I’ve fallen quite deeply in love with chiffon cakes. The word “chiffon” is French and also used in English vernacular for the lightweight fabric, traditionally created with silk. So this idea of lightness and smoothness translates directly into the the baking world. Chiffon cakes are light and airy. At the moment, I have not fully indulged myself in the world of sponge cakes, but I do know that there is a distinct difference in taste and texture between cakes like chiffon, sponge, angel food, and genoise, for example. And currently, I love chiffon cakes for their use of whole eggs. No need to figure out what to do with numerous egg yolks that other cakes dispose of.
Anyhow, I had previous created a Coconut Poppyseed Chiffon Cake and was super pleased with that. Of course it’d be easy to just switch out flavorings to create a slightly different cake, but I wanted something that would be quite different other than the chiffon itself. But I toyed with several different frosting/icing ideas, but most of the ideas were buttercreams, which I didn’t quite want to do because I wanted to avoid using butter. So here enters the dairy-free Strawberry Chocolate Chiffon Cake.
This chocolate chiffon cake is light and airy as any other chiffon cake, but that richness of chocolate creates a luxurious centerpiece. There is only 1 layer of frosting to show off the cake. I used a cashew-based vegan frosting, but you’re free to use whatever other frosting you’d wish. I think that a whipped cream frosting would work nicely here too! Check out my Strawberry Cream Layer Cake for a Chantilly cream frosting recipe.
Rounding out the richness of the cashew frosting and chocolate chiffon cake, are sliced strawberries. The freshness of the fruit continues to lift up the cake. It’s a delightful fullness of flavor in each bite! I hope you enjoy this cake as much as I did!
Strawberry Chocolate Chiffon Cake
Chocolate Chiffon Cake
- 7 large eggs, separated
- 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
- 1-1/2 cup sugar, divided
- 2 cups all purpose flour, sifted
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder, sifted
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 Tbsp strong coffee
- 3/4 cup soy milk (or other alternative)
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup cashews, soaked (hot water for 1 hour or room temp overnight)
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tsp soy milk (or other alternative)
- 1 cup strawberries, sliced
- 1 Tbsp powdered sugar, sifted
- Chocolate Chiffon Cake: Using a stand mixer, whisk the egg whites and cream of tartar until foamy and has increased in volume. Slowly add 1/2 cup sugar and continue whisking for a few minutes until stiff, glossy peaks form.
- In a medium bowl, combine the dry ingredients (flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt).
- Preheat oven to 325ºF.
- Combine the coffee and milk.
- In a large bowl, whisk the remaining wet ingredients (egg yolks, 1 c sugar, oil, vanilla) until pale yellow.
- Alternatively add in the flour mixture and milk in batches to the egg yolk mixture and whisk until well incorporated.
- Using a spatula, gently fold in the egg white mixture. This makes the cake fluffy, so under mix when in doubt.
- Pour cake batter into 2 - 9" cake pans, ungreased. Baked for 30 minutes. Increase oven temperature to 350ºF and bake for another 10 min or until toothpick comes out clean. Alternatively bake in a single pan (i.e. spring form with a sheet pan under) for 50 min at 325 and another 15 min at 350.
- To cool the cake, turn the cake and pan upside down on a cooling rack until it reaches room temperature. Use a spatula to gently release the sides and bottom of the cake from the pan. This is improtant to keep the bottom half of the cake fluffy.
- Cashew Frosting: Using a food processor or immersion blender, process the soaked cashews. Then add in the rest of the ingredients (sugar, oil, extract, milk) and continue processessing until smooth. Add more powdered sugar if too loose and more milk if too stiff (depending on the hydration of the cashews)
- Assembly: Set the first cake on the serving plate. Using a small portion of the frosting, create a crumb layer coat to seal in all the crumbs. Then lay 3/4 of the strawberry slices in rings. Continue frosting that middle layer with the rest of the frosting to fill in the gaps between and on top of strawberry slices. Layer the second cake on top. Sift powdered sugar on top of the cake and decorate with remaining strawberry slices. Enjoy!
- Cream of tartar is essential for stabilizing the whipped frosting
- Cake based on King Arthur Flour’s recipe
Did you make this recipe?
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