Lime chiffon cake with lime curd and coconut custard *

Lime chiffon cake

It was Alastair’s birthday yesterday, and as per tradition, there was birthday lasagne.

Naturally, it’s not a real birthday unless there’s cake, so I asked him what he wanted.


“What kind of chocolate? Chiffon? Mudcake? Flourless?”

“Ahh… how about chocolate beetroot?”

During the conversation, I agreed to chocolate beetroot and then later… totally disregarded his request. However, in my defense – actually, I have no defense. I just wanted to bake another chiffon cake. I don’t know why I bothered asking for his opinion.

Lime chiffon cake

The flavour of the cake was decided by the two lonely limes I had sitting in my vegie crisper. I baked the cake the day before Alastair’s birthday, and – a little stupidly – wanted to fill it. So I made a coconut milk custard and lime curd to put in the middle.

The filling was a stupid idea because apparently I haven’t learned yet that chiffon cakes are soft and fluffy – which is why they’re so delicious – but the lightness also makes them really fragile. Guuuuh. It caused me so much stress! After very carefully cutting it in half, in went a layer of lime curd and coconut custard. When the top went on though, it started sloping and I was really worried it was going to collapse.

Lime chiffon cake

I managed to prevent collapse by covering the entire thing in my left over coconut custard (I had made a very thick batch of custard). It looked very, very strange though (cue wails of “it’s soooo ugly, cake why are you so ugly, I hate you stupid ugly cake” coming from the kitchen) so in desperation I toasted coconut to sprinkle on the top and sides.

It was finished off with star sprinkles and – well the end result is not really the most attractive cake ever? But it tasted good, so good and it was much less ugly than when I started on it.

The cake itself was very soft, very fluffy and light, and the lime curd was particularly delicious in it. The cake recipe is below, although I haven’t posted a recipe for the custard or lime curd because I made both in my Thermomix. The custard was a very thick custard made using coconut milk, eggs, sugar and cornflour – use your favourite custard recipe and substitute coconut milk for the milk.

Lime chiffon cake

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Yield: Serves 12

Lime chiffon cake


  • 7 eggs, separated
  • 220g flour
  • 350g caster sugar
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • Grated rind of 2 limes
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar


  1. Preheat oven to 160°C and set aside a large 20cm tube cake tin that has a removable base.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
  3. In another bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, water, oil, lime juice, lime peel and vanilla.
  4. Add to the wet ingredients to the flour and whisk until well combined.
  5. In a separate, clean bowl, whisk the egg whites and cream of tartar with an electric mixer to stiff peaks.
  6. Using a large metal spoon, fold in a spoonful of the egg whites to the cake mixture to lighten it.
  7. Add the rest of the egg whites to the cake mixture and fold in with your metal spoon until just combined.
  8. Pour the batter into your cake tin and bang it on your work surface a couple of times to bring any large air bubbles to the surface.
  9. Bake for about 40-45 minutes, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.
  10. Remove from the oven and immediately invert the entire tin and cake upside down until it's cool - you can do this by resting the middle of the tube over a bottle, or (if your cake isn't too tall) by placing it over a high wire rack that will let air circulate underneath.
  11. To release the cake, run a thin knife around the edge of the cake and the tin. You will want to serve the cake upside down as it's prettier that way.
  12. Optional: When completely cool, cut cake horizontally into two layers. Place bottom layer on a serving plate and spread with lime curd and top with the remaining cake layer.


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