Light, fluffy and healthy may not be the characteristics you would look for in a birthday cake but this incredibly easy chiffon cake, from Kirbie’s Cravings, was exactly how I pictured my mother’s birthday cake to be. Even without the frills and frosting, I think it looks pretty spectacular with the golden crumb and soft, pillowy interior. The classic chiffon cake relies on well beaten eggs and sugar for its delicate structure and is typically served with cream and a fruit coulis.

Vanilla is everyone’s favourite flavour at home so my homemade birthday cakes, other than my own, often find themselves flecked with tiny vanilla beans or smelling of Madagascar’s Pure Bourbon Vanilla Extract. It was no surprise that my mother’s chiffon cake bore the natural fragrance of freshly scrapped vanilla seeds. The family was so eager to go on with the cake cutting ceremony that I had no chance of taking a proper picture of the finished cake which was filled and frosted with freshly whipped cream and draped with pink pâte d’amande.

VANILLA CHIFFON CAKE

Ingredients:

1 3/4 cup all purpose flour, sifted

1 tbs baking powder

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/4 tsp table salt

1/2 cup vegetable oil

6 large egg yolks

3/4 cup milk

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 vanilla bean

6 egg whites

3/4 cup caster sugar

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 350oF . Combine flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl.

  • Add oil, egg yolks, milk and vanilla extract and seeds to mixture and beat until thick and smooth.

  • Beat egg whites in a grease-free, moisture-free bowl until moist peaks formed. Add caster sugar.

  • Beat until stiff and shiny peaks form. Fold 1/3 of the egg whites into the egg yolks mixture.

  • Add the rest of the egg whites. Fold gently but thoroughly until no white streaks are to be seen.

  • Pour batter into ungreased 10″ tube pan. Bake for 60 minutes until the top springs back on touch.

  • Invert cake and cool completely in pan. Loosen edges and shake pan to remove cake. Serves 15.

Happy Birthday Mama!

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