15 Angel Food Cake Tips and Tricks

Happy National Angel Food Cake Day!

Anyone who has tried to make angel food cake before knows…it can be kind of a bitch.  The possibility of getting a sunken cake with a dense sponge scares a lot of people from trying to make this light and delicious cake…but with these helpful baking tips, you’ll be able to create a heavenly dessert that comes out perfectly every time!

  • Use cake flour to keep your sponge nice and light.
  • SIFT, SIFT, SIFT!
  • Separate your eggs when they’re cold, otherwise the yolks will break easily.
  • And speaking of eggs, your egg whites need to be 100% free of yolks. If you get yolk in your egg white, toss it and start over.  To save on eggs, separate each egg in a container before dumping the egg white into the bowl…that way if you get a broken yolk, you only have to toss one egg, not the whole batch.
  • LET YOUR EGG WHITES COME TO ROOM TEMPERATURE. This is perhaps the best tip when it comes to making angel food cake.  They should be at room temperature about 30-45 minutes after you take them out of the fridge.
  • When it comes to beating those egg whites, use a very clean metal bowl…or copper if you have one. Don’t use a plastic bowl, as plastic retains oil and fat from previous dishes and that residual oil will prevent your eggs from getting fluffy.
  • There is such a thing as overbeating your batter. Beat just until soft peaks form.  If you overbeat it, the egg whites will deflate and your cake will become dense.
  • As much as you may want to, don’t grease the pan. RESIST, DEAR BAKERS!!  The batter “clings” to the side of the pan, which helps it rise.  Greasing the pan makes it hard for the batter to cling and your cake will not rise as much as it could.
  • However, since you’re not greasing the pan, make sure you do use a “tube” pan with a removable bottom so it’s easy to remove the cake.
  • Also, make sure your tube pan has a center tube that is higher than the remainder of the pan. This helps with cooling and removing your cake.
  • If you absolutely must grease the pan, do a very light coating and dust the grease with sugar so the cake can still cling to something as it rises.
  • Smooth the surface of your cake before putting it in the oven. Angel food cake batter won’t even itself out, like a traditional cake batter would, so if you want a smooth look, you have to do it yourself.
  • Avoid checking the cake and opening the oven door too much. Changes in temperature may cause your cake to fall, and an underdone cake is always at risk of falling.  Try cooking your cake to the minimum time listed on the recipe, then quickly checking for doneness.  Use the oven light if you have one.  If not, make sure you open and close the oven door quickly to avoid a huge change in temperature.
  • Before putting your cake in the oven, gently cut the batter with a metal spatula or knife to break up any air pockets.
  • Cool pan upside down to help cake rise and release from pan.

Every Monday is a “Reci-bee” post, where I share my favorite recipes, recipe collections, and cooking and baking hints and tips. 

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