I’ve wanted to make a strawberry-flavored chiffon cake for forever. :D However, it was a tad tricky trying to figure out how to introduce the flavor without compromising the structure and texture of the cake. I was a little hesitant about using fresh strawberries with their high water content for exactly this reason. Not only that, I wanted to avoid using artificial flavorings and/or colors, which pretty much exclude most of the strawberry milk products sold in the stores. Finally, I settled on experimenting with Trader Joe’s freeze-dried strawberries, which contains no other ingredient other than the strawberries themselves. How awesome is that!
The result was surprisingly delicious - the strawberry flavor turned out more delicate than expected, but that was not a bad thing. In this case, we felt that it actually compliments the texture/lightness of the chiffon really well. I was a little disappointed with the color though. Instead of a pale pink, the cake was more light brown in color. I tried to comfort myself with the knowledge that most strawberry-flavored foods in the stores got their pretty pink color artificially, and that despite the lack of “pinkness,” the cake still tasted delicious. :D For a fancier presentation, I would probably frost it with whipped cream and decorate with slices of fresh strawberries. Enjoy!
1⅓ cups all-purpose flour
1¼ cups sugar, divided
1 (1.2-ounce) package Trader Joe’s Freeze Dried Strawberries, ground and sieved
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
6 extra-large eggs, separated
½ cup vegetable oil
1 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon cream of tartar
- Adjust oven rack to the middle position and heat oven to 350ºF.
- Whisk flour, ½ cup sugar, ground strawberries, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl.
- In a separate bowl, whisk egg yolks, oil, milk, and vanilla extract together.
- With an electric mixer, whip egg whites and cream of tartar on medium-low speed until foamy. Then increase mixer speed to medium-high and whip the whites until soft mounds form. Gradually add the remaining ¾ cup sugar and continue to whip until stiff peaks form.
- Whisk egg yolk mixture into flour mixture until smooth. Fold ⅓ of the whipped egg whites into the batter with a large rubber scraper until combined. Then carefully fold in the remaining egg whites.
- Pour batter into an ungreased tube pan and bake for 50 to 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Invert cake pan and let cake cool completely. To remove the cake, run a small, thin-blade knife around the edge (including around the tube) and bottom of the cake and gently tap to loosen it. Serve.