A few weeks ago I told you about my strawberry obsession, remember? And how I was making strawberry compote for almost every meal? Well I am proud to tell you I finally made the angel food cake to go along with it! And it did not disappoint.
I won’t lie, I was a little intimidated by angel food cake. I’d heard horror stories. That a cake with this heavenly of name actually induced a lot of choice words and frustration. I was nervous. Which is why I was surprised to see the recipe seemed so. easy. Ok, what was I missing? I gathered my ingredients, bought an angel food cake pan (because obviously I have room for more essential kitchen gadgets) and got started.
First thing I noticed: so many egg whites!!! Really?! It seemed a little wasteful to not use the yolks. Putting it in comparison though, eggs are considerably cheaper than butter, and how many recipes do you end up using sticks and sticks of butter? That made me feel a little better. Although ideally, you would just make another recipe that required only egg yolks. Lucky for you, I found an extremely detailed list here from Food and Family. Bookmarked this post for sure!
Back to my tentative baking. I’ll be the first to admit sometimes I’m a little spacey when I bake. Baking is therapeutic for me, I kind of just get in the zone and go. But I found myself reading and re-reading the recipe as I went along. First tip: crack each egg individually in a separate bowl before adding to the mixing bowl. You don’t want any yolk or shell in there and you can bet on my very last egg I punctured the yolk. I panicked and just dropped the whole thing on the counter instead. No way was I going to let that yolk ruin my cake!
While the recipe itself is not very difficult, it is somewhat technical. I kept seeing over and over again DO NOT OVER BEAT YOUR EGG WHITES. No pressure though. You want to beat until firm peaks form, NOT stiff peaks. The Kitchn has a great visual guide for showing you the difference here.
The next moment of terror came when the recipe said to cool the cake inverted. Umm…what?? I’ve made it this far without screwing anything up and you want me to just…turn it upside down?! I even googled “how to cool angel food cake” to make sure this recipe wasn’t crazy. Ok, here goes nothing! No need to worry, it didn’t fall out and crush my hopes and dreams like I thought it would. I put mine over a bottle of wine, but you could also just turn the pan upside down over a few ramekins, or anything high enough to allow air flow between the cake and the table.
Then came the moment of truth: taste test time. I’m proud to say it passed with flying colors! Perfectly fluffy and airy and moist. Maybe I was so nervous I expected the worst, but I will definitely be making this cake again. It wasn’t nearly as time-consuming or troublesome as I had thought.
If you’ve ever wanted to try making angel food cake but were intimidated, I highly recommend this recipe. It’s perfect for summer with all those fresh berries we’ve been seeing! You could also add a little lemon or almond extract if you want to get creative and experiment with other flavors. Have a great weekend!
Angel Food Cake (recipe from Food & Wine)
- 1 c cake flour
- 3/4 c powdered sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 10 egg whites (room temperature)
- 1 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
- 3/4 c granulated sugar
- 1/4 tsp vanilla
- In mixing bowl, whisk together cake flour, powdered sugar and salt. Set aside.
- Beat egg whites in electric mixer until frothy, then add cream of tartar. Continue to beat on medium-high until firm (not stiff) peaks form.
- Slowly mix in the granulated sugar, a little at a time, combining completely between each addition.
- Add the vanilla and beat on high until all is combined.
- Fold the dry ingredients into the egg mixture by hand, gently, until incorporated.
- Pour into ungreased angel food cake pan.
- Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes, until outer layer is golden brown.
- Turn cake pan upside down over a bottle neck until cool.
- To remove cake from pan, gently use a butter knife to scrape along all sides to loosen. Invert and remove cake.
- Top with desired frosting or a fresh berry compote