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Lemon Chiffon Cake

This Lemon Chiffon Cake Recipe is a soft and light cake recipe with incredible lemon flavor! I topped it with a sweet lemon buttercream frosting to make the perfect spring dessert!

If you love lemon cake, make sure to try my Lemonade Cake too!

Lemon Chiffon Cake Is The Ultimate Spring Dessert!

Spring is here, Easter is right around the corner, and pretty pastels are front and center. So I thought it was time for me to share my Lemon Chiffon Cake Recipe with you all! I feel like chiffon cake pairs perfectly with light citrus flavors, so you can even make this a lime, orange, or grapefruit chiffon cake too!

What Is Chiffon Cake?

Chiffon Cake is an airy, light cake made with vegetable (or canola) oil. The egg whites are whipped separately and folded into the batter creating volume and giving it the airy texture.

It’s different than an angel food cake because while you whip the egg whites separately, you still use the yolks!

sliced lemon chiffon cake from above with lemon frosting and fresh lemon pieces

What Type Of Pan Do You Need?

You will need a tube pan, also known as an angel food cake pan. This type of pan will have a tube in the center, like a bundt pan, BUT the sides are straight, and the bottom separates from the sides.

This is the pan I have and use!


For the Cake:

  • Dry Ingredients: Granulated sugar, all purpose flour, baking powder, kosher salt, cream of tartar
  • Large eggs separated. You will need to use both the yolks and the whites, but in different ways.
  • Wet Ingredients: Water, vegetable oil, vanilla extract
  • Lemon Zest

For the Frosting:

  • Butter. I use salted at room temperature.
  • Powdered sugar
  • Lemon zest
  • Fresh lemon juice
serving chiffon cake with a cake knife

How To Make Lemon Chiffon Cake:

Whisk together the sugar, flour, baking powder, and salt. You can easily do this in the bowl of your stand mixer with the paddle attachment. You just want to stir them together breaking up any lumps.

Next, in a separate bowl whisk together the egg yolks, water, oil, vanilla, and lemon zest. Add this to the dry mixture in the mixer. With the paddle attachment mix this together on medium-low speed until it’s smooth. Don’t forget the scrape the sides of the bowl as needed so everything gets mixed in evenly.

Then in a separate, clean mixing bowl you are going to mix together the remaining egg whites and the cream of tartar using the whisk attachment to your stand mixer or even an electric hand mixer. Mix this until the whites form stiff peaks. Fold this into the prepared cake batter until combined. I like to use a rubber spatula to do this.

Spread this cake batter into an UN-GREASED tube pan.

Bake the cake on the LOWEST oven rack at 325°F and bake for 50 minutes, until the cake is golden and will spring back when pressed lightly.

a wine bottle with a tube pan on top showing how you cool a chiffon cake

As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, immediately invert the pan. The trick is to hang it upside down on a wine bottle. This allows the pan to cool without trapping steam underneath, while not allowing the cake to deflate. Let it cool for at least an hour upside down.

When it’s cooled, run a knife around the edges to release it and carefully remove it from the pan.

Frosting this cake is totally optional, but I love lemon buttercream, so I encourage you to try! Otherwise you can simply dust it with powdered sugar and enjoy!

Why Separate the Eggs?

To get that light, airy texture you need to whip the egg whites separately. Once they have been whipped until they reach stiff peaks you can fold this into the batter and it creates volume and a lightness to the batter.

Why Do You Cool This Chiffon Cake Upside Down?

I recommend the trick of placing the pan upside down on a wine bottle to cool. This serves two purposes:

  1. Cooling the cake upside down prevents the cake from collapsing. Chiffon cake is light and airy and you don’t want it to deflate or collapse. Cooling it this way lets gravity assist in this!
  2. And cooling it in the air on a wine bottle prevents condensation from building up as it cools upside down. If it wasn’t elevated, steam would get trapped under the pan causing the cake to get soggy on top!
A piece of lemon cake on a plate with a forkful take out

What Type Of Frosting Do You Use On Chiffon Cake?

I love this cake paired with a simple lemon buttercream, but if buttercream isn’t your thing, here are a few other ideas:

  • Skip the frosting and dust the cake with powdered sugar.
  • Serve with a dollop of whipped cream and sliced fresh lemons.
  • A Glaze icing drizzled on top would be delicious. Just combine 1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar with a little lemon zest and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Mix until smooth and drizzle on top!
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A piece of Lemon Chiffon cake on a white plate

Lemon Chiffon Cake

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 4.9 from 15 reviews
  • Author: Shelly
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: serves 10 1x
  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: Dessert


This Lemon Chiffon Cake is light, sweet and topped with creamy lemon buttercream frosting!


  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 7 large eggs, separated
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon zest (approximately 3 large lemons)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar


  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1/4 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice


  1. Cake: Preheat oven to 325°F. Arrange the oven so you can bake the cake on the lowest rack. Set aside a 10- inch tube pan (Angel Food Cake pan).
  2. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, sift together the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt.
  3. In a small bowl whisk together the egg yolks, water, oil, vanilla, and lemon zest. When combined, add this into the bowl with the flour mixture. Mix on medium-low speed until combined and smooth, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  4. Place the egg whites in a separate large mixing bowl with the cream of tartar. With the whisk attachment or a hand mixer, beat the egg whites on high speed until stiff peaks form.
  5. Fold the egg whites into the batter using a rubber spatula until combined. Spoon the batter into the un-greased tube pan.
  6. Place the pan on the lowest rack and bake for 50 minutes, or until golden and set. Cake will spring back when pressed lightly.
  7. When the cake is done, immediately invert the pan. I like to place the pan on a wine bottle upside-down. This allows the pan to cool without trapping steam underneath, while not allowing the cake to deflate.
  8. Allow the cake to cool for at least an hour.
  9. When cooled, run a butter knife around the sides of the cake to release it from the pan. Gently lift the cake out. Run the knife under the cake to release it from the bottom cake pan. Place the cake on a platter.
  10. Frosting: In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment mix together the butter, powdered sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Turn the mixer up to medium speed and beat for 1-2 minutes until creamy, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary,
  11. Spread the frosting on top of the cake.


Store airtight for up to 3 days.


  • Serving Size: 1 slice
  • Calories: 579
  • Sugar: 65.6 g
  • Sodium: 288 mg
  • Fat: 23.7 g
  • Carbohydrates: 87.5 g
  • Protein: 7.1 g
  • Cholesterol: 154.6 mg

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47 comments on “Lemon Chiffon Cake”

  1. Seeking help: I’d like to make cupcakes for an outside COVID-safe grad party as a lemon snow cake version using lemon curd frosting and coconut flakes. Can you please recommend a bake time and temp for cupcakes using this batter? Thanks so much!

  2. Hi Shelly,
    just wondering if you can use the 8 inch pans and make 3? Also can it be made into just a vanilla chiffon? Just deduct the lemon?

  3. This cake is soo good! I’m gluten free and corn free so I subbed the regular flour to Bob Mills Gluten free flour and King James Gluten free flour using half each ratios. Since I can’t eat the baking powder as listed, I subbed it for cream of tartar. Even made a blackberry syrup for a drizzle. Delicious and this cake is infused with lemon! This recipe is a keeper!

  4. Would this freeze well after it’s baked? I’d like to get it done ahead of time and frost it the day I serve it.

  5. I made this today, but I only use half of the recipe because my chiffon pan is small. and I tell you what, this is the most amazing chiffon I’ve ever made!! it was fluffy, light and not too sweet (well i reduce the sugar by 20 grams) andd it was very lemony!! I kinda surprised because u didnt put any lemon juice hence it taste soo lemony and not bitter. I love it so much and so does my family. Thank youuu


    I made this cake for the very 1st time and WOW it was amazing!!! A friend requested a lemon chiffon cake for his birthday and boy did this recipe was a hit. Everyone seconds and even those who did not care for lemon commented on how amazing the cake tasted!! This recipe will be made again and again and again!!

  7. Hello I am ten. I decided to make this for my family. My parents are divorced and I had to be at my mom’s house so this cake is frostingless. It’s cooling right now. Can’t wait to try. That’s for the recipe. Next time will try to add frosting.

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