Mother’s Day is fast approaching and just in case you haven’t yet decided what to do for that special mom in your life, I’m going to suggest you make her brunch or breakfast in bed.  And I have a brunch/breakfast recipe that is sure to delight:  Orange Chiffon French Toast.

For a scrumptious spin on an old standby, I substitute chiffon cake or sponge cake for the bread in the standard French toast recipe with amazing results.  The cake is more tender than the bread, and it imparts a melt-in-your-mouth consistency to the French toast.

Along with my French Toast recipe, I am providing a recipe for orange chiffon cake, but you can use your own favorite chiffon, sponge, or even angel food cake recipe—homemade, from a mix, or store bought.

I like to serve Orange Chiffon French Toast with a light sprinkling of confectioner’s sugar and a bowl of colorful fresh fruit.  Happy Mother’s Day!


French Toast

  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon Grand Marnier or Amaretto (optional)
  • 6 slices of orange chiffon cake—about 1 to 1 1/2 inches per slice (recipe below)
  • 3 tablespoons butter

Crack open eggs into a medium mixing bowl.  Add milk, vanilla, and, if desired, Grand Marnier or Amaretto.  Whisk together well.

Dip both sides of cake slices into egg mixture, allowing excess to drip back into bowl.

Heat 3 tablespoons butter in a large skillet.  When the butter starts to sizzle, place batter coated cake slices in skillet.

Cook 2 to 3 minutes per side until golden brown.

Place 2 to 3 slices of Orange Chiffon French toast on a plate and sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar.


Orange Chiffon Cake

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 freshly squeezed orange juice (store bought is ok)
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest
  • 7 egg yolks—room temperature
  • 8 egg whites–temperature
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar

Before you begin, make sure to have eggs at room temperature.  You will need an ungreased two piece 10-inch angel food cake pan.  Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, place the flour, all but two tablespoons of the sugar, baking powder, and salt.  Whisk together well for about one minute.

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the orange juice, canola oil, vanilla, orange zest, and egg yolks.  Beat at medium speed for about 2 minutes until smooth.

Place the egg whites in another large mixing bowl and beat at medium speed until frothy.  Add the cream of tartar and beat until the egg whites hold soft peaks.

Add the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar a little bit at a time and beat until the whites are glossy and hold stiff peaks.   Be careful not to overbeat the egg whites.  They will appear dry and grainy if overbeaten.

Add about 1/4 of the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture and gently mix together.  Add the remaining whites, 1/3 at a time, folding them in gently until completely incorporated.

Pour batter into an ungreased angel food cake pan and bake in a 325 degree oven for about 55 to 65 minutes until a cake tester comes out clean and the top  of the cake springs back when touched lightly.

Remove the cake from the oven and immediately invert.  Most angel food cake pans will have feet to allow the cake to rest inverted on the counter.  Or you can place the center tube hole of the cake pan inverted on a wine or olive oil bottle.

When the cake is completely cooled, turn right side up and gently remove the cake from a pan. You will need a thin, sharp knife to remove the cake from the sides, bottom, and center core of pan.

Makes 10 to 12 servings.

Essex Fells Magazine

May 2013