I’ve been dreaming of making this cake for some time now: soft, fluffy layers of chiffon sandwiched with citrus curd and mango frosting. I’ve tried once or twice in the past, but it was never as good as I wanted: cake layers were too dry, or the frosting was too heavy. But this time around it was just right! This is the perfect style of cake to serve to people who don’t like desserts that are too sweet, or as a light ending to a large meal.
A few notes:
- If you’ve never made any type of sponge cake before, I recommend reading through the tips on my mom’s sponge cake recipe before starting. Same principles apply.
- If you make your own lime curd for this recipe, I definitely recommend saving your lime rinds and making some fresh lime syrup to use as your cake soak. I followed the directions here (substituting limes for lemons) and just let the mixture sit overnight before draining.
- The mango whipped cream frosting uses a game-changing food processor method by Stella Parks (which she learned from a Japanese bakery), and it’s the perfect accompaniment to chiffon — light but flavorful from the addition of freeze-dried fruit. I really don’t recommend using a butter-based frosting with this cake as it’s just too heavy.
- I got my freeze dried mangoes from Trader Joe’s, but you can also source it online.
- To decorate this cake, I dehydrated some lemon and lime slices by baking them at 200F for a few hours until dry (flipping them every hour or so). I also added a bit of chopped freeze-dried mango.
Lime Chiffon Cake with Mango Whipped Cream
Makes one 6-inch cake
For the lime chiffon cake:
- 4 large egg yolks, at room temperature
- 5 large egg whites, at room temperature
- 150g cake flour
- 175g caster sugar, divided
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- generous 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 60g (1/4 c or 60ml) lime juice
- 60g (1/4 c or 60 ml) water
- 76g (1/3 c or 80 ml) oil
- Zest of two limes
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
For the mango whipped cream:
- 23g freeze-dried mango
- 75g granulated sugar
- 3 c heavy cream, chilled
- Simple syrup or fresh lime syrup
- ~4 Tbsp lime curd (I use David Lebovitz’s recipe: it makes a lot more than you need for this cake, but you can use the rest on toast or freeze leftovers)
- Dehydrated lemon and lime slices (optional, for garnish — see notes)
- Chopped freeze-dried mango (optional, for garnish)
For the lime chiffon cake:
- Preheat the oven to 350F with a rack in the lower third. Line three 6-inch pans with parchment, but do not grease the sides of the pan.
- Sift together the cake flour, 150g caster sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl (you’ll eventually be mixing the whole batter in this bowl, so choose a nice wide one!). Whisk to combine. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Add the egg yolks, lime juice, lime zest, water, oil, and vanilla to the well, and whisk until smooth.
- Beat the egg whites on medium-low speed until foamy. Add the cream of tartar, increase the speed to medium, and whisk until soft peaks. With the mixer still on medium, slowly add the remaining 25 grams caster sugar. Increase the mixer speed to medium-high and beat until you have glossy firm peaks.
- Using a silicone spatula, carefully fold the egg whites into the egg yolk batter 1/3 at a time. Mix just until the batter is homogeneous and no white streaks remain.
- Divide the batter among the three prepared pans, about 250g each. Give each pan a couple raps on the counter to dislodge any big air bubbles.
- Bake until the cakes are puffed and firm and a tester comes out clean, about 25-30 minutes (do not open the oven door until at least 20 minutes have passed or the cakes might collapse!). Allow to cool a few minutes in the pan, then run an offset spatula around the edges (this helps minimize shrinkage). Cool another 10-15 minutes in the pan, then remove the cakes from the pans and allow to cool completely on a wire rack. Once cooled, Chill the cakes before frosting, at least 1/2 an hour.
For the mango whipped cream:
- In a food processor, grind the freeze dried mango and sugar into a fine powder. Stir with a fork to break up any clumps.
- Add the cream and pulse until very thick and creamy, about the consistency of Greek yogurt. Be careful not to over-process or the cream will turn to butter! If you spoon out some of the cream, it should hold its shape when the spoon is overturned. Use immediately, or refrigerate until needed (it should keep for about a week).
- Trim the tops of the cakes to level if needed and peel the parchment paper off each one. Place a dollop of cream on a cake board / plate / cake stand and place the first cake round on top.
- Brush the top of the cake generously with syrup. Spoon about 1/3 c of mango whipped cream on top of the first round and spread it on smoothly with an offset spatula. Drizzle a couple tablespoons of lime curd in the center, taking care not to go too close to the edge so the curd won’t leak out the sides.
- Repeat step 2 with the second layer. Finish by placing the last cake round top side down (soak it with simple syrup before placing it on top).
- Spread a thin, even layer of mango whipped cream over the sides and top of the cake to lock the crumbs in. Refrigerate for about 15-20 minutes until set.
- After the cake has chilled, spread a thick, even layer of cream on the top and sides. I used an offset spatula to create some texture. Decorate with dehydrated citrus slices and freeze-dried mango pieces, or as desired. Chill until ready to serve.