Classic Angel Food Cake (With 5 Dessert Options)

READY IN: 55mins




  • Adjust oven rack to lowest position; heat oven to 350. You'll need a 10-inch tube pan with removable bottom. Line bottom with nonstick foil, cutting to fit around the tube; place into pan.
  • Whisk together cake flour, 1/4 cup sugar and the salt; transfer mixture to a sieve set over a small bowl.
  • In large bowl, beat the egg whites with electric mixer on medium speed 2 minutes until frothy and well blended. Add the cream of tartar; increase speed to medium-high and beat until soft peaks start to form, about 3 minutes. While still beating, add the remaining 1 cup sugar in a slow stream; continue to beat until whites are very thick and hold firm peaks when beaters are lifted, about 3 minutes. Beat in the vanilla.
  • Transfer mixture to a large, wide bowl. Sift 1/3 of the flour mixture over whites; fold in with a rubber spatula. Repeat twice with the remaining flour, folding in until incorporated. Scrape batter into pan and spread evenly. Run a knife through the batter to remove any air pockets.
  • Bake 35 minutes, or until top of cake springs back when pressed with fingertip or a skewer inserted into cake comes out clean. Immediately invert the pan onto a wire rack. Cool completely, upside down.
  • To loosen cake, run a knife around all sides of pan. Lift cake out of pan by tube. Loosen cake from bottom; invert to unmold.
  • Heavenly Bananas Foster Bread Pudding: 1/2 baked angel food cake cut into cubes (6 cups), 2 1/4 cups milk, 3 large eggs, 1/2 cup light brown sugar, 1/4 cup spiced rum, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, 3 sliced 1/2-inch thick firm ripe bananas, confectioners' sugar for dusting, lowfat vanilla ice cream (optional). Heat oven to 350. Spread out angel food cake cubes on a large rimmed baking sheet. Bake 20 minutes, tossing three times, until lightly toasted and dry. Turn off oven. Whisk milk, eggs, sugar, rum and vanilla in a large bowl until sugar is dissolved. Gently stir in cake cubes and banana slices; pour into an 8-inch square baking dish. Cover dish with foil. Let stand 30 minutes at room temperature for cake cubes to absorb most of the milk mixture. Heat oven to 350. Bake, covered, 30 minutes. Remove foil; continue to bake 25 minutes or until pudding is set. Let stand 15 minutes. Dust top with confectioners' sugar. Serve with small scoops of vanilla ice cream. Serves 8.
  • Lemon Angel Torte: Cake: 1/2 recipe angel food cake batter. Lemon Filling: 3/4 teaspoon unflavored gelatin, 1 tablespoon water, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 2 tablespoons cornstarch, 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest, 1/4 cup lemon juice, 1/3 cup each orange juice and water, 1/4 cup reduced fat sour cream, 1/2 cup sliced toasted almonds, confectioners' sugar for dusting. Cake: Line a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan with double thickness of nonstick foil extending 2-inches over ends of pan. Prepare batter adding 1 teaspoon almond extract and 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest instead of the vanilla extract in step 3. Bake 28 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into center comes out clean. Immediately invert the pan onto a wire rack. Cool completely. To loosen cake, run a knife around long sides of pan. Lift out of pan by foil ends and place in freezer with foil to firm up. Lemon Filling: Sprinkle gelatin over water in small cup to soften. In medium saucepan, whisk sugar and cornstarch until blended. Stir in lemon zest and juice, orange juice and water. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a gentle boil. Stir in gelatin. Boil 1 minute, stirring constantly, until it thickens. Transfer to a bowl; stir in sour cream. Cover surface of filling with plastic wrap; let cool to room temperature. To assemble torte using a serrated knife, cut cake lengthwise into three even layers. Place bottom layer on a serving plate; spread with 1/2 cup Lemon Filling. Top with a second layer; spread with another 1/2 cup filling. Place last layer on top, cut side down. Spread sides of torte with remaining filling. Press almonds around sides of torte. Refrigerate 1 hour. To serve dust top with confectioners' sugar. Using the back of a large knife, score the sugar into a diamond pattern, or sear the score lines by placing a 12-inch metal skewer over a stovetop burner until end is red hot. Use a kitchen towel to pick up skewer; singe diamond pattern into sugar. Serves 8.
  • Frozen Berry Angel Shortcake: Prepare angel food cake with these changes. Line the bottom of 9x3-inch springform pan with nonstick foil, then attach the sides of the pan. Substitute raspberry extract for the vanilla in step 3, and add 3 drops liquid red food color with the extract. Spread in prepared pan and bake as directed. Cool the cake completely, in pan, upside down on a wire rack. To loosen cake, run a thin bladed knife around sides of pan; remove pan sides. Invert cake and remove pan bottom. To assemble shortcake using a serrated knife, cut cake into 2 layers. Place bottom layer, cut side up, on pan bottom and spread with 1/3 cup strawberry topping. Spoon 3 cups slightly softened lowfat strawberry ice cream or frozen yogurt over topping. Spread another 1/3 cup strawberry topping over ice cream. Top with remaining cake layer, cut side down. Freeze at least 4 hours or overnight. (Once the cake is frozen, it can be wrapped and stored in freezer up to 2 weeks). To serve transfer frozen cake to a serving plate. Frost with 2 cups thawed lite whipped topping or lightly sweetened whipped cream. Decorate with strawberries or raspberries. Refrigerate 30 minutes to soften slightly before serving. Serves 12.
  • Chocolate Speckled Angel Cake: Prepare angel food with the changes. After adding flour in step 4, fold 2oz finely chopped bittersweet chocolate and 1 1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest into batter. Spread in prepared tube pan; bake as directed. Cool cake and remove from pan as directed. To serve place cake on a serving plate. In a 1-cup glass measure, combine 2oz chopped bittersweet chocolate, 4 teaspoons butter and 2 teaspoons light cornsyrup. Microwave on high 45-60 seconds until melted; whisk mixture until glaze is smooth. Let stand 1 hour or until glaze sets. If desired, garnish the top of the cake with 3.5oz chocolate bar (we used Lindt's intense orange dark chocolate with almond slivers) cut into small triangles. Arrange chocolate pieces in glazed or serve alongside cake. Serves 12.
  • Peach Melba Cupcakes: Prepare angel food with these changes. You'll need 24 jumbo paper cupcake liners. Double up the liners, 2 per cupcake, and arrange on a large baking sheet. After adding flour in step 4, spoon the batter into a gallon-size ziptop bag; seal bag and cut off a 1/2-inch corner. Pipe the batter into the liners, filling each almost to the top. Smooth tops with an offset spatula. Bake 20 minutes, or until pick inserted in centers come out clean. Cool on baking sheet on wire rack. Melba Sauce: puree in a blender 1 thawed 10oz package frozen raspberries in syrup. Scrape berry mixture through a fine-mesh sieve set over medium bowl to remove seeds; discard seeds. To assemble cupcakes you'll need 1 thawed 1-pound bag frozen sliced peaches (any thick slices should be cut into thinner slices). If desired, toss peaches with 1/4 cup sugar. Carefully peel back inner paper liner; remove cupcake. Slice off rounded top with a serrated knife; cut top into quarters. Place cupcake bottom back into outer paper liner and spoon some Melba Sauce over cut surface. Top with a dollop of whipped nondairy topping. Place 3-4 peach slices into whipped topping. Drizzle with more sauce; add another dollop of whipped topping. Stick cupcake top quarters into cream. Serves 12.