Classic Angel Food cake is light and airy, with a subtle almond flavor. Made with no fat or leavening ingredients, the cake gets its airy texture solely from the air whipped into the egg whites.
This delicious cake needs no adornment; it is perfect on its own; however, sweetened whipped cream or fresh fruit such as sliced strawberries are an excellent accompaniment.
You may ask what to do with all the leftover egg yolks; this is a perfect opportunity to make a Key Lime Pie or Lemon Tart.
1 hour 10 mins
Recipe Type: Dessert, Sponge Cake
Tools: One 10″ Angel Food with a Removable Bottom
Serving: 12 to 14
Pan Prep: Ungreased
Storage: Covered, Room Temperature
Tips: Make your own superfine sugar by processing granulated white sugar processed in a food processor or grinder. It is very important to ensure that no speck of egg yolk is mixed with the egg whites, as the fat in the egg yolk will prevent the egg whites from whipping to a stiff consistency.
Angel Food Cake Ingredients:
- 1 cup sifted cake flour
- 1½ cups superfine sugar, divided
- 12 large egg whites
- 1 tablespoon warm water
- 1½ teaspoons cream of tartar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon pure almond extract
How to Make Angel Food Cake:
- Place the oven rack in the lowest position. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. The cake will be baked in one ungreased 10-inch Angel Food cake pan, preferably with a removable bottom.
- Pre-sift 1 heaping cup of cake flour into a medium-sized mixing bowl or onto a piece of wax or parchment paper. Then measure 1 level cup of the cake flour back into the sifter along with ¾ cup of the superfine sugar. Sift the cake flour and sugar together, then put the sifted mixture back into the sifter. Set aside.
- In a large bowl of an electric mixer, beat the egg whites and warm water on medium speed until frothy. Add the cream of tartar, salt, vanilla extract, and almond extract and increase speed to medium-high. When the whites form soft peaks, slowly add the remaining ¾ cup superfine sugar one tablespoon at a time or in a low steady stream. Continue beating for 1 to 2 minutes longer or until the egg whites are a stiff glossy meringue but still soft looking.
- Remove the bowl from the mixer. Sift the flour and sugar mixture over the egg white meringue, ¼ at a time, and gently fold each addition of flour into the egg whites with a large balloon-type whisk or rubber spatula. The dry ingredients do not need to be fully incorporated until the last addition of flour; do not over-mix and do not stir, as this will deflate the batter.
(Tip: the batter will deflate somewhat while folding in the dry ingredients, but the goal is to keep the egg whites as airy as possible.)
- Gently spoon the batter into the ungreased Angel Food cake pan. Gently cut through the batter with a knife or rubber spatula to remove any air bubbles. Smooth the surface with the rubber spatula or small offset spatula.
- Bake for 38 to 40 minutes or until the top is golden brown and springs back when lightly touched. Remove from oven and immediately invert pan. Let the cake cool completely in the pan, upside down.
(Tip: If your angel food cake pan doesn’t have legs, invert it over the neck of a long-necked bottle, such as a wine or soda bottle.)
- To remove the cake from a pan with a removable bottom, run a thin-bladed kitchen knife around the side of the pan to loosen the cake, and then run the knife around the center tube. Holding the center tube, lift the cake and remove it from the outer rim. Run the knife under the cake to loosen it from the pan bottom. Invert the cake and remove the tube section. Transfer to a cake platter top side up.
- To serve, slice with a serrated knife using a sawing motion or use an angel food cake cutter.