Angel Food Cake Fun Facts
Angel Food cake is made with a large quantity of egg whites and no shortening or leavening. Angel Food cake is thought to be a takeoff of the Sponge Cake, Cornstarch Cake, Silver Cake, and/or Snow-drift Cake.
- There are several theories on who originated this cake. Also called ice cream cake (a Pennsylvania Dutch wedding cake). It is felt that the abundance of cake molds in southeastern Pennsylvania, one of the major producers of cake molds, indicates that the angel food cake originated there in the early 1800s.
- Some historians think that the first angel food cakes were probably baked by African-American slaves from the South because making this cake required a strong beating arm and lots of labor to whip the air into the whites. Angel food cakes are also a traditional African-American favorite for post-funeral feasting.
- October 10 is National Angel Food Cake Day.
- Angel Cake was one of the favorite dessert of Lucy Webb Hayes, wife of Rutherford B. Hayes (1822-1893), nineteenth President of the United States.
- The Original Boston Cooking School Cook Book by Mrs.D.A. Lincoln, published in 1884, had a recipe for “Angel Cake” mentioning the name for the first time. In Fannie Merritt Farmer’s 1896 updated version of the Boston Cooking School Cook Book, she uses the same recipe and calls the cake “Angel Food Cake.”
Facts and picture courtesy of
Angel Food Cake
Recipe Courtesy of Alton Brown and
- Level: Intermediate
- Total: 55 min
- Prep: 20 min
- Cook: 35 min
- Yield: 10 to 12 servings
- 1 3/4 cups sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup cake flour, sifted
- 12 egg whites (the closer to room temperature the better)
- 1/3 cup warm water
- 1 teaspoon orange extract, or extract of your choice
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a food processor spin sugar about 2 minutes until it is superfine. Sift half of the sugar with the salt the cake flour, setting the remaining sugar aside.
- In a large bowl, use a balloon whisk to thoroughly combine egg whites, water, orange extract, and cream of tartar.
- After 2 minutes, switch to a hand mixer. Slowly sift the reserved sugar, beating continuously at medium speed. Once you have achieved medium peaks, sift enough of the flour mixture in to dust the top of the foam.
- Using a spatula fold in gently. Continue until all of the flour mixture is incorporated.
- Carefully spoon mixture into an ungreased tube pan. Bake for 35 minutes before checking for doneness with a wooden skewer. (When inserted halfway between the inner and outer wall, the skewer should come out dry).
- Cool upside down on cooling rack for at least an hour before removing from pan.
Since they’re easier to separate use the freshest eggs you can get.
Print this recipe in Adobe Acrobat – Angel Food Cake – Alton Brown