Homemade Angel Food Cake is unreal.
You have to make it for yourself to know what I’m talking about. Store bought angel food cake can’t hold a candle to the real deal.
Angel food cake might have developed a bit of a stigma around it for being difficult to make, but I assure you it’s not.
All it requires is careful mixing. You’ll beat egg whites to stiff peaks and fold in a bit of flour and sugar. As long as you do this gently so that the whites don’t deflate, you’ll turn out a lovely angel food cake.
It also helps to make sure you are baking in a tube pan and that it is not greased! A greased pan will give the batter nothing to cling to as it rises and bakes and you will not be able to achieve the height needed for a fluffy, cloud-like crumb.
Another thing that will allow the cake to reach it’s full height potential is to let it cool upside down. The cake will stay stick to the sides and bottom until you cut it free once it’s cooled, so no worries about it falling out of the pan.
Gravity will keep the cake from sinking down as it cools and leave you with a tall, well shaped finished product.
The most important tip I can give you for making a perfect angel food cake? Well, aside from not overmixing, you’ll want to make extra extra sure that there are no bits of yolk in your egg whites before mixing.
Fat bonds with the proteins in egg whites which prevents the proteins from bonding with each other and whipping up. Make sure your beaters and bowl are extra clean and free from any grease. If your egg whites aren’t thickening up when you beat them, fat is likely the culprit.
This recipe calls for cream and berries to top the cake, but of course you can use whatever you want. The base is simple, a blank canvas really, so feel free to top this cake with whatever your heart desires.
Whipped cream is a must, I think, but any fruit at all would go perfectly on top, and sauces like lemon curd, rhubarb compote, or a strawberry coulis certainly wouldn’t hurt.
Angel Food Cake + Whipped Cream & Berries
Author: Kayley McCabe
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: serves 12
- FOR THE CAKE:
- 1 cup Cake Flour
- 1⅓ cup Sugar, divided
- 12 Egg Whites (be very careful that no yolk bits make it into the whites or they won't whip)
- 1 tablespoon Lemon Juice
- ¼ teaspoon Salt
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla
- 1 teaspoon Almond Extract
- TO TOP:
- 2 cups Heavy Whipping Cream
- ⅓ cup Sugar
- 1 cup Strawberries, sliced into quarters
- Edible Blossoms (fruit tree blossoms work well for this)
- FOR THE CAKE:
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Sift the flour and ⅔ cup of sugar into a bowl and set aside.
- Add the egg whites, lemon juice, and salt to a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer until foamy, soft peaks form. Slowly beat the remaining ⅔ cup of sugar in on medium speed. Up the speed to high and continue to beat until stiff peaks form (you'll know the whites are ready when you lift the beaters out of the bowl and flip them upside down - the egg whites on the beaters should stick straight up).
- Add the flour/sugar mixture, vanilla, and almond extract to the bowl and beat on low speed until only just barley mixed in.
- Use a rubber spatula to fold the batter in 10-12 times, scraping the bowl as you go so that the flour and egg whites are gently mixed together.
- Pour the batter into an ungreased tube pan. Drop the pan on the counter once to remove air bubbles.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and cracked.
- Remove from the oven and set upside down on the counter to cool.
- When the cake has cooled completely, run a knife along the sides of the cake and pull the base up from the sides. Run a knife along the bottom of the cake and invert onto a serving plate.
- TO TOP:
- Beat the sugar and cream together in a mixing bowl to stiff peaks.
- Spoon the cream on top of the cake. Place berries and blossoms on top of the cream.
- Use a serrated knife to carefully cut slices. Cake can be refrigerated until it's ready to be served. Will keep in the fridge for several days.