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I'm currently on a chiffon-making spree but all my chiffon cakes keep on collapsing after cooling.

Here's the recipe I used: - 100g flour - 100g sugar, 50g for meringue and 50g for yolks - 1 tsp baking powder (4g) - 45g oil - 90g water - 3 eggs, separated

1) Preheat oven to 160C. Line bottom of 20cm cake pan with parchment paper (yes, not a chiffon cake pan; the original recipe called for a normal cake pan and reviewers have been successful with it). Sift together flour and baking powder, set aside.

2) Beat egg yolks and 50g sugar till thick and pale. Add in oil then whip till emulsified and thick. Add in water then mix till combined. Sift in flour mixture then mix till smooth. Set aside.

3) Beat egg whites with 50g sugar till firm peak stage. Fold into egg yolk mixture in 3 batches, banging the bowl occasionally to remove any big air bubbles.

4) Pour batter slowly, and a from a height, into prepared cake pan. Bake for 60 minutes. Once done, cool inverted.

Can someone see what I'm doing wrong?

**the cake also kind of deflated in the oven at around 45 minute mark. It had a slight dome that evened out.

Thanks in advance for all help!

edit: could it be the liquid flour ratio that is causing my cakes to collapse? I remember reading somewhere that if you have too much liquid, the cake once cooled will collapse under its own weight. But I sort of don't think this is the case since most of the liquid in this recipe is water; which almost all would evaporate during baking.

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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? – Hannah Song Apr 27 '16 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 '16 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? – Hannah Song Apr 30 '16 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? – Hannah Song Apr 30 '16 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 '16 at 8:36

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