Angel Food Cake is one of my favorites because it’s so soft, airy, fluffy, and has a nice subtle sweetness to it. I found this recipe in the America’s Test Kitchen cookbook and decided to give it a try.
The most “shocking” thing about this recipe is that it requires a full dozen eggs, or at least 12 egg whites. I highly recommend separating your egg whites from the yolks using three different bowls: one for separating the whites from the yolks, one for the yolks, and a third bowl to hold all of your separated egg whites. Any little bit of fat or egg yolk will keep your egg whites from whipping up nicely.
The egg whites will get mixed with salt, cream of tartar, lemon juice and sugar until they hold peaks.
Vanilla and almond extracts are mixed in next to give the cake. These two flavors really stand out in the final product!
The final addition is the sifted cake flour. The flour gets folded gently into the egg whites mixture.
Folding the flour into the egg whites is such a delicate process, but it isn’t anything too daunting, either.
The final batter will be smooth, fluffy, and aromatic.
Pour it into a cake pan with a removable bottom and smooth out the top. It might also be a good idea to whack it on the counter a little to allow large air bubbles to surface.
My cake baked for about an hour. At around the 45 minute mark, my house started smelling amazing!
This cake needs to cool upside-down in the pan to prevent the cake from shrinking. I simply “mounted” my cake pan on an empty bottle to cool down to room temperature.
Before removing the cake from the pan, be sure to loosen the sides with a cranked pallet knife. Do this before removing the bottom of the pan, too. When I was doing this, I felt like I was ripping through the cake, but it everything seemed to look okay in the end!
My Angel Food Cake turned out light, fluffy, and the almond extract really gave the cake some class! It paired really well with some strawberries and fresh whipped cream, too.
Angel Food Cake Recipe
Sift both the cake flour and the granulated sugar before measuring to eliminate any lumps and ensure the lightest possible texture.
- 1 cup sifted cake flour (120g or 3 oz)
- 1 1/2 cups sifted granulated sugar (300g or 10.5 oz)
- 12 large egg whites, at room temperature (1 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons)
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/4 teaspoon table salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees F. Have ready an ungreased large tube pan (9-inch diameter, 16-cup capacity), preferably with a removable bottom. If the pan bottom is not removable, line it with parchment or wax paper.
- In a small bowl, whisk the flour with 3/4 cup sugar. Place remaining 3/4 cup sugar in another small bowl next to the mixer.
- In the bowl of a standing mixer, or with a handheld mixer, beat egg whites at low speed until just broken up and beginning to froth. Add cream of tartar and salt and beat at medium speed until whites form very soft, billowy mounds. With the mixer still at medium speed, beat in 3/4 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, until all sugar is added and whites are shiny and form soft peaks. Add vanilla, lemon juice, and almond extract and beat until just blended.
- Place flour-sugar mixture in a sifter set over waxed paper. Sift flour-sugar mixture over egg whites about 3 tablespoons at a time, and gently fold it in, using a large rubber spatula. Sift any flour-sugar mixture that falls onto the paper back into the bowl with the whites.
- Gently scrape batter into pan, smooth the top, and give pan a couple of raps on the counter to release any large air bubbles.
- Bake until the cake is golden brown and the top springs back when pressed firmly, 50 to 60 minutes.
- If cake pan has prongs around the rim for elevating the cake, invert pan onto them. If not, invert pan over the neck of a bottle or funnel so that air can circulate all around it. Let the cake cool completely, 2 to 3 hours.
- To unmold, run a knife around edges, being careful not to separate the golden crust from the cake. Slide cake out of pan and cut the same way around removable bottom to release, or peel off parchment or wax paper, if used.
- Place the cake, bottom-side up, on a platter. Cut slices by sawing gently with a serrated knife. Serve the cake the day it is made.Angel Food Cake recipe from America’s Test Kitchen.