Wednesday 5 November 2014

'Running man' Chocolate Chiffon Cake (Low Sugar)

This is a low sugar customized chocolate chiffon cake for a dear friend who wanted a healthy cake for her hubby who loves chocolate and loves to jog. The design is inspired by a silhouette of a man running across the evening sun freely against the skyline of buildings. I miss the days when I can jog freely myself (I loved jogging)! :)

 As she specifically requested for lower sugar, the amount of sugar in this chocolate chiffon recipe is about 66.7% compared to most recipes for the same amount of cocoa. The amount of flour and liquid is also slightly reduced compared to them. She shared that the chocolate chiffon was delicious, not overly sweet and oily like most chocolate cake. They liked it very much that the two of them finished everything! It's also less 'holey' than my older chocolate chiffon cakes. So I'll like to share it here. The trick is some baking soda (thanks to Peixin). The recipe is adapted from Ellena guan whose recipes I love :).

Chocolate Chiffon Cake (Low sugar, for 17 cm chiffon tin)
3 egg yolks
25g sugar
45g vegetable oil
50 ml boiled water
5 ml vanilla extract
60g cake flour
20g cocoa powder
1/3 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
A pinch of salt

4 egg whites
45g sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar

1. Preheat oven to 160°C (I used steam baking but it's optional).
2. Beat egg yolks with sugar with whisk till pale yellow before stirring in oil, water and vanilla extract.
3. Add in sieved flour, cocoa and baking powder and soda, and whisk till no trace of flour found.
4. Meringue: Beat the egg whites with ¼ tsp cream of tartar till stiff peak, mixing in caster sugar in 2 additions.
5. Fold in the meringue gently into the batter 1/3 at a time.
6. Scoop the batter into the chiffon tin and gently tap the tin on table to remove air bubbles
7. Bake the cake for 15 min at 160°C then 15 min at 150°C and 15 min at 140°C.
8. Invert immediately once out of the oven and leave to cool on cooling rack.
9. Unmould after the cake is cool.

I rarely have pictures of the cut cake, so I got this picture thanks to her! They loved the surprise in the cake! Hehe ^_^

Happy belated birthday to Cheow Kian (and thank you Pei Ping)!

With love,


  1. Hi Susanne ,
    Today I baked the chocolate chiffon cake and I doesn't have the baking powder and soda at home so I omit it out .
    I added extra 1 egg white and 5g coca powder .
    The texture was fluffy and soft and moist but when the cake is about 15 min start cracking and the end result it crack badly but still taste great.
    I just got myself a oven thermometer but somehow my cake always crack easily .
    Is the yolk batter I over beat or the egg white didn't beat well?
    Lastly , thanks for the wonderful recipe .
    Warm regard

    1. Hi Raeka,
      There could be a couple of reasons why crack easily. Batter filled too high near to the top, chiffon tin too near to the top heat element, egg whites overstiff, oven temperature too hot or temperature rise too fast. All these could contribute.
      Thanks for sharing too! :)

  2. Hi Susanne ,
    Thanks for advising me , oh my oven is rowenta oc 3838 , I not sure whether have too and low element but for sure it doesn't have any fan mode .
    I will keep trying , wanted to bake this for my nephew on his bday . Need practice practice practice .

    1. You can do it!! :) Chiffon tin best placed on the lowest rack. Cake batter ideally filled to below an inch from the top. All the best :)

  3. Hi Susanne,
    Thanks for sharing baking soda tip on less 'holey' chocolate chiffon cakes. For a 5 egg yolk & 7 egg whites ( cocoa / other flavor)cake, do I still use:
    - 1/3 tsp baking powder
    - ¼ tsp baking soda

    What cocoa powder do you recommend? Does it need to be Dutch-processed? Looking forward to a very chocolatey cake.

    Thank you!


    1. Hi, you may want to increase the baking soda to 1/3 tsp. Both natural and dutch-processed are fine. You just need to pair appropriately as natural cocoa is acidic and requires baking soda while dutch does not need. You can read more here about them: Thanks!

  4. Hi Susanne. Does that mean since Valhorna cocoa powder is dutch process with alkali, it does not necessarily need baking soda to be added to the bakes?
    Please clarify. Gonna try to bake this for my daughter's schoolmate bday. wanna surprise her on Monday. Thanks much

  5. Sorry Susanne. If I were to bake in a cupcake, how long do I bake it for.
    Thanks again

    1. Dear Issy, yes if it's already alkalized, no baking soda is needed =), but you might want to keep the baking powder. If it's in a cupcake, usually it's 160 deg from 15 min-17 min (oven temperatures may vary so check with a skewer). If you want to prevent cracking, you can deduce the temperature down to 150 deg after ten min, so 160 deg for 10 min then 150 deg for 7-10 min. Fill the cupcakes leaving at least 1 cm from the brim. Hope it helps!

  6. I'm so amazing at what I saw on your blog,was searching for a nice site where I can get chocolate Chiffon Cake for my cousin's birthday. Your chocolate Chiffon Cake looks attractive and adorable .
    I will like to you to bake a cake for my cousin's birthday that is coming up next month