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Lemon-Buttermilk Chiffon Cake with Double-Raspberry Sauce

Scott Phillips

Servings: 12 to 16

Buttermilk makes a classic chiffon flavoring extra-tangy, while cornmeal enhances the cake’s beautiful yellow color and adds a bit of texture (but not grit).


For the cake

  • 7 large eggs
  • 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbs. plus 2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest (from 2 to 3 large lemons)
  • 7 oz. (1-3/4 cups) cake flour
  • 2-1/4 oz. (1/2 cup) stone-ground yellow cornmeal
  • 1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. table salt
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk
  • 2/3 cup neutral oil, such as canola or vegetable
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

For the sauce and serving

  • 4 cups fresh or frozen raspberries, rinsed and well dried; more for garnish
  • 1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam
  • 1 oz. (1/4 cup) confectioners’ sugar; more to taste
  • Pinch table salt
  • Fresh mint leaves (optional)
  • Whipped cream (optional)

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 300
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 110
  • Fat (g): 12
  • Saturated Fat (g): 1.5
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 3.5
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 7
  • Cholesterol (mg): 80
  • Sodium (mg): 240
  • Carbohydrates (g): 44
  • Fiber (g): 3
  • Protein (g): 5


Make the cake

  • Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and heat the oven to 325°F. Have ready an ungreased, not nonstick 10×4-inch (16-cup) angel food cake pan.
  • Separate the eggs, putting the yolks in a small bowl and the whites in a medium bowl. In a food processor, pulse 1-1/4 cups of the granulated sugar and the lemon zest until the zest is finely ground, about eight 1-second pulses.
  • Sift the flour into the bowl of a stand mixer or a large mixing bowl. Whisk in the sugar mixture, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt. Add the egg yolks, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla. Using the stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or a hand-held mixer, beat on medium-low speed until blended. Increase the speed to medium high and beat until lighter in color and thick enough to form a slowly dissolving ribbon of batter when the paddle or beaters are lifted, about 3 minutes.
  • Using the stand mixer fitted with a clean bowl and the whisk attachment or a handheld mixer with clean beaters, beat the egg whites on medium-low speed until foamy, about 1 minute. Increase the speed to medium, and beat until the whites are opaque and form very soft peaks, about 1-1/2 minutes. Slowly add the remaining granulated sugar, and beat until the whites are thick and shiny and form soft peaks, about 1-1/2 minutes.
  • Using a rubber spatula, scrape about one-fourth of the whites into the batter and gently fold until blended. Add the remaining whites and gently fold until just blended with no visible streaks of either the whites or batter.
  • Immediately scrape the batter into the cake pan. Bake until deep golden brown and springy when touched, about 60 minutes. The top will have cracks that still look moist inside. Immediately invert the pan onto its feet or by sliding the center tube onto the neck of a bottle. Let cool completely, then remove from the pan.
  • The cake can be served immediately or covered and stored at room temperature for up to 5 days.

Make the sauce

  • In a food processor or blender, purée the raspberries, jam, confectioners’ sugar, and salt. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve over a small bowl, pressing firmly on the seeds. Season to taste with more confectioners’ sugar. The sauce can be covered and refrigerated for up to 5 days.
  • Serve slices of the cake with the sauce, berries, mint, and whipped cream, if using.


Rate or Review

Reviews (4 reviews)

  • JayFrancis | 06/07/2015

    The addition of "cornmeal" is a mis-step in my opinion. It adds an unpleasant grittiness with no flavor pay-off. I recommend not adding cornmeal. Caveat: I am a huge fan of Fine Cooking magazine, recommending it as the one source magazine to subscribe to. If my memory serves me, this is the first recipe I have done from them that wasn't terrific.

  • BroadHollow | 06/05/2015

    Absolutely delicious cake, but it is indeed gritty. If you understand that (and that it's from the stone ground corn meal, not a result of forgetting to wash the mixing bowl ahead of time), it's great. Perhaps a more finely ground corn meal would be better.

  • swymmerpam | 05/24/2015

    Subtle texture and flavor changes make this a great alternative to angels food cake.

  • vox82 | 05/16/2015

    I had great expectations for this cake. Unfortunately, the cornmeal did indeed make it gritty.

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