My husband has been asking for an Angel Food Cake like his mom used to make since we started dating. With excellent intentions I purchased a round tube pan and diligently researched recipes. This good-intentioned tube pan has languished in the back of my kitchen cabinet for 4 years (okay, fine, maybe a smidge over 4 years).
It must be said, by way of explanation, that as I read up on how to properly make an Angel Food Cake, I started to get a little scared. What if my cake in no way, shape or form measures up to his memory of his mother’s? I seriously considered making it in secret so that if it was an epic fail, I could hide the evidence!
Cookbooks’, chefs’ and bloggers’ admonishments of: don’t over whip the egg whites; avoid under whipping the egg whites; don’t fold in the flour too aggressively; avoid opening the oven door prematurely or your cake will fall; don’t over bake; don’t under bake overwhelmed me. The more I read the further back in the cabinet went the round tube pan until yesterday when I decided to tie on my big-girl apron and tackle the challenge.
Look at that beautiful cake!
Let me be the first to tell you that Angel Food Cake should not be that daunting. You’ve totally got this! Mine was perfectly browned on the top and moist throughout the whole cake.
The flavor was light, sweet and delicate.
Oh! And it’s fat free! (Read: guilt free!) If the Wedding Fairy were still around (tear), she would totally approve!
I am no connoisseur but my husband is and he said that it was excellent!
(High praise indeed!)
As the cake cooled, I whipped up my quick Blueberry Sauce, which was excellent. The perfect balance of tart and sweet! It is also delicious on yogurt and ice cream as a nutritious snack or an easy dessert!
I read countless recipes for Angel Food Cake in both my antique and modern day cookbooks before finally settling on one from Betty Crocker’s Cookbook, 1984 edition. I’ve added all the additional wisdom and tips that I gleaned from my extensive research so that your first (or next) try can be a success!
This Angel Food Cake is light, sweet and moist! It is naturally fat-free and easier to make than you think!
1 cup cake flour
1 ½ cups powdered sugar
1 ½ cups egg whites (about 9–12 eggs)
1 ½ teaspoons cream of tartar
1 cup granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla (high quality)
½ teaspoon almond extract (high quality)
About an hour before starting the cake, separate your egg whites from yolks. Cover the yolks with water and refrigerate for a later use. In measuring cup or small bowl let the egg whites warm to room temperature.
Preheat oven to 375° and set rack to middle shelf. Some say the lowest rack is best but I think that browns the bottom to much.
Sift flour and powdered sugar together 4 times and set aside.
I like to measure out all my other ingredients to have them ready (mis en place) for cakes that require precise timing.
Beat egg whites with cream of tartar in the bowl of a stand or hand mixer until foamy and cream of tartar has distributed evenly through out whites.
Beat in sugar 2 tablespoons at a time, on high speed, until stiff and glossy. Add the extracts and salt with the last addition of sugar. Mine were slightly less stiff that true stiff peaks and the cake still turned out fabulous so don’t be too worried but ideally you should have true stiff peaks.
Remove bowl from stand mixer and sprinkle flour-sugar mixture, ¼ cup at a time, over the meringue, folding it just until the flour-sugar mixture disappears.
Push batter into an ungreased tube pan, 10×4 inches. Cut gently through batter with a metal spatula or gently tap on counter to settle batter.
Bake until cracks feel dry and top springs back when touched lightly, 30 to 40 minutes. I removed mine when a tester inserted into one of the cracks came out with only a few clinging crumbs. The cracks did not feel completely dry at this point but I was terrified of over baking!
Invert pan on bottle and cool completely.
To remove cake from pan, gently insert a flat metal icing spatula against the sides and carefully cut all the way around. You can use a small thin knife or a cake tester to cut around the middle tube. Gently flip cake over on a cooking rack, remove the pan and place the cake right side up with your hands. It should feel as light as air!
Serve with powdered sugar, strawberries (my husband’s favorite) or my fresh blueberry sauce (recipe below).
An easy, flavorful blueberry sauce that can be made with fresh or frozen berries. Drizzle this versatile sauce on angel food cake, yogurt, ice cream and so much more
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
½ cup water
½ teaspoon cornstarch mixed with 2 teaspoons water
Combine all ingredients except cornstarch mixture in a small saucepot. Bring to a boil, uncovered, over medium heat. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 5-10 minutes.
Add cornstarch and water mixture and stir until the cornstarch is completely incorporated.
Continue to simmer for 10 minutes. The sauce will continue to thicken as it cools.
Note: If you are short on time, you can add just enough water to dissolve the sugar and cook until the blueberries are warm. The sauce will not have quite the same consistancy as when cornstarch is added, but it will taste just as delicious!