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How to Bake an Angel Food Cake

A fat-free cake, you say? Surely there’s no such thing! Angel food cake actually contains no fat – this extremely light and airy sponge uses egg whites as its only means to rise! Originally from the United States, this cake became popular in the 19th century and since then has remained true to its name; the ‘food of the angels’. If you fancy a devilishly sweet treat without the sin, try the recipe below.

  • Baking
  • 1-2 hours
  • Beginner

Cake Ingredients:

  • Grated Zest of 2 Large Lemons
  • 10 Large Egg Whites
  • 125g of Plain Flour
  • 300g of Caster Sugar
  • 1 tsp of Cream of Tartar
  • ½ tsp of Salt
  • 1 tbsp of Lemon Juice

Optional Lemon Curd Ingredients:

  • 10 Large Egg Yolks
  • Grated Zest of 2 Large Lemons
  • Juice of 2 Large Lemons (approx. 200ml)
  • 400g of Caster Sugar
  • 2 Passionfruit
  • 175g of Unsalted Butter

Optional Cream Topping Ingredients:

  • 1/2 tsp of Vanilla Extract
  • 300ml of Whipping Cream


  • Large Mixing Bowls
  • Electric Hand Whisk
  • Saucepan
  • Sieve
  • 25cm Angel Food Cake Pan
  • Palette Knife
  • Cooling Rack

Instructions:A Lemon & Passionfruit Cake Fit for Angels

  1. Preheat your oven to 180°C (160°C fan or gas mark 4) and place an oven shelf in the bottom third of your oven. Sieve 100g of the sugar and all the flour into a mixing bowl, and set aside.

  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk up the egg whites using an electric hand whisk on a high speed for about a minute, until the eggs are frothy. Add the cream of tartar, lemon zest, juice and salt, and whisk for 2 to 3 minutes or until the mixture forms soft peaks. Add the remaining sugar one spoonful at a time while whisking on a higher speed to form firm, but not stiff, peaks.

  3. Retrieve your sieved flour and gently sprinkle in about a third of it. Fold to combine and then repeat the process. Make sure you fold carefully to ensure you don’t knock out any air.

  4. Gently place the batter into a 25cm angel food cake pan, and run a knife through the centre of the mixture to remove any unsightly air pockets. Place your cake tin in the oven and bake for between 45 and 50 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Immediately place your cake tin upside down on a cooling rack and leave for 1 hour to cool.

  5. Remove the cake from the tin, run a knife around the inner and outer edges of the cake, and use a palette knife to help you loosen the cake from the base of the pan.

  6. Optional topping: Make your lemon curd by mixing the sugar, egg yolks, lemon zest and lemon juice in a large saucepan over a low heat. Cook for between 5 and 7 minutes, or until the mixture coats the back of a spoon. Now, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the butter. Pass through a sieve and fill two 350g glass jars. Leave to cool completely.
  7. Make the cream topping by whisking together the cream and vanilla extract until it forms soft peaks. Spoon the cream over the top and smooth all over with a palette knife.
  8. Finally, scoop out the seeds of a passion fruit and mix it with the cooled lemon curd. Drizzle it over your angel food cake, then slice, serve, and enjoy!
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