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Yuzu Chiffon ゆずシフォンケーキ

Yuzu Chiffon

The original idea was to make a matcha chiffon with a newly acquired chiffon mold. While rampaging through my box of  ingredients from our recent trip to Kansai, I suddenly remembered that I’d not made anything with the yuzu powder we’d brought back! So an immediate switch of plans to make a yuzu chiffon instead!
Yuzu Chiffon

Yuzu powder ゆず粉末 from Kyoto. The bottle stating 極上柚子 “Premium Yuzu” is from 產寧坂, also known as 三年坂 “sannen zaka” near Kiyomizu-dera 京都清水寺 in Eastern Kyoto. The packet versions are from 七味家, a store specialises in Japanese spices collectively known as “辛七味 shichimi” which includes togarashi 唐辛子 (chilli pepper), sansho 山椒  (pepper) and sometimes yuzu when its in season! I bought pure yuzu powder ground from dried yuzu rind. We bought the first packet of yuzu powder from the main shop which is incidentally more than 350 years old and is also near Kiyomizu-dera. I was so excited when I first saw it as its one of the things on my “must buy”  list for this trip and we were hunting for it high and low in Osaka for 2 days before to no avail! The other two packets were from Takashimaya in downtown Kyoto. Oddly outside Kyoto, they were no where to be found. Perhaps we didn’t look intently enough. Alas, the ones we’d got should last me for quite some time 🙂

Note the difference in the kanji “柚子” and hiragana “ゆず” forms of the japanese script when purchasing it. However, the characteristic yellow coloration is quite unmistakable!

Since its going to be a yuzu chiffon cake, just yuzu powder alone is not quite enough! So in comes yuzu juice and yuzu confiture!

Yuzu Chiffon

On the left, bottles of yuzu juice bought locally. Since the yuzu season is way over, I’d to resort to using these bottles which I’d been “saving up” for the occasion. In the middle is yuzu confiture which I’d made when the fruit was available locally 2-3 months back using more or less the same recipe as my blood orange confiture. I’d cut back on the sugar as I wanted to accentuate the intense acrid tones of the fruit. As a result, this confiture needs to be refrigerated unlike the blood orange one. And they are freaking expensive!!! A small glass container like this is packed with rind of about half a dozen of fruits. Not quite sure if that’s a worthwhile “investment” afterall. :/ Lastly, yuzu powder from kyoto. I wish you could smell the aroma from here!

And now for the recipe, which is really a mix-and-match of several book and online recipes I’d come across. Lots of trial and error here.


5 egg yolks (I’d used medium-sized eggs  at ~56g each)

75 ml corn oil

150g of yuzu confiture

75 ml of yuzu juice

120g plain flour (I’d used Bakeking Top Flour)

1/2 tsp baking powder

2 tsp yuzu powder

For the meringue

5 egg whites

60g caster sugar


In a bowl, sift plain flour, baking powder and yuzu powder twice and mix thoroughly with a spatula or spoon

Warm yuzu juice in a small saucepan and add yuzu confiture. Stir mixture until a runny consistency is obtained. Add water if the concoction is still too viscous. Leave to cool.

In a mixing bowl, whisk egg yolks until creamy

Using a handwhisk, add corn oil followed by wet yuzu concoction, and finally the dry ingredients mixture. Mix until well incorporated. Set aside

To make the meringue, beat egg whites in a clean dry mixing bowl with very gradual additions of caster sugar until stiff peaks are JUST formed. Do not overbeat the meringue.

To the flour mixture, add 1/3 of meringue and fold in quickly until just incorporated.

Repeat with another 1/3 of the meringue (which is 1/2 of the remaining meringue).

Pour mixture back into mixing bowl with the last remaining meringue and fold until just incorporated.

Bake in a pre-heated oven at 170C for about 40 min until a light brown hue

Invert the chiffon mold onto a cooling tray. I personally like to “air” the cake by balancing the tube insert on an tall, inverted glass.

When the cake has cooled down sufficiently, run a knife or metal spatula along the perimeters of the mold. Push the tube insert out of the ring insert carefully to dislodge the cake.

Leave it to cool down completely before cutting.

Yuzu Chiffon

Notes and Reflections

My first chiffon after a long hiatus from this cake, and I’m quite satisfied with the results. The aroma is unbelievable. Trust me, there’s no such thing as a yuzu overkill.

yuzu juice and yuzu powder though from the same fruit imbue quite different qualities altogether. The former is more for the astringency while the latter is for the perfumed aroma. and one’s not the same without the other, though i’m more partial to aroma than astringency. The smell of a yuzu fruit is quite unparallel to anything else in the world. The closest I would think, is a sour grapefruit (not the ruby red variety). But even then, the difference between the two is quite distinct.

The amount of water to be added depends on the viscosity of the yuzu confiture used. Incidentally, the latter can be replaced with store-bought Korean citron tea (Yuja Cha) since yuzu confiture isn’t exactly an everyday commodity. However, I would use only the rind by “rinsing” out most of the syrup with a bit of warm water. As mentioned, the intense aroma and sharp flavours yuzu impart are the much desired qualities of this cake. The sourness can be made less pronounced, and hence “more acceptable” by adding 20g of caster sugar to the egg yolks but I wouldn’t go further than that. If sour and tang is not an intended flavours in mind, forget about using yuzu and do a pandan chiffon instead.

I think I’d folded the mixture a tad too much and thus deflated the batter quite substantially in the process. The structure of the cake is  denser than what I’d perceived but alas it came out sufficiently soft and fluffy as well.

now that yuzu is done, I think it’ll be back to the basics with a pandan chiffon!

Yuzu Chiffon


33 responses

  1. Looks really inviting. I want a piece too~ hehehe. 😉

    June 19, 2011 at 9:23 am

    • Alan (travellingfoodies)

      Haha sure. Will make again when we meet. I wanna try ur lemon and earl grey chiffon too!!!

      June 19, 2011 at 4:19 pm

  2. The yuzu powder looks heavenly on that wooden spoon you have! Did the confiture make the chiffon dense?

    June 19, 2011 at 9:57 am

    • Alan (travellingfoodies)

      Yeah that’s my suspicion as well. Might have to try to cut down on the yuzu confiture used in subsequent bakes.

      June 19, 2011 at 4:51 pm

  3. 这个我有想做,还在排队当中:)

    June 19, 2011 at 10:10 am

    • Alan (travellingfoodies)

      Me too!!! So many things to try and so little time!

      June 19, 2011 at 4:55 pm

  4. Shirley@kokken69

    Oh, the yuzu powder is new to me! I will have to look for it when I go there next time! I bet your chiffon cake smells heavenly!

    June 19, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    • Alan (travellingfoodies)

      Yes indeed! The aroma permeates the entire kitchen when the cake was in the oven. Do let me know if u manage to find it elsewhere outside kyoto. I was thinking the yuzu growing.prefectures would probably carry it but then again, I think I’ll more likely to be lugging back the fresh fruits as well. They are way too expensive in singapore.

      UPDATE: I was at meidiya Liang Court today (21 Jun) and I saw some bottled yuzu juice and ground yuzu. The latter is not finely ground, so a bit of mortar and pestle work might be needed before incorporating them into your works. 🙂

      June 19, 2011 at 4:59 pm

  5. this look so pretty! yuzu, something that i’ve not tried before. im sure is worth the try esp i saw in many blogs already. look forward to your pandan chiffon. i love it! (:

    June 19, 2011 at 9:32 pm

  6. Alan (travellingfoodies)

    yes! if you love a sour fruit then yuzu is definitely gonna be top on your list! I wonder if its just me or the cake actually tasted better today than yesterday when it was freshly made. perhaps its psychological. hahaha but one thing for sure is the cake remained soft and fluffy. Modifying this recipe for other chiffons to come! 🙂

    June 20, 2011 at 12:18 am

  7. i want!

    June 20, 2011 at 9:30 am

    • Alan (travellingfoodies)

      next time when we meet then! 🙂

      June 21, 2011 at 12:07 am

  8. Alan, I don’t buy chiffon cake because those sold outside never fail to disappoint me. My late god-sister’s mum had set the standard too high for chiffon cakes for me. I love a piece of good chiffon cake and miss it very much. The texture of your chiffon looks perfect and your description of the aroma of yuzu send me into wonderland. I wish I am staying near you so that I can go to your house right now and beg for a piece.

    June 20, 2011 at 11:47 am

    • Alan (travellingfoodies)

      veronica! you are too kind la. The cake is a tad denser than what i would have liked but the aroma and taste made up for it, thankfully. 🙂

      The cake was finished rather quickly within a day (again, thankfully) but i’ll be more than glad to whip it up again when you are in town.

      June 21, 2011 at 12:09 am

  9. Where do I buy yuzu powder?Can i use some green citron and some orange? I’m italian……Un dolce meraviglioso e invitante!

    June 20, 2011 at 4:54 pm

    • Alan (travellingfoodies)

      buongiorno and “grazie”! Thanks for stopping by! Getting yuzu powder might be a bit tricker in Italy I reckon. Apart from yuzu, the other citron which I’d encountered before is the “fingered citron”, also known as the “Buddha’s Hand”. Like the yuzu, its very aromatic and we used it as a “air-freshener” for our refrigerator when its in season 🙂

      I think the citron from Firenze might just do the trick. I’d read that its incredibly fragrant so yes, I think it would definitely be a good substitute. Another species you might wanna look into is the “Diamante citron” from Genoa. Let me know if you manage to get yourself some!

      June 21, 2011 at 12:29 am

  10. i never had yuzu before, not sure whether i have told you this before but do they taste like sour mandarin orange? this chiffon must be so aromatic , rich in flavour and i like the bits of the yuzu in the cake. More yuzu recipes coming up? again, you’re such a brillaint to make your own yuzu confiture!

    June 21, 2011 at 9:53 am

    • Alan (travellingfoodies)

      Hi Lena! Do you have any japanese supermarket near you? You can try your luck there and ask for it. the taste is citrusy but quite unique for sure. Not quite like other citrus fruits we know of, except the other citron varieties of course.

      so many yuzu stuff i can think of, macarons, pound cakes, mousse cakes, financiers, madeleines etc. but no time. lol

      June 21, 2011 at 11:04 am

    • hello alan, no japanese market here , only a small section at jusc supermarket. Recently i’ve seen something like citron tea or paste in one of the organic shops, do you think they are alike? i shld have asked the shop asst..

      June 24, 2011 at 11:20 pm

      • Alan (travellingfoodies)

        should be korean yuja tea if I’m not wrong, which tastes really delightful. Do give it a try if you have not. It’s also possible to use that in a chiffon, just cut back on the sugar entirely for the batter portion.

        June 25, 2011 at 12:05 am

  11. I want, no, NEED to make this. Where can I get the yuzu juice from in SG? Can you give me some of your powder? I search for yuzu products high and low in HK but couldn’t find any.

    June 21, 2011 at 2:42 pm

    • Alan (travellingfoodies)

      hi pickyin! yes you definitely need to make it! LOL

      I was at Meidiya yesterday and I saw yuzu juice in bottles and ground yuzu rind on the racks. As I’d mentioned to Shirley in a reply to her earlier comment, the latter available at Meidiya is not in powdered form so may require some pounding to break it down further. Quite a few bottles of yuzu rind but very limited bottles of yuzu juice! So be fast about it!

      Let me know again if you still have problems finding it. I’m sure we can work out something. 🙂

      June 21, 2011 at 10:15 pm

  12. Wow great job! I’m so jealous of all your yuzu ingredients. Wish I could get them here. Sounds so lovely and impossible to substitute 8)

    June 29, 2011 at 12:15 am

    • Alan (travellingfoodies)

      thanks xiaolu, yuzu is indeed difficult to substitute as the aroma and taste is so unique! Now I need to find better ways of utliising my supplies!

      June 29, 2011 at 11:57 pm

  13. Pingback: Reviving Memories…Pandan Chiffon « travellingfoodies

  14. I like yuzu but so hard to find yuzu powder, confiture etc here =/

    August 18, 2011 at 4:07 am

    • Alan (travellingfoodies)

      me too! I adore the aroma of yuzu and yes, its not the easiest thing to find. I got them from a recent trip to Osaka. At least you get interesting fruits over there, like Key Lime and Meyer Lemons!

      August 19, 2011 at 4:21 am

  15. Hi Alan,
    I have a question. Is it possible to bake a chiffon cake in a Bundt cake tin? Because a Bundt cake tin has fluted edges and groves and i don’t know how to get the chiffon cake out of the tin without greasing the pan.
    My mum accidentally bought bundt cake tins for my christmas presents thinking that they were chiffon cake tins. I really don’t want to waste her efforts so..

    Looking forward to your reply!

    December 27, 2011 at 2:59 am

    • Alan (travellingfoodies)

      I guess it is possible, just that the “unmoulding” process would be quite a hassle, since like you’d said, unlike bundt tins, chiffon tins ain’t supposed to be greased or dusted with flour. One has literally got to peel the cake from the sides of the tin slowly so as not to destroy the cake structure in the process. That said, its really quite a give and take thing. I can’t will my fingers to that level of dexterity so I would still opt for a proper chiffon tin with a removable bottom if possible. My mum has a chiffon tin with NON-removable bottom and gawd knows how she used that!

      Why not just use them to make bundt cakes as what they were intended? Bundt tins can also be used to make bread rolls and small buns/brioche in a ring and of course, kugelhopfs. 🙂

      December 27, 2011 at 3:35 am

  16. Oh I saw Buddha Hand twice over here in the US. Or rather I smelled it first, I walked into the supermarket and said what is that fantastic fragrance?! I had to track it down but it was very expensive. Is yuzu like that? I made a recipe recently that needed Yuzu and went to a big Asian grocery nearby and no luck. I might have to order some online. For now I will have to be satisfied with lime, lemon and grapefruit (my favorite!)

    March 21, 2012 at 7:06 am

    • Alan (travellingfoodies)

      ah yes… Buddha Hand Citron pops by every Jan-Feb season, around Chinese New Year. It has amazing fragrance! I love to just leave one in the fridge. Natural perfume!!! Yuzu is also very very aromatic but quite a different way. BHC is more alluring and mild while in yuzu, you can really get hit by the citrusy freshness it exudes!

      March 21, 2012 at 7:44 am

  17. Cindy

    Sorry did I miss out something ..? What is the chiffon tin size for this recipe?
    I bought Yuzu powder from kitchen capers, I have Yuzu marmalade too. Will make Yuzu tea with the marmalade, and add Yuzu powder for the chiffon cake.
    Will be baking later wish me luck !
    *so is it for a 18 or 23cm tin?

    April 9, 2016 at 8:09 am

    • Alan (travellingfoodies)

      I use a 21 cm baking tin. hope this helps. 🙂

      April 9, 2016 at 1:03 pm

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