Tuesday 12 April 2016

Robot Tier Vanilla Chiffon Cake (natural coloring Gardenia yellow)

This is cute Robot Chiffon Cake made for the most adorable 1 yo boy Isaac from Punggol babies. I have linked to his birthday blog post as I was super touched by the video made by his loving aunt Claudia (of thelovingmum.sg) and it has more intimate shots/videos of the celebration and the cake.

The vanilla chiffon cake is entirely naturally coloured yellow here with dried Gardenia fruit extract (brought from my MIL from Bangkok), combined with Queen’s natural colouring. Just soak a big handful of the dried fruits (20+ pieces) in hot water and you get a very strong natural yellow dye (top). My MIL shared it's commonly used in Thailand to colour their foods. Queen's natural turmeric-based yellow coloring (few drops) was used to top up the yellow shade (below).

Thankful chiffon cake was very well-received! I have been using this vanilla chiffon cake recipe and reviews have been that the chiffon is tasty and texture really soft and fluffy! Hope you can try it too.

I’ll share the recipe for the 18-cm (or 7-inch) chiffon cake. The bigger 25-cm cake (or 10-inch) uses a 9 egg recipe (triple this recipe).

Vanilla Chiffon Cake (18-cm)

Egg yolk batter
3 egg yolks
20g castor sugar
39g vegetable/corn oil
42g water (*boiled with gardenia yellow, 20 pcs)
1 tsp vanilla extract
60g cake flour, sifted
Pinch of salt
*Queen’s natural yellow colouring (top up the shade)

4 egg whites
¼ tsp cream of tartar
45g castor sugar

*Ingredients/steps in asterisks can be omitted it you do not need the yellow shade

1. *Prepare natural yellow extract from gardenia yellow by boiling hot water with the fruit for 10 min.

2. Preheat oven to 160°C. *Prepare a tray of hot water under the lowest rack. Steambaking is optional but helps to incorporate moisture and control the oven temperature rise. You need to bake 5+ min longer if you add steambaking.

3. Prepare egg yolk batter:

a. Whisk egg yolk with sugar using hand whisk till pale and fluffy.

b. Add in oil, water (or boiled gardenia yellow extract) and vanilla extract and mix well.

c. Whisk in sifted cake flour and a pinch of salt. Mix well. *Ensure no lumps are formed.

2. Prepare meringue:

a. In a grease-free, dry metal bowl, using electric mixer, whisk egg whites with cream of tartar till frothy (left pic below).

b. Add in ½ castor sugar for meringue and whisk at high speed till soft peaks form (arrow points to soft peaks forming a 'hook', middle pic below).

c. Add in rest of the castor sugar for meringue and whisk till firm peaks form, or just the point of stiff peak. Firm peaks give finer, softer texture (arrow points to firm peaks, right pic below).

3. Fold in meringue gently into egg yolk batter 1/3 at a time. *Fold in unidirectional, gentle strokes and do not overfold.

4. Gently pour or scoop the batter into an 18-cm tube pan. Gently tap on counter top to remove air bubbles.

4. Bake at 160°C for 15 min then 140°C for 30-31 min, or until skewer inserted into centre of cake comes out clean.

5. Invert pan to cool on a wire rack completely.

6. Unmould the chiffon cake by hand (see video tutorial ‘Hand unmoulding Chiffon cakes for a clean finishing’).

The antennae and arms were made from thin swissrolls.
The spiral legs were made by joining multiple donuts from baking chiffon in silicone donuts mould.
The red balls at the tips and joints are made from baking chiffon in silicone cake pop moulds.
The red round feet are from baking chiffon cake in glass bowls (Iwaki brand, 11 cm OD).
For huge tier cakes like this, you will need to use dowel supports like normal fondant tier cakes to prevent the bottom tier from being squashed as chiffon cakes are very soft.
All other details eg teeth, gears and the name were cut from chiffon cake baked as sheet cakes in baking trays.
It’s rather tedious and time-consuming to assemble I have to admit but it’s really a passion for me =).

I was super touched by the blog posts and video made by his aunty and mummy. He is really loved!

Each cake is a loving creation, sharing the love and creating memories =).

With lots of love,

More loving creations here =)


  1. How is the top tier baked without a hole? It looks like it was baked in a regular cake pan - maybe?

    1. Hi Jessica, I filled the centre with a hidden surprise and covered it up with a round cake, but yes you can bake in a regular cake pan too as long as not non-stick. Thanks