

    • Anita Anita says:

      I totally understand the sentiment. My Grandma passed away when I was still in grade school. I love her cooking and miss them terribly, and I often ask my Mom for Grandma's recipes and even Mom doesn't have all her recipes. It can feel a bit like winning a lottery when I stumble on recipes that remind me of my Grandma's cooking. :)

  • Lisa Huff Lisa Huff says:

    My husband would love this! He's a big orange fan of anything and everything. Love how light and airy it looks!

    • Anita Anita says:

      I too love orange anything, or citrus anything for that matter. Now if only I can convince my hubby he needs more orange (or citrus) food in his life. ;)

  • Traci Traci says:

    What a gorgeous recipe with simple to follow instructions! Who doesn't love a chiffon cake any time of the year?! Thanks for sharing! :)

    • Anita Anita says:

      I know. I'm sure most people bake brownies or chocolate chips for daily enjoyment, my guilty pleasures are more butter cake and chiffon cake. :D

  • Karen Kelly Karen Kelly says:

    This orange cake looks so light and airy. I have never made a chiffon cake but your step by step directions are super helpful. I know hubby would love this!

  • Kelly Anthony Kelly Anthony says:

    I have never had or made chiffon cake but it looks so fluffy and light. I'm always excited to try something new especially when it comes to cake!

    • Anita Anita says:

      Aren't we all? It can be 9 p.m. and when I see a cake recipe I want to try and I happen to have all the ingredients, I'll be baking that cake to the middle of the night. :D

  • Beth Beth says:

    This looks so delicious and elegant! Perfect dessert at our next party!!

  • Maria Phillips Maria Phillips says:

    Just wanted to let you know that I made this for my family for dinner tonight and they loved it! It was pretty filling too. Thank you.

    • Anita Anita says:

      This orange chiffon cake has 5 eggs in it, so despite the light and fluffy look, it can be pretty filling if you guys finish it all in one seating. :)

  • Erika Holder Erika Holder says:

    Looks great. Sound like special. Can't wait to try this out. Great indeed. Thanks a lot for sharing.

  • Helen Helen says:

    I love your post you have shared here on your site. I would like to share it with my friends on all my social media accounts. Thanks for writing such an informative content.

  • Jhoyce Jhoyce says:

    Can i use castard sugar?

    • Anita Anita says:

      If you mean castor/caster sugar, then yes, you can use that instead of icing sugar.

  • Jenn Jenn says:

    Where has this recipe been all my life! I love this cake, and the tip to invert the cake to keep it from collapsing is pure genius!

  • Monique Monique says:

    Why have I never tried this before?! I’ve had chiffon cake before, but never orange flavored. My moms bday is next week and she would love this!

  • Erika Erika says:

    This is an amazing cake. I love the orange flavor!

  • Keeley Keeley says:

    Ohhh yummy! I’ll be giving this a go for sure!

  • Krissy Allori Krissy Allori says:

    This cake looks and sounds amazing. So light and fluffy. I can just picture having tea and enjoying this case with friends and family.

  • Monnie Monnie says:

    Hi Anita! I only have a non-stick cake pan- would that be a deal-breaker? Thanks!

    • Anita Anita says:

      Hi Monnie, unfortunately it must be a regular pan. A chiffon cake will not rise in a non-stick pan.

  • Priscilla Priscilla says:

    Powdered sugar is it Same as icing sugar?

    • Anita Anita says:

      Hi Priscilla, powdered sugar is the same as icing sugar. Some also call it confectioners' sugar.

  • Gee Gee says:

    Hello! Can I use a cake tin for this recipe?

    • Anita Anita says:

      Hi Gee, you should be able to bake it in an 8"x3" round cake pan. Make sure it is a regular pan, not a non-stick one. An aluminum pan like this one from Wilton (https://amzn.to/2WRGCdk) should work.

  • cheryl cheryl says:

    Do you grease the form?

    • Anita Anita says:

      Hi Cheryl, unlike other cakes, there is no need to grease the pan when baking a chiffon cake. In fact, the cake won't rise if you grease the pan.

  • Leona Leona says:

    Tried this recipe and it turned out well. Second time I did it with Lemons and it turned out even better because of the tang! How can I incorporate chocolate for this?

    • Anita Anita says:

      Hi Leona, I don't have one in my blog, but you can try this recipe from Just One Cookbook (https://www.justonecookbook.com/chocolate-chiffon-cake/). :)

  • Mei Mei says:

    Tried this recipe and liked the results. The recipe is simple, use equal number of yolks and whites and just the right amount of sweetness.

  • Diann Pass Diann Pass says:

    I love Orange Chiffon Cake and can hardly wait to bake this one! I like to serve it on a bed of raspberry coulis , topped with fresh summer peaches and finally fresh whip cream! Summer magic!

  • Normah Ahmad Normah Ahmad says:

    Just baked this and love the fragrance and taste of this cake. My only concern is the amount of eggs used. I usually prefer to bake cakes with maximum of 3 eggs. Thank you for sharing your recipe and instructions to bake the cake.

  • Meg Meg says:

    Hi, Can I use this recipe for a theme cake and put food coloring in the batter? Will the coloring change its taste and fluffiness? Also, can the cake withstand frosting on top? Thank you!! 💕

    • Anita Anita says:

      Hi Meg, I have never used any food coloring in my cake, so I can't say if it will affect the taste nor fluffiness/texture, though I believe it should not be a problem. A chiffon cake is very light, so if you must use frosting, I suggest choosing a lighter frosting like a Chantilly. I think either Stella Park's recipe or King Arthur's recipe should be a good choice.

  • Lorelee Sy Lorelee Sy says:

    I tried this recipe last night and I loved it. Tastes fresh and light. Even my mother in law said that it was good. I used an 8 inches round pan for this but I will bake this again for my family and use an 8 inch tube pan instead. Any adjustments in baking time or temp needed? Should I scale up the recipe?

    • Anita Anita says:

      Yay, I'm so glad it worked out. As for using an 8-inch tube pan, I think you may want to increase all the ingredients by 50% compared to the original 7-inch tube pan recipe. The baking temperature is most likely the same, but the baking time may need an additional of 10-15 minutes.

      • Jacqueline Jacqueline says:

        Hi Anita, I have a 8" x 4" tube pan, do i bake at 180celcius for 15mins and 160celcius for 35-40mins?

        • Anita Anita says:

          Hi Jacqueline, if using original recipe with an 8"x4" tube pan, you may actually need a shorter amount of baking time (15 min @ 180C, then 20-25 min @160C). If you want to really fill your 8"x4" tube pan, you may want to scale the ingredients by 50% and bake with your stated time (15 min @ 180C, then 35-40 or even 45 min @ 160 C).

  • Yessica Yessica says:

    Hi, Can I not use the orange flavor? I just want a plain chiffon cake using this recipe Thanks!

    • Anita Anita says:

      Hi Yessica, please replace orange juice with equal amount of milk, and use 1 teaspoon of vanilla instead of orange zest.


    Hi, is it works if i replace orange to lemon?

    • Anita Anita says:

      Yes, you can replace orange with lemon.

  • Effy Effy says:

    How do I go about using this recipe in an 8 inch chiffon cake pan? Would I need to change temperature and time?

    • Anita Anita says:

      Hi Effy, I don't have an 8-inch chiffon cake pan, but you can use the same baking temperature. As for the time, it might be a tad shorter, so please check for the cake 5 minutes earlier.

  • Allison Allison says:

    Hi Anita, can I use my glass bundt pan for this recipe?

    • Anita Anita says:

      Hi Allison, I don't have a glass bundt pan so I don't know if it will work or not. But since we usually avoid greasing the pan in anyway for a chiffon cake, I'm not sure if it is possible to remove the cake from an ungreased bundt pan easily and still retain its pretty pattern. Personally, I wouldn't take the chance with a bundt pan. If the bundt pan design is super simple it's basically a glass tube pan, I will be less reluctant to give it a try.

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