I had given up trying to bake my favorite orange chiffon cake, which depended on the support of a tube pan, as a 9-inch round layer cake until Nushera Tazrin, a lovely and creative blogger from Australia, inspired Woody and me to return to the test kitchen. There, we discovered that using unbleached all-purpose flour and an ungreased, unlined springform pan changed everything. The unbleached flour provides just the right extra support and a properly sized springform pan allows the batter to remain comfortably in the pan and to cling to it while it cools upside down. Nushera’s clever idea to use a rose nail in place of a center tube conducts the heat and also helps prevent dipping.
This cake is intensely orange, and so fluffy, moist, and tender that it seems to dissolve in your mouth. Don’t worry if it dips slightly at the top; it is wondrously spongy. Serve it au naturel or with an accompanying billow of orange marmalade whipped cream on the side.