If you are looking for a really good soft and fluffy gluten-free chiffon cake recipe, you have to try this easy no-fuss recipe. It is incredibly soft and fluffy with an amazing pandan aroma (or whatever flavor you like). No xanthan gum needed. All the tips you need to know.
You have no idea how many chiffon cakes I’ve baked in a month’s time. I almost feel bad that my family had to try them out as I was experimenting with different kinds of chiffon cake. They didn’t seem to mind because chiffon cakes are truly our favorites. Super soft, fluffy, and just so light.
WHY YOU’LL LIKE THIS GLUTEN-FREE CHIFFON CAKE
Making gluten-free cakes and cookies is actually less challenging compared to making gluten-free bread and steamed buns LOL! We don’t want much gluten in cakes anyway, especially one like chiffon cake.
1. Only two types of flour/starch needed
This gluten-free chiffon cake recipe only calls for rice flour and cornstarch. You don’t need 4 or 5 different types of flour/starches. Rice flour and cornstarch are very common ingredients in almost everyone’s pantry these days, gluten-free or not. So, I like that you don’t have to go hunting for exotic flour/starches
2. No xanthan gum
I’m not on a gluten-free diet, but every now and then I like to try out gluten-free bread, cakes, etc. I was surprised to see how pricey a small bag of xanthan gum can be. I honestly don’t really like it either, but I know it is needed in some recipe so things won’t fall apart. This gluten-free chiffon cake doesn’t need xanthan gum
3. Incredibly soft, fluffy, and spongey
It’s everything you are looking for in a chiffon cake. Really! I had my family tested it without telling them that it was a gluten-free chiffon cake and they voted that the cake was so soft and fluffy indeed!
HOW TO MAKE THE BEST GLUTEN-FREE PANDAN CHIFFON CAKE
1. INGREDIENTS NEED TO BE AT ROOM TEMPERATURE
Before you start making the recipe, make sure eggs, pandan juice (or milk) are at room temperature. Get them out from the fridge 20-30 minutes and let them sit at room temperature before you plan to start working on this
2. MAKE PANDAN JUICE
Make sure you cut the leaves into little pieces to extract the juice out from the leaves. Put in a blender and add coconut milk and water and blend until smooth. Transfer to a cheesecloth or muslin cloth or use a strainer to squeeze the juice out Set aside for later use. Measure out the amount you need for this recipe and top up with some coconut milk if necessary to get the amount you need and store the rest in the fridge for other use
3. PREPARE CAKE BATTER
Whisk the egg yolks with sugar and cooking oil, coconut milk, water (or homemade pandan juice) and pandan essence
Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into the egg yolk mixture
Use a rubber spatula and combine. Try not to overmix it too
4. WHIP THE MERINGUE
Place the egg whites in a clean bowl. You will have trouble whipping your meringue if there’s a trace of grease in your utensils or bowls. Beat the egg whites on medium speed, speed 4 on Kitchen Aid, until frothy, add cream of tartar and whip until it turns whitish. Increase the speed to 6 and gradually add the sugar as you beat, in about 1-minute interval before adding the next sugar. Continue to beat until you get a firm peak. When you lift the meringue up with the whisk, it should maintain its shape with its tail bending slightly
5. FOLD MERINGUE INTO BATTER
Gently fold in 1/3 of the meringue into the thick batter. Using a rubber spatula, swipe from the side and gently fold over to mix and then continue. Repeat this motion several rounds. Continue with the rest of the meringue
DO NOT grease your chiffon pan. Pour batter into the pan and gently drop the cake pan from about 10 cm height on the counter 3-4 times. This will pop any air bubbles inside the cake
*in this experiment I used 20 cm (8-inch) chiffon cake pan and thank goodness it didn’t overflow in the oven. I recommend using 22 cm (9-inch) instead. It should only fill up about 70% of your pan not so high like in this photo below
Pop into the oven and let it bake at 325 F (160 C) for conventional oven, for 50 minutes to 1 hour. If you have convection oven, please lower the temperature by 20 degrees. Do not open your oven door at least for the first 50 minutes of baking or you are risking deflating the cake
7. INVERT, COOL DOWN, AND UNMOULD
Once out of the oven, carefully invert the pan upside down. You can use a wine bottle or any bottle to prop it up too
Once it’s cool down completely, use a spatula knife to run through the edge of the cake to help release the cake. Gently push the base of the pan down. Use the knife again to run through the top of the cake to help release it from the base of the pan
Use a sharp serrated knife to cut the cake so you won’t squish this delicate soft and fluffy chiffon cake
HOW TO STORE CHIFFON CAKE
Chiffon cake can be kept at room temperature for a day or two. Wrap them up with a cling wrap after it has cooled down completely. After that, it’s better to store them in the fridge for about 3 days or so. The longer you keep it in the fridge the drier the cake will be.
DID YOU MAKE SOFT FLUFFY GLUTEN-FREE PANDAN CHIFFON CAKE RECIPE?
I love it when you guys snap a photo and tag to show me what you’ve made 🙂 Simply tag me @WhatToCookToday #WhatToCookToday on Instagram and I’ll be sure to stop by and take a peek for real!
Soft and Fluffy Gluten-Free Pandan Chiffon Cake
- 5 large egg yolks (room temperature) from 58-60 gram egg with a shell
- 70 gr cooking oil
- 30 gr sugar
If you use pandan essence and not homemade pandan juice:
- 60 ml canned coconut milk
- 40 ml water
- 1 tsp pandan essence optional (it gives more greenish color) or other flavor like vanilla extract if not doing pandan flavor
If you make your own pandan juice:
- 15 pandan leaves
- 60 ml canned coconut milk see notes 1
- 40 ml water
- 115 gr rice flour
- 50 gr cornstarch
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 5 egg whites (room temperature)
- 100 gr sugar
- ½ tsp cream of tartar or use 1 tsp of lemon juice or vinegar
- Make sure your chiffon cake pan does not have a non-stick coating or your cake will not rise. The cake needs to cling to the side of the pan to rise tall
- Before you start making the recipe, make sure eggs, pandan juice (or milk) are at room temperature. Get them out from the fridge 20-30 minutes and let them sit at room temperature before you plan to start working on this
Make pandan juice:
- Make sure you cut the leaves into little pieces to extract the juice out from the leaves. Put in a blender and add coconut milk and water and blend until smooth. Transfer to a cheesecloth or muslin cloth or use a strainer to squeeze the juice out Set aside for later use. Make sure you get 100 ml of liquid total. Top up with a bit of water if needed to make up to 100 ml
Prepare the cake batter:
- Separate the egg yolks from the whites and let them sit out for 30 minutes at room temperature. The meringue whips better at room temperature
- Put egg yolks, oil, sugar, coconut milk, water (or homemade pandan juice), pandan essence in a mixing bowl and whisk to combine
- Sift the flour mixture into the egg yolk mixture. Use a rubber spatula and combine. Try not to overmix it too
Whip the meringue:
- Preheat your oven to 325 F (160 C) for conventional oven. If you have convection oven, please reduce the temperature by 20 degrees. Place the oven rack on the middle rack of your oven
- Place the egg whites in a clean bowl. You will have trouble whipping your meringue if there's a trace of grease in your utensils or bowls. Beat the egg whites on medium speed, speed 4 on Kitchen Aid, until frothy, add cream of tartar and whip until it turns whitish. Increase the speed to 6 and gradually add the sugar as you beat, in about 1-minute interval before adding the next sugar. Continue to beat until you get a firm peak. When you lift the meringue up with the whisk, it should maintain its shape with its tail bending slightly
Fold meringue into batter:
- Gently fold in 1/3 of the meringue into the thick batter. Using a rubber spatula, swipe from the side and gently fold over to mix and then continue. Repeat this motion several rounds. Continue on with the second 1/3 of the meringue again to mix. Continue to do this until you are done with the meringue and the batter and meringue are nicely mixed. You shouldn't see anymore white meringue
- DO NOT grease your chiffon pan. The cake needs to cling to the pan to rise. You can use a toothpick to pop any air bubbles you see and gently drop the cake pan from about 10 cm height on the counter 3-4 times. This will pop any air bubbles inside the cake
- Pop into the oven and let it bake at 325 F for 50 minutes to 1 hour for 9-inch cake. If you make your cake smaller or bigger, you may need to adjust the baking temperature accordingly. Please DO NOT open your oven door to peek or check on the chiffon cake at least for the first 45 minutes
Check for doneness:
- The surface may have some cracks or it may not, but don't worry if there are some cracks, this will be the bottom of the cake. The surface should bounce back when you touch and no longer jiggly. You can insert a cake tester and it should come out clean with maybe just a bit of crumbs, but it shouldn't be wet. If it is, bake a little longer in a 5-minute increment until a cake tester comes out clean
Invert and cool down:
- Once out of the oven, immediately invert the pan upside down. Your chiffon pan may have the little stands for you to invert, but I find it not high enough. I use a glass jar and set the inverted pan on top of the jar or you can use a wine bottle and let it cool down completely. Please don't be tempted to remove from the pan if it's still warm. It takes about one to two hours to cool down completely
- Once it's cool down completely, use a spatula knife to run through the edge of the cake to help release the cake. Gently push the base of the pan down. Use the knife again to run through the top of the cake to help release it from the base of the pan
- For 6 inch tube: use 2 eggs and multiply 0.4 the rest of the ingredients. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean
- For 7 inch tube: use 3 eggs and multiply 0.6 the rest of the ingredients. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean
- For 8 inch tube: use 4 eggs and multiply 0.8 the rest of the ingredients. Bake for 50 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean
- For 10 inch tube: use 7 eggs and multiply 1.4 the rest of the ingredients. Bake for 60-65 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean
Hi – I’m so glad to have found this recipe as my son is allergic to gluten. Can’t wait to try it out.
May I know how should I adjust the recipe for a 18cm/7 inch tube pan? And how long would the baking time be?
Thanks very much!
Hi Lynn, you can use 3 eggs and 0.6x the original recipe and you can bake for 45-50 minutes or check for doneness at around this time. Please let me know if you need help with the adjustment.
I have tried the recipe and it works! For the first time, my chiffon cake rose beautifully to the top with minimal shrinkage. Thanks so much for that. But I’m wondering if we omit the baking powder, would it work the same? Thanks!
Hi Lynn, you can definitely omit the baking powder. I haven’t been baking chiffon with baking powder. As long as you whip your meringue nicely as I mentioned and fold them gently, you should be okay. The baking powder is more as an “insurance” that it will rise.
Hi there, I trier your recipe today using blended rice flour (alrd contains corn starch but not specified what ratio). I decided to experiment irregardless. Followed your recipe accordingly – cake rose beautifully in the oven, surface disn’t even crack. However, as I happily removed it from the oven and turned it over to cool over a bottle, the entire cake fell out of the pan 🤭 I’ve baked chiffon cakes before and this has never happened. Not sure why this happened… any tips?
Hi Wendy, oh no! usually when chiffon cake falls out from the pan when you invert it, it is most likely underbaked. The sides and the bottom are probably not browned enough (cooked enough) that they don’t cling to the pan. In this case, you want to bake it a bit longer. It’s safer to overbake the cake a bit than underbaking. If the sides are brown, but the cake still falls out, the ratio of flour/starch to liquid may be off. It may be too wet and heavy that the cake won’t have enough structure to support itself and slip out of the pan.
Hi there, I tried this two more times since my first and it turned out nicely. It’s just a little dry otherwise it’ll be perfect. Is that how it should be or is there something else I should have done.
Hi Wendy, sometimes if the meringue is overbeaten, it can make the cake dry too. You can try replacing water with coconut milk (or whole milk), for a richer taste and in a way also adding more fat to make the cake more “moist”
Hi, how much do I use for pandan juice in the making of this pandan chiffon cake? As I can see if using pandan essence is 1tsp then if using pandan juice, how much should I be using? Thanks heaps.
You will blend the pandan leaves with 60 ml coconut milk and 40 ml water, so it will be 100 ml total.
HI for the vinegar, can I use apple cider vinegar? And I. am planning to make them into cupcakes for the little ones, any other tips since I am not using the chiffon cake pan? Thanks 🙂
Hi Vickie, yes you can use apple cider vinegar. I’ve used that before instead of cream of tartar or lemon juice. I’ve never tried this in cupcakes size. But you want to fill it up only 3/4 full and there might be a possibility the top might crack if you bake it at the temperature using chiffon tube pan. You can try lower the temperature to 130 C (270 F) and bake for about 30 minutes or so at this low temperature on the middle rack and then increase the temperature to 150 C (300 F) and bake for another 25 minutes. You may have to experiment with the temperature and see. I hope they turned out for you.
So you bake in the middle of the oven rather than the bottom 3rd of the oven? Thank you!
Hi Rowena, yes, I baked in the middle of the oven. My oven is a conventional gas oven with bottom heat. I hope that helps to clarify.
I would love to make a matcha version of this…would I need to sub out some of the rice flour or corn starch if I wanted to add say 10g of matcha powder?
Hi, no you don’t need to change the amount of the rice flour and cornstarch, you can just add the 10 gr matcha powder
Hi Marv! I want to do a gluten free orange chiffon cake- do you recommend simply swapping the amount of pandan juice/milk combo, with orange juice (1:1)? And keep the other remaining ingredients as they are? I remember you said you may need more oil if using orange juice since it’s more acidic…?
Thanks for your help!!
I’ve tried your recipe today and it turned out great!! I was wondering if I wanted to increase the amount of batter for 6 eggs (I got a bigger chiffon tin), how much corn starch/rice flour do you recommend ? Do I just calculate according to the ratio of 5 eggs to 115g rice flour 50g corn starch?
I also noticed that this recipe requires a longer baking time (1hr) compared to the cake flour chiffon recipes. Is this due to the gluten free factor? Much appreciated, Anne
Hi Anne, sorry I answered late and I’m glad that the gluten-free orange chiffon cake using this gluten-free pandan chiffon cake recipe works out for you. Did you swap the pandan juice to orange juice 1:1 ? Now I know I can do it too 🙂 You can times 1.2 the amount of ingredients to use 6 eggs, so for example it will be 138 gr rice flour 60 gr cornstarch. You can do 1 1/4 tsp baking powder. And yes, gluten-free bread, cakes in general, do take longer to bake compared to regular ones. I hope it helps to clarify.
Yes, I used 1:1 orange juice but I added two orange worth of zest since I prefer a stronger citrus flavour. I used vegetable oil ☺️
My family couldn’t tell it was a gluten free cake!
Awesome! Thank you! I will try that myself next time 🙂 Thanks again for sharing!
Finally I can make a fluffy and moist chiffon cake. The best chiffon cake out of 5 recipes I’ve tried so far. 1 of the other 4 recipes was also gluten free. Best of all, very minimal shrinkage after cooling! The cake is very even throughout (no dense areas/spots). I used 3/5th of the recipe since I have a 7” chiffon pan. Cake was done after 30 minutes. I’ll try the full recipe next time, I think it’ll fit. I also made your coconut mango sticky rice this morning and bika ambon last week. All turned out beautifully! Thank you!
Hi Regina, I’m very happy to know that you like the chiffon cake. I think it should fit into a 7-inch pan too. So glad that the mango sticky rice and bika ambon turned out for you too 🙂 Thank you for your feedbacks! Made my day!!
Hi Marv, thanks for replying so quickly. I will try baking it in the water bath as the ogura recipe you have linked below. I will use the exact recipe for this gluten free chiffon cake for my 8 inch round cake pan since it will be a rather flat cake or should I increase the recipe proportion? Thanks.