Light and Airy Chiffon Desserts for a Taste of Nostalgia

Chiffon Cake
Photo: Blaine Moats

This retro dessert was popular in the 1940s and '50s, where it starred on cake stands at bake sales and cake walks with its glamourous height and tender textures. Like the fabric that shares its name, chiffon desserts are light and airy. Stiffly beaten egg whites make all the difference, where fluffy batters and whipped fillings create the lightly sweet base for translucent glazes and fruity toppings. With silky chiffon pie recipes that melt in your mouth and dreamy chiffon cake recipes, this collection will bring the nostalgic dessert back.

01 of 10

Strawberry Chiffon Pie

Strawberry Chiffon Pie
Marty Baldwin

The low-fat version of this strawberry chiffon pie recipe swaps whipping cream for powdered egg whites, cutting the calories for each slice by 72 calories. The full recipe is creamy and fluffy, with freshly crushed strawberries sweetening each bite. Serve with more fresh strawberries for a light and fruity summer dessert.

02 of 10

Pineapple Chiffon Cake

Pineapple Chiffon Cake
Jay Wilde

It doesn't get more vintage than this bake sale favorite from the '50s. Canned pineapple juice adds a tropical spin to this OG chiffon cake recipe. Frost it with a pineapple buttercream frosting and top it with homemade pineapple daisies for a showstopping dessert. The daisies are made with maraschino cherries and slices of pineapple with sprigs of fresh mint. Cute and tasty!

Buy It: Kastehelmi Cake Stand ($85 Macy's)

03 of 10

Pumpkin Chiffon Pie

Pumpkin Chiffon Pie
Robert Jacobs

Although this pumpkin chiffon pie is perfect for fall, using canned pumpkin means this simple chiffon recipe is in season all year long. The homemade gingersnap crust adds a sweet and spicy base for the fluffy pumpkin mixture. Dress it up for the holidays with a dollop of whipped cream and toasted pecans.

04 of 10

Rhubarb-Lemon Chiffon Pie

Rhubarb-Lemon Chiffon Pie
Kritsada Panichgul

Freshly whipped cream folds into a tangy lemon mixture swirled with a Rosy Rhubarb Sauce in this dreamy lemon chiffon pie recipe. This recipe calls for a homemade single-crust pie pastry, but store-bought works as well if you want to skip those steps. Top this refreshing chiffon pie with homemade sweetened whipped cream and a slice of fresh lemon.

05 of 10

Chiffon Cake

Chiffon Cake
Blaine Moats

Sifted cake flour produces the airy texture of this classic lemon chiffon cake recipe. The second hardest part of this simple recipe is separating the eggs. The first is waiting to dig in while it cools upside down!

Buy It: King Arthur Cake Flour ($4, Target)

06 of 10

Strawberry Chiffon Dessert

Strawberry Chiffon Dessert
Andy Lyons

The ladyfinger lining of this strawberry chiffon dessert soaks in the sweet flavors of the berries while it chills in the refrigerator. This dessert is lightened up by light whipped topping and egg whites and takes only 30 minutes to whip together. Fresh mint leaves and fresh strawberries make the perfect topper for this pie-like dessert.

Buy It: Pantry Cake Stand ($50, Williams Sonoma)

07 of 10

Whipped Key Lime Pie

Whipped Key Lime Pie
Jason Donnelly

Juice from fresh limes makes all the difference in this light and airy version of key lime pie. This chiffon pie recipe firms up in the freezer for a few hours, making it an easy prep-and-serve recipe for parties. Garnish it with swirls of whipped topping zested with lime.

08 of 10

Lemon Sponge Pie

Lemon Sponge Pie
Andy Lyons

Shred fresh lemon peel directly into the filling for this delicious lemon chiffon pie. The whipped egg whites folded into the filling create a texture that is spongy yet light, which is why we put it in this collection of recipes even though "chiffon" is not part of the name. Try topping this with candied lemon slices for a sweetened-up version.

09 of 10

Orange Chiffon Cake with Marshmallow Flowers

Orange Chiffon Cake with Marshmallow Flowers
Andy Lyons

The marshmallows in this orange chiffon cake recipe are used to create a pillowy bouquet on top of this cake's honey-sweetened cream cheese frosting. This modern twist on a vintage chiffon cake recipe includes all the original ingredients of the first chiffon cakes but swaps orange for lemon and adds a fresh sprig of thyme directly to the batter. The secret to perfecting this cake's honey frosting? A microwave!

10 of 10

Orange Chiffon Cake

Orange Chiffon Cake
Andy Lyons

Fluff up this two-layer citrus chiffon cake recipe even more with a homemade orange fluff frosting. Fresh oranges flavor both the batter and the frosting with bright citrus notes and add a fun twist on the classic chiffon cake recipe (which uses lemon zest). No need to chill this cake in the refrigerator; just slice and serve!

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