Coconut Chiffon Cake is a light and airy cake made with coconut flakes and a hint of almond and vanilla flavor, topped with more coconut flakes and confectioners’ sugar. Harry Baker, the inventor of the chiffon cake, kept it a secret for 20 years before selling it to General Mills, where it became a huge hit! And, we are all glad he did so we can enjoy this tender and moist cake! The added coconut both in the cake and sprinkled on top gives it a tropical twist. I also have a Coconut Angel Food Cake you may want to try.
Ingredients & Substitutions
Flour: After testing the cake with both all-purpose flour and cake flour, we decided to finalize the recipe with all-purpose flour, which most people have on hand.
Eggs: Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites for all seven large eggs. The egg whites (about 1 cup total) will be whipped into stiff peaks for this recipe. Make sure they are truly stiff peaks; if they are not stiff enough, the cake may not rise properly.
Oil: Using vegetable oil in a cake was a new idea back in 1950 with no creaming of ingredients required. It is simply mixed with other ingredients before folding in the whipped egg whites.
Extracts: Both vanilla and almond extracts are added to the cake. You could use all vanilla if you don’t have almond extract on hand. Or, if concerned about a nut allergy, you can also use Imitation Almond Extract. That is typically not made with almonds, but be sure to check the ingredients.
Cream of Tartar: Cream of tartar is a powdery acid (not a cream at all). It can be found in the baking aisle, near the spices, in your local grocery store. It helps make the egg whites more stable and gives them more volume when whipped.
Coconut: I added sweetened coconut flakes to the cake and also added them to the top of the cake for serving. This ensures plenty of coconut flavor in each bite.
Why Invert The Cake To Cool It?
After the cake has come out of the oven, invert it onto a wire rack to cool. Inverting the cake to cool to room temperature before removing it from the pan prevents the cake from sinking or losing its height. You could invert the tube pan onto a funnel or bottle if your pan does not have prongs to set up upside down.
Can I Make A Chiffon Cake Without Coconut?
Yes, you can certainly make this cake without coconut. If you are not a fan, you could leave out the coconut and still enjoy a delicious and light chiffon cake!
Chiffon Cake vs. Angel Food Cake
Both chiffon cakes and angel food cakes are light and airy, but there are a few differences between the two. Chiffon cakes have added oil for the fat content whereas angel food cakes are typically fat-free, relying just on the egg whites for structure and texture. When it comes to eggs, a chiffon cake uses both egg yolks and egg whites; an angel food cake uses just egg whites. In addition, chiffon cakes use baking powder as a leavening agent. But, the whipped egg whites are what give an angel food cake its rise.
How To Store Coconut Chiffon Cake
Although best served and enjoyed the same day it was made, a chiffon cake can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature. It will last up to 2-3 days. To prevent the cake from drying out, I recommend wrapping it in plastic wrap before storing it in an airtight container. If you need to extend the shelf life of the cake, you could store it in the refrigerator, wrapped and in an airtight container, for up to 4-5 days.
Can I Freeze Chiffon Cake?
Absolutely! Freezing coconut chiffon cake is a great option for storing the cake for an extended period. After the cake has cooled completely, wrap it in plastic wrap. Then, wrap it again with aluminum foil. Finally, place it in a freezer-safe container. The cake can be frozen for up to 2-3 months. When ready to enjoy it, let the cake thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
Coconut Chiffon Cake
- 2 cups (250 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ cups (300 g) granulated sugar
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 7 large eggs, room temperature, yolks and whites separated
- ¾ cup (177 g) water, room temperature
- ½ cup (109 g) vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
- ¾ cup (70 g) sweetened coconut flakes, plus more for garnish
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Set aside a 10-inch, ungreased tube pan. (Greasing the pan may cause the cake to collapse.)
- To a large bowl, add flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Whisk to combine.
- Add egg yolks, water, oil, vanilla, and almond extract. Mix until smooth.
- To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, add the egg whites (you should have about a cup of egg whites) and the cream of tartar. Whip on medium speed until stiff peaks form, about 9-10 minutes.
- Gradually fold the whipped egg whites into the batter, ensuring not to completely deflate the egg whites. Carefully fold in coconut flakes.
- Pour the batter into the tube pan. Smooth the top with a spatula.
- Bake for 55 minutes. Then, increase the oven temperature to 350°F. Bake for an additional 10-12 minutes. The cake is done when an inserted toothpick comes out with a few crumbs, but no wet batter.
- Once baked, invert the tube pan onto a cooling rack to cool completely. (Or, flip it over onto a bottle or funnel.) This helps the cake maintain its structure and prevents it from collapsing.
- Once cooled, run a knife around the edges of the pan to release the cake.
- Garnish with flaked coconut and serve with whipped cream.
Did you make this recipe?
Thank you for making my recipe! You took pictures, right? Well go ahead and post them on Instagram! Be sure to mention me @iambaker and use the hashtag #YouAreBaker.
This recipe is adapted from All Recipe’s Coconut Chiffon Cake.
What the Test Kitchen had to say about this recipe:
This cake is light and fluffy with just the right amount of sweetness. If you are a coconut fan, I'd definitely recommend giving it a try!
This is such a soft, pillowy cake! Wow! I loved the texture, and even though I am not a huge fan of coconut, it definitely worked with this cake!
Light bouncy cake, the texture is fantastic!
Such a light and airy cake! The coconut adds sweetness and texture!
This has a very similar texture to an angel food cake but with the extra richness since egg yolks are added to this cake. A beautiful cake for special occasions for sure!