Back to Basics- Homemade Angel Food Cake Recipe
I remember when I was in my early twenties, someone gave me a tube cake pan as a gift. At the time I had no idea what it was for, and honestly thought it would be something that would sit in my cupboards unused (such an ugly bundt pan I thought!). Little did I know that years later, as my love of baking began to flourish, that I would wish I still had that pan. It’s a tall pan with a tube in the middle for a reason. When used with the right ingredients and techniques, it produces the lightest and airiest sweet cake, called Angel Food Cake.
It’s a divine cake for a few reasons. One, it’s made with whipped egg whites, flour and sugar, and no fats (so, *ahem* go ahead and have 2 pieces…). It’s a very airy, bright white cake. Two, the batter literally climbs up that ungreased, tall cake pan, to produce a light and fluffy sky- high piece of joy. It’s so tender, that usually it’s simply accompanied with some fresh fruit and crème anglaise, as anything heavier just doesn’t suit.
This is the season to showcase all of those fresh fruits that are showing up at farmers markets everywhere. Berries, peaches, cherries, and plums are the perfect accompaniment to this sweet cake. I guarantee you, once you begin making your own Angel Food Cake, you will never buy store-bought again. It’s so moist and tender, that you will notice the difference between this and commercially made cakes and boxed mixes if you’ve ever made them. Having said that, it’s a recipe that does require a little more concentration than the usual cake batter prep (but not more time), simply because you need to be careful with how you handle the ingredients. Also, if you’ve never made it before, you might not know that the cake is actually left upside down to cool. That’s just so gravity helps to keep that high cake from falling as it cools.
I’ve included my recipe, along with tips to help you achieve the best cake possible. I like to add an orange emulsion (sold at most bakery supply stores) or orange extract to flavour mine. It adds just a little, barely there citrus flavour that goes so well with fruit. Feel free to substitute for other extracts and flavourings and try new things! Make the cake and while it’s cooling, head out to your local market, orchard or berry patch to pick something special to go along with it. It tastes just like summer!
Read on for my Homemade Angel Food Cake Recipe!
Homemade Angel Food Cake Recipe
-1 3/4 cup egg whites, room temperature
-1 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
-1 3/4 cup sugar, separated
-1 cup cake flour
-1/4 tsp salt
-1 tsp orange bakery emulsion or extract
-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
-2 large peaches
-3 tbsp. sugar
-drizzle of honey
-1 tbsp. lemon juice
-whipped cream for serving
-almond slices for serving
1. Preheat oven to 350°
2. In a medium bowl, sift together 3/4 cup of the sugar with the cake flour and salt; set aside. In a large bowl, add the egg whites and cream of tarter and mix on medium speed until foamy. Very slowly add the remaining sugar (in a steady stream into the bowl), as you whip the egg whites to medium peaks. Add the extracts and mix well.
3. Sift (again) 1/4 of the flour mixture, right on top of the egg whites and fold in with a spatula (it won’t be entirely mixed, just fold 3 or 4 times). Continue to sift another 1/4 of the flour mixture and fold it in, in the same manner until all of the flour is gone. Be careful to only fold until the flour is just incorporated.
4. Gently spoon the batter into a 10″ tube pan (ungreased), being careful not to deflate the mixture. Lightly swish the pan on the counter to even out the batter.
5. Bake the cake on the middle rack, for 40 minutes without opening the door. Test after 40 minutes with a cake tester, to see if it comes out clean. The cake should also feel dry to the touch, not sticky and spring back when touched.
6. Once fully baked, remove from the oven and immediately set the pan upside down. Most newer pans have feet for this purpose, however you can invert the pan on top of a wine bottle to rest too if your pan does not have any. Cool for 2 hours and then run a knife along the side of the pan to loosen the cake.
7. While the cake is cooling, cut two large peaches into slices and place in a medium bowl. Sprinkle the slices with sugar, lemon juice and a drizzle of honey. Let the peaches sit in the juices, stirring occasionally, for about an hour.
8. Serve the cooled cake with fresh peaches, almond slices and whipped cream. Don’t forget to drizzle some of the syrup from the peaches on top!
1. I buy liquid egg whites in the carton for this recipe. If you are using regular eggs, you will need 12-14 eggs. Be careful when separating that there are no yolk in the whites.
2. Leave the egg whites on the counter for about an hour before using.
3. Cake flour is important for this recipe. It has less protein and gluten needed for this airy cake.
4. Use different extracts for different flavours. Coconut extract is nice, as well as almond extract which is a little more traditional.
Tell us… Have you ever made angel food cake before? What are your favorite ways to top angel food cake?
Like this recipe? Head over to Renee’s website, Sweet Revelations, for more delectable dessert ideas!