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Italian citrus chiffon cake

Fiori di Sicilia Citrus Chiffon Cake

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5 from 3 reviews

  • Author: Valentina
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: 8-10 servings 1x


This Italian inspired citrus chiffon cake is a light and fluffy dessert that will disappear from your kitchen table quicker than you can say “cake time”.


  • 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup + ¾ cup granulated sugar, separated
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • ¾ cup milk
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Zest of ½ orange
  • 1 teaspoon Fiori di Sicilia essence (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 6 egg whites
  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar


Cake Batter Preparation:

  • Preheat Oven: Set your oven to 350°F (175°C). Have an ungreased tube pan or angel food cake pan ready.
  • Dry Ingredients Mixture: In a large mixing bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, salt, and ½ cup sugar together.
  • Wet Ingredients Mixture: Stir in egg yolks, milk, vegetable oil, lemon zest, orange zest, Fiori di Sicilia (if using), and vanilla extract until well combined.

Meringue Preparation:

  • Whip Egg Whites: In a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, beat the egg whites until foamy. Add cream of tartar, then gradually incorporate ¾ cup sugar, continuing to whip until stiff peaks form and the texture resembles thick meringue (about 7-8 minutes).

Combining and Baking:

  • Fold Meringue into Batter: Carefully fold the meringue into the cake batter with a spatula to keep the air in the egg whites.
  • Bake: Pour the batter into the ungreased pan. Bake for 55-60 minutes until golden and a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Cool: Immediately invert the pan to cool completely. Use a knife to loosen the cake before unmolding.


  • Fiori di Sicilia Substitute: If Fiori di Sicilia is unavailable, combine equal parts vanilla extract and orange extract to mimic its unique citrus and floral notes.
  • Pan Preparation: Do not grease the pan; the cake needs to cling to the sides to rise properly.
  • Cooling: Inverting the pan helps the cake maintain its volume as it cools.
  • Serving Suggestion: Dust with powdered sugar or serve with fresh whipped cream for added decadence.
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 60 mins
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Italian Inspired
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