Chiffon Cupcakes

Today I baked some cupcakes for an uncle and aunt from Taiwan. The recipe makes 24 such cupcakes, so I decided to give some of them to other relatives. Since these chiffon cupcakes are sort of a new item in the local bakeries, my relatives were surprised and were happy when they saw the cakes, and I hope they really enjoyed them.

These cupcakes first caught my eyes when I visited JJ Bakery in Arcadia, California early this year. I bought one, and yes, it was quite delicious, but it was actually a simple dessert-little chiffon cupcakes with whipped cream fillings. I have made these a couple times since then, so I thought I'll make them today for the next featured item in my blog.

The same recipe also makes one 10-inch tube, or two 8-inch or 9-inch pans. Remember not to grease or line the cake pans for chiffon cakes, and you must let them cool upside down to prevent the cakes from collapsing, but cupcakes are fine cooling straight up on the racks.



2 cups cake flour before sifting

1 cup sugar*

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup milk

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

5 egg yolks

8 egg whites

1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar (or 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice or white vinegar)

Whipped Cream Filling:

2 cups whipping cream

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract



1. Make sure everything is room temperature, especially eggs and milk. Preheat the oven at 450 F.

2. Shift the cake flour together with baking powder and salt into a large mixing bowl.

3. In a medium bowl, blend well milk, oil, vamilla extract and the 5 egg yolks. (I always try to eliminate utencils to wash, so I measure all these wet ingredients in a 2-cup measuring cup, and whip it in the cup until it emulsified like thin mayonaise.)

4. Add the egg yolk mixture to the dry ingredients, and beat it for about two minutes. (I do this by hand with a straight mixer.)

Chiffon Cake Egg Yolk Mixture

(The egg yolk mixture with the dry ingredients.)

5. Beat the egg whites with cream of tartar on high speed until foamy, then slowly add in sugar and continue to beat until stiff peak form. (Most recipes tell you to add most of the sugar to egg yolks, and only add a small amount to the egg whites, but some bloggers say that professional bakers do just the opposite. Huh! Trade secrete! I tried it today, and it worked really well!)

6. Fold the meringue into the yolk mixture in 3 parts. (Most recipes call for using the rubber spatula to fold it quickly and lightly, but I use the straight hand mixer. Be sure to fold it in from the bottom of the bowl as fast as possible.)


(Well blended chiffon cake batter)

7. Spoon into 24 cupcake cups evenly, give them a couple of big taps on the table to break the large air bubbles in the batter for finer texture of the cakes, and bake at 350 F for about 20 minutes. Tooth pick test for doneness. Remove from the oven, and cool on racks straight up.


(These are completely cooled cupcakes. Notice that they collapse a little. I cannot imagine using normal cupcake liners for baking these. By the way, they are too pale because I lowered the temperature to 325 F halfway through baking... Yeah, why did I do that? I remember the last time I baked them at 350 F all the way through, they came out a little too brown on the bottom.)

8. Measure the heavy cream, sugar and vanilla into the mixing bowl, mix on high speed until medium peak form.

9. Fit the piping bag with a narrow tip, and fill it with whipped cream. Pipe the cream into center of the cupcakes after they are completely cooled or refregerated. Dust with powdered sugar.

Chiffon Cupcakes

(The finished products.)


(Cut one up to show the filling inside.)

I like them not too sweet, light and delicate. They go very well with a cup of hot coffee and a notebook computer! :-)

* 1 cup of sugar makes the cakes not too sweet. If you prefer sweeter cakes, you may want to use up to 1 1/2 cup sugar instead, but in that case, you should add the extra amount of sugar to the dry ingredients, and beat well with the egg yolk mixture.

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  • Lynx
  • Very nice! Where can I buy the square paper cup cake molds from? I live in LA. Thanks for the recipe! :)
  • Hi, Lynx:

    You're welcome! Actually, I got them from Taiwan though. Sorry! maybe you can try the foil cups, so the shape can keep. I really like this Chiffon Cake recipe, it's very moist, not so greasy and not so sweet. Have you tried it yet? Please share with us how it goes, and enjoy!

    Mindi 於 2011/02/26 14:46 回覆

  • Lynx
  • Hi Mindi,

    I did try it out. It turned out like the real deal (JJ style) :)
    I used double layer parchment paper and made my own cups. Turned out decent. I will definitely make them again. Thanks for sharing!

  • Morgan Wang
  • Gonna cook them with my LOVE:) hope my bb will like
  • Hi, Morgan:

    I hope so too! Enjoy!

    Mindi 於 2011/10/05 10:35 回覆

  • Mindi
  • Hi, Morgan:

    I hope so too! Have fun!
  • Jocelyn
  • HI there,
    Can i use superfine flour instead of cake flour?
  • Hi, Jocelyn:

    Sorry to have missed your posting. I have not heard of or used superfine flour before. I only know the difference between cake flour, all purpose flour and bread flour is the content of the gluten in the flour. Cake flour has the lowest content of gluten in it, and bread flour has the highest content of gluten. All purpose is somewhere in between. This is all I know. Sorry that I could not answer your question. Please let me know if you ever find the answer. Thank you.

    Mindi 於 2012/05/07 13:09 回覆

  • 訪客
  • Cream of tartar, is a type of cream or...?
  • Hi, cream of tartar is not a type of cream. It's a white powder that is acidic, and is usually used when beating egg whites in order to balance out egg white's alkalinity. You may use vinegar or lemon juice instead in case you don't find it in the market. Have fun baking!

    Mindi 於 2012/07/15 10:00 回覆

  • Chia Hui
  • Your cakes are truly fantastic. I did this as well but the cake seems to have a 'over-flowed' size especially during the baking time. Probably I put too much in the paper cups. I will try this again this week for an optimal result. Thanks for sharing.
  • Hi, Chia Hui: I thought I have replied to you, but I don't see it here?? This is kind of strange... That's okay! I'll post it again!! Yes, I think the overflow was because of too much batter in the cup. I think the batch fits quite well in 24 paper cups. My problem making cupcakes is that I can never pour the batter evenly in each cup, and that's why I don't like to make cupcakes. Lol Happy baking!

    Mindi 於 2012/07/15 10:05 回覆

  • violet
  • hello~ your hokkiado cake looks delicious!i wish to try it out. can i ask, your measuring cup is it 250g=1cup? and cake flour is it means all purpose flour?thank u ^^
  • Hi, Violet:

    Thank you! Yes, my friends and family do enjoy this cake very much! To answer your questions:

    1) I use the normal American measuring system, in which 1 cup is roughly 250g.
    2) Cake flour is the low gluten flour, bread flour is the high gluten flour, and all purpose flour is the one in between. They all service different purposes in baking. To get the best results from the recipes, you should try to stick to what kind of flour they call for, but if cake flour is not readily available from the market, I heard that you may substitute 3/4 cup of all purpose flour plus 1/4 cup of corn starch for each cup of cake flour called for; however, I've never tried it. Good luck and happy baking!

    Mindi 於 2012/07/15 10:15 回覆

  • violet
  • Thank u so much~~ i will try it out soon. Love ur hokkiado cake!!!!
  • Chew Choy Yee
  • Hi there! Nice cakes~ I would love to try your recipe. Btw, as you said 1 cup is around 250g. May I conclude, 1 cup = 250g = 250ml?
    Does that means the cake flour you use is 500g ? sugar 250g? milk 250ml?
  • Mindi
  • Dear Chew Choy:

    This is only about water, and it's only roughly. 1cup of water = 250ml = 250g, but you can not say the same for flour and sugar, because their densities are not the same. For example, 1 cup of flour will be lighter than 1 cup of sugar.

    Here is a conversion list of water, sugar and AP flour:

    (liquid is measured in a wet measuring cup, the transparent glass or plastic cup, and powder is measured in a dry measuring cup, usually comes in a set of 1 cup, 1/2 cup, 1/3 cup and 1/4 cup)

    water: 1 cup = 250 ml = 250g
    sugar: 1 cup = 215g
    AP flour: 1 cup = 125g

    I hope this helps. Happy baking!

  • Chew Choy Yee
  • Hi Mindi!

    Thanks so much. Cleared my confusion... I was using the measuring cup where it stated 1 cup = 250ml... and you are right, when I measured the flour.. it came out for be roughly 125g. Thanks dear!

    Choy Yee
  • 訪客
  • hi! May I ask, the square paper cup cake molds, do we have to put it inside a muffin pan for baking or we can just line it closely together on a oven baking tray?
  • Mindi
  • Hi, there:

    No, you don't need a muffin tin to hold it in. They are make of liminated card stock, so they can stand by themselves. I only line them up in a baking sheet, that's all, very convenient! Enjoy your baking!
  • 訪客
  • Thank you Mindi for the update. I posted same question in a few blogs and you are the only person who answer me. Thanks alot! I really appreciate it!
  • Audrey
  • Hi Mindi,

    Thank you very much for the recipe:)o
    I baked this n my cake top become sticky n dense after cooling at room temperature, do you know why? Please help.

    Many thanks

  • Hi Audrey:

    Since I did not see the cake, I can only analyze it from my past experience, and guess the reasons. You said the cake top became sticky and dense... Is it the top that's dense? Or the top is sticky, and the bottom is dense? I ask because:

    1) If it's under baked, then the top would be pale and sticky, and after it's cooled, the cake would shrink down and become dense. Did you do the doneness test to make sure it fully cooked?

    2) If the top is light and fluffy, but sticky and the bottom is dense after the cake is cooled, then maybe the egg white is under or over whipped. Was the batter runny when you poured it into the cups? The batter should be light and not too runny if the egg white is correctly beaten to the stiff peak stage. If it's runny after the egg white and the egg yolk mixture are thoroughly mixed, then it's most likely that the egg white is either over beaten and became broken down, or it's under beaten and did not reach the stiff peak.

    What do you think? Please let me know when you find out what happened. Thanks. Have fun!


    Mindi 於 2012/10/13 17:40 回覆

  • Sharon
  • Hey, I have made these cakes. It taste really good. Thanks for the recipe. Between, if I wanted to made the chocolate one, what should I reduce or add in?
  • Hi, Sharon:

    You're most welcome! I've never made a chocolate chiffon before, but I looked up some recipes, and they are very different. One from a good friend of mine, and she only adds 2 table spoonfuls of cocoa powder to the egg yolk batter. Another one replaced 1/2 C of flour with 1/2 C of cocoa powder. I usually like my chocolate cake chocolaty, so my pick is the latter, but I also know that my friend's recipes are usually good also, so... Take your pick, and have fun with it! :-)


    Mindi 於 2012/12/16 13:33 回覆

  • Sharon
  • Thanks for your reply. I will try to make it tomorrow. =D
  • Barbara
  • Hi Mindi,

    Thanks alot for sharing such a beautiful recipe!
    It was my very first time making this Hokkaido cake...and the feedback for the cakes using your recipe were really encouraging.
  • Hi, Barbara:

    You're most welcome! I'm really glad to know about your baking success. Have a wonderful holiday season, and happy baking!


    Mindi 於 2012/12/19 05:22 回覆

  • Leila
  • Thank you for sharing the recipe with us. I will certainly try it and let you know the outcome! thanks a zillion once again!
  • You're welcome! Please let us know about your cakes when they are done. Enjoy!

    Mindi 於 2013/12/22 00:00 回覆

  • Pegy
  • Tried your recipe and it came out fantastically well. My first successful hands on. Everyone loves it. Thanks.
  • Hi, Pegy:

    Really glad to know that you had a big success trying the recipe! Thank you for sharing the joy with me. Happy Holidays and keep enjoying baking! :)

    Mindi 於 2013/12/19 12:37 回覆

  • Mun
  • Hi. Can i use self raising flour?
  • Hi, Mun:

    I've never used self-rising flour before, so I cannot answer you. You may probably find out what's in it, and then deduct certain ingredients from the recipe, ie. salt, baking powder, etc., I assume.

    Let us know if it should work! Have fun!

    Mindi 於 2013/12/22 00:03 回覆

  • Mun
  • I'm baking this right now. Hopefully it works *fingers crossed. Btw..... Is it normal that my batter have lots of air bubbles in it?
  • Hi, Mun:

    How did it go? Yes, the air bubbles! It's normal. You may tap them out before pouring into cupcake molds. Tap the air bubbles out by lifting the bowl of batter a couple inches up from the table/counter,then throwing it on the surface, but please make sure you don't spill the batter. You may also use a toothpick to burst them. :)

    Mindi 於 2013/12/24 01:51 回覆

  • Angelina
  • How would I convert this recipe to make two 6 inch pans? I've tried this recipe halved twice in cupcake form and they come out perfect every single time, so I want to use this trusted recipe again instead of having to search for another recipe for a 6 inch pan. Thanks so much, I hope you reply!
  • Hi, Angelina:

    It's wonderful to know that you've tried the recipe and have liked it! When I use this recipe with 6-inch pans, I use it to make 6 of the 6-inch cake layers of 2-inch in thickness, and use them to make either 2 cakes of three layers each, or 3 cakes of 2 layers each, so I think it's safe to use a third of the recipe to fill just two 6-inch pans. Just a reminder, do not grease and flour your pans! You may lay a 1-inch square wax or parchment paper in the center of the pan to help loosen the cake when it's cooled. It works really well like this for me. Thank you, and have fun baking! :)

    Mindi 於 2014/06/16 12:54 回覆

  • Angelina
  • Thank you so much for replying! The friend I'm baking for is partial to chocolate, and the crumb on this cake is better than any other chiffon cake I've tried. Have you tried doing this recipe in chocolate? If so, could you tell me what you changed? If not, do you think this recipe would be suitable to chocolate-fy and what would you change? I'm sorry for being a little annoying, but you're the only one who's replied kindly to my questions :)
  • Hi, Angelina:

    No problem, love to reply and share whatever I know! Honestly, I haven't tried making any chocolate chiffon cakes. However, according to the original recipe, you may substitute 1/4 cup of cake flour with same amount of cocoa powder to make it a chocolate version. I am a little extreme when it comes to chocolate cake taste, I don't think this is enough chocolate flavor to me, so I've always made chocolate cakes using the Hershey's recipe. Would you like to try it, and share the result with me? (I would probably try it with 1/2 cup of cocoa powder instead for a stronger chocolate taste. Hehe)

    Mindi 於 2014/06/18 02:06 回覆

  • newbie
  • can i replace it with self raising flour? theb i need not to buy baking powder.
  • Cake flour is the best. I've never used self-rising before, so I cannot give advice on that. However, friends have told me that they didn't use baking power and it still came out light and fluffy. I think the key is to whip the egg white to true stiff peak stage. Try it. You will have a healthier cake! Enjoy! :)

    Mindi 於 2015/01/15 01:28 回覆