This Angel Food Cake recipe is Low-Fat and Dairy-Free! A tender moist cake that is delicious plain! When I was a kid, my grandma always made angel food cakes from scratch for strawberry shortcake.
She turned up her nose at those store bought bakery short cakes. Her angel food cake is remembered to this day as a special summer treat with strawberries and whipped cream. And then she found angel food cake mix and left the scratch recipe behind. So sad! She made great cakes from scratch!
I asked her why she switched. She told me making cakes from scratch was time consuming; so she used boxed mixes. She made a lot of desserts for her various functions. To her, boxed cake mixes were a nifty invention. She never looked back. She loved Wesson oil too…and cool whip. No one back then could see a downside to the convenience of processed foods. They were wonderful time savers back then.
I followed Grandma’s recommendation and used cake mixes too for a long long time. Now I prefer making real food from scratch. The boxed cakes cannot compare to this scratch recipe! And who needs those extra unpronounceable ingredients? She would be horrified at what’s in our food now, if she knew!
To make this Angel Cake, I dug around in my grandma’s Cookbook for her angel food recipe. I’ve had a lot of fun resurrecting and improving the nutrition of Grandma’s recipes! The green cookbook is HER mom’s 1940 American Woman’s cookbook. Both are nostalgic treasures. Full of precious handwritten notes and recipes. Also full of great advice for homemakers!
I’m gaining almost a dozen eggs a day from our chickens right now. I need recipes to use those eggs! Angel cake is perfect for that! Strawberry season is here! Angel cake makes a great strawberry shortcake; and uses about a dozen egg whites. Nice!
PROBLEM: Angel food cake and other meringue recipes use only the egg whites. That’s a big drawback. You have a dozen egg yolks to use up! I won’t throw them away and my doggies can only eat about one a day.
SOLUTION: Custard based ice creams. Ice cream is a perfect partner for cake! My Vanilla Bean Ice Cream, and Chocolate Cherry Custard Ice Cream recipes are a perfect fit for those extra egg yolks! Happy days! My ice cream maker was humming in the background while I was making Angel Food Cake!
I studied Angel cake recipes awhile before my first attempt to bake one. I found a lovely post on A Canadian Foodie about how angel food cake was made down through the generations in one family. It’s an awesome tribute to angel food cake and the women who made it. From baking Angel cakes in wood cookstoves, in a dish pan; to durable old Sunbeam mixers in the forties. The Canadian Foodie’s mom baked Angel Cakes, from scratch, well into her eighties! Quite the chronicle!
I adapted my recipe from Grandma’s An American Woman’s Cook Book angel cake recipe. I Gathered up some ideas I found along the way; And went for it! Twice now this recipe has worked really well. Enjoy!
Angel Food Cake Recipe:
I was a bit intimidated by this cake recipe. Once I made it, I realized it’s not hard. Just different! And very handy!
Some reasons to fall in love with Angel food cake:
- This is a great make ahead dessert. Angel cake tastes even better the day after it’s made!
- Angel cake is a durable traveler for potlucks and parties. Travel it wrapped in Plastic wrap unfrosted, or on a cake plate with a cover, frosted.
- Angel cake, unfrosted, freezes well. Make more than one at a time and wrap tightly in plastic wrap and freeze the extra for a fast dessert!
- Angel cake will sit out at room temperature covered on a cake plate for several days and retain its freshness!
- Angel food cake is versatile. It can be served in so many ways! I can’t wait to try it in trifles, layered ice cream cakes, and other yummy desserts!
- Angel cake is a light, low-fat, dairy-free dessert.
COMPLETE RECIPE TIME: About three hours
- INGREDIENTS PREP TIME: About an hour: This is about warming the egg whites. Prepping the sugar and flour is done is less than 10 minutes.
- MAKE AND BAKE TIME: About an hour (not including warming up those eggs whites and prepping the flour and sugar)
- COOL DOWN TIME INVERTED: At least an hour
SERVES AT LEAST 16:
Let’s make it: Here’s a walkthrough.
Prepare your ingredients ahead of time, as needed:
NOTE: This recipe calls for cake flour and super fine sugar. I keep neither of these ingredients in my pantry. Instead, I make my own.You can buy cake flour and superfine sugar if you prefer.
This is how I make Angel food Cake:
MAKE The cake flour: The recipe is one cup of all purpose flour Minus 2 Tablespoons. Now add 2 Tablespoons of cornstarch to the flour and sift at least four times.
MAKE THE Superfine sugar: I stock organic large grind sugar in my pantry. To make superfine sugar I put my organic sugar into my food processor about a minute and pulse it till it’s almost a powder. This helps the sugar dissolve in the recipe so you don’t have a gritty textured cake. Some People use powdered icing sugar. Just saying…
WARM THE EGG WHITES-About an hour Ahead: Separate eggs and allow the egg whites to reach room temperature. This helps the egg whites make a lighter meringue.
CAKE MAKING INSTRUCTIONS:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Sift 3/4 Cup Superfine sugar and the prepared cake flour together 4 times.
- Beat egg whites, cream of tartar, lemon juice until foamy. (NOTE: Cream of tartar is optional. If you don’t have it: add one teaspoon of salt at this point. Lemon juice and cream of tartar are in the recipe to help build and stabilize the meringue. Salt and lemon juice together, will stabilize the meringue.)
- Add remaining sugar, a little at a time, beating it in with your electric mixer.
- Add flavorings and beat until the meringue is glossy and peaks like this:
Fold in flour like this
- Sift a third of the flour at a time over the stiff egg whites. After each flour addition; Fold in the flour as below:
- Fold with a large rubber spatula by GENTLY cutting through the meringue center and lifting the meringue from underneath. Now fold it over and start at the center again. Repeat until the flour is folded in.
- THE MERINGUE, IF PROPERLY MADE, WILL BE LOOSE. IT SHOULD NOT BREAK APART WHEN MIXED, OR IT’S OVER BEATEN.
- Pour into a large UNGREASED 10 inch tube pan.
- Cut through the batter in vertical, concentric circles with a kitchen knife to remove the large air bubbles. The top will settle down into a fine swirl pattern if you cut the bubbles in this way. HOLD THE KNIFE VERTICAL TO DISTURB THE MERINGUE AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE.
- Set in oven and bake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake top comes out clean. The top will be golden brown and cracked.
- Remove from oven and invert pan for 1 hour.
- invert the cake pan immediately after baking to prevent the cake from compressing. Once completely cold, Remove from cake pan.
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