Lemon Chiffon Layer Cake for Passover

This cake is inspired by a Lemon Chiffon Cake recently posted by 
Melissa Clark of the New York Times. 

I love Passover sponge cake. I cannot say the same for my kids and so I'm hoping that they will suspend their bias and try this cake- it is really wonderful.  The cake reminds me of a Passover sponge cake, although it uses only egg whites, so it actually is a Passover cake-meal stabilized meringue. 

The cake, as described here is a lemon layer cake, it can be  modified to be a vanilla/chocolate layer cake or a vanilla/orange layer cake (see suggestions for modifications at the end). 

The cake is mixed and baked in about 90 minutes. It should be chilled, 4 hours- overnight before filling. Chill to set for at least an hour before serving.
  • Separate the eggs and whip to create a meringue
  • Sprinkle the cake meal over the flavored meringue and blend with a silicone spatula
  • Bake and cool the cake completely
  • Make the filling (if you are making a home-made filling) while the cake is baking - cool the filling completely
  • Split into two layers and fill  
  • Chill for several hours while the cake sets 
mixing spoon, silicone spatula, measuring cup, large mixing bowl
electric mixer 
spatula for spreading filling
loose-bottom baking pan (angel food pan or other cake pan with a removable bottom)
double boiler OR two saucepans (larger and smaller) 

For the cake
1 c Passover cake meal
1 1/3 c sugar
12 (large) egg whites
pinch kosher salt
1/2 c confectioners sugar
1 Tbsp lemon zest (fresh if possible)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp lemon extract

For the filling: You'll have a very generous amount of custard, set aside any extra and enjoy!
adapted from Lemon Curd from http://www.savourandsave.com/
1/2 cup sugar
1 c lemon juice
1/3 water or orange juice
8 (large) egg yolks
4 oz coconut oil (cut into small chunks)

  • Preheat oven 350 degrees . Use an UN-GREASED pan with a removable bottom
  • In a mixing bowl, combine cake meal and 1/3 c sugar, set aside
  • Beat egg whites. After the beaten whites have formed soft peaks, sprinkle a good pinch of kosher salt and continue to beat until it forms firm peaks
  • To the beaten whites, add sugar, in 2 or 3 additions, zest and extracts, keep beating on slow speed and then remove beaters
  • Using a silicone spatula, sprinkle 1/4 of the cake meal/sugar mixture and turn into the whites until mostly mixed. Repeat 3 more times
  • The mixture will be stiff and glossy. Use the spatula to pour into the baking pan. Bake 35-40 minutes until slightly browned. 
  • Remove from the oven and cool upside down; this will help keep the cake's height  
  • Remove from pan after completely cooled (4-8 hours)

  •  Custard Filling:

    • Prepare the filling while the cake is in the oven. Fill a large saucepan or the bottom pan of a double boiler with water and heat.  
    • Mix the filling ingredients EXCEPT the coconut oil in the smaller pan and once the water comes to a simmer, place the smaller pan on top, making sure the bottom of the smaller saucepan is submerged in the simmering water.  Using a whisk, keep mixing until the mixture thickens, covering the back of a spoon (6-10 minutes). The mixture will not be as thick as commercial custard. Do not bring to a boil, it will ruin the custard.  
    • Remove the thickened mixture from the heat source and mix in the solid coconut oil pieces. Stir until the coconut oil has melted into the mixture and is well blended. Pour into a bowl
    • Chill well. There is no need to strain the custard for this recipe
  • Assembly: 
  • Remove the cake from the pan, by sliding a spatula around the edge and pushing out the bottom of the pan. Using a spatula, loosen the cake from the bottom piece
  • Cut the cooled cake in half crosswise. Place on a flat surface and spread about half of the filling. 

  •  Place the other half of the cake on top and spread the filling. Best if you chill before serving
  • You can further decorate with coconut flakes,  sparkling sugar or sliced almonds

  •  Cover loosely and store in the refrigerator. The cake holds well for several days 

  • Alternate flavors: 
    • Vanilla/Chocolate- omit the lemon extract in the cake and double the vanilla. Use home-made chocolate pudding, Israeli chocolate spread or ready made chocolate-nut filling to fill and ice the cake
    • Orange/Vanilla - for the cake -use double the vanilla extract instead of lemon, use 1 Tbsp orange zest instead of lemon. For the pudding, use 1 1/3 c orange juice and orange zest instead of lemon
Other Passover desserts on BreadandBabka include: Orange Flan  and Coconut-Cinnamon Macaroons


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