Filled with lemon, lime, and orange zest, this Gluten Free Citrus Chiffon Cake is a ray of sunshine on an otherwise cloudy day.
I admit, I have a thing for citrus.
I love the bright flavours that orange, lemon and lime impart to food, both sweet and savoury. And this light, airy gluten free Citrus Chiffon Cake is no exception. I will admit, I’ve never had success in making angel food or chiffon cakes from scratch before, so I was thrilled to see this gorgeous cake when I removed the baking pan.
Light in colour and in texture, this cake was perfect drizzled with a little citrus glaze. However, I think it would have been great sprinkled with some confectioners’ sugar, or served along with this Triple Citrus Curd or White Chocolate Whipped Cream. So many delicious options! Mmm…
My Grandma used to make the most amazing chiffon cakes and angel food cakes like they weren’t a challenge at all. I’m not sure if she ever had to hold her breath while turning one out of the pan, hoping it was successful or not. They were always light and airy, and she definitely make good use of her angel food pan.
A chiffon cake, although similar to an angel food cake, is quite a bit different. An angel food cake uses only the egg whites, where a chiffon uses both the whites and the yolks. Angel food cakes also don’t have any fats, like oil, and rely solely on the egg whites for leavening.
If you like this gluten free Citrus Chiffon Cake, you might also like:
- Prize-Winning Gluten Free Sponge Cake
- Perfect Gluten Free Angel Food Cake
- Gluten Free Sponge Cake
- Gluten Free Sponge Pudding with Rhubarb Sauce
Gluten Free Citrus Chiffon Cake
Adapted from Serious Eats
- 1 1/4 cups white rice flour
- 1/2 cup potato starch
- 1/4 cup tapioca starch
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 7 large egg yolks, room temperature
- 1/2 cup oil
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- zest of one orange, 1 lemon, and 1 lime
- 7 large egg whites, room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (163 degrees C).
- In a large bowl, whisk together the rice flour, potato starch, tapioca starch, baking powder, xanthan gum, and salt. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the sugar and egg yolks, until they are a nice creamy yellow colour. Whisk in the oil, water, juices, and zest.
- In a third bowl, preferably a metal bowl with high sides, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar until stiff peaks form. If there are any egg yolks in the whites, or any grease in the bowl or on your beaters, the whites will not beat properly.
- Stir the sugar mixture into the dry ingredients. Using a rubber scraper, stir about 1/3 of the whipped egg whites into the batter. Carefully fold the remaining egg whites into the batter, being sure to be gentle, and not over mix, or you will lose all the air bubbles you incorporated into the whites when you were beating them.
- Pour the batter into an UNGREASED angel food cake pan.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 55-60 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
- Immediately turn the cake pan upside down over a cooling rack, placing a small bowl in the middle if your pan does not have the little feet that keep the pan raised off the counter. Leave the cake like this until it is completely cooled, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. If the cake hasn't released itself from the pan yet, you can use a sharp knife and cut around the outside of the pan, and around the center of the pan, to release the cake from the edge. Then turn the cake over on a serving plate.
- Serve as is, sprinkled with confectioners' sugar, or with a simple glaze of 2 tablespoons orange juice, 1 tablespoon melted unsalted butter, and 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar.
Separate your egg yolks from the whites while the eggs are still cold. Eggs are easier to separate when they are cold, but are easier to incorporate air into when they are room temperature.
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Simply gorgeous! And the perfect antidote to the dreary winter weather.
Oh, does that ever look lovely! Brings back such sweet memories of the days when we lived in Flin Flon, Manitoba! That was a long time ago!
Jeanne, is it a Manitoba thing??
Stacie S. says
This looks absolutely divine! I love citrus flavors 🙂 They are just so nice and refreshing. Can’t wait to try this 🙂 I found your site a couple of months ago and every one of your recipes I have tried so far has been delicious! Keep up the great job!
Thank you so much,Stacie! I’m so glad to hear that. 🙂
Audrey @ Gluten-Free Vegan Love says
Hi Jeanine, although I can’t make this cake because of the eggs, I simply can’t stop staring at it — it’s so gorgeous! Those colorful little specs of citrus are making me happy 🙂 ♥
Thanks, Audrey! While separating out ALL the eggs for this, I was so thankful for the fact that I can have eggs. Phew! 🙂
Mary Anne says
This cake reminds me of the chiffon cakes I made when we had our own eggs on the farm. Will make this gluten free version for my Grand daughter’s birthday. Thanks!
Ah, recipes when you have an abundance of eggs – those are the times you can use 7 eggs without feeling bad. 😉 Happy Birthday to your grand daughter!
Julia @ Swirls and Spice says
So lovely and cheerful! What a cake! Perfect for citrus season too!
Thanks, Julia! So much beautiful citrus available now, have to make the most of it!
Pam Solomon says
This cake is definitely going to be a hit in our home! Lemon and citrus in general are some of our favorite flavors!
Thanks, Pam! I hope you enjoy it!
My family absolutely loved this cake. My 6 year old declared that this will “totally be my birthday cake.” One question though, your description says it is filled with zest, but it is not listed in the ingredients or the instructions. Did you add zest to the cake or just sprinkle it on top?
Ah, Andrea, I’m so glad to hear that your 6 year old loved it! I can not BELIEVE that I forgot to mention the zest in both the ingredients AND the instructions. Ugh! I’m so sorry! It’s been added now, but obviously, it’s good without it too. 😉 Thanks so much for pointing that out to me. Sorry!
Oh my goodness Jeanine, that looks delicious! Does it need a certain size angel food pan?
Thanks, Gwen! It’s just a standard Angel Food pan, I think they can also be called a 10″ tube pan?
Made this yesterday. Worked perfectly and tasted superb! I did use the drizzle.
Thanks so much for sharing a picture on FB too, Jeanette! Your cake looked AMAZING!!
Gail Houser says
I made this for my son’s birthday. It was amazing!!!! like a burst of summer! I made it with the citrus curd that is in the description and together this cake is so delicious! I am never disappointed with your recipes
Looks wonderful! Could this be made ahead of time and frozen if well sealed?
My cake fell out of the pan in pieces shortly after I turned it upside down . What did I do wrong? The tube pan was not greased and wasn’t no stick.
In needing a non-chocolate gluten-free cake for a celiac relative, I’ve tried a few white and yellow cake recipes but haven’t been pleased with the results. They taste great but the texture is always heavier than I hoped for.
Then I found this recipe. I’ve never made a cake like this so my first challenge was choosing a pan. I settled on a Wilton 10″ tube pan, made of aluminum, i.e. not non-stick.
Mixing was easy though I worried that I had been too thorough when folding in the eggs whites causing some deflation. That fear was reinforced when the cake didn’t rise too much during baking. I let it cool for 75 minutes. My other fear was getting it out of the pan cleanly.
Well, my fears were for naught! Using a knife with a thin blade, the cake came out of the pan easily. Then I cut a slice out of it. WOW! This was an outstanding cake! It’s light and fluffy but still moist. It’s fantastic just as is!
Thank you so much for posting this recipe.
Megan Ancheta says
Jeanine, this cake is just gorgeous! I love it!
Thanks, Megan! I love that citrus is in season at the time of year we need it most. It makes me happy.
Jeane Lind says
I have your recipe for Gluten Free Baked Vanilla Donuts. My family loves them.
I have a friend who loves them and would like to make them with regular flour. Will that work one for one?
Thank you in advance.
I’m really not sure, Jeane, sorry!
Where is the citrus drizzle recipe??
Now I see it!!!
Serve as is, sprinkled with confectioners’ sugar, or with a simple glaze of 2 tablespoons orange juice, 1 tablespoon melted unsalted butter, and 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar.
🙂 Hope you enjoyed it, Lisa!
Can i dont put xantham gum ? What can i use to substitute ?
Without the xanthan gum, the cake would not bake properly and fall apart. 🙁 I haven’t tried any substitutions though, sorry.
This recipe was originally created by Elizabeth Barbone (which was reposted on SeriousEats), you should really give her credit for her recipe.
If you look at the very top of the recipe card, it does say that the recipe is adapted from Elizabeth’s recipe on Serious Eats. So, credit has been given. Thanks for popping by!
This looks amazing. Would it work if I just used a store mixed Gluten Free flour? I’d like to try the citrus flavours, but don’t want to have to buy all the different flours?
Jeanine Friesen says
You’re always welcome to try, but I use individual flours, because no two “all purpose blends” are the same – so they all perform differently.
Do you use a specific type of rice flour? Rice flour tends to leave a grainy texture. Would sweet rice flour work?
Jeanine Friesen says
I just use Bob’s red mill, I don’t find it gritty, especially in this recipe. Sweet rice flour would be too starchy, I think. It’s not a good substitute for rice flour. Millet may work though.
My daughter, who is now gf, requested a lemon chiffon cake for her birthday. I used this recipe, but changed all the liquid to lemon juice. I made a couple of little mistakes (I was in a hurry!), but it still came out moist and fairly light. Thanks for the recipe!