I previously posted about my favorite frosting for my favorite cake. I’ll repost that recipe at the end of this one so you don’t have to jump back and forth. Especially since I don’t really even like that frosting with anything but angel food cake.
I never made angel food cake from scratch when my kids were growing up. To me, it seemed like one of those out of reach impossibilities … like finding a unicorn or Bill Clinton falling in love with me.
I don’t really know why I thought it would be difficult. Perhaps it’s the ethereal quality of angel food cake, that light spongy resistance it gives to each bite. One day, however, I decided to try it.
It’s not so much difficult as it is meticulous. You have to do everything gently. Like petting a unicorn. The result, however, is worth every step. Freshly baked homemade angel food cake is out of this world delicious.
- 1-1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1-1/2 cups sugar
- 1-1/2 cups egg whites (the number of eggs you need for this will vary depending on the size of the eggs. Break out your pyrex measuring cup and get down at eye level until you hit the right measure. It’s super important.)
- 1-1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Mix the flour and 1/2 a cup of the sugar in a bowl. No need to get crazy with it. Just throw them in the bowl, give it a quick whisk and move on.
In a large bowl or stand mixer (highly recommended to save beating time) beat egg whites with the whipping attachment(s) until frothy. Add the cream of tartar, salt and extracts. Whip the mixture until the egg whites are stiff but not dry. Gradually add the rest of the sugar, stopping and gently (very gently) scraping the sides of the bowl after each addition.
Spoon the flour and sugar mixture over the egg whites one fourth at a time. Gently fold it into the mixture with a wide rubber spatula, just until it is blended.
Pour the batter into an ungreased 10″ tube pan. Gently cut through the batter with a butter knife to remove any large air bubbles. Bake at 375° for 35 minutes or so. You’ll know it’s done when the crust cracks and is very dry. Immediately after removing from the oven, invert cake onto a funnel or a bottle of some type. Cool completely and remove from the pan.
Frost with Angel Frosting:
- 1 can evaporated milk (I seldom use anything that comes in cans, but I make the occasional exception, typically nostalgia-related)
- 1 cup granulated sugar (yup … now you know why she had to whip it for so long.)
- 1 cup shortening (yeah. that stuff)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
I like my cakes to look super smothered and delectable, so I typically double most frosting recipes, then let the kids go to town on whatever I didn’t use.
Cream shortening and sugar until smooth. And I mean smoooooth. (Good time to break out that KitchenAid mixer and watch a rerun of Buffy.) Begin adding the milk a little at a time until it reaches the consistency of whipped cream. Add vanilla and continue beating until well blended.