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Do you love strawberry shortcake and other fruit desserts? This naturally healthy, dairy-free cake is the perfect dessert during berry season, especially with a tablespoon of whipped cream.
Although not difficult to make, it helps if you follow some simple baking rules. So without further ado, this is what you need to know to make the perfect Angel Food cake, for desserts, trifles, or just a special breakfast for the angel in your life.
What do you need to make Angel Food Cake?
- Angel cake
- Egg whitesMany of them: You can use frozen egg whites you've saved from other recipes, or break them (save yolks, some great recipes below)
- Flour for cake– Cake flour makes the difference for chiffon cakes and Angel Food Cake. There's also an easy way to do it at home: keep reading.
- Cream of tartar
- Vanilla extract
- Lemon juice
- Almond extract, or any flavored extract you want to use.
Do you really need an Angel Food Cake Pan to make this cake?
It really helps to have an angel cake pan on hand. It is a tall, lightweight tube casserole with a removable bottom. If you are lucky to find one with small pointy feet, to cool the cake, take it. Vintage stores, thrift stores, and garage sales are great places to find angel cake pans. Or maybe you could ask your grandmother!
What is cake flour?
Cake flour is a very finely ground bleached flour with a lower protein content (approximately 8%) than all-purpose flour. Baking cakes with cake flour gives your desserts a soft, tender texture and an excellent crumb. If you are a great pastry chef, you may already have it. If you don't have cake flour, you can make a cake flour substitute with all-purpose flour and cornstarch or arrowroot powder. Corn starch inhibits the formation of gluten in the cake and will give the cake a much-desired fluffy and cakey texture.
How to make an easy cake flour substitute:
- 1 cup all-purpose flour *
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch or arrowroot
To make 1 cup of cake flour substitute, start with a level cup of all-purpose flour. Then remove 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour and add 2 tablespoons of cornstarch arrowroot powder to the flour. Sift together until well mixed. (Note: Using arrowroot powder can make the cake bake faster, so keep an eye on the oven.)
Tips for making the best Angel Food cake from scratch:
- Start with ingredients at room temperature. If you're bright enough to freeze leftover egg whites and save them to bake an angel cake, let them thaw completely at room temperature before you start. If you use eggs from the refrigerator, leave them on the counter or put them in a bowl of warm water for about an hour.
- Drip plan. Place a foil-lined baking sheet on the rack below the rack where you plan to bake the cake. This will catch any drips from a misaligned angel cake pan and also keep your oven clean.
- Sift, and sift again. If you love sifting, it wouldn't hurt to sift the flour a few times, maybe up to four times, before adding the sugar. Many experienced bakers rely on this baking trick for air-light results.
- Do not grease your cake pan. It sounds counterintuitive, but Angel Food's cake batter needs a bit of a grip so you can climb the pan and get all cloud-shaped; it just won't rise any other way. Also, when you invert the cake to cool it will fall off and you will be miserable.
- Without spying! Try not to open the oven door except for a brief fraction of a second to see if it looks good.
- Visually check if it is ready. Finally, do not verify that you are ready by using a toothpick or skewer on the cake. Look for a crisp brown toasted top that pops when pressed firmly.
How to beat egg whites perfectly, always:
Egg whites can be a bit temperamental. That means you must:Start slowly. Make the best egg whites for chiffon cakes, meringues, pavlovas and it happens gradually, starting at a slow mixer speed and gradually increasing the speed over the course of 10-15 minutes. Don't rush this crucial step; Whipping helps incorporate air into the dough.
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Avoid fat. They prepare the fluffiest only in conditions free of fat, grease and oil.
- Make sure there are no traces of egg yolk in the whites.
- Use a very clean glass or stainless steel container to mix. You can clean everything with white vinegar just to be safe.
- Do not use a plastic bowl or rubber or plastic spatulas. They cling to the oil and fat from the recipes above.
- Before adding them, check that the vanilla extract and the almond extract do not contain oil. Some extracts contain oil that can cause the whites to deflate. If any of them contains oil, add it later, once the whites are in the hard peak stage.
How to make a gluten free angel cake:
This is very easy and also works very well. Trade in flour for gluten-free flour… you can even make gluten-free cake flour using the flour / cornstarch ratio above.
Angel Food Cake Frostings or Angel Food Cake Ingredients:
This cake just sparkles with first-season berries and some freshly whipped cream. However, a smoothie chocolate frosting might just be what you need to satisfy devil food lovers in the house. Here's a terrific recipe that's light enough to spread on the glorious Angel Food Cake; do it while the cake cools down.
Light and fluffy chocolate icing:
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 3 cups thick whipped cream
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 3/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1/8 teaspoon of salt
Combine whipped cream, sugar, cocoa, salt, and vanilla. Beat with a mixer until firm. Spread over the cooled cake and press the outside of the cake with roasted almonds, silver, or fresh raspberries.
What more could you want? A scoop of ice cream, a generous crush of raspberry or strawberry sauce, or a dark chocolate ganache drizzled over the cake? Yes please. They all sound like wonderful ideas.
How to cut an angel cake:
To cut fluffy cakes like angel food or cheesecloth, use a serrated knife and look very gently to cut the cake without losing its shape. Or if you've ever seen one of these old-fashioned gadgets and make a lot of fluffy cakes, you can invest in a real, official angel cake cutter. You know what that thing is for!
What can you do with extra egg yolks?
Now you're talking! If you have 12 additional egg yolks left from this Angel Food Cake recipe, stick with them. Try this great recipe from Easy Tiramisu, the best hollandaise sauce in the whole world, or not as elegant as Duchess potatoes. You could add a few extra yolks to a frittata, for a little extra richness … because after all, it's all about balance!
If homemade Angel Food Cake has always seemed to be out of your comfort zone, this is the recipe to tackle. It has everything you need to know to bake the lightest, fluffiest, heavenly angel cake of all time.
- 1 cup (3.5 oz) cake flour
- 1 1/2 cups divided sugar
- 12 large egg whites at room temperature (12 oz)
- 1 teaspoon of cream of tartar
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
- 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract
- Adjust oven rack to bottom-middle position. Heat oven to 325 degrees. Have a 9 3/4 inch greased tube tray ready with a removable bottom.
- In a small bowl, sift the flour and 3/4 cup sugar. Stir vigorously with a whisk to incorporate as much air as possible. Set aside.
- In a stand mixer, place with the mixer, or with an electric mixer by hand, beat the egg whites on low speed until they break and start to foam, about 1 minute.
- Increase speed to medium. Add cream of tartar and salt and beat until whites form very smooth and wavy mounds, 12 to 15 minutes.
- With the mixer still on medium speed, beat the remaining 3/4 cups of sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, until all the sugar is added and the whites are shiny and smooth peaks, about 5 minutes.
- Add vanilla, lemon juice, and almond extract and beat until combined.
- Carefully add the sifted flour and the sugar mixer to the whites with a large spatula. Gently scrape the dough into the skillet, smooth the top, and give the skillet a few taps on the counter to release large air bubbles.
- Bake until the cake is golden brown and the top jumps back when pressed firmly, about 50 to 60 minutes.
- Remove from the oven. If the cake pan has feet, invert the pan on them. Otherwise, invert the skillet over the neck of a bottle so that air can circulate around it. Let cool completely, about 2 to 3 hours.
- To unmold, pass a knife or thin spatula around the edges, taking care not to dislodge the golden crust. Take the cake out of the pan and cut in the same way around the removable bottom under the cake to release it.
- Chill the cake completely, bottom side up. When completely cold, cut the slices by sawing lightly with a serrated knife or pulling a taut thread through the cake.
- Serve the cake the same day or freeze overnight if done the next day. (The cake can be frozen for up to 2 weeks, but will compress slightly.)
If you don't have a standard Angel Food Cake tube mold with a removable bottom, use parchment paper or wax paper to cover the bottom of the mold with a non-removable bottom.
Calories :: 158kcal
Angel Food Cake Recipe