My chiffon cake rose ok for the first 5-10 minutes. Then, it stopped rising.

After I took it out from the oven, I turned it upside down on a rack to cool down in the tube.

When it's cool, the entire cake dropped itself on to the rack. It shrank entirely; i guess why it lost its grip and drop down.

It's deflated at least 2/3 from the height it rose. Although the entire cake is dense, the very outer part that contacted the pan, as well as the top, contain some very small air pockets. The inner part of the cake (majority) looks like cheesecake without air pockets.

I think there are few reasons why, but Im not sure. Thus, I would like to have your input.

  1. I replaced the water with coconut cream, for I liked the coconut flavor with lemon.
  2. If I had used water instead, the yolk batter would be thinner in comparison with the white meringue. However, coconut cream was so thick and lack of enough water. The consistency was not right.
  3. Due to the extra fat added from the coconut cream, it might be too oily for the cake to rise properly.
  4. I think because this recipe calls for flour than most chiffon cake recipes, baking power was used in the recipe. Nevenerthelss, I did not use, for most chiffon cakes do not incoorperate baking power.
  5. I used a convection oven, so instead of using exactly temperature calls for in the recipe 320F, I turned 15 degreen lower with the fan on. Almost always using this way get me perfect baked desserts and dishes, yet not sure about this one. It could be UNDER-baked, due to the center was not well cooked???

Here is the original recipe: 60ml Water (¼ cup) 60ml Lemon juice (¼ cup) Zest of one lemon 6 Large egg yolks 1 tsp Vanilla extract 38g Caster sugar (I) (3 tbsp) 80ml Vegetable oil (⅓ cup) 150g Cake flour (1 ½ cup) 2 tsp Baking powder 6 Large egg whites 90g Caster sugar (II) (⅓ cup 2 tbsp)

Preheat the oven to 160C/320F and prepare an ungreased 8-inch aluminum chiffon cake tin with a removable base In a medium-sized bowl combine the water, lemon juice, lemon zest, egg yolks, vanilla extract, caster sugar (I) and vegetable oil, whisk to combine Sift in the flour and baking powder and whisk until just combined Add the egg whites to a large bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer, and whisk until foamy Add the caster sugar (II) and whisk on medium speed until stiff peaks Add ⅓ of the meringue to the egg yolks and whisk until just combined Transfer the lightened egg yolk mixture to the remaining egg whites and gently fold until just combined Gently transfer the batter to the prepared cake tin and give the tin a few taps to remove any large air bubbles Bake for 45 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 140C/285F and bake for 15 minutes or until an inserted skewer emerges clean Remove from the oven and invert the cake onto a wire rack to cool completely Once completely cooled run a thin knife around the sides and base of the cake to unmould

Please advice, thanks.

  • 1
    Any of those could have caused the issue, and indeed the combination of all of them probably made it even worse. If you want coconut flavor, coconut water probably would have worked okay, but coconut cream is like heavy cream. You wouldn't substitute heavy cream for water in a cake and think it would work out (I hope).
    – Esther
    Commented Nov 2, 2023 at 14:13
  • 4
    Successfully disrespecting recipes is best done one thing at a time, with consideration of how your one change might affect the otverall result, followed by assessing if it worked (to suit you), or not. Changing a bunch of things wholesale gets you into "pretty much the same as mixing up some ingredients freeform, you've departed from the recipe so much" and reasons for results are hard to pick out with so many things altered at once.
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Nov 2, 2023 at 17:29

1 Answer 1


I agree with the comment to your question that it will be difficult to come to an exact cause as you have departed from the recipe so much. However, as your cake did rise I'm going to suggest the collapse was not due to the lack of baking powder. I'm going to give more general advice which would work for a variety of recipes.

If your cake rose in the oven but then collapsed the more likely cause is that it was underbaked. When you bake a batter it forms a crystalline structure which holds its shape, if it's not baked long enough this structure won't be properly formed, and will collapse and be dense as you describe. Chiffon cakes crackle when they are underdone, as they get done the popping sound diminishes until it's only a couple of pops a second. Once the popping reduces to that level test it to see it's done. I use an instant read thermometer, but checking for sponginess works too.

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