Friday, 14 August 2009

Blueberry Chiffon Cake

Beware! This post contains images which may kill your appetite!

I do not consider myself a particularly lucky person in life. So far, I have not won any prizes from any contest or lucky draws...I used to be able to bring home only the door gifts from annual D&Ds! Yet, I have to regard myself a very lucky person when it comes to baking. Most of my bakes turn out satisfactory, if not edible. I even have luck on several occasions when I was either making something I have not attempted before, or I have not even tasted the food prior to making it. Since I lack the skills and knowledge in the baking arena, I believe there is this little baking fairy who lives in my kitchen. It always watches over me whenever I was up to no good...experimenting with flour, butter, sugar and eggs ^_^

I didn't have much luck with baking chiffon cakes recently, the picture speaks for itself. I guess the baking fairy must have gone for holidays? I tried baking this blueberry chiffon cake with my last pack of blueberries. All went well during the preparation of the batter...I am quite certain that the egg whites was well beaten, I didn't deflate the batter too much when folding in the whites to the yolk batter either.

After spending 10 minutes in the oven, the cake rose high up beautifully, I thought I am certainly going to get it right this time. The reality is, the cake started to deflate in the next few minutes and eventually it sank almost to the rim of the pan and refused to budge from there onwards, and there was still another 20 minutes to go before the baking time was up. Even the sweet aroma (I suspect it was from the blueberry juice I used) from the cake while it was still sitting in the oven failed to lift up my spirits.

Just like the Chinese sayings, "祸不单行" (it never rains but it pours)...when I release the cake from the pan, I was greeted with the most unpleasant- looking cake I have ever made :"'(

The top was dotted with blueberries...lumps of blueberries to be exact. Do pardon me for sharing these poor quality images. I usually don't like to take food photos in the evenings due to the poor lighting condition. But I had to take out my camera immediately to commemorate the disaster I have created ;')

I managed to take photos of the last two slices on a bright day. The cake texture was so there was this dense layer again at the bottom of the cake :( Fortunately, the taste was acceptable, although the blueberries created a horrific sight on the cake surface, they remain sweet after baking. I will probably stay away from making chiffon cakes for the time least not until my baking fairy returns.

Blueberry Chiffon Cake

(makes one 18cm cake)

100g cake flour
1 teaspoons baking powder
3 egg yolks
40g caster sugar
50ml vegetable oil
75ml blueberry juice or water
1/2 cup fresh blueberries

3 egg whites
40g caster sugar

  1. Wash and drain blueberries, pat dry with paper towels and toss them gently with one tablespoon of flour (extra).
  2. Sieve flour, baking powder together, set aside.
  3. Separate egg yolks/whites and bring to room temperature. (It is easier to separate eggs when they are cold.)
  4. Place egg yolks in a mixing bowl, add in sugar and with a manual whisk, whisk till the mixture becomes sticky and turn pale.
  5. Drizzle in the oil, whisking at the same time till the mixture is well combined. Repeat the same with the juice or water. Sieve over the flour mixture and whisk until flour mixture is fully incorporated into the batter. Add in blueberries and mix well.
  6. In a clean, dry mixing bowl, beat egg whites with an electric mixer until mixture becomes frothy and foamy. Gradually beat in the sugar and beat on high speed until just before stiff peaks form.
  7. Add the beaten egg white into the egg yolk batter in 3 separate additions, each time folding gently with a spatula until just blended.
  8. Pour batter into a 18cm (7 inch) tube pan (do not grease the pan). Tap the pan lightly on a table top to get rid of any trapped air bubbles in the batter.
  9. Bake in pre-heated oven at 170 degC for 45 ~ 50mins or until the cake surface turns golden brown, and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  10. Remove from the oven and invert the pan immediately. Let cool completely before unmould. To remove the cake from the pan, run a thin-bladed knife around the inside of the pan and the center core. Release the cake and run the knife along the base of the pan to remove the cake.
Recipe source: 好想为你亲手做出美味的甜点! 检见崎聡美著


Honey Bee Sweets said...

Does your baking fairy has a sister? Send her over to my place, haha! Your chiffon looks fine...blueberries always creates "abstract art" on the bakes. So give your baking fairy(or yourself) a break, heehee.:)

Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

Hi HHB. This is not too bad lah, except for the dense part at the bottom... I believe this is the result of the cake collapsing while baking. But for the blueberry part, it is ok. You were using fresh blueberries. These have high water content hence tend to sink in your batter. If try to introduce the blueberry half way through batter pouring, you may get them to suspend but because they are still heavy, it may hinder the egg white structure and create big air pockets like my peach chiffon. When I used only pureed peach without the peach chunks, it turned out good. This is my theory - may not be totatlly correct... :-) Instead of using fresh blueberries, use your homemade blueberry jam - think you will get good result.

Big-Girlicious said...

Hi ! =) still loving your blog!
and wanna ask did you use water or blueberry juice for this cake?

Small Small Baker said...

Actually I thought it looks good. My failed chiffon cakes were even worse, sunken like a crater. I hope your baking fairy has found her way to my kitchen. Hehe!

Kitchen Corner said...

Your chiffon cake looks absolutely fine and I know it's tasty too! I didn't see anything wrong with it and I was quite amazed by its appearance.

CY said...

The cake looks great! Gosh you should see some of the booboos I have created! The main thing is that it tastes good and can be covered in cream. :P

Irene's Footprints said...


You have a veri nice brown crust. How did you do it? I have mine chiffon pan baked for at least 3 times...thought it is rather seasoned. I baked mine at 165 deg for around 60 mins (using a 25 cm tin)but my chiffon is not as brown as yours..bit "bo ta" and pale type.

Any idea?


Anonymous said...

Don't be disappointed.

FYI, I really like all your bread creation, so many of your recipes I tried, no failure. May I suggest if Chiffon failed you why not you make more creations of bread then. Ha .... ha ha .


Parita said...

The cake looks perfect HHB, love the texture

Blessed Homemaker said...

Coincidentally, I just baked a mixed berries chiffon cake yesterday and all my blueberries sank to the bottom of the pan too :-( I suspect it's because I used frozen berries despite coating them with flour. Still in the midst of updating my blog as I've got a super clingy toddler these 2 days. My cake is not any better looking than yours :P

Ummi said...

Hai HHB...really love to see all your cooking n recipes with beautiful n tempting pictures..drooling... :D

agapejen said...

I actually think your cake is lovely. You know, sometimes I think what matter most is the thought of baking something nice for the family. No matter what comes out, they still think it is 'fantastic'!

Anonymous said...

This is my 1st time leaving a comment on your website. I had been using your chiffon cake recipe and has successfully baked 2banana chiffon cakes and 1 strawberry chiffon cake in 1 week ;) My girls love the cakes :)
Thank you. My old recipes always leave me with dense and flat cakes.

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

I'm just relieved to know I'm not the only one who has these kinds of disappointments in the kitchen from time to time! I still thought the picture looked delish...


Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen

Missy said...

I think all your bakes in ur blog are perfect! Dont be discouraged cos mine's worse.. just that I dont post them up hahaha and u are so cute with ur baking kitchen fairy! i want one too!!

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Honey Bee Sweets, thanks for the encouragement :)

Hi køkken69, I would like to blame my oven for the dense layer, but I think it could also be the beating and folding of the whties.

Hi Big-Girlicious, yes, I used blueberry juice :)

SSB, I have made a lopsided chiffon cake too, hahaha!

Grace, you are always so kind :D

CY, yes taste is important to my family memebers, they eat with their mouth not their eyes ;)

Hi Irene, I really don't know how to get the brown crust, I think it could be the pan? or my oven? My oven is on the 'cold' side, so it always take a longer time for my cake to bake till done. Sometimes I stick to the recommended baking time, and the crust still turn out brown.

Hi Melinda, glad to hear that you have success with the bread recipes :D
I have been making bread but I didn't post them as I keep going back to the old recipes ;)

Thanks Parita!

Hi Blessed Homemaker, your chiffon cake looks way better than mine! I love the softness of your cake!

Thanks Ummi!

Hi agapejen, yes my family doesn't care too much on the appearance of the food I made, as long as it is edible, they eat whatever I prepare for them ;)

Hi Lee, I am glad you have broken your silence :) Hope to hear from you more often! I am delighted to hear that your banana and strawberry chiffon cakes turn out well. Thanks to the authors of the recipes!

Hi Riley, thanks for your kind words :)

Hi Missy, thanks for your support and encouragement!

Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

HHB, I did some research on your dense bottom problem. You may be right about your oven. Typically, the chiffon will rise in the oven. If your oven is efficient, your cake will split(开口笑). By splitting, it allows the trapped moisture to release effectively. It shouldn't collapse in the oven. But it will shrink a little when you cool it down. This is normal and will not produce a dense layer. Did you cake split in the oven?

Sarah said...

Hi there,

I've awarded you a "kreativ blogger" award because I love your blog! The link is below if you'd like to participate!

xox Sarah

thecoffeesnob said...

Hey HHB. That still does look pretty good! I would gladly take a slice of it any day :)

Happy Flour said...


I like to dedicate 'I love your Blog' award to you. Please go to my blog, copy and paste it at your blog. :)

FL Mom said...

Aw. Thanks for sharing your disappointments too. We've all had our own share of burnt, sunken, or otherwise inedible baked items.

It seems those berries were too big & heavy for this cake. You might try dried or tiny wild blueberries next time to get them to stay mixed through instead of sinking.

Jennifer said...


I've made Blueberry Chiffon before. The trick if you are using fresh blueberries, you have to boil it with some sugar then add it into the batter. Or using dried blueberry instead to bake chiffon cake.


Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

Hi HHB, finally got round to baking the blueberry chiffon. If you still have blueberries, you may want to try again. Cheers!

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi køkken69, my chiffon cake ususally doesn't crack or split. I suspect it is my oven's fault :(

Thanks Sarah for passing the award to me :D

Thanks thecoffeesnob, you are so kind :)

Thanks so much for passing the award to me :):)

Hi FL Mom, Jennifer, I will love to try out with dried blueberries!

dot said...

I used your recipe to bake a BB chiffon cake and it turned out very well. I used fresh bb and I cut each berry into halves and mixed them with a little flour.
Instead of mixing the egg white into the egg yolk mixture, I slowly folded in the egg yolk mix into the egg white and my cake turned out well. The berries were well distributed throughout the cake.

Thanks for sharing the recipe.


Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

Hi HHB, was checking out your recipe.If indeed, your oven is not behaving suggest you work with a less dense recipe. Your recipe has quite alot of liquid and flour. Overall, denser hence, more difficult to rise.With more liquid, oven will need to expand more energy to vaporise the water. Sorry, I tend to be more theoretical... Try my recipe and see if works better in your oven.

Wen-Chi said...

HHB.. pastry chef or not, I love your blog.. you reminded of home (Taiwan).

Blueberries are tricky.. I often just pre-cook them w/ liquid called in fromula & make a thick syrup & fold into the yolk batter. Don't worry about the supposed cracking. A well made Chiffon shouldn't crack. Egg foam cake have the tendency to sunk & resulting a clapped cake or denser bottom since you had tapped out some of the air that you work so hard to put into the foam. Instead, give the batter a a couple good swirl w/ a wooden skewer & that will do the trick.

In school, we often debate whether 3 folding of egg white is better or not, and personally.. I believed in less folding is better, I often just sacrifice a small amount to lighten up the batter, then fold in the rest as gently & fast as I can. This is my rule for all egg foam cakes.

If your oven is like mine.. only choose to work perfectly when it wants (I hate home oven!) increase the temperature up to 190 C/375F, preheat for about 15 min. then bake.

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi køkken69, thanks for the clear instructions in your blog. I hope I will be able to give it a try soon :)

Hi WY, thank you for visiting my blog :)
Thanks so much for your kind advise and useful tips. I will try swirling the batter instead of tapping it. I always fold in the whits in 3 separate foldings, will try your method the next time.

Irene's Footprints said...


Would like to know what oven you are using, brand type?

All your bakes are lovely and perfect. You can conduct a baking class for us!


janet said...

I tried making a green tea cheesecake the other day and it failed miserably. It'll be better next time!

betty said...

Beautiful , yummy site-love the pictures! Thank you! Betty

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Irene, I am using a tabletop oven, tefal, only 20litres. It is quite small, and it has only one heating element on top. It is not a very good oven as the temperature is not very stable.

Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

Hi HHB, Dropping you a line to let you know I have just posted my latest chiffon, pumpkin chiffon. Not perfect but I am not so bothered by it. When you have time, do come and visit.

Anonymous said...

Heja HHB,
through a link about the Hokkaido Milk Loaf I got to your website and I can´t stop looking. I would love to start right away with baking, but due to my broken leg this will have to wait a little bit longer :(
And I love your photos and the font you used in a lot of them (e.g. the Blueberry Chiffon Cake above). Could you tell me the name of this beautiful font? I would love to use it in my study-presentation! Thank you very, very much!
Best regards,
Juli (Germany)

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Juli, thanks for dropping by :) The font type I am using is Copperplate Gothic Light.

Sue said...

Hi HHB, it's me, the Sue that talked to you about speaking Mandarin. After I created google account and started reading blogs, then I realized there are many Sue around! I should have given myself another name. I need your advice on baking chiffon cake. I always get the top like "huat kueh" no matter how careful I whisked and mixed. I have tried baking 6" tube pan at 170 n 190 degree buy still can't problem. Any advice? I'm envy to see your perfect chiffon cake.

Sue said...

I forgot to mention that I reduced the recipe to 2 eggs to fit my 6" pan. No matter what recipe I tried, I always end up with same problem. However, the cakes rise well and hence texture is good. This is the consoling part!

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Sue, I am no expert in baking chiffon cake as everything is self taught. I have not attended any baking classes not even demo sessions. As such I can only comment base on my own experience, hope you understand.
1. Since you reduced the recipe, I am not sure whether this actually affects the outcome? Some recipes cannot be reduced proportionately. I would like to suggest that you stick to the original recipe (did you use my recipe?), fill your pan with the batter until it is about 75% full, and the rest you may bake using a smaller pan or paper muffin cups?
2. Most chiffon cakes will crack a little, mine also usually will have one tiny crack. Since your cake is able to rise well and has got a good texture, beating of the egg whites is not an issue. I don't think it is also the mixing problem.

If yours crack like huat kueh, then it could be due to:
- oven temperature too hot...the surface is already 'set' but the inside is still expanding, as it expands, it will cause the surface to crack. You can try reduce the oven temperature, bake at 170degC (you can even try to reduce the temp to 160degC after 10mins, or reduce the temp around the time just before the crack starts to appear), or place the pan at a lower rack position...not sure what type of oven you have, mine only has got one set of heating coil on top, so I place my pan at the lowest rack position. Use an oven theremometer to check that your oven temp is accurate.
- reduce the baking time since your baking pan is smaller. Hope this helps and alll the best for your next attempt :)

Sue said...

I have placed an oven thermometer and found temperature was accurate. I will try baking at lower temp and raise after some time. Thanks for your advice.

Anonymous said...

Hi HHB....found your website and very cool about all the food and recipes and i am one of the big fan with chiffon cake and i have question about amount the eggs in your chiffon, how come only using 3 eggs your cake can raise so tall and i tried the same exactly from your recipe but cant be the same like yours. thanks,Irene

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Irene, I use a 7" pan, did you use the same size or a bigger pan? 3 eggs is the standard for most chiffon recipes to fit a 7" pan. As for the eggs, I use large eggs, about 60-63g with shells or about 55g without shells. Did you use smaller eggs? Also, the finished batter should be able to fill up the pan, at least 90% full, or about 1-2cm below the rim. Hope this helps :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for the info and now i just realized that my pan 10"/25 cm size so i need double recipes for that, you are awesome!!!!! the cake was super moist ;D

Take care,

Anonymous said...

Hi HHB, do you have Chocolate chiffon cake recipe?? thanks in andvance.


Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Irene, no I have not posted any chocolate chiffon recipe.