Earl Grey Chiffon Cake

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This chiffon cake tastes like Earl Grey tea in solid form – you have the flavor of the cake layers, kept moist by the frosting, and the fluffy whipped cream melding together deliciously in your mouth.

Baking Notes:

  • 1 Bigelow teabag contains 1 teaspoon of finely ground tea, so you can skip the grinding step
  • Use fresh eggs, because the egg whites will fluff up more when beaten.
  • Separate the eggs when cold, then allow the whites to come to room temperature before beating them.
  • The gluten-free cake dries out fast compared to regular cake, so if you won’t finish eating it the day it’s made, you should definitely frost it with whipped cream to keep it moist.

Original recipe


Earl Grey Chiffon Cake
Adapted from Just One Cookbook

Yield: 2-layer 8″ cake

For the cake:

  • 2 teaspoons Earl Grey loose tea leaves OR 2 teabags
  • 1 Tablespoon Earl Grey loose tea leaves OR 3 teabags
  • 6 Tablespoons hot water
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 28 grams + 57 grams granulated sugar (total of 1/2 cup minus 1 Tbsp, if you don’t have a scale)
  • 3 Tablespoons flavorless oil (such as vegetable or canola)
  • 2/3 cup gluten-free flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

For the whipped cream frosting:

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 4 tablespoons powdered sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 325°F and line an 8″ round baking pan with aluminum foil to make cake removal easier.
  2. Using a food processor or mortar and pestle, grind 2 teaspoons tea leaves into a fine powder.  If you don’t have either, put tea leaves in a bag and crush them.
  3. In a fine sieve in a mug or a bowl, steep 1 tablespoon tea leaves in 6 tablespoons hot water to make a strong tea.  Cool, remove tea leaves, and set aside.  You will only use 4 tablespoons of the tea (although I found that the teabags absorbed about 2 tablespoons of liquid anyway).
  4. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together yolks and 27 grams sugar.
  5. Whisk in oil, 4 tablespoons tea, and 2 teaspoons finely ground tea leaves until thoroughly combined.
  6. Whisk in baking powder and flour, making sure there are no lumps.
  7. In a separate large mixing bowl, whip the egg whites with 57 g sugar and cream of tartar until stiff and glossy.
  8. Add a large scoop of the whipped egg whites to the cake batter and mix gently but thoroughly to lighten the batter.
  9. Add the remaining egg whites in 3 additions.  Gently fold into the batter using a large wire whisk, making sure to scrape down the bottom of the bowl frequently.
  10. Pour batter into pan and gently smooth top with a rubber spatula.
  11. Bake at 325°F for 25 minutes without opening the oven door during this time. Increase heat to 350°F and bake for about 15 minutes longer. The cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, or when the surface springs back immediately after pressing on it with a finger.
  12. As soon as you remove cake from oven, lay 2 thick wooden spoon handles (or chopsticks) across the top of the pan and place a shallow bowl upside down on top of the handles/chopsticks.  Invert the arrangement and cool cake completely upside down.  This step is important, because otherwise the cake will sink.  It looks like this:
  13. Unmold cake carefully, because it is fragile, and slice it in half horizontally.
  14. Using a mixer on medium speed, beat together heavy cream and powdered sugar until whipped cream holds stiff peaks.
  15. Place one cake layer cut side down on a serving plate and spread with ~1 cup whipped cream.  Top with the second layer cut side down.
  16. Frost first the sides and then the top of the cake with remaining whipped cream.
  17. Refrigerate the cake if you’re not serving it the same day.

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