How to Make Hawaiian-Style Chantilly Cake

Sweet chocolate moist cake frosted with one “winnah” chantilly frosting.

chantilly cake


So, why is the chantilly frosting special to Hawaii? The actual classic version is French. It is basically whipped cream that has been sweetened. The Hawaiian version is using butter and evaporated milk to create that creamy frosting.

Tools for cake

What tools I recommend to making a cake is all very optional. But if you would like to speed up, convenience, or bake casually, then check out these useful tools to help you out:

The spin table is a handy tool to have when you are decorating or frosting a cake. Though this turntable is cheap and slightly squeaky, it gets the job done. If you’d rather invest in a better turn table, go for it!

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The cake boards are a blessing in disguise when you are trying to move your cake from the decorating station to the display stand. If you have trouble moving your cake from one place to another, check out the cake boards!

9 inch cake pans are really what is needed to bake the cakes. 9 inch is pretty standard size for a cake but if you are ambitious, you can always purchase larger cake pans.

Local-Hawaiian Style Chantilly Cake

A rich chocolate cake frosted with Hawaii's signature sweet chantilly frosting, topped with crunchy macademia nuts.
Print Recipe
chantilly cake
Prep Time:35 minutes
Cook Time:27 minutes
Decoration Time:20 minutes
Total Time:1 hour 22 minutes


Chocolate Chiffon Cake:

  • 7 eggs, separated
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup boiled water
  • 1 3/4 cup cake flour
  • 1 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup canola/vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar

Chanitilly Frosting:

  • 2 cup evaporated milk
  • 2 cup sugar
  • 6 egg yolks, beaten
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 tbsp evaporated milk
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch


Chocolate Chiffon Cake:

  • Have all seven eggs at room temperature. Separate the egg yolk from the whites and set aside.
  • Bring the water to a boil either by microwave or over heat. Combine it with cocoa powder and set aside to cool down.
  • In a large bowl combine the dry ingredients; sifted cake flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt.
  • In a separate bowl combine the egg yolks, oil, and vanilla extract. Add that mixture and cocoa powder to the dry ingredients. Beat until well blended.
  • In a different mixing bowl, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar on high speed until it starts to form stiff peaks. Gently fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture.
  • Preheat the oven to 325°F. Evenly split the batter into two 9 inch cake pans. Cut through the batter with a butter knife to remove any air pockets. Bake on the lowest rack for 25-27 minutes or until a toothpick is pierced and comes out clean.
  • Let the cake cool down first, then gently remove the cake from the pan. Repeat the same procedure for the second layer.
  • *Optional to cut the extra domed shape of the cake to get a nice flat top. Use a long serrated knife to cut.

Chantilly Frosting:

  • Combine the butter, evaporated milk, sugar, egg yolks, and vanilla extract in a pot over low heat. Continuously stir until it begins to thicken slightly, try not to heat the mixture too fast or it will scramble the egg yolks.
  • On the side, combine evaporated milk and cornstarch. Add it to the rest of the frosting and stir until the frosting thickens more.
  • Remove from heat and pour into a container to cool down. Cover and place in fridge to firm up, about 3 hours.

Cake Assembly:

  • If using a cake board, place a small smidge of frosting on the bottom of a cake board. Center one cake layer on the board. Scoop a generous amount of frosting right on the middle. Spread the frosting out by working your way to the edges. Leave about a quarter of an inch from the edge.
  • Add on the last cake layer and cover the entire cake with frosting. If the cake has a lot of crumbs in the frosting, put the cake back into the fridge for 30 minutes to firm up the frosting then reapply another layer of frosting. Sprinkle on some chopped macadamia nuts. Put it back into the fridge and let it chill for about an hour to firm up the frosting again.
  • Cut into the cake, serve a slice and enjoy!


Servings: 8


  1. hi thanks so much for posting this. i’m also looking for a peach bavaria cake recipe. would you have one to share? Thanks so much!

  2. I have made this frosting 3 times and I cannot get it to thicken up enough to stay on the cake. I am following the recipe exactly. What can I do to thicken it? Help

    1. Aloha!

      I was so excited to try this recipe & decided to make the frosting one day ahead of baking the cake just to be sure I can get the frosting to the proper consistency. I’m an avid at home baker & I’ve had experience with making pudding, custard & caramel from scratch so I assumed that this recipe would be similar to those in that the cooking process is long, slow & at low heat. I noticed that this recipe did not specifically state approximately how long to cook the frosting until proper/desired consistency. I assumed it would take about 20+ mins or so & I was right. After adding all of the frosting ingredients to my medium size pot (except for the cornstarch mix) it took around 8 mins or so for the butter to melt completely & everything to come together at low heat. Another 5 or so mins & the frosting began to thicken just slightly & this is when I added the cornstarch mixture. I continued stiring/cooking the frosting for about 15-20 mins. It was getting thicker, but it was taking quite a long time & I decided to increase the heat just a little to speed up the process. That’s when the frosting finally began to thicken quite nicely & it began a slow boil. I allowed it to boil for about 5 mins before removing it from the heat. I let it cool for another 5 mins in the pot before transfering it into a separate bowl to completely cool. (After it cools completely on the counter, I plan to place it in the refrigerator overnight & then remove it 30-60 mins before frosting the cake.) The frosting was a perfect consistency!The texture kind of in-between a pudding & a custard, though not quite as thick as either. Velvety smooth, buttery sweet, custard-like perfection! I cannot wait to bake the cake & frost it tomorrow! **Also, I did watch her video on how to make the frosting & my consistency is exactly like how hers turned out, just so you have a visual reference to guide you through 🤗 I hope this helps to make the perfect consistency of frosting for the cake😊 Good Luck & Happy Baking!

  3. Hi!

    Growing up in Hawaii, I absolutely LOVE Chantilly cake! Now, living in the Mainland for about 8 years & I’m totally craving some! I want to try this recipe, & I have a couple of questions before I get started. Instead of using boiling water, could I use hot hot coffee instead? I’ve made chocolate cake in the past & I just love how the coffee adds a depth of flavor to the cake. Was just wondering if it would be a good idea to try it with this recipe. Also, was wondering if I could substitute the oil in the recipe for melted butter? If so, would it be the same ratio/amount?
    Can’t wait to try this recipe! Happy Baking!

    1. Hello! I can’t wait til you try this recipe! You can definitely substitute the water for coffee. I know a lot of recipes use coffee instead of water, but I personally haven’t tried it because I try to stay away from coffee. As for the oil, yes you can substitute it for butter for the same amount. I’d love to hear how it turns out!

  4. 5 stars
    I made this for my wife’s 40th birthday. It’s her favorite cake. We had this kind for our low key wedding. We got it from Leilani’s bakery in Waimea on the big island. They have closed since. We froze a couple slices and ate them after they closed. It tasted exactly the same years later. This cake is good. It’s nice to have extra icing to put on other baked goods. It’s like the cream puffs from Liliha on Oahu.

  5. 1 star
    FAIL……very sad!
    Followed instructions to the tee and it was SOUP – very disappointed, flavor was good – but there is no way this was going to frost a cake – when I put in the frig – major separation – THICK THICK layer (BUTTER) and soup below like coffee creamer. –

    Not sure what the fix is for this – more cornstarch did not help.

  6. My son really wants chantilly cake for his birthday so I’m gonna give it a shot. Is there a high altitude adjustment? Thank you!

  7. 5 stars
    I just made this & it’s so good! Thanks for sharing!! I was afraid it wasn’t going to turn out good because I don’t have a kitchenaid to do the egg whites, I only have an electric hand mixer. Also it was hard for me to get the air pockets out. But I’m going to try make other desserts that you’ve made. Thanks again!

  8. 4 stars
    The ingredients for the Frosting is different from the video. Made it once didn’t get it to thicken. But will try again.

  9. 4 stars
    The written recipe frosting is different than the video instructions and calls for different dry/wet ingredient amounts (e.g, the video showed 3 yolks vs 6, etc.) So is the written recipe double?

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