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Sunday, July 13, 2014

Look! I Baked a Vanilla Pineapple Chiffon Cake!

I know I said I would be reviewing a picnic post I did a while back but I have to tell you, after visiting the gals who are participating in this month’s Bake Along, I just couldn’t help myself, I had to bake a cake. Oh no, not any ol’ cake, this week’s theme is none other than Chiffon Cake!

It isn’t as if I haven’t shared a Chiffon Cake with you before. However, this is the first time I’m baking one “dressed” with my very own homemade yogurt frosting!

You must know by now that I can’t share such a classic recipe without giving you the lo-down on its history. Don’t worry, I won’t go into a whole lotta detail. If you’re interested in knowing more, I’ll leave you a link below from a previous post titled “Oil is the Key.”

The notion of combining beaten egg whites into a batter prepared with egg yolks and oil belongs to creator and professional baker, Harry Baker. Baker owned a Hollywood pastry shop in Los Angeles, California.

Baker converted a spare room into his top-secret bakery, with 12 tin hot-plate ovens. There, using his "mystery key ingredient" he baked more than 40 cakes a day which he sold for $2 each to the Brown Derby Restaurant. The eatery later placed Baker’s cake on the menu. (Larchmont Chronicle)

FYI: During the Golden Age of Hollywood, the Brown Derby was "thee" place to be seen. Not only was The Brown Derby the first restaurant to serve Chiffon Cake, it is also the birthplace of that infamous salad known as Cobb Salad.

For years he had made cakes for Hollywood celebrities, who raved so about the excellence of his cakes that Harry concluded his recipe should be worth money. Many cooks have had similar dreams, only to be shocked by the discovery their recipes might bring them $10, seldom more. Harry Baker was luckier; he sold his recipe for thousands of dollars to General Mills. It's valuable secret: the shortening used was salad oil.(Cooks, Gluttons & Gourmets p. 321)

It seems, Harry was a fan of General Mills spokeswoman Betty Crocker. Supposedly, he wanted Betty to spread the word to all American housewives about his delicious new creation. After keeping the "key" ingredient secret for more than 20 years, Harry revealed his recipe to the folks at General Mills. Company home economists honed it a bit and finally in 1948, introduced it as "the best cake in a century.” It was described as "light as angel food, rich as butter cake."

During its "heyday" Chiffon Cake was "thee" cake of the 50s. Its glamorous appeal and sheer simplicity was garnered by housewives throughout America as their "go to cake" when company was expected. It was advertised as being "fool proof." In fact, rumor has it that once General Mills began its media blitz of Chiffon Cake mixes, grocery stores couldn't keep up with the demand for oil!

In May 1948, Better Homes and Gardens Magazine proclaimed Chiffon Cake the "first really new cake in 100 years."

Chiffon Cake is a newcomer on the cake scene. It is best described as an Angel Food Cake, spongy and light, with a rich buttery type flavor. (although there is no butter in it:) It's versatile too! Chiffon Cake makes a great “base” for Strawberry Shortcake! It can be baked in an Angel Food Cake pan or in layers filled with luscious butter cream.

Chiffon Cakes and Angle Food Cakes are both very tall, and have a light airy texture. Both Chiffon Cakes and Angel Food Cakes obtain their large volume and light airy texture from whipped egg white. However, Angel Food Cakes contain no fat, egg yolk or leavening agent. Since Chiffon contain oil and egg yolks they tend to be more tender, rich and moister. They also usually contain baking powder for increased leavening. The oil is beaten with the egg yolk and the flour, which allows the fat to coat the flour particles reducing the flours ability to form gluten and thereby creating a moist, tender cake.

As for me, I decided to bake up some Chiffon Cupcakes using a recipe from Better Homes & Gardens Test Kitchen Favorites published in 2003.

Mine, however doesn’t look nearly as enticing as theirs. Did you know that utensil used in the picture to cut the cake is called a Combed Cake Divider? I’ve seen so many of them through the years but I never knew what they were used for!

I baked mine in various cupcake sizes and even a few in miniature bundt pans. I couldn’t get the cakes out of the bundt pans in one piece so I froze the cubes I could salvage for a future trifle! Marion was so funny because she was trying to pry the cupcakes out of the bundts saying “come on you spongy thing get out of there” with butter knife in hand. Yes, Marion LOVED the cupcakes. She kept saying “Oh they’re so spongy”, as she bit away!

I followed the recipe below except for a few minor changes. Instead of using 3/4 cup of pineapple juice, I used 1/2 cup of the whey I had left after I drained the yogurt and 1/4 cup of unsweetened pineapple juice combined. I always have vanilla sugar in the pantry. I use it a lot when baking but this time I wanted a bit more vanilla essence so I split up a vanilla bean and added it to the sugar. That’s the black specks you see in the cupcakes.

Although I was really tempted to frost with the Pineapple-Buttercream Frosting, I wanted to experiment with the fresh batch of yogurt I made earlier in the day. Yes, I had a cooking marathon going on in the kitchen yesterday:) According to a recipe booklet I have titled Cooking With Yogurt, “any yogurt, plain or flavored when drained for 30 to 60 minutes will make a delicious frosting and fillings for cakes.” Did it? Yes, indeed it did! The only minor addition I would make the next time would be to add a bit of sweetener. Since the crushed pineapple and juice were unsweetened, perhaps a bit of honey or brown sugar may have added a bit more color and sweetness. Otherwise, the yogurt as a frosting worked out just great! After it had been drained for a couple of hours in a cheesecloth, it was thick and creamy much like sour cream approaching cream cheese consistency. It didn’t have that yogurt tang that fresh yogurt sometimes has and I happen to like:) It whipped up quite nicely with the 6 tablespoons of drained crushed pineapple. However, I didn’t add any additional liquid.

As I said earlier, I’m going to send these Vanilla Pineapple Chiffon Cupcakes on over to Joyce, Zoe’s and Lena’s Bake Along. If you have never baked a Chiffon Cake, you really should at least once! Louise

Resources
1. Oil is the Key
2. Chiffon Cake is Best for Strawberry Shortcake

82 comments:

  1. i bet you inspire a lot of people today, Louise. There will be much chiffon cake baking this Sunday. :) I just love those retro pics from older cookbooks. (My mom actually did have that angel food cake cutting utensil.) Great post.

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    1. Oh Debra, I do hope so. The thought of a Chiffon Sunday Bake sounds delightful!

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    2. I recently found many useful information in your website especially this blog page. Among the lots of comments on your articles. Thanks for sharing. best cake shops in birmingham

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  2. Hi Louise,
    YOU DID GREAT! And Yay! for your first blog-hop!
    Your cake looks wonderful and your homemade yoghurt frosting sounds really good! I always make my own yoghurt, (my fridge is never without any yoghurt!) but have never thought of using it for frosting! What a delicious idea, homemade yoghurt are creamier than store-bought, when drained even better, so it would be perfect for frosting, why didn't I think of that! And it is healthier than frosting made with whipping cream!
    Thank you for this interesting post on Chiffon Cakes. I've read from somewhere that it was created by a baker, but never knew the part that it was proclaimed as the first new cake in 100 years! Harry Baker certainly made history, and a delicious one!
    This is the first time I'm hearing of Combed Cake Divider! Have never seen it before. Really interesting! I wonder how to use it, I supposed you need a knife to cut through the slices after dividing the cake with the Combed Cake Divider? Now I'm really curious!

    Thank you, Louise, for sharing your lovely Chiffon Cake with Bake-Along! I really wish I could join both you and Marion for tea!
    Like Lena said, it would be great if we could have a Chiffon Cake party together with everyone!

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    1. Oh thanks Joyce. I must say, I wasn't really sure how to "hook" it up but I did do it!!!

      I was pleasantly surprised with the yogurt frosting, Joyce. I too always have fresh yogurt on hand too. I really want to do a post about how easy it is to make yogurt at home and even get it to "act" like "greek" yogurt, (whatever that is:)

      I posted about Harry Baker a while back. If I remember right, you visited that post too, lol...He certainly has earned his place in culinary history:) I think the comb divider actually cuts the chiffon cake easier than a knife. it doesn't make it break down or become "smooched" since it is so spongy. (I don't really know for sure, I'm guessing here:)

      I'm so glad I did the Bake Along right, Joyce. Thank YOU and the other girls for the inspiration!!!

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  3. Wow!! Lousie your pineapple chiffon cake looks just amazing...It looks yummy...

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    1. Thanks Gloria:) I don't mind say, it is/was delicious!!!

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  4. I have the same issue with my mini bundt pan. I always think I'll have such cute little cakes, but they just don't come out no matter how I prepare the pan. At least the cake still tastes fine!

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    1. Hi Poppy,
      I know what you mean, I was so excited just thinking about how cute and delicious the bundts would be and wha la, a few tops and lots of crumbs. I may be getting rid of the pan very soon...

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  5. Good morning Louise ,
    What a thrilling post and you always make the reading so enjoyable . I heard lots of great cooks and bakers say oil is the key , they are so right except for one thing , the eating is better (giggling) Love the idea of using yogurt , it's healthy and not sugary as some icing are . I would help Marion pry them out and we would have a ball eating them . I am pinning this cake , my family love chiffon cakes and the pineapple makes it even better . Thanks for sharing (((HUGS))) ;-D

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    1. Hi Nee!
      So glad you enjoyed this post, Nee. Marion had three cupcakes today minus the frosting, lol...I didn't make enough frosting so she's saving the frosted ones for when she really "needs" a cupcake, lol...She is too much:) Thanks for pinning Nee, although, I still can't connect with you on Pinterest:)

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  6. I haven't had chiffon cake in years! Decades! I do remember it being huge in the 50s, and yes my mom often baked it for company. What a fun reminder -- thanks.

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    1. Hi John,
      I had a Lemon Chiffon drink that I was suppose to include in this recipe but I'll be darned if I can remember what I did with it! Sorry, lol...So glad you enjoyed the post:) It was such fun to bake and share:)

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  7. Mmm, yum! I love chiffon cake and what a great addition with the pineapple!

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  8. The cake looks delicious. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

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  9. Dear Louise,
    I am reading your post with a cup of tea and I really want a piece of that Chiffon cake! Looks marvelous! Years ago I made chiffon cakes a lot, (it was the cake to make) but never with yogurt and pineapple frosting. What a wonderful idea! I remember that chiffon cutting tool, not sure if it was my mom who had it or my grandmother. Terrific post, love how you describe your experiences. Great job, Louise...Thanks for sharing! Blessing on a pleasant and restful day, after all your baking...
    Dottie :)

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    1. So glad you enjoyed this post Dottie. I was never much of a baker so I didn't bake Chiffon cakes often, if at all. What was I thinking??? They realy are yummy and so versatile too!!! There won't be any baking around here for a couple of weeks but, when the grandkids come, who knows!!!

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  10. Dear Louise I love pineapple cake my mom always made a pineapple tarta but she doesnt cook now.she is tired if is so much time cook.
    Your look absolutely great andlove your vintage pics:))
    ♡♥

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    1. Hi Gloria,
      I don't cook as often as I use to either Gloria. I'm sure you're keeping your MOm happy with lots of delcious goodies cooked by you:)

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  11. Good for you, Louise! It's a beaut! I do love chiffon cakes....usually make an orange one and use my mother's recipe. She'd slice it in thirds and make a frosting with whipped cream, pineapple, maraschino cherries and instant vanilla pudding. Loved serving it at summer lunches and bbq's. You make a much healthier frosting! :)

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    1. Oh my, that sounds so good Barbara. I'm thinking the crumbs will make a pretty good trifle if I use the same ingredients! Thanks for visiting...

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  12. It has been a while since I have made a chiffon cake. Your cake looks beautiful. It was really interesting to read about Harry Baker. Thanks for sharing!

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  13. I sure can't resist a "retro cake," Louise - great job! It does look light and fluffy, and I think it was really fun to make these as cupcakes. I think the cupcake trend is here to stay, despite the naysayers in the media this week!

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    1. I know that about you T.W. that's why I left you a note:) They are so light and fluffy and pretty darn yummy too. I don't care what those naysayers "proclaim" T.W. the cupcake craze is going strong in our kitchen!

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  14. I've been known to whip up a chiffon cake! They are delicious, seeming to me only to differ from sponge cake in the addition of oil and more egg whites. Yours with the pineapple sounds just wonderful. Hmmm....maybe tonight for dessert?

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    1. I remember your Chiffon Cake froma while back, Marjie. Sponge cakes may be a bit more healthier considering they only use whites but, a Chiffon Cake is good every now and again too!!! Dessert tonight? Come on down!!!

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  15. Haven't really enjoy a chiffon cake with fruity frostings. Great, must be very nice.

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    1. You baked your Chiffon Cake with Pandan which I have never tried, Kimmy:) I'll trade pieces with you, lol...

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  16. Homemade yoghurt, kudos to you. Am sure these cuppies are all gone by now.

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    1. Thanks Edith. I usually have homemade yogurt on hand. It's not difficult to make and oh so much better than store bought! There is one cuppie left but I'm sure Marion will be devouring it after dinner, lol...

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  17. Hi Louise,

    I'm so happy to have you baking along with us!!! Actually, chiffon cake is one of my fav cake because it like what you said... light as angel food, rich as butter cake.

    I'm pinching some of your vanilla pineapple chiffon cakes from my screen... The one with the most yogurt is mine!!!! munch! munch! munch!

    Zoe

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    1. Hi Zoe!

      So sorry Zoe, Marion ate the last muffin for dessert tonight! I would gladly make another if you will share that awesome looking Chocolate Angel Food Cake you made:) Thank you so much for sharing Bake Along with us Zoe. it has been such fun and I have met so many new bloggers:) (who happen to make some "mean" chiffon cakes:)

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  18. Hi Louise, I love baking chiffon cakes a lot as they are much lighter and less calories compared to buttercakes...I have never frost my chiffon before for that same reason....perhaps I should try it just once huh! Sounds delicious the way you described it!

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    1. Hi Jeannie,
      If you ever decide to frost your Chiffon Cake, I would definitely go with the yogurt frosting. Not only was it delicious, it saves calories too:) I'm sure you could use store bought "Greek" yogurt or drain regular yogurt.

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  19. Wonderful! Chiffon cakes are delicious. I love retro bakes...

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  20. Yumm.. this cake looks perfectly soft and spongy! With pineapple.. I would love a slice :)

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    1. So sorry, Medeja, it's all gone! Marion ate the last cupcake for tonight's dessert!

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  21. Your cakes look so light and spongy - in fact I thought they might be like the sponges that my mum and her mum and her mum used to make but those sponges have little or no flour in them and I don't think they have oil except egg yolk (I think). Glad marion sounded like she enjoyed them so much - hope you did too.

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    1. Hi Johanna,
      I think these kinds of cakes are in a class of cakes known as foam cakes. Some have oil and eggs and others don't. I prefer Chiffon Cake over Angel Food Cake but Angel Food Cake is better for those watching cholesterol. The Cob Cake Divider is new to me too!

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  22. BTW I have never heard of a combed cake divider but can see it could be useful with such a soft cake - will look out for them - perhaps my mum might like one for her sponges

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  23. Hello Louise, reading your post is so inspirational and educational .... first time for me to see such Combed Cake Divider. These vanilla pineapple chiffon cupcakes must be very yummy!

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    1. Welcome Karen, thank you so much for dropping by:) This Chiffon Cake "marathon" is such fun!

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  24. The Pineapple cake looks out of this world. Yummy.

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  25. Louise, this is probably this loveliest chiffon cakes I've ever seen! I buy chiffon cakes rather often but they're plain & all without cream & frosting. I can imagine how tasty it is with your homemade yoghurt frosting!

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    1. Shirley your words are so kind:) Thank YOU!

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  26. Hi Louise, thanks for sharing the chiffon cake interesting history. This recipe is sure a winner, it look really inviting. Yours look so cottony soft and fluffy and I really love the icing too. Wish I can have a huge slice now with a cup of tea. :))
    Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe.

    Have a wonderful day ahead,regards.

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    1. Hi Amelia,
      I hope you enjoyed your birthday. Chiffon Cake makes a great birthday cake, lol...Thank you so much for visiting. If you want to come over for tea and Chiffon Cake, Come on over!!! I'll bake another:)

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    2. Hi Louise, thank you for your warm thought. Didn't have a great party at home but I do enjoyed my birthday party in my cyber home with all my lovely friends including you. Yes, I bookmark your this recipe, hopefully will be able to bake it soon or for my next birthday...( but that's way too long to wait. LOL )

      Anyway I updated a few pictures which I snapshot from TV of me in action in my birthday posting. Do drop by if you're free.

      Have a wonderful weekend. Regards.

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  27. Good job on the cake - it's so moist looking. I like that you substituted whey for the pineapple juice. I love yogurt and I cook with it when I can. Great blog hop, Louise!

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  28. hi louise, i hv been away to another state but saw your comment in my phone and i was thrilled to learn about your submission, just that it's tough to do blogging on the phone. Now i'm back home. It is really so nice to see you baking a chiffon cake and you rarely bake! i can only imagine how tasty and spongy they are! also i think turning them into the trifles are an excellent idea tho i hv never tried it myself. Enjoyed reading the history of chiffon cake , chiffon cakes are very popular here especially in malaysia and singapore, we all love them very much. It is really nice to see you joining our chiffon cake theme, i wished i can take a slice right now! cheers !

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    1. Hi Lena,
      I had a feeling you were doing some traveling. I do hope you enjoyed yourself:) The cakes are all gone now. Marion just loved them and has already asked for more, lol...I did freeze the pieces from the bundts so when she really, really craves chiffon cake, I will give that trifle a go. I'm so glad you enjoyed the bits of history. It was such fun to post and bake for the Bake Along, Lena. Thank you to you and Joyce and Zoe for inviting everyone!!!

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  29. I've never made a chiffon cake. The pineapple cake looks lovely and delicious.

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    1. Hi Pam!
      One day when you are craving a spongy, moist delicious cake, I suggest you try a Chiffon Cake. It really is yummy! I wish there was a cupcake left for you to "taste."

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  30. I was resisting until the cupcake card was played. Now, I am hoping the storm doesn't knock out the power so I can make my own!

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    1. Hi Channon!
      This is the perfect cake to make cupcakes with. I hope the storm has passed and the cupcakes are in the oven! Thanks for Pinning it too:)

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  31. Pineapple chiffon cake? It sure looks great Louise...and yes, I love the idea of topping is with homemade yogurt...looks delicious!
    Thanks for sharing the recipe...have a wonderful week :D

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    1. Thanks Juliana, the yogurt topping really worked well but it has to be drained first. Thank YOU for visiting. Love your new blog look, so playful:)

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  32. Your chiffon cakes all look dreamy...especially with that pineapple buttercream icing! Wow!

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  33. Louise I didn't know there was a gadget like this one for cakes, let alone knowing how it is called haha! Your little cakes look divine! Thanks for all the history behind it!

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    1. So glad you enjoyed this post and the bite of history, Katerina. It was fun to share:)

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  34. What a beautiful idea for chiffon cake, adding a pineapple tropical twist to it :D

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

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    1. Thanks Uru, Marion sure did enjoy that "tropical twist", lol...

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  35. Good evening Louise, thank you so much for visiting my blog...you have given me the opportunity to meet you! I'm sure your chiffon cake, with that wonderful yogurt frosting, must be delicious and I will continue to visit so I can get to know you better! Cheers, Mary

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    1. Hi Mary and Welcome!
      I'm so glad you enjoyed your visit. I don't usually do much baking so this Chiffon Cake was quite an accomplishment for me, lol…Please do drop by any time...

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  36. Wow, Louise, you are going to town. Homemade cupcakes, homemade yogurt -- what will you do next? Shape your own Bundt pans, maybe :) Well done, and I wish I could eat some of these right now.

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    1. I do get on these "kicks" every now and again, Lynn. I'm warming" up before the grandkids come to visit in August. Shape my own bundts? Now there's a thought:)

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  37. Great job, Louise! Your cake looks beautiful, and I love that gorgeous frosting! My mom always baked Chiffon cakes…always one of my favorites. BTW…I think the aspirin worked.

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  38. Hi ~Louise~...
    You and Marion sure have fun!
    They do look nice and spongy! And moist!
    Enjoy your week...
    Cheers!
    Linda:o)

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  39. Congrats on your cake--indeed I have never baked a chiffon cake! May have to take you up on your suggestion to try. The picture with the Combed Cake Divider (cake rake?) is too funny!

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  40. Oh I can see how Marion loved this cake! Looks really really soft and delicate. Beautiful baking Louise.
    I am intrigued by the "combed cake divider"! It really looks like a comb. I have never seen one like this before.
    Thank you for sharing this great recipe :-))

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  41. Good heavens Louise! Save me a slice! :D I loved the little history behind it too...I always find it interesting to know where certain foods come from and how they were discovered..like the artichoke...that one always baffles me. I don't know who's idea it was to eat that...but I'm getting off track. hehehe...a pineapple chiffon cake sounds perfect to me..just the name alone! I couldn't think of a more perfect treat on a cool summer evening.

    Thank you so much for your sweet words and visits. I've been terrible about commenting lately, and I apologize for that. I'm still working on making sure all the old links redirect to the new site. I'm also working the on the recipe index. People must think I've forgotten about them...or worse, that I'm a snoot now that we're '.com' ;)

    Anyway, I will be sure to check out your post on the LI cherries. Thank you for sharing.

    Have a lovely, beautiful weekend ahead.

    Toodles,
    Tammy<3

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  42. These cakes sound so good - I like fruit in a cake, and I bet the pineapple made it lovely and moist.

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  43. Your chiffon cupcakes look so good! I am a huge pineapple fan and I would love these!

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Through this wide opened gate,
none came too early,
none returned too late.

Thanks for dropping in...Louise