Lime Chiffon Cake

January 20, 2012

So far winter has been on the mild side. I haven't had the usual angst-ridden longings for sunnier weather. (Watch what happens as a result of writing that down.)

Even though I haven't felt the urge to bury myself under 300 blankets while inhaling Meyer lemons for the next two months, I still crave the warm, summer-drenched ambiance of citrus. Any form of citrus. Yes, even a tangerine-vanilla martini (or two).

Every now and then someone will ask me to make something at the last minute, leaving me bereft of a  much-needed trial run; last time I made this cake was one of those rare instances..and it has bothered me ever since. Not because I was worried that it wouldn't taste right. No, I was jealous. Jealous of the people who would be able to sink their forks into this blithe, fluffy perky cake.

At last, I've tied up one of many loose ends!

This cake truly is reminiscent of chiffon. It's light (not lite!), stylish, and simple. And it's the perfect way to ward off any mid-winter blues...even if you're feeling blue about not having the blues. :-D

Lime Chiffon Cake (adapted from Taste of Home)

cake ingredients
7 eggs, separated
2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 teaspoons baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup fresh lime juice (about 5-6 limes) Note:Grate the limes first, and save the peel
1/2 cup canola oil
Lime peel (just use all of it from the limes used for the juice)
1 teaspoon pure almond extract (or 2 teaspoons of vanilla)
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

glaze ingredients
1/3 cup of butter, softened to room temperature
3 cups confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup fresh lime juice (about 2-3 limes) Note:Grate the limes first, and save the peel
Lime peel
1/4 teaspoon salt

Place the oven rack onto the lowest position. Preheat the oven to 325 F. Lightly butter and flour a 10-inch Tube pan. [Note: The original recipe said to leave the pan un-greased...but that made me nervous. The 2 times that I made this, I did have a little bit of difficulty removing the cake, but with some gentle prodding, it did fall out eventually...I'm not sure if this had anything to do with the fact that the pan was floured. Where am I going with this? Grease and flour the pan, just to be safe, but don't worry too much if you skip that step.]

Place the egg whites in a large bowl; Cover and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
In a separate large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In yet another separate large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, lime juice, oil, lime peel and almond extract.
Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the egg mixture. Beat until well blended.

In a separate large, Clean mixing bowl, combine the cream of tartar and room temperature egg whites. Beat on medium speed just until soft peaks form.
Gently fold the egg whites into the cake batter. Try not to over-mix...a light hand will yield a light cake.
Carefully spoon the batter into the pan. Lift the pan off the counter by an inch or 2 and drop it back onto the counter...this will release any air pockets.
Bake for 50-55 minutes, or until the top is golden and springs back when lightly touched. [Note: My cake took about 57 minutes to bake.]
As soon as it's out of the oven, invert the pan and allow the cake to cool for at least 2 hours.
Once the cake has cooled completely, run a thin knife around the sides and center, and then invert it again onto a large serving plate. [Note: I had to jiggle the pan around a bit in order to make it release the cake.]

Prepare the glaze: In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy (about 3 minutes). Gradually add the confectioners' sugar, followed by the lime juice, peel, and salt. Once everything has been combined, beat on high speed for about 2 minutes. The glaze should be runny, but not "watery." If it looks too thin, add a little more confectioners' sugar. If it's too thick, add a splash of milk or water.
Use a large spoon to pour the glaze over the cooled cake, allowing it to cascade down the sides.

Makes about 12 servings


  1. This cake looks wonderfully tender. I've never baked OR tasted a chiffon cake but looks like this will be my first! I pinned this post, thanks for the recipe!

  2. OMG! I.Must.Make.
    I LOVE lime anything. This looks like a tropical get-away on a plate. Thank you for posting! I'll be back after I make it.

  3. The moment I looked at that cake, I got the most intense craving for lime. Ergo, I HAVE to make this cake. Obviously. And wash it down with a tangerine-vanilla martini.

  4. it looks incredibly gorgeous and delicious! so fluffy

  5. Il est à tomber de gourmandise
    Je te souhaite un agréable Week-End

  6. Gorgeaous! Citrusy cakes are my favorite and this one looks just divine.



  7. I'm not a big cake person, but this one completely tempts me. It looks divine. And having seen the photos, I feel jealous of anyone who's eaten it too!

  8. I love chiffon cake and that is a perfect looking one! I made a banana one over the holidays and it disappeared so quickly I didn't get a photo. Time to make another, I think!

  9. Wow, this is a a thing of beauty. It looks so perfect. I love the lime zest on the top too. I be this tastes divine. Happy weekend.

  10. That is a beautiful cake! I love the little flecks of lime zest on the frosting - very visually appealing, and I will bet the aroma was fantastic. Extremely well done!

  11. Beautiful cake! Looks so tender and delicious. I can't resist citrus!

  12. I love just about anything lime... this cake would be no exception. My dad's tree is exploding with the fruit, and I think I've just found another use! Nice winter pick-me-up!

  13. This looks so lovely-light and refreshing! I might have to make it now that I finally purchased a bundt pan!

  14. vancouver has been extra cold this year, it's kinda scaring me! i want summer nowww!

  15. i love this type of cake the most..and yours looks really pretty with its' green's a perfect cake for summer too which is good because it's hot here in melbourne..i'm looking forward to making it..

  16. I made this cake, and it was a disaster. But a delicious disaster :) I started out by switching the limes to lemons because I had a bag full of lemons that needed to be used up. When I was adding the sugar, I accidentally put three scoops in, but using the 1/4 cup scoop instead of the 1/2 cup scoop. However, the lack of sugar I think really helped the lemon flavor come through, so I still love it. I also forgot to cream the butter for the icing, so I added it somewhat after the fact. And I put the cake in a spring form pan because I didn't have a bunt pan. I was getting really impatient for the cake to cool, so I put the icing on anyways. Predictably it melted, and when I tried to take the sides of the pan off, the majority of the frosting went all over the counter top. However, despite all my snafus, the cake was lemon fluffy icing deliciousness! Definitely in my make again pile.

  17. This looks fabulous! I would love to have a slice right now.

  18. Steph, when it comes to cakes, I've been there! Sometimes I just want to make a recipe without reading it through...I never learn.

    This particular cake is definitely worth a re-visit. :D

  19. All I can say is I wish that was sitting in my kitchen right now.

  20. there's spmething about winter that makes us crave summery citrus fruits, no? i just made a Meyer lemon buttermilk mini cake with blueberry compote...not really a winter dessert?? LOL.

  21. Ok, I'm Back.

    I made this.

    I loved every last crumb of it.

    Lime makes me happy :)

    Thanks for another great recipe!!

  22. @kmdshaw,
    I'm glad to hear that you liked the recipe, thanks for letting me know!
    (Lime makes me happy too.) :D

  23. I love chiffon cakes. This one looks so light anf fluffy. Love the lime addition :)


Thanks for visiting, and for taking the time to read through my ramblings!
If you have a recipe comment or question, I'd love to hear from you.

Happy Baking!
♥ Valerie


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