Generally, sponge cakes were made with flour, sugar, and eggs - the whites beaten hard for leavening. No butter, water or baking powder/soda. The new Chiffon Cake had oil, water and baking powder.
"First really new cake in 100 years!" - what do you think they considered the new one in 1848?
The delicious, delicate 'foam' cake was served plain, topped with fruit or iced. The recipe gave a full amount if baked in a tube pan or half measurements if using a square pan (upper right in first picture).
A California caterer, aptly named Harry Baker, created a light cake using salad oil. He sold some of his cakes to the Brown Derby, the famed Hollywood restaurant where the Cobb Salad was invented. For twenty years Baker kept his recipe secret, until selling it to General Mills.
General Mills, Inc. owned Betty Crocker, Softasilk Cake Flour (or Gold Medal Flour in some recipes), Wesson and Mazola oil, so all appeared in the magazine advertisements. They claimed the new cake was "more delicate than Angel Food - richer tasting than "butter" Cake. It contains a liquid shortening... tastes fresh longer than most other cakes! To get the chiffon-like texture and amazing volume that make Chiffon Cake so revolutionary, use silky-fine Softasilk Cake Flour. Milled for cakes and cakes alone. ..."
The 1948 recipe I used this weekend, click to enlarge --
©2013 Patricia Bixler Reber