National Angel Food Cake Day
Though this holiday is listed with a number of sources such as printed calendars, food websites and holiday websites, there does not seem to be any easily-found indication as to the origins of this holiday.
That does not mean the day cannot be celebrated in full. Angel food cake is a light dessert that is typically topped with berries and can be enjoyed any time of year.
Though angel food cake is a wonderful dessert, it can also be used as a component in creating other desserts.
History of Angel Food Cake
According to Food Timeline, the first recipes for angel food cake, under that name, have been found in cookbooks of the late nineteenth century. It is noted that this is around the same time that mass-produced bakeware became popular and available to the masses. This is relevant because angel food cake is traditionally made with a tube pan or other specially-molded cake pan.
It is assumed that the name comes from the description of a well-made angel food cake being so fluffy, light and delicious it is ‘fit for the angels’.
Angel Food Cake Recipes
Alton Brown of Good Eats has a 5-Star Angel Food Cake recipe posted on the Food Network websitethat bakes in approximately 35 minutes. His recipe is quite simple and requires mostly ingredients any home baker would have in his or her pantry. Orange extract is the only ingredient that may require a trip to the store, but the recipe states any extract may be used.
A 4 ½-Star recipe for a classic Angel Food Cake is on the Allrecipes website. This recipe is called Angel Food Cake III and bakes in approximately 45 minutes. The prep time is about 35 minutes, and all of the ingredients required for this recipe would likely be already in the home baker’s pantry.
Angel Food as an Ingredient in Other Recipes
Inspired by a family recipe, the following is one way I use angel food cake as an ingredient in a light, flavorful dessert:
Lite Strawberry-Banana Angel Food Delight
1 angel food cake, sliced thin
1 large package strawberry or strawberry-banana sugar-free gelatin mix
2 cups boiling water
1 ½ cups cold water
1 cup sliced strawberries
1 cup sliced bananas
1 large package vanilla or banana sugar-free pudding mix
2 cups cold milk
1 cup lite whipped cream
- Place slices of angel food cake along the bottom of a 9×13 pan.
- using a chopstick or similar instrument, poke holes in all of the cake slices
- In a medium bowl, dissolve the gelatin in the boiling water. Mix. Add the cold water. Mix. Pour over the cake and let set up over night in the refrigerator.
- Remove from refrigerator and top with sliced fruit.
- In a medium bowl, combine pudding mix with milk until smooth (approximately 2 minutes with a mixer on low-speed). Fold in the whipped cream.
- Spread the pudding and whipped cream mix onto the cake like a frosting.
- Chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
Options: use other gelatin, pudding and fruit combinations. One combination that works well is mandarin oranges (fruit) and orange gelatin with vanilla pudding mix.
Trifle is another dessert that can utilize angel food cake to create a fabulous dessert. One recipe for trifle at Fabulous Foods explains that while sponge cake can be used, the author finds that angel food cake works better in the recipe. This recipe is accompanied with a number of suggestions for variations, as well as tips and some history about trifle.
National Angel Food Cake Day is a great time for an introduction to making and trying this light dessert. What is your favorite way to have angel food cake? Be sure to share your angel food cake tips, tricks and memories in the comments section.
Food Timeline FAQs: cakes. Angel Food. Lynne Oliver. September 26, 2010. http://www.foodtimeline.org/foodcakes.html