You have not lived until you have tried homemade angel food cake. Made-from-scratch angel food cake still has that pillowy softness and light brown crust on top that you love, but the flavor is even better than you could ever imagine getting from store-bought. You’ll want to double check your baking supplies and make this immediately!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Easy to Make: With straightforward ingredients and clear instructions, this recipe is accessible for bakers of all levels.
- Superior to Store-Bought: Experience a cake with unmatched flavor and a lighter, more delightful texture.
- Flexible Pan Options: Whether you prefer classic round, loaf, or bundt shapes, this recipe adapts to various pan types for your convenience.
- Simple Ingredients: Easily accessible ingredients combine to create an extraordinary dessert.
Angel Food Cake Recipe
Angel food cake is a type of sponge cake that uses egg whites only. The combination of egg whites and sugar make for a chewy, sponge-like cake. Other types of sponge cake include Genoise, Biscuit, and Chiffon.
Why is Angel Food Cake cooled upside-down?
Angel food cake MUST be cooled inverted, or upside down. Otherwise, the cake will collapse on itself. Tube pans can be balanced on bottles or you can rest the edges against something raised (like books or cutting boards of equal heights). It is important that the cake is inverted immediately after removing from the oven and remain inverted until the cake is completely cooled which will take approximately 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
- Powdered Sugar: Adds sweetness and contributes to the fine, soft texture. For a substitution, you can make your own by blending granulated sugar with a bit of cornstarch in a food processor or blender.
- Cake Flour: Has a lower protein content than all-purpose flour, resulting in a lighter cake. If you don’t have cake flour, you can substitute it by using all-purpose flour and cornstarch (for every cup of cake flour, use 1 cup minus 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour plus 2 tablespoons of cornstarch).
- Egg Whites: The key to the cake’s lift and structure. Unfortunately, there’s no substitute for egg whites in angel food cake as they are essential for its texture.
- Cream of Tartar: Stabilizes the egg whites and helps them hold their volume. If you don’t have it, a bit of lemon juice or white vinegar can work in a pinch, but the texture might be slightly different.
Angel food cake’s light texture makes it a perfect match for various toppings and pairings. Here are some ideas to enhance this classic dessert:
- Fresh Fruit: Top with berries, peach slices, or citrus segments, and a sprinkle of powdered sugar.
- Whipped Cream: Add a dollop of vanilla or citrus zest-flavored whipped cream.
- Fruit Compote or Coulis: Serve with a berry compote or vibrant fruit coulis for a touch of sweetness.
- Chocolate Ganache: Drizzle with chocolate ganache for a decadent finish.
- Ice Cream: Accompany with a scoop of your favorite ice cream.
- Lemon Curd: Offer a tangy contrast with lemon curd or marmalade.
- Layered Dessert: Layer cake cubes with fruit and custard for a trifle-inspired treat.
Adapting the Recipe for Various Pan Types
Here’s a concise guide on how to adjust baking times and methods for various pans:
- Loaf Pan: Fill only two-thirds full. Keep ungreased. Bake at 350°F for 35-40 minutes. Invert the pan for cooling by resting it between two objects.
- Bundt Pan: Perfect for a decorative look. Do not grease. Bake at 350°F for 38-43 minutes. Cooling upside down can be achieved by balancing the center tube over a bottle.
- Round Cake Pans: Ideal for layer cakes. Divide the batter between two ungreased pans. Bake at 350°F for 20-25 minutes. Invert pans onto a wire rack for cooling.
- Sheet Pan: For a cake roll or thinner slices. Spread the batter evenly. Bake at 350°F for 15-20 minutes. Cool in the pan, slightly elevated, but do not invert.
Remember, the key to angel food cake, regardless of the pan, is not to grease it and to cool it inverted (where applicable) to preserve its volume and fluffy texture.
Angel Food Cake Storage Instructions
Room Temperature: Store the cake in an airtight container or under a cake dome to protect it from air and moisture. It will stay fresh for up to two days. Avoid storing it in the refrigerator, as the cold air can dry out the cake.
Refrigerating: If you’ve added a perishable topping, like whipped cream or fresh fruit, refrigerate the cake. Place it in an airtight container or cover it with plastic wrap to prevent it from absorbing odors. It’s best consumed within 24 hours to enjoy its optimal texture.
Freezing: Angel food cake freezes beautifully for longer storage. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, then in aluminum foil to protect it from freezer burn. Store it in the freezer for up to a month. To serve, thaw it overnight in the refrigerator or for a few hours at room temperature, still wrapped to prevent condensation from affecting its texture.