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Homemade Angel Food Cake

Homemade Angel Food Cake with Almond Scented Butter Icing

A Traditional Family Special Occasion Cake 6 generations strong; still beloved by each and every one of us.

Course Dessert
Cuisine Canadian
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 1 cake
Author Valerie Lugonja via Helen McKinney


Ingredients for the Angel Food Cake:

  • one large angel food cake pan (if you have a small pan, the ingredient amounts for this are in the photocopied recipe, above)
  • 1 2/3 cups egg white (about one dozen large eggs)
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sifted (3 times) cake flour
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 cup sifted granulated sugar

Ingredients for the Icing:

  • 3 cups icing sugar
  • 2/3 cup room temperature butter , unsalted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/4 cup boiling water , or more (or less) as needed


Instructions for the Angel Food Cake:

  1. Separate eggs; let stand at room temperature for at least one hour
  2. Pre-heat oven to 375ºF
  3. Sift together flour with 3/4 cups of granulated sugar (recipe says four times, mom does it three times)
  4. Combine egg whites, salt, cream of tartar and flavourings in large mixing bowl
  5. Beat (at no. 12 speed, if you have a Sunbeam) until whites are stiff and hold a peak (1 1/2 to 2 minutes: do beat until dry: do not overbeat)

  6. Sprinkle in rapidly, while beating (number 8 speed) the sifted cup of granulated sugar (about 1 minute); scrape the bowl gently toward beaters, as necessary
  7. Turn speed to very low, and sprinkle in sifted flour-sugar mixture slowly, folding into the whites evenly using the up and over fold motion (about 1 and 1/2 minute)

  8. Remove bowl from mixer; using a rubber spatula, cut through batter, folding over and over a few times
  9. Carefully place batter into ungreased pan, gently pushing into place

  10. Cut through batter with a straight-edged spatula, moving it around and around in widening circles 6 times without lifting the spatula

  11. Bake immediately for about 35 minutes or until cake tester comes out completely clean

  12. Invert immediately; hang until completely cold
  13. Insert straight-edged spatula between cake and edge of pan to release cake, pushing it around the edge of the pan to release the cake

  14. Release cake from pan; do the same around the centre hold, then on the bottom

  15. Place a plate over the top of the cake; invert onto the plate
  16. Can be eaten immediately, but is usually best eaten the next day (cover with glass cake cover until next day)

  17. Mom always wraps extremely well in plastic wrap and freezes for at least one night, then ices the cake while frozen (She prepares the icing before taking the cake out of the freezer)

Instructions for the Icing:

  1. (Prepare the icing while cake is frozen and remains in freezer)
  2. Place sugar and butter in small pot on low stove burner; mix together
  3. Add extracts with scant 1/4 cup of boiling water; beat together using small electric mixer, or rigorously with hand whisk until achieving consistency in the photo (far above)
  4. Add a little more water, as necessary, keeping the pot on very low heat: really beating the icing well should bring it together

  5. Ice cake before icing sets, or immediately, with a large offset spatula

Recipe Notes

Mom never makes just one cake. She always makes 2 at a time, and almost as often, 4. The ingredients are prepared, lined up on her counter and she moves through each cake like a pro. There is always a frozen angel food cake waiting for icing in her freezer. I cannot imagine not being able to count on mom, in emergencies, to ask her to ice one for me.

She has never said no.

She is famous within my circle of friends and this city for her cakes. Each and everyone is perfect.