Inside: Your new no fail angel cake recipe for when you need a yummy dessert in a hurry. Perfect for newbie chiefs. #juniorchefs
Has this ever happened to you? You look at the clock and realize your guests will arrive in an hour and you only have large quantities of Cesar salad and boiled buckwheat in the fridge?
No worries, you can get dessert on the table even if it feels like there is nothing in your fridge. This junior version of an angel cake requires only four ingredients, takes 30 minutes to bake, and can be made by little kids. The trick is to skip separating eggs yolks from egg whites as it’s traditionally done in angel cake recipes. The result is a cake that is less fluffy. But it still yummy and kids end up getting more protein.
It’s one of the first cakes my kids learned to make independently.
Gluten-free option: These days we prefer gluten-free flour, which requires the addition of salt and baking powder. Today we use King Arthur’s gluten-free blend. If you are using plain wheat flour you don’t need to add salt and baking powder.
A no-fail angel cake recipe
What you need
1 ½ cups flour (for gluten-free option: 1 ½ cups of gluten-free flour with 1 teaspoon salt + 2 teaspoons baking powder)
1 ½ cups sugar (or 2 ½ cups confectioner’s sugar)
1 tablespoon vanilla
If you happen to have berries and whipped cream, they make a beautiful decoration. Otherwise, just sprinkle a bit of powdered sugar on top. Or as an alternative, mix powdered sugar with a drop of milk and drizzle it over the sides.
What to do
- Preheat oven to 350F and grease tube cake pan. (Note: we like to sprinkle it with a bit of flour after greasing to make sure the cake definitely doesn’t stick to the pan).
- With a handheld mixer, beat together eggs and sugar. My kids are all huge fans of the handheld mixer so they like to keep going for a good long time. 5 minutes at least. The goal is to create a mixture that is thick, creamy, and foamy.
- Add flour, baking powder, salt, and vanilla. My kids mix dry ingredients in with a spoon, then add a minute with a handheld mixer to finish. It helps to avoid flour shower (that’s when all that fine flour is blown all over the kitchen by placing beaters into the bowl at a wrong angle. Happened only twice over here :).
- Bake 30 minutes in a toaster oven and 40 minutes in a regular oven. You know it’s done when a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Warning: this cake is not very sweet. As one of my sons put it, “it’ sort of sugary… in a distant way.” Bah-ha-ha! I think what he was trying to say, is that you can taste some sweetness, but it’s not as sweet as a typical dessert. If you prefer very sweet desserts than definitely do a sugar glaze. Sugar glaze: mix about 2 cups of powdered sugar (or confectioner’s sugar) with 1-2 Tablespoons of milk, then pour over the cake like on a photo below.
My daughter loves to decorate!
Not bad for a cake made by a five and seven-year-old under the supervision of a ten-year-old, right?!
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If your kids are as curious about everything as mine are, they will probably want to know why it is called an Angel Cake. Angel Cake is an American invention and was probably originally baked by African-American slaves.
According to some sources it came to be known as a “food of the angels” due to its airy lightness. There is no butter in the original recipe and even the pan is not supposed to be greased to allow “the cake to have a surface upon which to crawl up helping it to rise.”
It’s also possible that the name came from cake’s color. Originally angel cake was made with a large quality of egg whites beaten until stiff and the resulting cake was white as snow. The egg yolks would have made it yellow. Upon learning this fact my kids immediately wanted to know, “what did they do with all those egg yolks?!”
This large quantity of egg whites was left over from making noodles. In the old days’ folks couldn’t just walk to the store to buy noodles and had to make them at home from flour, egg yolks, and salt.
Our recipe skips the arduous task of separating eggs whites and yolks to make it more manageable for kids. It’s not as airy and white as the original, but it’s still tasty and much better than the one you can buy from a store. We like to make it in a summer with fresh berries from our backyard. And we always make it on October 10th, which is a National Angel Food Cake Day. #AngelFoodCakeDay
If you ever find yourself in a situation when you have to whip up a yummy cake in a hurry or you are looking for the best starter cake for your junior chiefs this recipe is for you.
What’s your go-to cake recipe for when you are in a hurry?