Angel Cake

I really enjoy watching cooking shows. No matter who the host or what the cuisine, I always get ideas that I want to try out in my kitchen.  One of the shows I’ve been watching recently is French Food at Home on The Cooking Channel. The host is Laura Calder, a French-trained chef. Almost every recipe she presents is something that makes me want to take a trip to France to study cooking. Ah, if I had only realized that when I was thirty years younger! Oh, well, I can still watch the shows and appreciate the cuisine and techniques.

One recent episode of French Food at Home featured this lovely cake for dessert. She called it an Angel Cake, or gateau ange, though it’s not like our American-style angel food cakes. It is very light and airy, but it uses all the yolks in the batter. The result is a spongy, airy, yet slightly dense and sturdy cake. It has a delightfully different texture, richer than an angel food cake but lighter and firmer than a typical layer cake. It is delicious served with fresh berries, whipped cream or creme fraiche.

Lining the pan for Angel Cake

Before you start mixing the cake, go ahead and grease and line a 9″ springform pan. I find the easiest way to do that is to remove the bottom of the pan and use it as a template. Draw around the outside edge with a sharp-pointed paring knife. The resulting circle should exactly fit the bottom of the pan. Next grease the inside bottom of the pan, place the circle of waxed paper in the bottom and grease the top of the waxed paper, too. Then put the side onto the bottom, close the latch and grease the sides. Set the pan aside for now.

Beating egg whites for Angel Cake

You start by beating the egg whites to stiff peaks. I did the entire cake in a large mixing bowl with a whisk. Just because. Sometimes I just like to do things by hand. Yes, I’m weird like that. Please feel free to use your electric mixer instead.

Adding egg yolks to Angel Cake

Then add the yolks one-by-one incorporating each into the mixture well. You’d think you’d lose volume doing this, but you don’t at all.

Add sugar and vanilla to Angel Cake

Add the sugar and vanilla whisking or beating until they’re just incorporated. You’ll still have a voluminous, mousse-like batter.

Sift flour into Angel Cake batter

The flour goes in last. Sift the entire cup of flour over the egg and sugar mixture. Stir in well with your whisk or mixer.

Angel Cake final batter

This makes a beautiful batter that falls in a lovely ribbon. Pour it in the prepared pan and place in the preheated oven. Cook for ten minutes, then reduce the heat to 350 and cook for an additional 25-30 minutes or until the cake tests clean near the center. Start testing at about 20 minutes, though since all ovens are a little different and you don’t want to overcook this gorgeous cake.

Remove from the oven and cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Remove cake to a wire rack to cool completely. This cake is delicious served with fresh berries, whipped cream or creme fraiche.

Enjoy!

Angel Cake
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
A not too sweet, light as air cake that makes the perfect Springtime dessert.
Ingredients
  • 6 eggs, separated, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. powdered sugar for garnish (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Line and grease a 9” springform pan.
  3. In a large bowl or with a mixer, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Add the yolks one at a time fully incorporating each. Add the sugar and vanilla, beating each in well.
  4. Sift the flour over the batter. Stir in it until well mixed. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan.
  5. Place in the oven and cook for 10 minutes.
  6. Turn the heat down to 350 degrees and continue cooking for approximately 25-30 minutes or until a tester inserted near the center of the cake comes out clean.
  7. Remove from oven and cool in pan for 15 minutes.
  8. Remove from pan and place on wire rack to cool completely.
  9. Dust top of cake with powdered sugar if desired. Serve with fresh berries, whipped cream or crème fraiche.
Notes
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–Recipe from Laura Calder’s French Food at Home, The Cooking Channel

Other cheerful Springtime cakes you might enjoy from around the internet:

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Comments

  1. vi says

    this looks wonderful lana, i love angel food cakes…….so this is one i would like to try (if my springform pan isn’t too messed up)

    • says

      We really enjoyed this cake, Vi. It’s not at all like an American angel food cake – richer because of the egg yolks and cooked in a springform pan rather than a tube pan. Hope you like it, too.

  2. says

    amazing that it only has one cup of flour, looks like a buttery pound cake yet no butter and you say it’s lite, well , guess I’m just gonna have to find out…. thanks Lana

    • says

      We had it with strawberries and whipped cream and it was delicious. The presenter on Cooking Channel garnished hers with blackberries and white currants. Looked wonderful.

    • says

      We’ve had an over abundance of strawberries this Spring and the prices are rock bottom, too. Reminds me I need to go get some more to make some jam.

  3. says

    Lana, this angel food cake looks heavenly. I love your recipe, too. So simple and straightforward. I would love to try this sometime this spring! I bet it would be so amazing with fresh fruit and homemade whipped cream. Thanks for sharing and inspiring me for the season!

    • says

      Thanks, Georgia. But remember – this is not an “angel food cake” like the typical ones with only egg whites. This is an “angel cake” that uses the yolks as well. It’s a fabulous cake but I just don’t want you or others to think it’s going to turn out like the American-style angel food.

  4. says

    This is a beautiful cake Lana! I hear ya, I can’t stop watching cooking shows either. They’re so inspiring. I’ll have to check this show out for sure. Right after I savor a slice of this beautiful recipe!

    • says

      I really like one pan cakes like this. I always scrape off the frosting anyway and eat the cake, so why not just make a big, thick layer?

  5. says

    What a great cake recipe. I have to try this and try it soon. Strawberries will be here soon and I know what to pair mine with! ;)

  6. says

    I’m anxious to give this a try. You make it look so easy! I’m going to whisk it by hand–your way. I agree that sometimes that’s more fun. Somehow it feels more “homemade” to me if I haven’t used a bunch of machinery when I cook.

  7. says

    Lana, thanks for the correct baking instructions! I just made this as directed from the original recipe 400º for 60 minutes (which sounded wrong) and I burnt the cake! Making a second one using your baking instructions to take on a picnic in wine country tomorrow with a roasted strawberry sauce with chocolate balsamic.

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