I’ve never been that big a fan of angel food cake. Not much flavor, weird spongey texture, and it’s usually too dry. Or worse, gummy. My favorite part of angel food cake is usually whatever is served on top Whipped cream, a big spoonful of berry sauce, or lemon curd. But I think I have found the recipe that has turned me to the light side.
The flavor in this angel food cake comes from a big dose of citrus zests – two oranges and two lemons (I took advantage of an abundance of Meyer lemons and used those). It smells so light and bright and the citrusy flavor really shines through. This cake is no boring, dry, flavorless sponge – it’s spring on a cake plate.
Serve it with a simple lemon curd or to feed a crowd, use it in Strawberry Ricotta Cake.
Citrusy Angel Food Cake
A big dose of citrus brightens an ordinary angel food cake. Serve topped with a fresh berry sauce, whipped cream, or a fresh lemon curd.
- 1 1/3 cup sifted cake flour (sifted then measured)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 Tbsp fresh-squeezed Meyer lemon juice
- zest of 2 oranges
- zest of 2 Meyer lemons
- 14 large egg whites (1 3/4 cup), at room temperature
- 1 tsp cream of tartar
- Set the oven rack on the lowest level and preheat to 350.
- Combine the flour, salt, and 1/4 cup of the sugar into a medium bowl.
- Using a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, mix the egg whites and cream of tartar in a large bowl on low speed until frothy. Add remaining 1 1/2 cups sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating on high until all of the sugar is added and the egg whites are stiff and shiny. (Overbeating will create a tough crumb and dry cake.)
- Use a large rubber spatula to gently but thoroughly fold in the flour mixture and the lemon juice and zests.
- Spoon the batter into an ungreased 10-inch tube pan.
- Bake the cake for about 45 minutes, until it is golden brown and a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Invert the cake pan and place the neck of a large soda bottle through the pan’s center hole to hang the cake upside down. (The idea is to keep the cake from touching any surface as it cools.)
- Cool completely, 1 to 2 hours.
Yields: 1 10-inch cake
Estimated time: 1 hour