Angel Food Cake with Buttercream Frosting and Sugared Flowers


How can this cake not exist in England? That's right, the English don't know what an "Angel Food Cake" is.  No surprise really, since it doesn't have the word "sponge" or "pudding" in the title.  I just can't help thinking of eating a stinky, dirty dish sponge when I hear someone say that word in conjunction with a dessert! Have no fear my English friends, I'm here to share my recipe with you.  Made with a dozen egg whites and no yolks, this cake has roughly 140 calories per slice.  Don't worry, I've fixed that by slathering this healthy delight in my very own butter cream frosting! 
I'm not sure who claimed it first, but angel food cake is the choice of my mom, sister, aunt, and myself (among others!) for our birthday cakes.  We make over a dozen a year, each one lighter and more delicate than the last.  The key, whipping the daylights out the egg whites.  When you think you're done whipping, whip more.  How did they make this cake before electricity?  Women with big biceps I suppose.
Nothing goes better with this beautiful cake than sugared strawberries and whipped cream, and if you want a cake worthy of a celebration, just top it with sugared flowers.  You can't imagine how easy it is to sugar flowers.
Choosing your flowers is pretty essential.  I did a test run with a few varieties and learned something in a hurry.  Unless you are Martha Stewart, stay away from dark flowers.  They end up looking like something a six year old did in art class - the only difference, when you're a grown up, no one thinks it's cute anymore.  Of course, if you want to eat them, pick a variety that's edible.  If you are like me and you go for looks over function, as in 5 inch heels walking through London, choose pretty flowers and tell people to eat a salad cause they're not getting their greens on top of your cake!
So, pick your flowers and grab two bowls and a paint brush (any will do, but you'll find that a fan brush with fine bristles will work best).  Fill one bowl with a whipped egg white and the other with very fine white sugar (just throw granulated sugar in the food processor if you don't have any on hand).  Dip your brush in the egg white, paint the top of your flower, sprinkle with sugar and repeat until the flower is covered.
Either lay your flowers flat on a wire sheet or parchment paper, or if you're like me, string the little buggers up with clothes pins (I think this keeps them looking fuller!).  You're done! Once they're dry (a few hours or more), top your cakes, cupcakes, pies, etc and leave people thinking you're a mini Martha in the making!
Light and sweet, make this cake this summer and I bet you'll get a few people asking for your recipe! Enjoy!

Angel Food Cake 
serves 8-10

Tube pan or Angel Food Cake pan (10 X 4 inches)
1 cup flour
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 dozen egg whites
1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 cup caster sugar (fine sugar, put granulated sugar in food processor if you don't have)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and place oven rack towards the bottom of the oven.  In one bowl, mix flour and powdered sugar for 30 seconds and set aside.  In another bowl, use an electric mixer to beat your eggs whites and cream of tartar until foamy, about 1.5 minute.  Add in your caster sugar, roughly two heaping teaspoon fulls at a time, on highest mixer speed.  With your last addition of sugar, add in your vanilla, almond extract, and salt.  Now beat, beat, beat until stiff, glossy peaks form (at least a minute or two more).
Once stiff peaks form, sprinkle in the flour/sugar mixture 1/4 cup at a time, and fold gently with a spatula until just incorporated.  Push into your tube pan and run a butter knife through to get the air bubbles out.
Bake 28-33 minutes until top of cake cracks and it springs back when lightly touched.  Pull it out of the oven and turn it upside down onto a metal funnel or bottle (so it hangs there to cool).  Let it hang until it's completely cool.  Don't forget to loosen the sides of the cake with a knife before inverting onto your cake plate.

Butter Cream Frosting
frosts one Angel Food Cake

1 cup butter
5-6 cups powdered sugar
1-2 teaspoons vanilla
1/3- 1/2 cup cream

Using room temperature butter, whip the butter using a fork.  Add in the powdered sugar, cream, and vanilla and whip with the fork until smooth and creamy.  If it's too thick, add more cream, a little at a time.  If it's too buttery, add more sugar.  If you like it to have more vanilla, add more!  But above all else, don't eat it all before you frost your cake!

Comments

  1. This looks so good - deliciously beautiful. Your blog is going to be such fun to explore. Thank you for your comments - I replied to you, but I'm not 100% certain that I've done it right!
    Charlie xx

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  2. Thanks so much, Charlie. We went back to your blog to read your reply. I am sure we will all figure it out someday!

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  3. It was great to meet you on Saturday and I love your blog! This looks beautiful and delicious and I am going to try our the recipe next time I have a birthday cake to make and will let you know how I get on. Katie-Lou

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  4. Hey gals!

    Can't say enough how absolutely fabulous it was to meet you both! Enjoy your summer in the US, and do stay in touch!

    PS: I love the reactions buttons on your blog, fabulous idea! I marked this one as one for keeps :)

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  5. Emm, I just posted a comment but not sure it worked, since I can't see it now... woops. Anyway, just to say it was absolutely delightful to meet you both and let's stay in touch!
    x

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  6. Girls - this looks so so pretty and I am going to have a go myself now you've inspired me!
    It was great meeting you at FBC and lets stay in touch.
    Pascale

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  7. OOOOOOO we'll have to make this when you come in to the states for the wedding..I already have little angel food cakes dancing in my head:)

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  8. This is ABSOLUTELY beautiful! Honestly, this is an amazingly elegant idea for a bride on a low budget.

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  9. Hey you two! It was so great meeting you both over the weekend, you're both true stars! Loving this angel food cake with the *pink* sweetpeas - gorgeous! (PS: no ketchup in the ingredients list?)

    =)

    M x

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  10. Katie Lou: Enjoy the cake... it's pretty enough to pass as a present!
    Anne: Great meeting you too! And trust me, this one is "for keeps!" :)
    Pascale: glad we could inspire! looking forward to inspiration from your blog as well! :)
    Heidi: I'll make as many cakes as you want for you pretty girl...it's your special day after all!
    Aphreditee: great idea! give it a few extra layers and you do have a pretty gorgeous wedding cake on your hands!
    Gemma: thanks!
    Joudie: thank you!
    Mowie: as for the ketchup, you'll never know! ;) haha... and yes, pink is Tash's favourite colour too so you two share that in common! :) Thanks for the kind words!

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  11. I am totally, utterly and deeply in love with that beautiful cake!! Have to admit, it's not something we had in South Africa either, but I'd be pleased to make its acquaintance :).

    You are so lucky to be able to do this together - if mt mom had lived long enough to see the advent of blogs, I would have LOVED to blog with her. Sorry that I did not get more of a chance to chat to you both at Food Blogger Connect over the weekend, but I will definitely be visiting you on your beautiful blog! Hope that you found the presentations to be entertaining and informative!

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  12. Hello my sweet friends, ever since I heard of this cake a few years back i have dreamt with it. it is such a wonderful cake.I had it for the first time at a very flash place in new bond street. and then i understood why it was so respected and adored. the way you have decorated yours has blown me away. it looks amazing. i might add your recipe to my repertoire - if you dont'mind. it will most certainnly taste and look stunning.xx

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  13. In my excitment forgot to ask if the cream is double cream.x

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  14. It was great to meet you both last weekend...Lovely, and so obviously talented!
    That cake looks truly gorgeous! The flowers are fantastic!
    Best wishes, and hope to keep in touch!
    Rache

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  15. Hi PB&J - have to say that I love this post nearly as much as the name of your blog! I will keep you posted with my efforts to re-create my Blueberry and Mushroom risotto! But I now really want to try this cake as well (especially the DELICIOUS butter cream!)Traceyxx

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  16. Hallo, I'm a finally getting around to actually writing comments on all the FBC blogs even though I checked you out the other day!
    I am so delighted to have met you both, you were both so bubbly and enthusiastic. These photos are really pretty, I especially like the one with the broken egg shells and petals in the egg box. I've never eaten angel cake but I imagine it to be light and fluffy?

    I look forward to lots of wonderful posts from you in the near future utilising everything you picked up last weekend!

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  17. Hi ladies, it was great meeting you at FBC last weekend! Have a fab summer in the US!
    This is a gorgeous cake! Love it.

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  18. Thanks so much for all the comments!
    Valentina it is always so nice to hear from you. In answer to your question, butter cream frosting is very forgiving. Single cream is fine, as is double. In a pinch, milk would work. Just work with the recipe, adding a bit of sugar, a little more cream until you get the consistency you need.
    Rachel, thank you for the compliments. The flowers were so easy, give it a try.
    Tracey, thank-you for getting the comical aspect of our title, it's all in good fun!
    Hi Sarah, it was great chatting with you at the conference. Yes, Angel Food Cake is very light and fluffy as it must not weigh down the angels when they eat it- they've got to fly!
    Thanks, Sari. Tash is already back in the USA, with me, Stacey soon to follow in about a month. Look for some fun blogs from the USA!

    Thanks everyone, for taking the time to look at our blog. We plan on visiting everyone's blog weekly!

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  19. Nice work girls! Very impressive. The photography is amazing. You know this angel food cake recipe is my favorite! Looks like you are having fun sharing your talents with the rest of the world. Awesome experience - so proud of you guys. Hugs, Colleen

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  20. Oh my god that is the very definition of summer on a plate. Just gorgeous.

    Enjoyed meeting you both at FBC - hope we get to catch up again soon.

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  21. Thanks for the positive feedback, Splardarif! Maybe you have some great recipes for us to showcase? xxx

    Thanks, Bron, and yes this cake is so summery!

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  22. Nice job, it’s a great post. The info is good to know! read me Its always good to learn tips like you share for blog posting. As I just started posting comments for blog and facing problem of lots of rejections. I think your suggestion would be helpful for me. I will let you know if its work for me too.

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