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Monday, September 12, 2011

angel food cake

Finally tackled my absolute favorite cake the other night.. angel food cake. I'm one of those people who will eat a slice of birthday cake because it's "what ya do", not because I'm dying for a slab of frosting smothered baked good. When I finish that one slice, there's typically a wall of frosting still standing as if the cake part just up and vanished. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I have a very tiny sweet tooth. I'd sooner grab a bowl of leftover pasta and let the cake turn into a rock than grab another slice.

Enter angel food cake, my only cakey weakness. I could seriously eat the entire thing myself if I wouldn't drown in self-loathing afterward. ;) I've been wanting to make it homemade for a while now but folding egg whites intimidates me so I've been putting it off. It wasn't nearly as scary as I thought though, and I must say it was absolutely delicious. It was everything I've ever loved in a store-bought angel food cake, plus so much more. It had the perfect sweet crust on top, the lightest, spongiest texture, and such a good, unmatched flavor.

Let your mixer do the hard part and get those egg whites going. Whipping egg whites into stiffness brings one of those crazy life questions to mind.. who was the first person to decide that if they got rid of the yolk and beat the white and some sugar into oblivion it would magically transform into this fantastic meringue-y material? Just curious.

There's a little bit of a jump here between beating egg whites and getting it into the pan because I was too busy breaking into a sweat over folding flour into egg whites to remember to take pictures. It really wasn't that bad though, I was just sure I would demolish the air bubbles and have a dense flat cake. Not the case.

When it came out of the oven it was time to invert. I balanced it precariously on top of a kitty paper towel holder. Then, after looking up how long it need to cool for, I also read that some pans have little feet on them specifically designed for inverting cakes. Whoops. I removed it from the paper towel holder and set it on its feet. Much safer!

Scared kitty balancing pan with perfectly capable feet.

After waiting the absolute minimum time for it to cool, I got it out of the pan and was ready to dig in.

Slice off a gigantic wedge and consume.

Makes a delightful breakfast the next day with a cup of coffee. :)

I've seen a lot of variations on this recipe but this one was fantastic. I think what drew me to it was the use of both vanilla and almond extract. I can't speak for other recipes because I haven't tried them but I think I'll stick with this one because it was perfect. The site includes a recipe for a whipped topping too but it doesn't even need it.

Try it!

Angel Food Cake
from Itsy Bitsy Foodies

1 1/4 cup confectioner's sugar
1 cup cake flour
1 1/2 cup egg whites (about 10-12 whites) room temp
1 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp almond extract
1 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 375F. Sift and combine flour and confectioner's sugar in a bowl, set aside. In a stand mixer, beat egg whites, cream of tartar, vanilla, salt, and almond extract at high speed until well combined. Continue beating mixture and add sugar a bit at a time. Mix until stiff peaks form. Don't scrape the sides down as you mix. When stiff peaks have formed, begin gently folding in flour mixture with a spatula in small amounts. Fold just until flour is no longer visible. Pour batter into an ungreased 10 in tube pan and bake for 30 minutes. The top should spring back when touched and any cracks in the surface should appear dry.

As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, invert it until it cools completely. Or at least one hour. ;) After it's cooled, remove from cake pan by running a butter knife down the sides of the pan and place it on a plate.

Eat as is or add fruit and a whipped topping.


  1. Mmm... that looks delicious! Angel food cake is so delicious. I especially love it with fresh strawberries or kaluha and whipped cream on top. Yours looks beautiful - great job!


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