Which ingredient in angel food cake gives it a light, airy texture?


Kurt Olsen

Angel food cake is one-of-a-kind, and no other cake recipe complements its very fluffy, airy feel. Though it’s a type of sponge cake, it differs from other popular recipes because it’s traditionally made using no butter or oil in the batter. Instead, beaten egg whites are responsible for the ultra-light texture. Most angel food cake recipes usually have a light vanilla flavor that lets you dress them up any way you want with icing, fresh fruit, or other sweet toppings. Use these suggestions to make the best angel food cake from scratch, including what to do if you don’t have a tube pan and are wanting cake.

How to Make Angel Food Cake

Follow us as we polish this traditional cake recipe step by step.

Step 1: Separate the Egg Whites

Separate the yolks from the whites immediately after taking the eggs out of the fridge (cold eggs separate more easily). An egg separator ($7, Bed Bath & Beyond ) makes quick work of it. Separate each egg white carefully into a tiny dish, such as a custard cup. If any yolk slips into the egg white during separation, save it for later use—even the smallest amount of yolk might influence the whites’ beating quality. Enable the whites to remain at room temperature for 30 minutes before beating to allow them to attain their maximum volume. Refrigerate the yolks for another use .) Do not leave the whites at room temperature for more than 30 minutes for food safety concerns.

Fill an extra-large glass dish halfway with egg whites. The dish should be spotless and large enough to protect the beaters from becoming buried in the egg whites as they fluff. Avoid using a plastic bowl, which may have an oily residue that reduces the amount of beaten egg whites.

Step 2: Sift Powdered Sugar and Flour

While the egg whites are resting, combine the flour and powdered sugar, then sift three times. Sifting will help remove any lumps from the flour and aerate the mixture , which will help make your cake light and fluffy.

Step 3: Beat Together Ingredients

On medium to high speed, whisk together the egg whites, cream of tartar, and vanilla extract. soft peaks You should see the tips of the egg whites curl when beaters are lifted. The cream of tartar helps to solidify the egg whites, resulting in a whiter cake.

Step 4: Beat in Sugar Until Stiff Peaks Form

Gradually add the granulated sugar, approximately 2 tablespoons at a time, until thoroughly dissolved in the egg white mixture. Beat at medium to high speed until stiff peaks —tips of the egg whites stand straight up— Don’t overbeat or underbeat egg whites—they should be stiff but not dry or your cake may fall. Once you begin beating the egg whites, it should take around 4 minutes on high speed with a hand mixer to make firm peaks.

Step 5: Fold in the Flour

Fold in one-fourth of the sifted flour mixture at a time into the egg whites. To be folded:

  • Using a spatula, cut down vertically through the mixture.
  • Move the spatula across the bottom of the bowl.
  • Bring it back up the opposite side, spreading part of the mixture from the bottom.
  • Repeat, moving the bowl, until the ingredients are well incorporated.

The idea is to gently combine the ingredients while retaining all of the air that was just beaten into the egg whites. Do not overmix , which might reduce batter volume and result in a difficult cake.

Step 6: Eliminate Air Bubbles

For a fine, even cake texture, eliminate large air bubbles by lightly cutting through the mixture with a thin metal spatula after placing it onto an ungreased baking dish tube pan ($16, Bed Bath & Beyond ). Can you bake angel food cake in a bundt pan if you don’t have a tube pan? It might seem like the two are interchangeable, but the intricate details on most bundt pans make it very tricky to get an angel food cake out of the pan in one piece. Tube pans have flat tops and straight sides to make the cake easier to remove, and the batter clings to the sides and center tube as the cake bakes, which helps it rise. If at all feasible, use a tube pan.

If you don’t have a tube pan, you can make angel food cupcakes instead . Just be sure to reduce the baking time to follow a cupcake recipe instead.

Step 7: Bake and Cool Angel Food Cake

In a preheated oven, bake angel food cake according to package guidelines. When the cake becomes golden and bounces back when softly touched, it is done. Unlike many other baking recipes, you cannot rely on the toothpick test to determine when an angel food cake is finished. Since the batter is so light and airy, a toothpick can slide in and come out clean before the cake is completely finished baking. To set, cool the angel food cake upside down (in the pan).

More Tips for Baking the Best Angel Food Cake

Simply following the directions on your recipe will result in a delicious angel food cake. But if a flawless dessert is your goal, these extra tips might help:

  • Use just the items specified in the recipe, such as cake flour and powdered sugar. Cake flour is lighter It has less protein than all-purpose flour, which contributes to the fluffiness of angel food cake. Likewise, powdered sugar has much smaller granules than regular white sugar, which will help it easily mix into the cake batter without weighing it down.
  • If you’re short on ingredients and want to know how to create angel food cake without cream of tartar, look no further. substitute lemon juice or white vinegar Cream of tartar helps to stabilize the egg whites and provide volume, but any alternative will work.
  • It probably goes against most of your baking instincts, but use an ungreased pan when baking angel food cake, and leave the nonstick spray in your pantry. You want the cake to stick to the edges of the pan because it will be easier to remove. helps the super-light batter rise If you grease the pan, the cake will be flat and dense.
  • If you want to skip a few steps and learn how to make angel food cake from a box mix, you can save yourself a little time. Some box mixes even remove the need for egg whites; all you have to do is add water, mix, and bake according to the package directions! Premade angel food cake mixes are very useful for speeding up recipes that call for angel food cake. such as trifles .
  • Always chill your angel food cake with the open side down in the cake pan. Angel food cake will continue to solidify as it cools, and if you don’t turn it to cool, it will sink down in the pan and collapse.
  • After removing the angel food cake from the pan, cut it with a sharp knife. Non-serrated knives can smash the delicate cake.

Now your cake is ready to serve as part of your Easter menu , birthday celebration , springtime gathering , or any other time when a simple dessert might be appropriate.

Related Questions

  • What gives angel food cake its airy texture?

    Angel food cake is one-of-a-kind, and no other cake recipe matches its super fluffy, airy texture. Though it is a sort of sponge cake, it varies from other popular recipes in that the batter is usually baked without the use of butter or oil. Instead, beaten egg whites are responsible for the ultra-light texture.

  • Which ingredient makes cake soft and fluffy?

    Most cakes begin with creaming butter and sugar together. Butter can contain air, and the creaming process happens when that air is trapped. While baking, the trapped air expands, resulting in a fluffy cake. Without properly creamed butter, there is no air, and hence no fluffiness.

  • What is the texture of angel food?

    Main texture characteristics
    The Angel Food cake can be described as a cake with a very fine and extremely resilient crumb. The texture of the Angel Food cake is likewise incredibly chewy.

  • How do I make my cake moist and airy?

    Using these 7 easy steps, you can make delicious, bakery-quality cakes at home.

    1. Use Buttermilk Instead of Milk.
    2. Add Vegetable Oil.
    3. Use Instant Clearjel or Instant Pudding Mix.
    4. Use the Right Recipe.
    5. Don’t Overbake.
    6. Instead of separate cake pans, bake in sheet pans.
    7. Use a Simple Syrup or Glaze.

Contact Us

For more information or to make comments and suggestions, please contact:
Kurt Olsen
Dairy Development Coordinator, Missouri Department of Agriculture
Phone: (573) 291-5704
E-mail: [email protected]