Chiffon Cakes with Violet Dipping Icing


Whipped egg whites lighten the batter used to create these pretty teatime confections, baked in an oversized-muffin tin. Each cake is dipped in a boiled icing that's tinted the palest purple and perfumed with violets. Ours are served with cappuccino.


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted

  • ¾ cup sugar

  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • 3 large egg yolks, plus 4 egg whites, room temperature

  • ¼ cup vegetable oil

  • 2 teaspoons finely grated zest lemon

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • Pinch of cream of tartar

  • Violet Dipping Icing

  • Candied violets


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line bottoms of 6 cups of a large (1-cup) muffin tin with parchment; set aside. Whisk flour, 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, the baking powder, and salt in a bowl; set aside.

  2. Whisk 1/3 cup water, the egg yolks, oil, lemon zest, and vanilla in another bowl. Whisk into flour mixture until combined.

  3. Put egg whites and cream of tartar into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment; beat on medium speed until foamy. Gradually add in remaining 2 tablespoons sugar; beat until stiff (but not dry) peaks form. Fold one-third of egg-white mixture into batter, then fold in remaining egg-white mixture. Divide evenly among prepared cups.

  4. Bake until golden and puffed, 13 to 15 minutes. Let cool completely in tin on a wire rack. Run a knife around edges of cakes to loosen. Unmold; remove parchment. Dip bottom of each cake into icing, and transfer, icing sides up, to a wire rack set over parchment; let set 30 minutes. Serve garnished with candied violets.

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