Homemade Angel Food Cake…savoring the moments, and a cookbook giveaway!!!

Homemade Angel Food Cake

The last few months, I have been trying to be more intentional about slowing down and really enjoying the season of life I’m currently in. For awhile, I felt like I was moving through life at lightning speed, always racing towards the next opportunity or place to be. Making the decision to get off the hamster wheel has not only restored peace and balance to my personal life, it has changed the dynamic of our family time together as well.

As part of my quest for more simple living, the little girls and I have been spending even more time together in nature, playing board games, doing art projects, and working together in the kitchen. One recipe that we’ve really enjoyed lately is this homemade angel food cake. Light, airy, and with the most delicate texture and flavor ever, this cake would the perfect way to end your Mother’s Day brunch.

Now, I get absolutely zero credit for this recipe. It comes from the cookbook Two Chicks from the Sticks: Back Home Baking, which is co-authored by my good friend, Jill Means. Jill is my friend for many reasons, but I’d say the biggest one is that we are both passionate about getting people back in the kitchen and cooking from scratch. She and her co-author Jamie are also beautiful story tellers. Not only do they share mouth-watering recipes, they share the stories that inspired the recipes as well. From church potlucks to swinging on a rope in a barn, I really felt that I got a glimpse into what it was like growing up on a farm in rural Iowa.

When I came to this recipe for homemade angel food cake, I immediately knew it would be the first recipe I would try. Not only have I never baked an angel food cake before, but seeing the picture of the cake brought back a flood of memories from my own childhood. Every summer, we would go visit my dad’s parents at the home he grew up in in Pueblo, CO. I loved both of my grandparents, but his mama held a special place in my heart. From a very young age, she always made me feel loved, special, and that I was really “helping” her with the daily chores. Sadly, my grandma passed away while I was young, but my memories of her are still strong. I remember making homemade jam together, mud pies that she really put in the oven, twirling in the flower garden, hanging clothes outside to dry, and tasting the first homemade angel food cake I’d ever had. I can still picture the beautiful “round cake with a hole in the middle” sitting on the right side of the counter we were making jam at, taunting me with it’s beauty. When it was time to eat, the flavor did not disappoint!

If you decide to make this cake, please please please do not make the same mistake I did on my first attempt. As you read the recipe, you will see it says to invert the cake when it comes out of the oven to cool. I reread that phrase repeatedly in confusion. “Why the heck would you invert a cake to cool”, I wondered. “If I do that, the cake will surely fall out and make a big fat mess.” So I didn’t. (Yes, I am fully aware that I should have just sent Jill a text or given her a quick call to clarify. Or followed the recipe in the first place.)

I quickly learned it is crucial that you turn (invert) angel food cake upside-down on a wire rack to cool. It won’t fall out and make a big mess. However, if you choose NOT to follow the recipe and cool the cake right side up, your angel food cake will collapse into a sticky dense mess that will make you want to say things that an angel would not. I’m just saying.

Anyways, whether you make this cake for your mama on Mother’s Day or as a simple ending to an outdoor gathering, invert it to cool, embrace the simple life, and enjoy making some warm weather memories of your own. (Instructions to win your own copy of Two Chicks from the Sticks: Back Home Baking follows the recipe.)

Happy Mother’s Day mamas! You are blessed and a blessing!!!

Homemade Angel Food Cake

Ingredients:
1     cup unbleached cake flour
1½  cups powdered cane sugar
1½  cups egg whites, from about 10 large eggs
1½  tsp cream of tartar
¼    tsp sea salt
1      cup organic cane sugar
1      tsp pure vanilla
½    tsp almond extract

For the macerated strawberries:
1    pint organic strawberries
½   lemon, zest and juice
¼   cup organic cane sugar

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium bowl, sift cake flour and powdered sugar together. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer (use paddle attachment), combine egg whites, cream of tartar, salt, sugar, vanilla, and almond extract. Beat on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. (It took me 3- 5 minutes to achieve this…you want it to stick to the beater like whipped cream, not stiff like meringue.)

Gently fold flour mixture into egg mixture in four addition. (Using a spatula, not the electric mixer.) Fold each addition until flour mixture is completely incorporated into egg mixture.

Pour batter evenly into ungreased (yes, ungreased) 10-inch tupbe pan. Bake cake on bottom rack for 30 – 35 minutes, or until toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Remove cake from oven; invert pan onto a wire cooling rack until completely cool. Slide knife around edges of pan to remove cake.

To keep this dessert as light as possible, I like to serve it topped with macerated strawberries. Jill and Jamie top it with a decadent buttercream frosting in their cookbook, Two Chicks From the Sticks: Back Home Baking. Either way, serve and enjoy!

Notes: This cake is naturally vegetarian. Those sensitive to nuts can add an additional ½ tsp vanilla in place of the almond extract. This cake is so delicate that I am not sure the best way to make it gluten-free. Would love to read suggestions in the comment section. This cake tastes best when served the same day it is made, but is still mighty tasty when stored under a cake dome for at least three days. (Italic notes in recipe are my additions.)

I am so excited to let you know that one lucky Healthnut Foodie reader will receive her own copy of Two Chicks from the Sticks: Back Home Baking. To enter the giveaway, please leave a comment telling us your favorite childhood memory involving your mom, grandma, or mother-type figure! A winner will be drawn on Monday morning, May 13 using random.org. Happy Mother’s Day to you!!!

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This giveaway is now closed. Congrats to Candace W.!!!

 

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Comments

  1. Jackie hinel says:

    Hi! A memory that comes to mind is visiting my grandma on the farm in North Dakota. She’s petite at about 5’1″ and maybe 100 pounds but she is the toughest woman I know. I spent a couple weeks with them one summer when I was little. I have fond memories of “helping” my grandpa feed the cattle and helping grandma eat her famous homemade sugar cookies. To this day, I’ve never found better tasting cookies. Ever. I remember picking peas in her garden and having her wash my hair in the sink. She is still alive today but had to leave the farm. If I could have half her strength, I’d be lucky!

  2. Sandra H says:

    We didn’t really “celebrate” Easter in my family, no bunnies, eggs, and all that Easter business, so when my best friends (our neighbors) invited me over for Easter I didn’t expect the day would be out of the ordinary. i was so very wrong. She has a scavenger hunt set up for all of her kids (even the grown ones) and I thought it would be so fun to help them scavenge. I was SHOCKED when she had a scavenger hunt set up for me too!! I’ll never forget running around the farm looking for my Easter basket!

  3. I remember my mom stopping the van on the side of the road because she found a cotton field. She ran over to the fence and picked a couple of cotton flowers because she wanted to show us what our clothes looked like before they became clothes. I loved that she saw opportunities like that and seized them, even if it meant putting off her previously arranged plans for a few minutes.

  4. Anna F says:

    I have great memories of going out to pick rhubarb stalks with my grandma, bringing it back in and making pies for the week. She was so amazing in many ways!

  5. Candace W. says:

    One of my favorite memories is about my great grandmother, Effie. She was a wonderful woman and lived near a lake where my grandparents had a cabin we would visit often. I remember fishing with my grandfather, and then taking her the catch where we would have a big fish fry. Fried fish and watermelon. Miss her and those yummy treats!

  6. Ashley Huebner says:

    My mom always makes the BEST cutout cookies at Christmas. I always loved getting to ice and decorate them with she and my sister growing up!! I would sing along with Mariah Carey Christmas while “attempting” to ice the cookies nicely!! Everyone always knew which ones I decorated! 🙁

  7. I loved creating art with my mom. Whether it was her teaching art classes to my second grade class or creating some sort of beautiful edible art in the form of a cake, it was inspiring to see both her creativity and her generosity!

  8. We’re of German heritage, so my memory is of making strudels from scratch with my Grandmother. These strudels aren’t the sweet kind but were a meal side dish. It was
    quite an undertaking (at least in my child’s eyes) and included making and kneading the
    dough; then pulling it out until the dough was paper thin; rolling and cutting into individual strudels; and then finally steaming the strudels until dryish but still tender. Yum! Makes me want to head to the kitchen just thinking about it.

  9. Lynelle Lankford says:

    Most of my memories of my grandma revolve around her Thanksgiving meals. No one can beat her holiday dishes. She made homemade egg noodles for years and they were always the most sought-after dish on the table.

  10. Oh my Mother, she is the best. I remember growing up her going out of her way to bless my dad or my sisters and I, usually with some delicious treat. She still does this today 🙂

  11. One of my favorite childhood memories is of my grandmother, Kate, working out in her amazing vegetable garden. She could grow anything and would make the best fried okra and wilted lettuce from her bounty. I aspire to have her green thumb!

  12. Kourtney says:

    Both of my sets of grandparents lived on farms when I was growning up. I remember most making sugar cookies with my materal grandmother, flour and sprinkles everywhere, but super fun. My paternal grandmother made fantastic zucinni bread. She passed away a year ago and I miss her a lot. Maybe it is time to try her recipe. Thanks!

  13. I have strong memories…and not so flattering pictures…of my Grandma curling my bangs. I had thick wavy hair and wavy bangs and thought it was so neat that she would go to the beauty shop and get her hair “curled and set”. (And a little stumped why she didn’t wash it for awhile. lol) She would come home from her outing and go to work on my hair. Super curly and super big and completely unflattering, but I loved it!

  14. Danielle says:

    My grandma used to make us cream puffs – so yummy! She held a special place in my heart – in fact, I named my 1st daughter after her.

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