Harry Baker, an insurance salesman turned caterer, invented the chiffon cake in 1927. Keeping the closely guarded recipe for himself and his high profile clients, Hollywood notables and The Brown Derby. It became one of the Derby’s signature dishes, (per the Brown Derby Cook Book) for quite some time it was the ONLY dessert served at the Brown Derby.
After 20 years, he sold the guarded recipe to General Mills for an undisclosed amount of money. He was quoted as saying “I wanted Betty Crocker to give the secret to the women of America.”
General Mills changed the name to chiffon cake. A set of 14 recipes were published in a Betty Crocker pamphlet in 1948. With 14 different variations including Golden chiffon, Fresh Orange Chiffon, Maple Nut Chiffon, Pineapple Chiffon and Spicy Chiffon.