ANGEL FOOD CAKE   (adapted from The Joy of Cooking)

Use a grease-free tube pan.

[To use angel-cake batter for a cake-roll, baked in a 10 ½  x 15 ½  -inch jelly-roll-type pan, use one-half of the amounts specified in recipe for a 9-inch tube pan.  For tube pan do not grease pan, but for jelly-roll-type pan only, be sure to grease the pan bottom.]

Preheat oven to 350° F.

Egg whites:  eggs should be at least 3 days old—I don’t think consumers need to worry about this now—and at about 60 degrees to 70 degrees, i.e. at room temperature not straight from refrigerator, and separated just before use. 

Divide the beating time into four quarters

First quarter–beat whites gently until foamy.

Add salt, cream of tartar and liquid flavoring. 

The cream of tartar is added midway during the first quarter of the beating and controls both the stabilizing of the foam and the whiteness of the cake.  End the first quarter of the beating with an increasing speed; using Kitchen Aid, switch to higher speed and begin second quarter of the process.

Second quarter –assuming you are using an electric mixer, while continuing to beat at high speed, begin to add gradually three-quarters of the sugar* called for in the recipe.  Finely granulated fruit or berry sugar [a.k.a. superfine or bar sugar] is best. (Starting to add sugar at this point, if using electric mixer, helps guard against overbeating the whites.)  Beat about one-third of this three-quarters of recipe’s sugar into the whites during the second quarter.

Third quarter—Add another third of this sugar during this quarter, continuing to watch carefully.

Fourth quarter— Add final third of this sugar during this final quarter, guard against overbeating.


*The remaining 1/4 of the sugar is sifted with the cake flour to keep the flour well dispersed when it is folded into the egg and sugar mixture.

Folding of flour into whites should be done by hand with a rubber scraper.  The Joy directs the movement for hand folding to be “both gentle and firm, but rapid.”  (Just develop a technique that works for you, moderating toward gentle if you tend to be rough or toward firm and rapid if you tend to be wimpy.  The point is it is the trapped air in the beaten whites that will cause this cake to rise; you do not want to break down the cellular structure at this point.)

After putting the batter in the pan, draw a thin spatula gently through the dough to destroy any large air pockets.

Cool by inverting the pan.  (If the tube is not high enough to keep the cake above the surface of the table, use a funnel or any kind of item you have handy to rest the pan on.)

Let the cake hang upside down for about 1 1/2  hours until it is thoroughly set.

I.  For a 9-inch tube pan

Sift twice:

            1¼ to 1½ cups sugar

Sift separately before measuring:

            1 cup cake flour

Resift the flour 3 times with ½ cupful of the sifted sugar and

            ½  teaspoon salt

Whip until foamy

            1¼  cups egg whites = 10 to 12 egg whites

            (2 tablespoons water or 1 tablespoon water + 1 tablespoon lemon juice)


            1 teaspoon cream of tartar

Whip the egg whites until stiff, but not dry.  Gradually whip in, about 1 tablespoon at a time, 1 cup of the sifted sugar.

Fold in:

            ½  teaspoon vanilla

            ½  teaspoon almond extract

Sift about ¼ cup of the sugar and flour mixture over the batter.  Fold it in gently and briefly with a rubber scraper.  Continue, until all the mixture is used.  Pour the batter into an ungreased tube pan. 

Bake about 45 minutes.

II.  For a 10-inch tube pan

Sift, then measure:

            1 cup cake flour


Add and resift 6 times:

            ½   cup sugar or confectioners’ sugar


            1 ½   cups egg whites

            2 ½   Tb. cold water

            1 ½   teaspoon cream of tartar

            1 scant teaspoon vanilla

            1 teaspoon almond extract

            ½   teaspoon salt

Beat, until stiff, but not dry.  Stop while the mixture is still glossy. 

Fold in, about 2 tablespoons at a time:

            1 cup sifted sugar

Fold in the dry ingredients lightly–a little at a time–with a rubber scraper. 

Fold in:

            (3/4 cup blanched, thinly sliced, toasted almonds)

Bake the batter in an ungreased tube pan for about 45 minutes.

A pretty effect for the winter — Angel Food Snowstorm Cake

You can also divide the angel cake horizontally into two or three layers, and layer your favorite flavor of ice cream between the layers before icing with the whipped cream or whipped topping — use coconut or not, to your taste.  This makes a beautiful birthday cake though candles are not too adaptable.  (Click here to see one after an “attack” by Andrew’s party guests July ’00.)

Another variation for chocolate lovers:  COCOA ANGEL CAKE


Use a 9-inch tube pan.  Preheat oven to 350° F.


Sift before measuring:

            3/4 cup cake flour

Resift 5 times with:

            1/4 cup cocoa

            1/4 cup sugar

Sift separately:

            1 cup sugar

Whip until foamy:

            1 1/4 cups egg whites — 10 to 12 egg whites


            1 teaspoon cream of tartar

Whip until stiff, but not dry.  Fold in the sifted sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time.


            1 teaspoon vanilla

            1/2  teaspoon lemon extract

Sift a small amount of the flour over the batter and fold it in.  Repeat this process until the flour is used up.  Bake the cake in an ungreased tube pan for about 45 minutes. 


Frosting for cocoa angel cake–



   1 2/3  cups confectioners’ sugar

   1 to 2 tablespoons  cocoa

Beat until soft:

   ¼  to ½   cup butter

Add the sugar gradually. 

Blend these ingredients until creamy.


   1/8  teaspoon salt

   3 tablespoons strong, hot coffee

Beat for 2 minutes.

When the icing is cool, add:

   1 teaspoon vanilla or rum.

Permit it to stand for 5 minutes.  Beat well and spread.



Per The Joy of Cooking, to make marble angel cake, prepare Angel Cake I and Cocoa Angel Cake  and alternate the two batters. 

Alternate the batters in two ungreased 9-inch tube pans.  I prefer the following recipe which is not from that cookbook, but is good and results in just one cake, which can affect your choice of recipes.


Preheat oven to 350° F.  Adjust oven rack; cake should bake on a rack, adjusted in the lower third of the oven.

Prepare dry mixture:

White mix—sift, then measure:

½ cup cake flour

Add, then resift 6 times:

¼ cup superfine sugar,

            Cocoa mix—sift, then measure:

            1/3  cup cake flour

To this, add enough cocoa to make it equal ½ cup.

Add, then resift 6 times:

¼ cup superfine sugar.

Have 1 ½ cups*  freshly separated egg whites at about 65°.

Before beginning to beat egg whites, measure 1 cup superfine sugar, and sift, if necessary, to eliminate any lumps.

Divide beating time into three quarters.

In the first quarter

Beat egg whites until foamy; halfway through add 1 ½ teaspoon cream of tartar and 1 scant teaspoon each of vanilla and almond extract.

In the second quarter—

increase speed and begin adding superfine sugar, sifted, about 2 tablespoons at a time.  Add one-third cup of the sifted, superfine sugar during the second quarter of the beating.

In the third quarter, add gradually second third of the sugar.

In the fourth quarter, add last third of the sugar, guarding against overbeating.  Add, in

all, 1 cup sugar to the egg whites.

Divide beaten egg whites in half and put into two separate bowls.  Fold in (by hand) the dry ingredients lightly—a little at as time—with a rubber scraper.

 (Fold into both bowls a total of ¾ cup blanched, thinly, sliced, toasted almonds.)

Alternate the batters in an ungreased tube pan.  Bake for 45 minutes at 350° F.

When done, reverse the pan and rest on an inverted funnel or some reasonable substitute you find in your household for about one and one-half hours until set.

These recipes have been kitchen tested.

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