Light and lemony - a perfect dessert for Mother's Day!
Isn't it pretty with its little lemon peel rosette? If I'd had fresh raspberries or strawberries in the house, I would have added them around the border of the plate. This is a lovely dessert any time of the year, but especially nice in the spring. It reminds me of lemonade, but in a cake. With Mother's Day coming up, it would be a lovely addition to a special dinner for Mom, and it's really easy to make with a cake mix!
So let's get right down to it!
SPH Gluten Free Lemon Chiffon Cake Recipe
1 box Betty Crocker Gluten Free Yellow Cake Mix
2/3 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup canola oil or melted butter
grated zest of 1 lemon (get organic if possible)
2 T. lemon extract
1 cup egg whites (I use the kind that come in a carton from the store - easier, and doesn't deplete my supply of regular eggs)
1/2 t. cream of tartar
1/2 c. Betty Crocker Rich & Creamy vanilla frosting
juice of 1 lemon (use the lemon you zested for the cake)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease bottom and sides of three 8" round cake pans. Pour contents of cake mix into mixer bowl. In a small bowl, combine buttermilk, oil/butter, 3 eggs, lemon zest and lemon extract. Beat until lightly combined. Beat liquid ingredients into cake mix, at medium speed, for only 2-3 minutes. Be sure to stop and clean the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula FREQUENTLY, and beat only until everything is well combined and smooth. DO NOT OVERBEAT, or your cake will be rubbery. Definitely not a desired outcome. In separate large bowl, beat egg whites with cream of tartar until stiff peaks. Gently fold in egg whites, just until mostly combined (if you have a few little bits of white showing, that's ok). Don't stir them in - they will deflate, and that definitely will take away from that light and airy texture we've all come to expect from a chiffon cake. Pour the batter as equally as possible into all three cake pans. Place the pans on racks that are as centered as possible in your oven. I place two cake pans on the top rack, and one on the bottom. I also arrange them in sort of a vertical triangle to allow maximum air circulation in the oven for even baking. Bake for about 45 minutes, or til tester inserted in center comes out clean. Allow cakes to cool completely before removing from pan.
Meanwhile, make the glaze. In a small bowl, combine the frosting and lemon juice. Whisk until very smooth. Drizzle over cooled cakes.
You can layer them to make a tall cake (be sure to make enough glaze to finish all three layers), or do individual layers, which is what I did in the photo above. You can also do these as cupcakes. If you want them really fancy, do the lemon peel rosette. Just use a vegie peeler, and remove the yellow part only of a lemon rind. Roll it up, starting at one end, then let it open on its own to form the flower. Use more frosting if you want a thicker glaze, or add the lemon juice to the whole can for frosting instead of glaze. You can also make orange or lime chiffon - just use a different citrus fruit.
Try it - you'll like it!