|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Servings: 10 to 12|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 4g||5%|
|Saturated Fat 2g||11%|
|Total Carbohydrate 46g||17%|
|Dietary Fiber 1g||3%|
|Total Sugars 34g|
|Vitamin C 4mg||22%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
This cake is a classic angel food cake with a lemony twist. While traditional angel food cake acts as a great canvas for other flavors like strawberry, chocolate, or peach, this cake stands all on its own with the addition of lemon. The buttery lemon glaze pairs deliciously with the cake, is visually attractive, and adds more flavor.
Angel food cake is a very technical cake that does require some attention, but don't let that intimidate you. The most important thing is to make sure you do not grease your pan. You want the cake to climb up the pan while baking, and an ungreased pan allows this to happen.
Make sure to slow down when working on this recipe. Read the directions carefully and and pay attention to the visual cues. This recipe contains all the information you need for a successful bake including what to look for when whipping the egg whites and how to carefully fold in the ingredients. Using cake flour is another way to ensure success because cake flour is a softer, finer flour than all-purpose, which will be reflected in the cake's texture.
This is a great everyday or celebration cake and you can easily customize it to your liking by leaving off the glaze. If you prefer, you could even add meringue to the top and torch it for a totally fun and inventive look.
"The lemon angel food cake was delicious. I had to add a little more cream to the glaze to thin it, but overall, it was easy to make and a success. I used a standard aluminum 2-piece 10-inch tube cake pan." —Diana Rattray
For the Cake:
1 1/4 cups cake flour
3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
12 large room temperature egg whites, about 1 1/2 cups
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon lemon extract
Fresh berries, for garnish
For the Glaze:
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon heavy cream, more as needed
Make the Angel Food Cake
Gather the ingredients. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 325 F.
In a large bowl, sift together the cake flour and confectioners' sugar. Set aside.
To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, add the egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt. Whisk on medium-high speed until soft peaks form, about 2 minutes.
With the mixer running, very slowly add the granulated sugar. Continue whisking until glossy, stiff peaks form. Whisk in the lemon zest and lemon extract.
Sift the flour mixture into the stand mixer in 3 additions, folding in each addition with a rubber spatula until just combined. Don't overmix or you'll deflate the meringue.
Pour the batter into an ungreased 10-inch tube pan. Spread the batter evenly in the pan with a silicone spatula.
Bake, rotating the pan half way through cooking time, until a cake tester comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes total.
Remove from the oven, turn the pan upside down over a wire rack and let the cake cool completely in the pan, about 3 hours.
Make the Glaze and Finish Cake
Gather the glaze ingredients.
In a medium bowl, add the melted butter and lemon juice.
With a handheld mixer on medium speed, slowly add the confectioners' sugar in two batches, beating well after each addition until smooth.
Add the heavy cream and continue to beat until smooth. If the glaze is too thick, and more heavy cream 1 teaspoon at a time until you reach desired consistency. The glaze should be pourable.
When the cake is cool, release the cake from the pan by running a knife around the edges. Flip the pan over and gently tap onto a plate or cake stand.
Top with the glaze and serve garnished with berries, if desired.
- Use some of the remaining egg yolks for a delicious and decadent quiche (2 yolks replaces 1 egg).
- You could also make lemon curd with the remaining yolks and serve it on the side with the cake.
- To make a richer custard or pudding, replace some or all of the whole eggs in the linked recipes. For each whole egg, use 2 egg yolks.
- For a lighter cake, skip the glaze and dust it with confectioners' sugar just before serving.
- Before adding the glaze, slice the cake in half horizontally and spread the bottom slice with about 1/2 cup of lemon curd. Replace the top layer and glaze as desired.
How to Store
- To store, cover the cake with foil or plastic wrap. Leave at room temperature (with or without the glaze on top) for up to four days.
- The cake will dry slightly, but you can cut a slice and pop it in the microwave for about 15 seconds to bring it back to life.
- If you store without the glaze on top, be sure to add the glaze before you microwave.
- To freeze the unglazed cake, place slices on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and freeze. When frozen solid, wrap in plastic wrap and foil and place in a freezer bag. Freeze for up to 3to 4 months. Defrost angel food cake on the counter for an hour or so or in the refrigerator overnight.
What does cream of tartar do in angel food cake?
Cream of tartar is a stabilizing agent, which helps when whipping the egg whites. If you don't have cream of tartar you can replace it with an equal amount of lemon juice or white vinegar.