Whole-Wheat Mocha Chiffon Cake

Happy Fourth Birthday to Izzy the Tooth! We celebrate today the joy Izzy has brought to our lives since she became a part of our family in August. I feel like Izzy has already had a birthday since more than half of my birthday cards from this year feature bulldog photographs. Also, Izzy made three new penpals over the holidays: Freddie, a stout and strapping gentleman bulldog in Mountain View, California, and Stanley and Larry, French bulldog and pug, in Sylvan Lake, Michigan. Izzy is always happy to receive correspondence, and is quite prompt in response.


To celebrate the occasion, I skipped ahead in Baking Illustrated and started the cake series in her honor. Obviously, we did not feed this chocolate cake to Izzy, but I gave her plenty of extra treats and a chew toy and extra cuddling. Beer Church toasted to Izzy and lapped up her commemorative chiffon.


Whole-Wheat Mocha Chiffon Cake

Baking Illustrated

7 eggs, 5 separated
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 1/3 cups cake flour (whole-wheat pastry flour is what I used)
1 cup and 6 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil (I used olive)
3/4 cup brewed espresso (cool it down, of course)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 ounce grated unsweetened bakers chocolate

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Place egg whites along with cream of tartar in the bowl of a stand mixer.  Whip with the whisk attachment on medium-high speed until it reaches soft peaks.  Continuing on medium-high, whip the whites until they are just stiff and glossy. WHIP WHIP WHIP—the recipe says they should be borderline dry.
In a large bowl, combine the cake flour, sugar, baking powder and salt with a whisk.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the two whole eggs, the five yolks, oil, water, and vanilla.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix (with the whisk) until just smooth. Add the baker’s chocolate at the end.

Whisk 1/3 of the whipped egg whites into the batter to lighten it up.  Then add the remaining whites, a few spoonfuls at a time, and gently fold in.  Avoid over-folding so do not fully incorporate one installment of whites before adding the next.

When all the whites have been folded in, pour the batter into the untreated angel food cake pan.  Bake for 55-65 minutes, or until a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.

Turn the cake upside down (over a bottle if your pan does not have “legs”) and cool for about 3 hours.  Remove the cake by running a knife around the pan, angling the knife towards the pan to try and get the full crust on the cake.


4 stars. My advice for this cake? Whip it good.

I read a couple of blogged warnings about this particular recipe, some claiming there to be a typo regarding the flour. Older recipes say there should be more than two cups of flour, and some people had posted some chiffon disaster photographs that looked like little rubbery brown innertubes on the plate. I panicked about whether to trust Baking Illustrated or whether to trust the blogosphere. I had never whipped egg whites before (which is INCREDIBLE! I was shocked by the beautiful cloud formations!), I had never made chiffon cake before, I had no cake instincts being previously a Betty Crocker Box Mix kinda gal. I am so glad I trusted America’s Test Kitchen. Turned out great! The only amendment is one should grease the pan—I mangled the top trying to wrest the spongy cake from the pan. It was SO tasty, and the whole wheat flour didn’t weigh it down.

Happy Birthday to Izzy—the best bulldog in the universe.


7 thoughts on “Whole-Wheat Mocha Chiffon Cake

  1. Feliz Cumpleanos Senorita Izzy el Diente! 🙂 Rach, I am overjoyed for you, KP, and Izzy, for the ever more beautiful family you are becoming as you grow in your love for each other 🙂 Also, the cake looks delectable, and healthy too!

    1. Haha, Izzy’s mafia name sounds so much better en espanol. Despite the scads of treats she already has eaten for her birthday, outside just now she ate nearly all of the sticks in the fire pit (in seventeen minutes while I was on the phone with my brother). Is it possible for a dog to be wood-deficient?

      1. It’s probably even better en italiano 🙂 Good Lord, what crazy stick eating behavior! You may have just happened upon a new health problem for canines. If Izzy loves sticks that much, she probably would’ve adored those tasteless (according to you!) bars you made recently 😉 Time to train her to gather firewood!

      2. Haha– I actually fed Izzy the rest of the Hunza flatbread (not the chocolate dipped pieces)– she loves it. I’m hoping she will live to 120 on account of their magical age-sustaining powers

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