Strawberry Angel Food Cake

According to Dan, his mom Jean was a great cook. She loved to bake and mostly baked from scratch. One of the desserts Dan has longingly told me about was her Strawberry Angel Food Cake. Luckily his sister inherited all the recipes so she sent us a copy for me to try.

I was a bit disappointed that the cake was make from a mix and the strawberries we’re frozen. So I decided to change things up a bit and make the Angel Food Cake from scratch and use real strawberries. I was a bit nervous as I’ve never made an Angel Food Cake, but I figured how hard could it be right?

What’s the story behind Angel Food Cake? No one knows where the name came from and even the theories of its invention are sketchy. However, the cake didn’t begin to show up in cook books until the late 19th century. Research by the writer of the Foodtime Line say that the invention of mass produced bake ware (and no doubt the rotary beater) helped create the cake.

Certainly prior to a some form of beater this would have been quite the task though not impossible. You see the essential ingredient that make Angel Food Cake so light and airy are the egg whites and cream of tarter. I used Aunt Fae’s electric beater from the late 60s to make my cake.

Photos in the cookbook we're very helpful!

I found a great recipe with visuals in All About Home Baking, published in 1933 by the General Foods Corporation. The book begins with the words, “It’s a wise woman who knows her baking rules.” Indeed, there’s no messing around with Angel Food Cake, but it was well worth making it from scratch. Here’s the recipe:

  • 1 c. sifted cake flour (real important that it’s cake flour!)
  • 1 c. egg whites (between 8-10)
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cream of tarter
  • 1 1/4 c. sugar
  • 3/4 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp. almond extract

Sift the flour onto a square of waxed paper. Remeasure and then sift again 4 more times to create a very light flour

Beat egg whites until foamy and then add cream of tarter (make sure your egg whites are cold). You want the egg whites to be light and thick, but not dry. Lift out beater and stop when you have moist,glossy peaks.

Sprinkle sugar over the beaten egg whites about 2 tablespoons at a time. Gently fold in the sugar each time.

Fold in flavoring of vanilla and almond extract.

Gradually sift the flour over the egg whites and fold it in.

Fold only until its blended. You don’t want to break down the fluffy egg whites.

Gently place batter into an ungreased angel food pan.

Take a knife and cut through the center of the batter around the pan to remove large air bubbles.

Bake in a 275 degree oven for 30 minutes.

Increase heat to 325 and bake another 30 minutes.

Remove from oven and invert the pan so that the cake is hanging upside down for one hour (this keeps the cake from falling in on itself while its cooling)

Not bad for my first attempt!

After an hour you can release the cake from the pan.

Now onto Jean’s recipe!

Strawberry Angel Food Cake

  • Angel Food Cake
  • Cut up strawberries
  • 1 small package of strawberry jello
  • 1/4 c. lemon juice
  • 1/2 c. heavy cream, whipped

When the cake is cool, slice off the top third and lay it aside

Hollow out the center of the cake and cut this portion into small bits.

Follow the directions for making the jello by dissolving it in the hot water (substitute 1/4 cup of the water with lemon juice). Stir until jello is dissolved.

Chill until partially set (don’t let it go too long).

Remove from refrigerator and beat until fluffy.

Beat the heavy cream until whipped

Fold in the berries, whipped cream and angel food pieces into the jello.

Put mixture into center of the cake and put the top back on.

Frost the cake with additional whipped cream.

How did it taste? Divine! While it was a bit labor intensive, it was so worth it. Every night Dan and I looked forward to having a piece of cake which was light, airy and filled with gooey fruit flavoring.

I hope you’ll want to try this one. One more note. Be sure to keep this cake in the refrigerater due to the egg whites and whipped cream.

One Response to “Strawberry Angel Food Cake”

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  1. Bev says:

    Oh, that looks so good! I read that article you sent me (link) about strawberries. I don’t want to try any until I talk to the doc and I keep forgetting! You could probably use just about any fruit for that.

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