The secret behind this classic, light-as-air cake is one dozen egg whites. Place the finished cake in a bed of white cotton candy for an angelic presentation. Serve slices of the confection with fluffy dollops of whipped cream and glasses of Champagne for a dessert that's truly heavenly.



Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 325 degress, with rack in lower third of the oven. Sift together flour and 3/4 cup sugar. Repeat sifting four times.

  • Beat egg whites and the warm water with a mixer on low speed until foamy. Add salt, cream or tartar, and vanilla, and beat on medium speed until soft peaks form, about 3 minutes. With mixer running, gradually add remaining 3/4 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time. Raise speed to high, and beat until peaks are stiff and glossy (but not dry), about 2 minutes more.

  • Transfer mixture to a large bowl. Sift flour mixture over egg-white mixture in six parts, gently folding in each addition with a rubber spatula.

  • Gently pour batter into a 10-inch tube pan. Run a knife through the batter to release any air bubbles, and smooth with an offset spatula. Bake until cake is golden brown and springs back when touched, 40 to 45 minutes.

  • Invert pan on a wire rack, and let cake cool about 1 hour. Carefully run a paring knife around side of cake to loosen, then unmold onto the wire rack.

  • Arrange cotton candy in a ring shape on a serving platter. Lay cake on top of cotton candy "cloud." Serve with caramel whipped cream, if desired.

Cook's Notes

You will use 12 egg whites in this recipe; reserve the yolks for another use, such as custards or puddings. To serve the cake, cut slices with a serrated knife.

Reviews (3)

50 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 9
  • 4 star values: 14
  • 3 star values: 17
  • 2 star values: 8
  • 1 star values: 2
Rating: Unrated
I am going to try this recipe. Love Martha's cooking schools and watched her make this cake...looked very easy. However, I cannot find a straightforward way to print the recipes from this site. If anyone has been able to print the recipe without all the extra stuff, would appreciate the help. Thanks. Elizabeth....LOVE Martha Stewart
Rating: Unrated
Basic recipe...cotton candy...frightened me. The cake and directions are terrific for anyone who enjoys chiffon cake. I could not buy cotton candy the same time I made the cake. C'esr dommage!
Rating: Unrated
I've made this recipe twice and it came out great! I was apprehensive at first working with egg whites, but the whole thing came together nicely. I think the most challenging is folding in the flour-sugar mixture without deflating the batter. I would love to watch a Martha video on how she accomplishes this.