Lemon Rice Chiffon Cake

Don’t let the rice flour fool you: this cake is filled with intriguing flavor. The recipe comes from Flavor Flours, winner of our 2015 Baking and Dessert Book Award. Author Alice Medrich recommends pairing the cake with lightly sweetened strawberries or sliced mango or pineapple.

Excerpted from Flavor Flours by Alice Medrich (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2014. Photographs by Leigh Beisch.


  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (224 grams) sugar
  • 5 large egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup cool water
  • 1/2 cup flavorless vegetable oil (such as rice bran, corn, or safflower oil)
  • 1 1/3 cups (200 grams) white rice flour or 2 cups (200 grams) Thai white rice flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Zest of a medium lemon
  • 8 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • Equipment:
  • Stand mixer with whisk attachment
  • 10-inch tube pan with removable bottom, ungreased


Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 325°F.

Set aside 1/4 cup (50 grams) of the sugar for later (to stiffen the egg whites).

In a large bowl, combine the remaining sugar, egg yolks, water, oil, rice flour, baking powder, and salt. Whisk until thoroughly blended. Set aside.

In the bowl of the stand mixer, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar with the whisk attachment on medium-high speed until the mixture is creamy white and holds a soft shape. Slowly sprinkle in the reserved sugar, beating on high speed until the egg whites are stiff but not dry. Grate the zest of a medium lemon on top of the batter. Scrape one-quarter of the egg whites onto the batter and use a rubber spatula to fold them in. Fold in the remaining egg whites. Scrape the batter into the pan and spread it evenly.

Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, until the top of the cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Set the pan on a rack. While the cake is still hot, slide a thin knife or spatula around the sides, pressing against the pan to avoid tearing the cake. Leave the cake in the pan to cool—it will settle at least 1 inch.

When cool, lift the tube to remove the cake. Slide a thin knife or skewer around the tube and slide a spatula under the cake all around. Lift the cake off the bottom of the pan using two spatulas (one on either side of the tube) and transfer it to a serving platter. The cake keeps, wrapped airtight, at room temperature for at least 3 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months; bring to room temperature before serving. Slice with a serrated knife.


10 to 12 servings