How to Bake: Angel Food Cakes (with recipes)

There is something about an angel food cake that makes it an enchanting summertime dessert—especially when married with cool whipped cream or ice cream.   Today we'll show you how to make easy angel food cakes and some scrumptious desserts using chocolate whipped cream or your favorite ice cream.  

If you've never made an angel food cake, try one.  By following a few simple rules, they are easy, nearly foolproof, and don't take a lot of time.   In this article, we'll show you how to make Easy Angel Food Cake, and some fancier desserts like Chocolate Angel Food Cake.

Angel food cakes are made with egg whites which means that they are low fat, low cholesterol, and have less flour than most desserts.  Because of the sugar, they are not low-calorie deserts.  

Easy Angel Food Cake

1 1/2 cups egg whites (about 12 large eggs)
1 cup plus one tablespoons sifted cake flour
1 1/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (after step 1).
 
1. Separate the eggs before heating the oven (see tips), adding the whites to a liquid measuring cup until you have 1 1/2 cups.  It will take about 12 large eggs.
2. Sift the flour before measuring.  If you do not have a sifter, use a whisk to fluff the flour before measuring.  Add about half the sugar to the flour and sift again. 
3. Beat the egg whites in a large bowl, adding the salt and the cream of tartar to the whites as soon as they become foamy.  Continue beating.  As soft peaks begin to form, add the remaining sugar and extracts.  Beat until peaks form. 
4. Using a spatula, gently fold the flour and sugar mixture into the egg white foam with “over and up” motions.  Be sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl for the flour mixture will sink.  Mix only until the flour is moistened.  Working the batter longer tends to drive the air bubbles from the foam and reduces the cake's volume. 
5. Scrape the batter into a ten-inch tube pan and bake immediately.  Bake for 45 minutes or until the cake is done.   
6. When the cake is removed from the oven, immediately invert the tube pan on the counter.  Many tube pans have legs for this purpose.  If the tube pan does not have legs, invert the pan over a narrow-necked bottle inserted into the tube.

Chocolate Angel Food Cake

1 1/2 cups egg whites (about 12 large eggs)
3/4 cup sifted cake flour
1/3 cup cocoa
1 1/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (after step 1). 

1. Separate the eggs before heating the oven (see tips), adding the whites to a liquid measuring cup until you have 1 1/2 cups.  It will take about 12 large eggs.
2. Sift the flour before measuring.  If you do not have a sifter, use a whisk to fluff the flour before measuring.  Add about half the sugar to the flour and the cocoa and sift again. 
3. Beat the egg whites in a large bowl, adding the salt and the cream of tartar to the whites as soon as they become foamy.  Continue beating.  As soft peaks begin to form, add the remaining sugar and extract.  Beat until peaks form. 
4. Using a spatula, gently fold the flour, cocoa, and sugar mixture into the egg white foam with “over and up” motions.  Be sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl for the flour mixture will sink.  Mix only until the flour is moistened.  Working the batter longer tends to drive the air bubbles from the foam and reduces the cake's volume. 
5. Scrape the batter into a ten-inch tube pan and bake immediately.  Bake for 45 minutes or until the cake is done.   
6. When the cake is removed from the oven, immediately invert the tube pan on the counter.  Many tube pans have legs for this purpose.  If the tube pan does not have legs, invert the pan over a narrow-necked bottle inserted into the tube.

Whipped Cream Frosted Angel Food Cake

To see how to to frost a cake with whipped cream, click here.  Use either Chocolate Whipped Cream or whipped cream flavored with vanilla extract.  Serve frozen or chilled.

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Ingredients

 

Ice Cream Sandwich Cake

Make the cake as above and the Chocolate Whipped Cream as in the next article.  Split the cake horizontally and pile softened vanilla or chocolate ice cream on the bottom half.  Place the top half on the ice cream.  Put the cake in the freezer to set the ice cream then frost it with whipped cream and return it to the freezer.  Serve frozen or chilled for a great summertime, make-ahead dessert.   

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