Citrusy Angel Food Cake

in Cakes & Cupcakes, Citrus, Lemon

Citrusy Angel Food Cake

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 πŸ™‚ 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

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


  1. Set the oven rack on the lowest level and preheat to 350.
  2. Combine the flour, salt, and 1/4 cup of the sugar into a medium bowl.
  3. 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.)
  4. Use a large rubber spatula to gently but thoroughly fold in the flour mixture and the lemon juice and zests.
  5. Spoon the batter into an ungreased 10-inch tube pan.
  6. Bake the cake for about 45 minutes, until it is golden brown and a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.
  7. 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.)
  8. Cool completely, 1 to 2 hours.


Yields: 1 10-inch cake

Adapted from The Pastry Queen

Estimated time: 1 hour

18 comments… add one
  • Wow! This sounds delicious. I love Angel Food Cake, but have only ever had it with strawberries and whipped cream. πŸ˜‰

  • I have learned that when you say, “I never really cared for” and then post a recipe, the recipe is always fantastic. I’m a little nervous making Angel Food Cake but I think I’ll try it with this recipe.

  • Same here about angel food cake. I’ve never been much of a fan. But I know it’s considered a healthier dessert. And since bathing suit season is approaching and I am trying to be a good girl, this is worth a try. My dad is a big angel food cake fan. Maybe for Father’s Day!

  • I have never attempted Angel Food Cake but this looks great! I might have to try it. (And, I too have never really liked the stuff….)

  • I LOVE angel food cake- this looks wonderful!

  • My mom used to always make me funfetti angel food cake for my birthday–I loved the simplicity of it. I haven’t had it in forever, though, and this looks like the perfect excuse to try it again!

  • I’m fairly certain that topping anything with lemon curd would make me fall head over heels for it. I’m not a HUGE fan of angel food cake but…I’ll also never turn down cake. Sounds like a winning pair to me!

  • I very rarely crave angel food cake but I do enjoy a freshly baked one. Love your citrus version!

  • I love how angel food cake. Your recipe sounds really yummy, light and refreshing!

  • Mmmm, I love angel food cake- now all I need is a recipe for a good fresh berry sauce!

  • I’m with you…typical angel food cake is so not my thing. THIS, on the other hand, definitely is. Love the idea of adding in zest…I bet it gives this cake just the kick it needs!

  • This angel food cake looks so light and fluffy! Beautiful job!

  • I love anything lemon! I used to work the shift at Central Market in charge of making the angel food cakes. We actually separated hundreds of eggs and literally folded the egg white by hand-up to our elbows (and sometimes shoulders) in angelfood cake batter. Good times-but glad I’m not doing it this summer. So sticky!

  • Jennifer @ Maple n Cornbread

    This has to be the prettiest angel food cake yet! LOVE the citrus theme! πŸ™‚

  • Looks fantastic!

  • Angel food cake is my FAVORITE!! This looks delicious!

  • I’m not generally the biggest fan of angel food cake, either. If you liked this recipe, I’ll definitely give it a try. I’ve always wanted to like angel food cake. It’s just that it’s not berries or whipped cream or anything else that’s generally yummier.

  • I love angel food cake, but these flavors are a great improvement, I’m sure. Looks gorgeous πŸ™‚

Leave a Comment