Osmanthus aka Gui Hua (桂花) is commonly used in Shanghai desserts. It’s a type of flower which is dried to make tea. It has a very distinct flowery aroma.

Since I have some osmanthus tea sitting in my pantry for quite a while I decided to experiment with some osmanthus chiffon cake. To give it an extra kick I added 1.5 tablespoons of osmanthus sugar that I bought from a Shanghai grocery’s store. I use this type of sugar for osmanthus jelly which is a nice refreshing dessert for the summer.

The chiffon cake turned out nice and light with a hint of osmanthus flavour. Will taste test it tomorrow and see if my colleagues can recognise the flavour.

The following recipe makes a 7 inch chiffon cake and hope you will give it a try too.


  • 3 tablespoons of osmanthus tea leaves
  • 100ml of hot water
  • 1.5 tablespoons of osmanthus sugar mixed with 1 tablespoon of warm water ⭐️
  • 3 egg yolks (I used large size eggs and make sure they are at room temperature)
  • 4 egg whites (you can use 3 if you don’t know what to do with the extra egg yolk but I find using 1 extra egg white makes the cake fluffier)
  • 40 ml of vegetable oil or any neutral flavoured oil (i.e. do not use olive oil or coconut oil)
  • 70 grams of caster sugar
  • 75 grams of cake flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar or lemon juice

⭐️ The osmanthus sugar is optional so if you can’t find it you can leave it out. I bought mine from Lao San Yang in Causeway Bay.


  1. Preheat the oven to 160C.
  2. Set aside 1 tablespoon of the osmanthus tea leaves and seep the remaining 2 tablespoons in the hot water for 20 minutes. Pour the tea through a strainer and set aside 75ml. You can enjoy the extra tea whilst waiting for your cake to bake! ☕️
  3. Separate the eggs into two bowls.
  4. Add 1 tablespoon of the sugar to the egg yolk and beat until pale yellow.
  5. Add the oil to the egg yolk batter and continue to beat for approximately 30 seconds until well combined.
  6. Add the osmanthus tea (making sure it’s cooled to room temperature) and osmanthus sugar to the egg yolk batter and beat for another 30 seconds until well combined.
  7. Sift the cake flour into the egg yolk batter. Use a spatula or a whisk, mix the flour and egg yolk batter until well combined. Add the tablespoon of dried osmanthus tea leaves into the egg yolk batter. Gently fold the tea leaves into the batter until well incorporated. Set aside.
  8. Beat the egg whites until foamy. Add 1/3 of the caster sugar and the cream of tartar and continue to beat until it start to form soft beats (looking a bit like whipped cream). Add the remaining caster sugar in two separate batches and continue to beat until stiff peaks form. I used a standing mixer but you can use handheld mixer or even whisk with your hands. Set aside.
  9. Take 1/3 of the egg white (aka meringue) and add it to the egg yolk batter. Using a whisk, fold it into the egg yolk batter until well combined.
  10. Add another 1/3 of the egg white into the egg yolk batter. Using a spatula, gently fold the egg white into the egg yolk batter until well combined.
  11. Fold the remaining egg white into the egg yolk batter until well combined.
  12. Pour the batter into  your chiffon cake tube pan and lightly tap it against your counter top a few times to release any air bubbles. img_3259-1
  13. Bake the chiffon cake at 160 C for 15minutes. Reduce the heat to 140C and bake for another 30minutes.
  14. Remove the cake from the oven and invert the pan and cool for an hour before you remove from the pan.

These beauties are packaged with my personalised sticker and are ready for sharing tomorrow 😋

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