I was looking for something for our Easter dinner dessert that was festive, springtime-y, and dairy-free, and this recipe fit the requirements. Preparing it resulted in a mountain of dishes to wash, but the effort was worth it, and maybe we’ll have it again for some future celebration.

A lot of dirty dishes!

Lemon Chiffon Cake
from Williams-Sonoma

2 1/4 cups cake flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup canola oil
6 eggs, separated
1/2 cup lemon juice (from 2 lemons)
2 teaspoons lemon peel
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

Preheat an oven to 325° and have ready an ungreased 10-inch tube pan with a removable bottom.

Although not used frequently in our kitchen, a zester is a wonderful tool to have on hand when you do need it.

Sift the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder and salt together. In a bowl, combine the oil, egg yolks, lemon zest and lemon juice. Add the water and whisk until well mixed. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the flour mixture until the batter is smooth.

Egg yolks – Flour mixture – Egg whites – Flour to egg yolks – Combined – Add the whites

In a bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Using the rubber spatula, gently fold half of the whites into the batter until almost fully incorporated. Add the remaining whites and gently fold in just until combined. The batter should be smooth but foamy. Pour the batter evenly into the tube pan.

Bake the cake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and invert the pan onto a wire rack. Let the cake cool completely, upside down, about 45 minutes.

Before baking – After baking – While cooling – Finished product

Rotate and tap the pan against the countertop until the cake disengages. Using the center tube, pull the cake out of the pan. Invert the cake onto the rack and disengage it gently from the pan bottom. Pull the pan bottom and tube from the cake.

The original recipe said to top with a lemon glaze, but we chose fresh raspberries and lemon whipped cream instead (except for our guest on a dairy-free diet). Just whip 1/2 cup cream with 1 1/2 tablespoons powdered sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice and 1 teaspoon lemon peel, and double if you want.