Birthdays call for cake. Be it a bakery cake or homemade it just doesn’t feel like a birthday without a cake. I have a close friend who usually makes a simple chocolate cake (off the back of the Hershey’s Coco Powder box) for every family birthday. It’s tradition, it’s delicious, and it’s simple. No amazing bakery needed, no layers to put together just a simple sheet cake. With some amazing homemade icing. When I lived in Chicago, I used to buy birthday cakes at this amazing bakery: A Taste of Heaven Bakery. The thousand chip cake was fantastic. Now days I’m baking my own cakes. They might not be as glamorous but they are tasty to me.
I’ve been in a bundt cake rut this year. All that butter and sugar makes for a delicious gluten free cake. But what about a lighter option for summer? Angel food cake is the perfect summer dessert. What fun to celebrate a summer birthday with an airy sweet cake and fresh berries. I pulled out my mother’s trusty Joy of Cooking for this recipe. The cookbook is like walking down memory lane. Filled with notes from her mother, friends, and memorial cards. I love to look through it to find tidbits of the past. Sometimes I find stories that I’ve never heard her tell. Or I’ll find a token remembering a long gone friend. I’ve started to stash my own mementos in cookbooks. It’s a great way to come upon a favorite recipe and a lovely memory at the same time.
This angel food cake was to celebrate my mother’s birthday this year. Although she’s not a celiac nor gluten free she ate gluten free angel food cake for her birthday. Not that she minded. I think it’s an easy switch as only a cup or so of flour goes into the cake. Cup4Cup is my not so secret ingredient. No one could discern a difference switching out the flour. It’s just a cake baked to celebrate a birthday with family. What could better?
- 1 Cup Cup4Cup gluten free flour
- 1 1/2 cups superfine white sugar
- 1 1/2 cups egg whites, about 10 eggs (let sit at room temperature for 30 mins)
- 1 tsp cream of tartar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- Set oven to 350 degrees and set rack to middle of the oven.
- Separate egg whites and let sit for approximately 1/2 hour until room temp.
- Prep flour by sifting it with 1/2 of the sugar set aside.
- In a stand mixer with whisk attachment whip egg whites, cream of tartar, lemon juice, vanilla and salt until soft peaks form.
- Add in 1/2 of the superfine sugar and beat until stiff peaks form with a glossy look.
- Take bowl off stand mixer.
- Using a spatula fold in the flour/sugar mixture in 3 parts into the egg whites. Make sure not to stir but fold to not deflate the egg whites.
- Pour angel food cake batter into the tube pan.
- Use the spatula to cut through the mixture to make sure no air bubbles are in the pan.
- Bake for approximately 45 mins or until top is browned and cake is firm to touch.
- Take cake out of oven and immediately upside down onto beer bottle to cool. (rest center of tube pan on the bottle mouth)
- When completely cool, use a flexible knife to go around the edge of the cake to unmold. Use as well on bottom of cake to take off center form.
- When ready to serve, use serrated knife to saw through cake as to not squeeze it.
Make sure all equipment is clean and free of grease. Use a bit of white vinegar to wipe out the mixing bowl. Use a 10 inch two piece tube pan or angel food cake pan. Also have a beer bottle on hand for cooling.