To be honest, I can’t remember ever eating chiffon cake before. Supposedly it’s very fluffy and rich, made so by being full of eggies.
When I saw this Blood Orange Chiffon cake, I knew I wanted to make it. I have been really inspired by blood oranges this year and have made several desserts featuring them. I don’t know what got into me. Beauty maybe? Because, oh my, blood oranges are gorgeous. I’m not sure I think them more delicious than say, a Valencia orange, but the colors, the colors! I could just look at them all day.
But fast forward to chiffon cake….vegan chiffon cake….I searched everywhere for leads and came up with nothing. I knew I was going to have to experiment on my own….which I like doing, but you see I only had a limited number of blood oranges left for treats. I’m positive I got the absolute last ones of the season and I they had to used for something really special. I couldn’t go just wasting them on ruined vegan chiffon cake. Lucky for me, I used Irvin’s base recipe and just subbed out some things and added some other different things. And more things! I think I came up with something successful. I fed it to some omnivorous friends who seemed to enjoy it. It’s a slightly involved cake, feel free to make the blood orange butter a day or two in advance and then it seems like less work.
*Feel free to double this recipe for two full 9” cakes. The cake pictured is one recipe, baked in two pans. Each layer was then cut in half and then layered with the blood orange fruit butter (recipe follows).
Blood Orange Chiffon Cake
Adapted from Eat the Love
1 1/3 cup unbleached cake flour (I like King Arthur brand)
2/3 cup white whole wheat flour (I like King Arthur brand)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
2/3 cup water
1/3 cup pure olive oil
1 cup pure maple syrup
2 teaspoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
zest of two blood oranges
Preheat oven 350°F.
Place all dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl and whisk together. Place wet ingredients into separate mixing bowl and whisk together. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and stir just until combined being sure not to overmix.
Pour batter into a greased 9″ cake pan or split between two pans. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, using the toothpick test for doneness. If you’re splitting the recipe between 2 pans, check on the cakes after about 18 minutes. Again, use toothpick test for doneness.
Blood Orange Fruit Butter
¾ c plus two tbsp fresh squeezed blood orange juice
¾ c palm sugar
1 tbsp blood orange zest
pinch sea salt
1 ½ tbsp coconut milk (the full fat canned variety)
1 ½ tbsp tapioca starch
1 ¾ tsp coconut oil
In a small saucepan, combine the orange juice, sugar, orange zest, and salt over medium heat, stirring well until the sugar dissolves.
In a very small bowl, whisk the tapioca starch with the coconut milk. Combine with sugar and juice mixture and cook and stir until mixture starts to thicken. Add the coconut oil and stir until combined. Remove mixture from heat. Let cool completely and store in the fridge for at least 1-2 hours. If you like canning, you can pour this butter into a jar or two and process it to use at a later date. Double the recipe for a bigger yield—I originally made twice the listed amount and got almost 4 pints, which was a little two much for one person. I ended up canning the remaining stuff.
For the frosting, I just made a vanilla bean vegan buttercream. Feel free to use your favorite recipe.