Recipe used:

  • 75g flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 80g sugar + 15g sugar (for the meringue)
  • 2 eggs (60g each)
  • 35g oil
  • 60g water


  1. Place all ingredients except egg whites and 15g sugar in a bowl.
  2. Beat egg whites until soft peaks. Slowly add the sugar while continuing beating to firm peaks.
  3. Using the same beaters, mix the egg yolk mixture until just combined.
  4. Fold the meringue into the egg yolk mixture in 3 batches.
  5. Pour into the prepared cake pans then bake in a preheated 160°C oven for 55-60 minutes.

  • I've noticed that the cake sets up on the sides very early into the bake. It then continues to rise in the middle to create a dome.
  • Around the 40 minute mark the dome flattens.
  • It further flattens once cooled and un-molded. When I flip the deflated cake upside down it looks like the cake sunk in the middle.

Does anyone know what I did wrong? Could it possibly the recipe that is failing me?

  • Did you just use a regular cake pan?
    – Jay
    Aug 13, 2015 at 15:47
  • 1
    Are these amounts correct? It seems like a very tiny volume of ingredients for a full cake. It looks like a half cake recipe.
    – Catija
    Aug 13, 2015 at 15:48
  • Also, did you use regular flour? Every other recipe I've seen calls for cake flour.
    – Catija
    Aug 13, 2015 at 15:54
  • hmm; also a non-stick pan or a pan that has too much oil will cause the cake to collapse. When you take the cake out; it is using the friction from sides of the pan to stay up. The hole in middle is 100% needed; either use a pyrex cup if you don't have a pan or some metal tube. I don't have fancy pan as I HATE uni-taskers; I just use a metal tube and flip upside down on a mason jar to cool.
    – zerobane
    Aug 25, 2015 at 20:50

2 Answers 2


Chiffon cake, like it's cousin angel food cake, is mostly air. A big pile of protein bubbles stiffened with a little starch.

One very important step is not reflected in your recipe:

When the cake is completely baked the proteins have set and the starches have gelatinized but the starches are still very soft. The cake won't have its firm structure until the starches have been able to cool and set.

All recipes call for inverting the cake immediately when it comes out of the oven. The cake is allowed to cool, inverted and still in the pan, for a good hour to ensure the starches have set.

Special pans with legs or a long tube center are used for this:

enter image description here

Notice that in addition to the feet that it is a tube pan. This is important because the interior of these cakes is very insulated and won't be able to cook completely before the outside is overcooked.

When my angel food cake pans were packed I had good success using a pot with a mason jar in the middle. I was surprised it came out perfectly.

Use a cake pan with a tube,
Invert the cake right when it comes out of the oven and let it cool completely.

Catija is correct that these amounts look way too small for a full cake. If you are trying to bake that in a full sized cake pan it could possibly be over rising and not have enough structure to support itself when it comes out.


It's very normal for a chiffon cake to contract some after baking, sometimes this leads people to think something is wrong. What's happening is that the trapped air is cooling and takes up less volume. However, if you are ending up with a very dense cake then something is definitely going wrong.

  • You may be underbaking it: if the cake's structure is not cooked enough to trap the air in it then the air escapes and the cake collapses. Recipe times are often wrong, so I use them as a guide and I use my ears to tell when a chiffon is done - when a chiffon is baking it sounds a bit like rice crispies in milk, lots of pops. Once the popping slows to 1-2 per second it's perfect and I get it out
  • Temperature too low: you say the cake starts to collapse in the oven, to me that means that the air escaped because the cake's structure was not formed quickly enough to trap it. Try turning the oven up by 10-15 degrees
  • Lining the pan and inverting: the point of inverting the pan is to get gravity to work for you by stretching the cake out while the starches cool and the structure fully crystallizes. This relies on the cake adhering to the bottom and sides of the pan - if you line the pan the cake will simply drop out. I have baked decent chiffon cakes this way when I didn't have a springform pan available but if you want a truly light cake you have to invert it. So use a springform pan and invert the cake if you want to get the benefits of inverting it
  • Hello! Thanks for the reply and help. Would half lining the bottom of a cake pan also work? As in there's enough parchment paper so that the cake doesn't stick, yet there isn't too much so the cake can adhere to the pan? Also, do you think increasing baking temperature and time to 170C and 70 minutes appropriate adjustments? Apr 27, 2016 at 9:10
  • Lining the bottom at all will not work, you've got to leave it unlined if you want to invert. Regarding temperature and time I would change one thing and see what happens. Try raising the temperature first, and start checking at 50 minutes. Remember, listen to the popping noise. Once it tapers off get the cake out!
    – GdD
    Apr 27, 2016 at 9:35
  • Hello again! I took your advice and baked the cake at 170C for 60 minutes. It was all fine and perfect until the 30 minute mark where it cracked at the top. Then around the 45 minute mark the dome flattened out. At this point I'm beginning to suspect that the cake is over leavened, do you think this is the case? Apr 30, 2016 at 1:10
  • Oh ! One more thing, I reduced the water by a third because I thought the batter was too thin. Do you think this could've caused the cake to crack? Apr 30, 2016 at 1:12
  • I suggest using a tried and tested recipe to get the amounts right, you could spend a lot of time playing around with a recipe that just doesn't work. If you use a well-known recipe and it falls then it's almost certainly oven temperature or something else, but not quantities.
    – GdD
    Apr 30, 2016 at 8:36

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.