Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Strawberry Chiffon Cake

Before you thought that I have just made a perfect chiffon cake, look at the photo below...

This is the sunken part that I have cut away before taking photographs. Haha!

Wait, I shouldn't sound too happy. This has been the Nth sunken chiffon cake that I have made. My previous orange, lemon, cheese and pandan flavoured chiffon cakes had all failed. All of them had the same problem of a sunken top after cooling. Everything was fine during the preparation, including beating the egg whites. The cake rose nicely in the oven, but when I unmoulded it from the pan, I always ended up in great disappointment.

Rei's Chiffon Cake Tips and Trouble II Tip #4 states that:
"If the cake's top (overturned, previously it was the bottom) is sunken in (like a small groove), the oven temperature is too high. If the oven temperature is too high, it will cause the cake to over-expand. So when the cake relaxes after cooling, it will cause this effect."

I might try stepping down the temperature to prevent the oven from getting too hot when making chiffon cakes again.

Strangely, my first few chiffon cakes did not have this problem. Is it me or my oven getting worse?

Recipe from Peng's Kitchen.


  1. The last time I baked a sunken top chiffon cake...I was certain that it was due to the oven temperature...it was too low :(

  2. Hi Small Small Baker,
    You're not alone! My chiffons all turned out to be EXACTLY like yours. Like you, it was the dunno-how-many-times I baked sunken chiffons. I also refer to Rei's tips on chiffons & found that it could be the oven temperature. I tried Angie's basic chiffon (http://schneiderchen.de/250Basic-Chiffon-Cake.html) once and was successful in this. You have to sign up in her forum, go to her forum and go through the step by step guide in her forum. I'm sure it will be successful. Do try it. However, one caution, the basic chiffon is quite tasteless, just to put some essence to your preference. Perservere on! We shall practice and work harder okie? All the best!

  3. Hi ssb, so coincidentally i baked the same strawberry chiffon cake just last saturday, and the result is exactly like yours...so sad. Hopefully we can get it right on our next try (oO)

  4. oh, so too low and too high also have problem ... I have yet to go find out why my cakes always sink but think one of the culprit might be the oven temperature.

  5. So I'm not the only one who has this problem.

    HHB, I saw your post on the chiffon cake. It was then that I realized that it's the oven temperature that cause the sunken top. Yours is too low, Rei's tip says could be too hot. I dunno about my oven. I guess have to try adjusting to both cases to see which is the problem.

    Passionbaker, thanks for giving me the link. The chiffon cakes in your blog look great leh. At least you are much better than me. :)

    Quizzine, really sad right? I love chiffon cakes but never get it perfect. I definitely won't give up trying. You too.

    Sherlyn, there are sure too many reasons for baking an unsuccessful cake. I read before that opening the oven door too soon during baking, accidentally knocking the cake during baking, whisking too much air into batter, inadequate flour used, too much baking powder can all cause the cake to collapse. Hope you can find out the culprit soon.

  6. Hi SSB, are you following the exact recipe? Coz if you are using a 6 eggs recipe, it will not be able to fit into an 8 inch pan. Strange if it did. You can take a look at Tip 1; with 4 yolks and 5 whites, the pan is already 80% full.

    If an 8 inch mould can fit in 6 eggs; it is probable that the whites are overfolded or the liquid has weighed down the batter. Did you check the flour and liquid ratio? It shouldn't be less than 67% (2 : 3).

    About your previous successful chiffon cakes. I have no comments abt the 1 on bananas coz it is difficult to judge the water content of the fruit. It is tricky using fresh fruits. For your green tea, the ratio is 9 : 10. The milo 1 is 1 : 1. These 2 recipes can hardly fail you but they will not be moist enough, at least for me. :p The hydration part for Angie's recipe is also 1 : 1.

    If 1 part of the cake is sunken, the other part is not, it may be the heating element being uneven. Also, call me anal but the browned crumbs (sides and 'top') should be at least 0.5 ~ 0.6mm thick. That is the sign that your cake is not underbaked. HTH. Sorry to be so longwinded.


  7. Hi Rei, I used 1/3 of the recipe to fit in my 6 inch pan (using 2 eggs only). Is it ok to reduce the recipe like this. I did not add any fresh strawberries in, so the flour to liquid is 2:1. Will a ratio too high cause the cake to sink too?

    It seems like, for my case, one part will sink more than the other part. Is it ok to turn the pan during baking to solve the uneven heating problem?

    Haha, ok, I think I have to increase the baking time for a thicker crust. I usually just use 25-30 minutes for my 6 in pan, is it too short?

    Really really grateful to you for taking the time to read and giving me valuable advice. It definitely helps me and other bakers to improve our chiffon cake baking skill. Thank you!! :)

  8. but it still looks good here :)

  9. I love the chiffon cake, I'm also a fan of the mold that I have not. I absolutely must buy one. A big bravo, this is beautiful cake

  10. I have a gas oven and I seem to have trouble baking cakes in it. It always burns on top and sinks, so I have to cut the top off making it look even worse.

    Before when I had an electric oven I didn't have this problem.

    Any suggestions on how I may be able to avoid this problem with my present cooker?


  11. Hi I have 9 inch pan. Can I use it and bake with the same ingredient as yours ?