This is a small angel food cake recipe from “Learn to Bake…” published by General Foods in 1947. Angel food cakes are nice served as is, they can be frosted or served with fruits, puddings or ice cream.
Angel food cakes differ from other cakes in several ways. There is no butter or fat in the cake. The pan is not greased so the beaten egg whites can climb the sides of the pan. Angel food batters contain no baking powder, baking soda or yeast. The cake obtains its light sponge texture from the beaten egg whites alone.
Angel food cake originated in America with the name first appearing in print during the late part of the 1800s. It was thought to have been developed by German immigrants to use egg whites leftover from making noodles. They thought it was a sin to waste anything. It is about that time that cake forms became popular so there were tube pans, known as chimney pans, to bake it in.
It was a lot of work to make the cake before the Dover egg beater or electric mixers came along. The egg whites would be beaten by hand using a flat wire beater or a slotted spoon. I believe the women of the 1800’s could have held their own in any arm wrestling contest.
The first angel food cake mix was produced in 1942 by a company in Atchison Kansas. Mixes for this type of cake have improved through the years.
This recipe will make a loaf cake that will provide 6 or more servings.
- ½ cup sifted cake flour
- ½ cup sifted sugar
- 2/3 cup (5 or 6) egg whites at room temperature
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees F and have an ungreased 10x5x3 inch loaf pan ready.
Sift the flour once, measure and add ¼ cup of the sugar, sift four times.
Blend egg whites with salt and beat until foamy. Sprinkle in the cream of tartar. Continue beating until the mixture is stiff enough to hold in soft peaks and is glossy.
Sprinkle the remaining sugar on the egg whites 2 tablespoons at a time and beat after each addition until blended (25 strokes). Beat in the flavoring (10 strokes).
Sift half of the flour over the egg whites and fold in. Sift the rest of the flour over the mixture and fold in.
Turn the cake batter out into a 10x5x3 inch ungreased loaf pan. Bake at 375 degrees F for 25 minutes or until done. Remove the cake from the oven and turn upside down on a cooling rack for 1 hour.
The recipe assumes you will beat the batter by hand. Use an electric mixer.
If you do not cool angel food cake upside down it will fall.
Any flavoring can be added. Tiny chocolate chips or other small baking chips can be folded in with the flour.
Angel food cake can be the foundation of any number of icebox cakes.
Slices can be toasted in the oven or a frying pan.