Photo from the Betty Crocker website
According to General Mills, Chiffon Cake is the first really new cake in 100 years. It uses vegetable oil in place of conventional shortening.
1927 – Harry Baker, a Los Angeles insurance agent, is said to have invented the original chiffon cake in 1927. As word spread of this wonderful airy cake, he was continually asked for the recipe. But for two decades he carefully guarded his secret recipe, making his special cake only for the reigning royalty of the silver screen. Baker sold the cake to Hollywood stars and made it for the famous Brown Derby Restaurant.
The secret to Baker’s light and airy chiffon cake is that the egg whites are beaten separately from the yolks, and it uses vegetable oil instead of butter or conventional shortening.
1947 – In 1947, General Mills bought the recipe from Harry Baker. He agreed to sell the recipe to General Mills so “Betty Crocker could give the secret to the women of the America.”
1948 – General Mills released the secret recipe for chiffon cake in the May 1948 Better Homes and Gardens Magazine, and it became a nationwide sensation. The secret ingredient, vegetable oil, was then revealed. Better Homes and Garden Magazine advertised the cake as “The first really new cake in 100 years.” In the 1950s, General Mills sponsored chiffon cake contests. People came up with all flavors of this cake during that time.
Back to the History of Cakes.