This cake is what I call my "hybrid" chiffon cake because I've combined the airy texture of a chiffon with the stability of a classic vanilla layer cake. It has the lightest texture of all my cakes and this one has a classic vanilla flavor that goes great with any type of fruit and whipped cream.
Traditionally, chiffon cakes are baked in chiffon cake pans and then cooled upside down. These baking pans are large and tall, and contain a central hole. It kind of looks like a large donut, which facilitates even heat transfer throughout the batter. Cooling upside down allows the cake to remain tall so the weight of gravity doesn't push down on it.
I've designed my chiffon cake recipe so that it is a tad sturdier; this allows us to reliably bake chiffons in different cake pans in the Cakeculator. Cupcakes and mini cakes bake well with this recipe and I've also used this chiffon to make tall stacked layer cakes.
A few notes on baking this cake in rounded cake pans:
I have cooled these cakes both right side up and upside down. If you cool them right side up - they will shrink down to a level surface and kind of be wrinkly on the tops. It didn't affect the inner texture of the cake at all, really. I feel like it's more of an apperance thing. (If it concaves or pulls away from the sides of the pan when you take it out of the oven, however, the cake is underbaked. The cake should level, but not collapse.)
If you cool them upside down, they will look slightly higher. Watch my video and you can see the little bit of difference. As far as the texture, I couldn't really tell - but the finished cake looks prettier. Though the appearance doesn't really matter if you're stacking layers inside a cake. I still let them cool upside down even though it is nerve wracking the first few times you do it. But don't worry, if it's fully baked - and I give you lots of visuals in the video on how to tell - it won't fall out.
Note that I use 2" high pans, which after turning the pans upside down kinda just barely smooshes the cake. If you use a 3" high pan, maybe you'll likely get noticeably higher cakes.
To make other cake sizes, such as cupcakes or mini cakes, you can select "Vanilla Chiffon" in my cakeculator by going here.
If you'd like to make the exact cake I show in my YouTube video, I've written it out below.
Vanilla Chiffon Cake
Mango and Balsamic Strawberries (for filling and decoration)
Honey Whipped Cream Frosting
Make the Vanilla Chiffon Cake
Prep the Fruit
Make the Honey Whipped Cream
Assemble the Cake
Be sure to watch my video to see how I put this cake together.
*My older versions of this cake use milk, but I've since changed the liquid to water. I've found that this creates a much softer crumb than milk because it is pure moisture and no milk proteins. However, if you want, you can use milk, although I didn't find any taste benefit from doing so.
**Cake flour is best for this recipe. It is finely milled and contains less gluten-forming proteins than all-purpose flour. This gives chiffon a delicate, very fine crumb that is extremely tender. I use King Arthur Flour's Unbleached Cake Flour, but you can use bleached versions if you like.
***Cornstarch (aka corn flour) or potato starch can be used. This ingredient further decreases the amount of gluten forming proteins in the total amount of starches needed for the cake.
****If you can't find or don't have cream of tartar, sub double the amount of lemon or lime juice. Don't worry, it won't flavor the meringue.