As part of my new goal to start baking once a week for this blog (since my baking classes are officially over), I decided to try making a cake that fits with one of my favorite flavor combinations – orange and strawberry. I love making orange and strawberry smoothies, I love eating the orange and strawberry Skittles together, and now I’m trying to make it work with a cake!
For this cake, it’s not really orange and strawberry cake per se, but an orange cake with strawberry whipped cream. Sitting here writing this while the cake is baking, I really hope that the flavors compliment each other, and that one doesn’t overpower the other. The components both smell absolutely delicious, so here’s hoping!
Chiffon cake is one of the more difficult cakes to make, along with Angel Food (and various others). You have to have a somewhat delicate hand when folding the egg whites into the rest of the batter, but at the same time, you can’t be too gentle, or the egg whites will stay a little clumpy, and you need them to be completely mixed in. When we first did a chiffon cake in class and I was learning to fold things, my chef always told me that you want to go as fast as you can – turning the bowl for each fold. The minute the batter starts getting shiny, dump it in the pan and get it in the oven, because it’s starting to deflate. I definitely took those words to heart and have learned my lesson on multiple cakes! This time, it seemed to turn out just perfectly.
With the cake out of the oven, trimmed, layered, and frosted, it looks very delicious (at least to me).
However, when I cut a slice out to try, it seems that the very bottom of the cake didn’t quite finish cooking – which is odd, considering that I baked it longer than recommended, and that I checked the cake in multiple places for done-ness and had no issues. You can see in the picture of the slice – the bottom layer looks still very solid (at first I had thought it absorbed moisture from sitting in the fridge), but it just looks like it didn’t quite finish baking.
Thinking through it more, the recipe called for a bundt pan or a 10″ cake pan. I couldn’t find my 10″, so I used my 8″ – and I’m sure that was the problem, as obviously a thicker cake will take much longer to bake. Lesson learned.
The flavors, however, are a nice complement. Both flavors are very light mixed into the cake and cream – when you take a bite, you taste the strawberry first and then it switches over to orange for a nice end and aftertaste.
I would definitely make this cake again, especially in the spring or summer – the light flavors are wonderful and refreshing, and I can just imagine eating this at the end of a family get-together when everyone is stuffed. That’s the best thing about Chiffon Cake, is that it’s so light! Recipes below…
Orange Chiffon Cake
- 2 1/4 cups sifted cake flour
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 Tbsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 5 egg yolks
- 2 oranges
- 1 cup egg whites (around 7 egg whites)
- 1/2 tsp lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees, and spray a 10″ cake pan with cooking spray.
- Sift flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt together into a mixing bowl with paddle attachment.
- With mixer on 1, slowly add oil; add egg yolks one at a time (do not add next egg yolk until first is incorporated completely).
- Zest both oranges, and add zest to batter.
- Juice both oranges as much as possible, and add enough liquid (water or other orange juice) to get to 3/4 cup; add to batter.
- Continue beating until smooth.
- In a separate bowl (or the first mixing bowl completely cleaned out), begin whipping egg whites on medium speed until they begin to get frothy. Add in lemon juice, and continue whipping on medium-high speed until stiff peaks are formed.
- Gently fold 1/3 of the egg whites into the rest of the batter using a “turn-and-fold” motion (turning the bowl each time you fold the batter). Once egg whites start to incorporate, add next third, and so on. IMPORTANT: Do not wait until each third of the egg whites are fully incorporated before add more, or your batter will become over-folded and will begin to collapse.
- Immediately pour into batter into prepared cake pan and bake for 60-70 minutes, or until top is golden and springs back lightly when touched and a skewer/toothpick can be inserted and removed clean.
- Remove from oven and let sit for 10 minutes.
- Using a small knife, gently cut the edges of the cake away from the pan and flip onto a cooling rack. Let sit until completely cooled.
Strawberry Whipped Cream
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 7 Tbsp strawberry puree (take fresh strawberries, cut off the tops, and put them in a blender/food processor until smooth)
- Put cream in a mixing bowl with whisk attachment. Whisk on medium until liquid becomes frothy.
- Add in sugar and strawberry puree. Continue to whisk on medium-high until whipped cream is formed.
- Place cake on a turntable if you have one. Using a bread knife, mark a line half way up the cake all the way around, then continue cutting through cake so you have two layers.
- Brush first layer of cake with simple syrup (equal parts water and sugar heated in a pot until sugar is dissolved). Place whipped cream and spread to be a layer to your desired thickness.
- Place second layer of cake on top of first, trying to line up the edges as best as possible. Brush top of cake with simple syrup. Frost top of cake with whipped cream, then frost sides of cake.