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Chiffon Complication

Can anyone tell me,

Why does my chiffon tops always crack?

Or why does the said top fold and bunch up upon itself and creat a dense layer on the top of the cake?

I can pretty much overlook the crack. But the inconsistency in the texture of the cake (Heavy top), buggs me till no end.

It’s not the recipe for sure, because this happens to most of the chiffons recipes i attempt.

Of course the cake can be flipped and reversed, and the denser layer now gets hidden below.

So i can hide the failures of this cake, to get somewhat decent shots.

But that doesnt erase the fact this is a letdown. Or that i am a poor baker. *whimper*

Can someone pls help me shed some light into this mystery? pretty please?

Categories: Cakes Tags: , ,
  1. NEL
    October 28, 2010 at 7:36 am

    It’s a complicated issue indeed. Usually, the denser portion is at the bottom, not top. Maybe your oven’s anti-gravity function has been activated? Ok, just kiddin’. I can understand your frustration. It’s like how I keep trying all the cupcake recipes and mine NEVER result in nice tops. Did you tent your cake with foil when baking? What temp did you use? Was the oven door opened mid way through baking? Are you using a conventional or convection oven? Is the heat source from bottom or top or both?

    • crustabakes
      October 28, 2010 at 8:58 am

      Hi NEL, Thanks so much for your comment, i didnt tent my cake and baked it at about 350-375. I didnt open it midway thru baking ( I have a mortal fear of doing so when i am baking cakes!). I am using a conventional oven with a bottom heat source.

      Geez, this is beginning to sound like a science lesson! LOL.

      Any advice is greatly appreciated! Thanks so muchhh!

  2. October 28, 2010 at 8:47 am

    At least your chiffon still looks like a chiffon. Mine always collapsed these days that I am about to give up.

    • crustabakes
      October 28, 2010 at 9:04 am

      NO way! Ur bakes always turns out so perfect!
      I am about to give up as well. It’s kinda frustrating.. 😦

  3. October 28, 2010 at 1:03 pm

    Oh no! And such a pretty cake too.

    I have zero experience baking chiffon cakes, but my gut reaction is to wonder if your oven temperature is right. Do you have dial thermometers in your oven to make sure it is the correct temperature?

    • crustabakes
      October 28, 2010 at 2:26 pm

      Yeah, i suspect its temperature issues too… I guess i will just have to experiment more and keep my fingers crossed. Thanks for coming by anyways πŸ™‚

  4. October 28, 2010 at 3:53 pm

    Hi, I left you a comment on my blog responding to your chiffon question. I originally thought it was an egg white issue, which I discuss thoroughly in the comment on my blog. Now looking at your post, it may be an egg white issue, but it also may be temperature and baking time. I always bake at 350, I think 375 may be too high. Also, it looks as if it may be collapsing on top, so you might not be baking long enough. If you take it out of the oven too soon, the top will collapse, creating that dense layer. You may also want to check out my comment on the egg whites. Hope this helps!

  5. October 29, 2010 at 2:03 am

    Sorry, not much help here. I’ve never even made a chiffon cake.

    • crustabakes
      October 29, 2010 at 10:47 am

      Hi ingrid. THanks for dropping by nevertheless πŸ™‚

  6. DG
    October 29, 2010 at 3:16 pm

    Actually, it’s common that you got crack top on your chiffon πŸ™‚
    I have this problem (top part cracks) earlier, recently I try to change the tactic:
    – always bake chiffon cake on the lower rack
    – bake 170C
    – for 3-4 eggs recipe, instead of using 18cm pan, now I bake in bigger pan. Although it looks shorter, but turn out well.
    Hope this may help. πŸ™‚

  7. yasmin
    January 12, 2011 at 9:16 pm

    it cracked because your cake batter is too much for the cake tin. When there is no more space for the cake to rise, the remaining uncooked batter will force itself to rise without the support of the tin’s wall, resulting in the middle part of the cake ruptured(similar like pound cake). That’s why you got cracks. While pound cake is a dense type of cake, that’s not the case with chiffon cake, because the batter is very delicate, and it will somehow collapsed. This will result as the denser top part.

  8. zionkch
    March 29, 2011 at 6:01 am

    I just baked my first lemon chiffon cake and yes it does crack on the bottom so maybe I’ll turn it upside down too…that’s what bakeries here do to make it look yummy and therefore it can be sold

    • crustabakes
      April 3, 2011 at 5:52 am

      Yup, turn it upside down is the way to go! πŸ™‚

  9. Elinda
    January 4, 2012 at 1:45 am

    The long road of experience to discover the most important procedural steps of making a chiffon cake is finally over, I now can produce a perfect chiffon cake every time.

    The last step acquired seems to be the most most important — baking in a convection oven at the unexpected temperature of 310 degrees F. (takes approx. 45 minutes) Burnt tops are a thing of the past. (cracked tops are a certainty and to be expected).
    Full “oven spring” expansion from a 3/4 full 10-1/2″ tube pan, nice crown above pan.
    Shrink back on cooling doesn’t happen any more or if it does it’s it’s hard to discern.

    Using a digital thermometer to test for doneness is another critical step — insert probe into center of cake mass at about 35 minutes (forget about the opening the oven door myth), remove cake at 210 degrees F.

    Whipping – room temperature – egg yolks to ribbon stage with half the sugar in the recipe (I use superfine sugar added very slowly) is another important step.
    Whipping – room temperature – egg whites with the other half the superfine sugar (added slowly after soft peak stage) to stiff peaks.

    Overlooked quite often is the thickness (viscosity) of the batter.
    Hold back some of the water and add after mixing the batter (mix with a spatula, not a mixer).
    A good batter consistency is one that will hold nut pieces in an even suspension for example.
    Err on the thick side as the egg white foam will tend to lighten the batter. This step is entirely a judgement call, you have to have a “feel” for the ideal batter viscosity.


  1. November 1, 2010 at 1:58 pm
  2. November 4, 2010 at 9:33 pm

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