Angel food cake is a very light, airy, sponge-cake that is made using egg whites, flour and a bit of sugar. The lovely fluffy texture is achieved by the aeration of egg whites. Luckily, it’s relatively simple to make your own.
How to make an Angel Food Cake
Since an angel food cake requires egg whites to be whipped until they’re stiff, this recipe requires either a hand mixer or an electric stand mixer, such as a Kitchenaid.
In a small bowl mix the powdered sugar and cake flour together and set aside. It’s helpful to measure the ingredients and have them ready to add as you go.
Separate the egg yolks from the whites, ensuring that NO yolk gets into the whites. Even the tiniest amount of yolk will cause the cake to fall during baking. Beat the room temperature egg whites and cream of tartar on medium speed until foamy. The addition of cream of tartar is what prevents darkening.
Beat in the granulated sugar, one tablespoon at a time, adding vanilla, almond extract and salt with the last addition of sugar. Keep beating until the mix is very stiff and quite glossy in appearance.
Be sure not to under beat the meringue! If it doesn’t form stiff peaks that hold their shape, it’s NOT ready!
Add the flour sugar mixture one-quarter of a cup at a time, sprinkled over the meringue and gently folded in, just until the mixture disappears. Do not Stir, gently FOLD!
To fold, sprinkle the mixture, cut down through the center of the meringue, along the very bottom of the bowl and back up the side, rotate the bowl one-quarter turn, repeat.
Scrape the batter into an ungreased tube pan, use a knife to cut through the batter. The reason for this is that it breaks up air pockets and helps the cake to adhere to the sides of the pan, which in turn, helps it rise nicely. This is also the reason why it’s important to NOT grease the pan.
Baking & Cooling the Angel Food Cake
Bake the cake for thirty-five minutes or so, until cracks feel dry and the top springs back when lightly touched. Avoid opening the oven until the very end of the baking time, otherwise, the cake will fall.
Immediately invert the pan onto a metal funnel or glass bottle to hang 2 hours or until the cake is completely cooled. If you don’t invert the cake, it will cave in as it cools.
The easiest way to do this is to place a piece of foil down over the top of a glass bottle, in this case, I used a beer bottle!
Once the cake is completely cooled, gently loosen sides of the cake with a rubber spatula and remove it from the pan.
Angel Food Cake Recipe
1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar
1 cup cake flour
12 large Egg Whites, room temperature (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1 cup of granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of almond extract
1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla
- Make sure the rack in the oven is in the lowest position possible, preheat oven to 375F.
- In a small bowl mix the powdered sugar and cake flour together and set aside.
Beat Eggs whites and cream of tartar on medium speed until foamy.
- Beat in the granulated sugar, 1 T at a time, adding vanilla, almond extract and salt with the last addition of sugar.
- Keep beating until the mix is very stiff and quite glossy in appearance.
- Add the flour/sugar mixture 1/4 cup at a time, sprinkled over the meringue and gently folded in, just until the mixture disappears.
- Transfer batter into an ungreased tube pan, use a knife to cut through the batter. Bake for 30-35 minutes.
- Immediately invert the pan onto a metal funnel or glass bottle to hang 2 hours or until the cake is completely cooled. Loosen sides of the cake gently with a spatula and remove from pan.
Angel food cake makes a wonderfully light dessert when served with fresh berries and a touch of whip cream or when layered in this delicious angel fluff dessert.