Angel Food Cake Recipe

Angel Food Cake Recipe

If you’ve ever had bad airline food, looked out from your window seat, and wished you could eat cloud instead, it would probably be a lot like having angel food cake. Light, airy, and sweet, a generous wedge of angel food is interesting enough on its own but even better served with fruits or chocolate.

Its springiness makes angel food poke-worthy (get your mind out of the gutter, please). As you press down on it with your finger, you can actually hear it sighing, as if to say “What the hell?” It puffs and heaves as it struggles back to shape when you let go. Playing around with angel food is probably one of the most interesting tactile experiences in the kitchen. As long as no one’s watching behind you.

Did I also mention that angel food is fat-free? It’s too bad that it isn’t also calorie-free, though — angel food is typically equal parts egg white and sugar by weight.

General guidelines for making angel food cake:

  • Watch out for gold fish
    The smallest speck of egg yolk in your egg whites might be enough to ruin a batch. Fat keeps the egg white proteins from holding onto each other to create a stable foam. You’ll still get a meringue, but it will be denser, less stable, and take longer to develop.
  • Use room temperature (good) or slightly warmed (better) egg whites
  • Acidify
    Cream of tartar, which is derived from tartaric acid, helps create a lighter and more stable foam.
  • Whip only to soft-medium peaks
  • Cool the cake upside down
    Use an angel food or tube cake pan with legs or with a center tube higher than the lip of the pan. This allows you to cool the cake upside down, preventing the cake from deflating and collapsing on itself. If only hockey puck souffles can be fixed in the same way.

recipe adapted from Wayne Gisslen’s Professional Baking and Michel Suas’ Advanced Bread and Pastry

Angel Food Cake Recipe

makes one 10-inch tube cake

Angel Food Cake Recipe Crumb

Ingredients:

Ingredients                  Volume          Ounces          Grams
cake flour                        1 cup           5.0          141
confectioner's sugar #1       1 1/2 cups          6.6          187
salt                            1/3 tsp

egg whites from large eggs       12              13.2          375
cream of tartar                   1 tsp
vanilla extract                   1 tsp
confectioner's sugar #2       1 1/2 cups          6.6          187

Special Equipment:

Notes:

  • A bleached low-protein or soft flour is a suitable substitute for cake flour.

Directions:

Preheat Oven    350ºF / 180ºC with a rack placed in the lower
                third of the oven

Prepare an ungreased 10-inch tube pan

Mix (Angel Food Method)
                Mix together the cake flour, salt, and the
                first half of the sugar. Sift and reserve.

                Using a surgically clean bowl and whisk, whip
                the egg whites until frothy. Add the cream of
                tartar and vanilla extract. Whip to soft peaks.

                Gradually beat in the second half of the sugar
                (that was not sifted with the cake flour).
                Continue to whip only until the egg whites form
                soft to medium glossy peaks.

                Avoid overwhipping the egg whites to stiff peaks.

                Using a wide rubber spatula, gently fold in the
                cake flour and sugar by sifting onto the top of
                the egg whites a little at time. It will take
                about 4 additions.

                Continue folding only until the cake flour and
                sugar are absorbed. It's okay to have a few dry
                or lumpy spots.

Pan             Gently deposit the egg whites into the ungreased
                angel food cake pan. Shake the pan gently to level
                and bake immediately.

Angel Food Cake Recipe Pan

Bake            350ºF / 180ºC for 35 minutes, until a cake tester
                or wooden skewer comes out clean.

Angel Food Cake Recipe Cooled

Cool            Let the cake cool upside down at room temperature
                before unmolding, about 1 to 2 hours.

Angel Food Cake Recipe Cooling
It won’t fall off.

Angel Food Cake Recipe Baked
Cloud Nine.

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40 Responses to “Angel Food Cake Recipe”

  1. Rosa says:

    That Angel Food Cake looks fantastic!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  2. snookydoodle says:

    wow this looks so nice and wish i try eating clouds :) I ve always wished to make an angel food cake but never done so. Firstly , cause i think i ll end up in a disaster and secondly cause i don t have the right pan :(
    This cake looks great !!

  3. PG says:

    WOW! looksd perfect! I didn’t know about angel food cake until recently, when I had it at a friends place who has lived in the US for some years. It tasted wonderful. The reason i haven’t tried making it is the number of egg whites it require and then i wonder what do I do with the egg yolks.

  4. plevee says:

    Is that a non-stick pan? I had always thought you had to use an untreated aluminium pan & saw the cake out.
    The only time I tried to make an angel food cake I had trouble telling when it was done & it collapsed on me!
    Patsy

  5. Manggy says:

    Thanks for sharing this recipe, Jude. The only limiting factor for me really is I don’t usually get cake flour. How do you like eating AFC? Plain, or with fruit or custard? :)

  6. joelen says:

    Beautiful job! I’m wondering – do you think a regular bundt pan would suffice or must it be an angel/tube pan? After the holidays a light dessert would be most welcome!

  7. Nicisme says:

    Happy holidays Jude, hope you had a great day!
    PS. The cake looks really lovely.

  8. Y says:

    Is it the same as chiffon cake? The method looks just the same. My mom went through a phase of baking only chiffon cakes, every day, til my sister and I got thoroughly sick of eating cake (hard to believe I know).

  9. Heather says:

    All you need is a vat of chocolate fondue and call me.

  10. Caroline says:

    Thanks for posting this. Now I know what to do with all the egg whites I have left over from making leche flan.
    But what does the “#1″ mean on the confectioners’ sugar?

  11. Jacque says:

    Mmmm, it looks perfect… a cloud in cake form.

    Your blog is wonderful, I’ve really enjoyed looking through it.

  12. Natashya says:

    I do, I do want to eat a cloud!
    I have an angel food cake cutter that I picked up on a sale (odd toothed thing) but have yet to make one.
    Yours looks so wonderful. How do you get it out of the pan?

  13. Lori Lynn says:

    Love angel food cake! Great information here. I’ve never seen the pan with legs.
    I’ll have my cake with strawberries and Grand Marnier please.

    Hope you are enjoying the holidays Jude!
    Lori Lynn

  14. Hannah says:

    Oh, how tempting! This is my dad’s favorite cake, so I’m still trying hard to make a vegan version…

  15. Psychgrad says:

    Great post! I bought an angel food cake pan a while ago and have yet to actually make one. I’m definitely starring this post. Thanks for the tips.

  16. sweetbird says:

    I have never successfully made angel food cake. And now I’m craving it. Thanks for setting me up for failure Jude.

  17. Sweatha says:

    WOW.no words to describe this Jude.So Lovely and Perfect.To tell you the truth,I would like to frame the pic/cake itself and hang on the wall,rather than eating the cake.After seeing this,I must not attempt such things becoz I know I will never match up the standards

  18. Plevee – The pan is non-stick but the batter still manages to hold onto the sides. It works well enough.

    Manggy – I don’t really mind it plain. Good enough for me :)

    Joelen – It’s best to use a pan with a removable bottom. It’s going to be really difficult to get it out of a bundt pan because you shouldn’t use grease (the cake won’t rise if you do).

    Y – Almost like chiffon, but without egg yolks. Must’ve been a lot of cakes your mom made.

    Caroline – Confectioner’s sugar is in the recipe twice so it’s just a way to distinguish the two. Sorry for the confusion!

    Natashya – I just ran a thin rubber palette knife around the pan. the bottom is removable.

    Hannah – I wouldn’t even know how to begin to veganize angel food. Now that’s a challenge.

    Sweetbird, Sweatha – It’s really easy to make after a few tries :)

  19. Miri says:

    Wow – what a beautiful work of art Jude! Kudos! Looks delicious and the effort you have put in is obviously well worth it!

  20. Mrs. L says:

    My gram used to make me angle food cakes from scratch and they were always the best. I’ll have to try my hand at it.

  21. Gin says:

    Is it my imagination or does that angle food cake look like I could eat it right from my computer screen? That looks so good and yummy. I am thinking about making that for the family get together for the New Year and serve it with my homemade chocolate sauce. WOW, a great way to start 2009!! Thank you!!

  22. Mandy says:

    Just when I worry about my leftover eggwhites from the DB challenge, I see your angel food cake! And did you mention bad airline food? I know what I am bringing on board tomorrow! ;)

  23. Arundathi says:

    nice looking cake, jude and a very happy new year!

  24. sherri says:

    how do you take an angel food cake out and still have the sides look pretty for presentation?

  25. Sherri – It’s a bit tough, but I’ve had luck with a thin bladed flexible spatula. Even then the sides can look a bit scraggly.

  26. jenny says:

    lol, I love how you connect it with airplanes! and the cake looks fantastic too.

  27. banana cake recipe says:

    yummmmy……. thanks for your hints , i’d love to comply with your blog as generally as i can.possess a wonderful day~~

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  29. Beatrice says:

    Hey there, I was reading your post and I just wanted to say thank you for putting out such great content. There is so much nonsense on the internet these days its difficult to find anything worthwhile. I actually have cooked this recipe before, I got this book last month on recommendation from a friend http://ninjahq.com/go/cookingrecipes and it turned out really nice! I’m extremely eager to try your variation of it though, it looks excellent. I think you might enjoy those recipes, they’re very good. Thanks for the article and tips.

  30. John Smith says:

    Thank you for this recipe! I made this cake last night and my family loved it!

  31. How to Eat Kitty says:

    I’m blown away! Your information has really made me curious. I will post about your blog.

    Thank you.

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  34. Say says:

    this is perfect. Now I know what to do with all those egg whites (44 of them) left after I made leche flan last Christmas eve. I think I’m going to do 3 batches of this and freeze them until New Year’s Eve! :) ) Thanks!!!

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  39. Angel food cake with lemon curd | Andrews' Family Cookery & Household Management says:

    [...] The following recipe was adopted from Mark Berry that made it at Master class of the Great British Baked-Off. I think this cake make a good center piece on your dinner party. You will need a special mould for this cake 25cm angel food cake pan or chiffon pan [...]

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