Angel Food Cake (& the elderly)

I’ve always considered angel food cake to be kind of an “elderly” dessert. Something grandparents crave or that is served at the VFW Bingo Night. Never something I wanted or even considered as a legitimate dessert option. They were always lauded for their airy-ness, low-sugar content, and lack of fat. (Especially the ones at the grocery store in those clear plastic containers.) Umm…hello? This is dessert. I want rich. I want sugary. I want fatty. Thankyouverymuch.

My lack of desire for what I deemed to be a senior sweet is surprising considering my taste in every other area of my life. My house looks like that of anyone’s great aunt (I do love me a good floral pattern and light pink color scheme), I prefer vintage items to new, and I drive a Buick the size of a small yacht. I love old people tropes, relish in them.

It wasn’t until I dusted off my own two-piece tube pan (given to me by my grandmother years and years ago, getting carried from house to house on the off chance I’d suddenly be struck with the urge to make a dessert I had no interest in), that I realized what I’d been missing out on for nearly two decades of my life. Yes, it was light. Yes, it was delicately sweet. Yes, it was delicious! Especially when paired with fresh whipped cream and macerated berries (or even some jam!)

Angel Food Cake

1 cup cake flour (here’s how to make your own!)

1 cup powdered sugar

12 egg whites, at room temperature

1 ½ tsp. cream of tartar

pinch of salt

¾ cup granulated sugar

1 tsp. vanilla extract

¼ tsp. almond extract


Sift together the flour and powdered sugar, set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt until soft peaks form. While mixer is still running, slowly add granulated sugar, increasing speed to high and whipping until stiff (but not dry) peaks form. Stir in extracts.

Gently fold in the cake flour mixture, taking care to make sure the batter is smooth and all dry ingredients are evenly incorporated.

Pour batter into tube pan and swirl batter with knife to remove any air pockets.

Bake in preheated oven for 50 – 60 minutes, or until cake has risen and top is golden brown, bouncing back when lightly touched.

Remove from oven and turn cake over to cool (If your tube pan doesn’t have feet for this purpose, a lot of people do this by placing the tube part of the pan over a liquor or wine bottle.)

When cool, run a knife along the edge of pan to release sides, giving the bottom part a good “whack” to separate parts of pan.

Remove and cake store in airtight container until ready to serve.

Serve with fresh whipped cream and berries.

*Recipe adapted from Genius Kitchen.

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