Angel food cake is the perfect summer dessert – it’s light, fluffy and is the perfect base for fresh berries and whipped cream! Store bought is bland and heavy, but this homemade version is surprisingly easy, soft, and delicately sweet. Yum!
I spent quite a bit of time trying to figure out my menu for the 4th of July. I always make grilled chicken (with basil dressing, of course!) and I try to go a little lighter with the sides. In the middle of the summer, the last thing I want is a heavy meal that weighs me down and makes me feel sluggish – yuck. My menu was full of veggies and salads that went perfectly with the grilled chicken.
I wanted to lighten up dessert too – something festive with berries and easily made ahead. So, what is a light dessert that begs to be topped with berries? Angel food cake! Light, fluffy, delicately sweet and perfect for soaking up sweet berry sauce.
Angel food cake is known as a lighter dessert because it consists mostly of egg whites. There is no fat, but still quite a bit of sugar – so don’t go overboard and eat the whole cake! 😉
To start you’ll want to separate 12 eggs. You only want the whites for this and it’s very important that you don’t have any yolk slip through. Any fat present will cause the egg whites not to aerate.
Don’t throw away all of those yolks! You can make a delightful lemon curd – recipe coming next week!
Using a stand mixer or an electric hand mixer, whip the egg whites until foamy. Then, add cream of tartar – this will help get the best rise in the egg whites and keep them from falling.
Beat on high speed until they have significantly increased in volume. You’ll want to begin adding the sugar when you have soft peaks – do this gently by adding a little bit at a time and then add in the vanilla.
Continue beating until stiff peaks form – the whites will hold a peak and not fall from the beaters when you pull them out of the mixture. Now, gently fold in your flour mixture and you’re ready to bake!
Not all angel food cake pans are made the same. You’ll find a lot that don’t have the removable bottom, but you really want the removable bottom because it’s a lot easier to remove when it’s time. I have the Wilton pan that I found at Bed, Bath, and Beyond.
Pour the batter into your pan and gently swirl a knife through to remove any air bubbles. Once your cake is baked and ready to come out of the oven you’ll want to let it cool upside down – this is very important! You want it cool completely while it’s upside down so that the cake doesn’t fall and holds it shape. Just invert it on your cooling rack and leave it go for at least an hour, or until completely cool.
Now, you’re ready to enjoy this delicious cake! I like to serve mine with homemade berry sauces and fresh whipped cream. Both recipes are included below!
My angel food cake was a big hit at my 4th of July picnic and it was the perfect ending to a delicious meal. It’s not too heavy and doesn’t leave you feeling weighed down and overly full. It’s a fantastic summer dessert that you’ll want to make again and again!
Angel Food Cake
Angel food cake is light, fluffy, and slightly sweet. It’s super easy to make at home and has way more flavor than the store bought stuff! Top with berries and whipped cream for a delicious summer dessert.
| Serves: 10-12 | Prep Time: 15 Min | Cook Time: 40 Min |
1 Cup Cake Flour
½ Teaspoon Salt
12 Egg Whites, at room temperature*
½ Teaspoon Cream of Tarter
1 ½ Cups Superfine Sugar*
2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
Preheat the oven to 350º.
Sift together the cake flour and salt into a medium bowl; set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites until foamy, about a minute. Then, add in the cream of tarter. Continue beating until soft peaks form and then begin adding the sugar, a spoonful at a time while beating on high speed. You’ll want to stop occasionally and gently scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add in the vanilla and continue beating until the whites are glossy and you have stiff peaks.
Using a spatula, gently fold in the flour/salt mixture, a ¼ cup at a time. Being sure you incorporate each addition before adding the next. You want to fold gently here so you don’t deflate the egg whites.
Lightly spray a 10-inch tube pan that has a removable bottom with nonstick cooking spray. Gently pour or spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Using a knife, gently swirl through the batter to remove any air pockets. Bake at 350º for 35-40 minutes until the cake is golden in color and springs back when touched. Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool upside down on a cooling rack for 1 hour or until completely cool. Once cooled, run a knife around the cake and release the cake. Serve with your favorite topping!
* It’s very important that you allow your egg whites to come to room temperature. They won’t aerate if they are cold. Also, be sure your bowl is very clean and free of any type of fat (oil, butter). This will ensure you get the fluffiest base for your cake.
* Superfine sugar works best for angel food cake because it incorporates better and won’t deflate your egg whites. You can buy superfine sugar in the grocery store, or pulse regular sugar a few times in the food processor – this will give it that fine texture.
3 Cups Berries, such as strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, etc.*
3 Tablespoons Granulated Sugar
Pinch of Salt
1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice, from half of a lemon
2 Teaspoons Cornstarch
Combine the berries and sugar in a medium saucepot. Heat over medium-low heat until the sugar dissolves and the berries start giving off some juice.
In a small bowl whisk together the lemon juice and cornstarch until smooth and add the mixture into the berries. Stir gently over medium heat until the sauce thickens. Cool and refrigerate until ready to serve.
* You can mix whatever berries you like to make one sauce, or make 2 separate sauces like I did. I served my angel food cake with strawberry and blueberry sauce – I like how the colors contrast nicely on the plate!
1 Cup Heavy Cream, cold
¼ Cup Powdered Sugar
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Pour the cream into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Whip the cream on high speed until stiff peaks begin to form. Turn the mixer speed to low and add in the sugar, a tablespoon at a time until it’s fully incorporated. Then, mix in the vanilla. Serve the whipped cream immediately or transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 2 days.