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Tangerine Angel Food Cake #Baketogether

“They “say that April showers bring May flowers but I think they bring April Angel Food Cake. Call me crazy but spring seems like the perfect time to dust off the angel food pan, use up those egg whites in the frig or freezer  and whip up one of my favorite classic desserts. That’s right this #baketogether is old-school baby (spoken in a Cake Boss kinda way). April is a celebratory month what with Passover and Easter quickly approaching and, for me, it’s also birthday month! Alex and T were born 3 days short of 3 years apart – A on the 23rd and T on the 20th. This cake will be the perfect dessert for all these occasions. Oh, and if you don’t have any whites hanging around,  crack open a few fresh eggs and use the yolks to make a killer curd to serve alongside this cake. Check out my curd recipe on  FineCooking.com

And speaking of companionship.. I’ve added a second recipe to this month’s #baketogether. No, not because I want you all to work yourselves to the bone but because I think this cake deserves a little dose of friendship especially if it’s in the form of a bittersweet, salty and boozy caramel sauce. That’s right.. this killer sauce has a good shot of Grand Marnier in it but… you might want to make it espresso… or raspberry. You know.. be all kinds of #baketogether-y with it. And, just to make things really interesting, check out this technique. If you’ve ever wanted to make a caramel sauce “dry”, now is your chance. It’s the same as making a regular sauce but you don’t add any water to the sugar which allows the crystals to melt and caramelize nice and slowly. I’ve included a  few pix to guide you through this process – check ’em out below. It’s a few more than usual so I made them smaller. Please let me know if you think there are too many or if you’d prefer them ‘normal’ size.

If you are new to #Baketogether – Welcome! We are a very inclusive  group of happy bakers and I just know you’ll have fun. Subscribe to my rss feed so you stay in-the-know and check out this post for some info on how we #baketogether.

Here are a few suggestions for switching things up:

  • Change the shape: Maybe you want to try making angel cake layers or muffins or loaves.. Go on.. give it a try.
  • Add more or different flavors: Adding citrus zest or finely chopped herbs like lemon basil to the batter is an easy addition. Or, you can really shake things up and go with coffee, almond, cocoa .. maybe all three. Who knows?
  • Add texture: finely ground nuts, cornmeal or poppy seeds can add complexity as well as texture to the cake. If you are going here, I’d fold them in at the end.
  • Change the sauce: Move over to another flavor entirely ( chocolate? Fruit?) or monkey around with this “dry” caramel sauce.
  • Add a drizzle or a glaze: Any complimentary  flavor will be great.

So here’s your chance to chose one or both recipes to make your own. And, remember, here at #baketogether, we love all shapes, sizes and flavors equally so put on your thinking caps and start planing Tangerine Angel Food Cake #Baketogether right now. Let me know when the cake is cooled and I’ll be right over.  As always, if you need further guidance or inspiration, give me a holler!

To those that celebrate, Happy Passover and Happy Easter! And to A and T, in case you are reading.. Happy Birthday babies.



ps.. My first give away is coming soon.. bakers are going to love it!

I thought a few hints and pix would help you before you dive into the recipes.

For the cake:

  • Start with uber clean mixer and beater. I rinse both with cold water and a good splash of  vinegar (I use cider or white) to rid them of any hint of grease and dry with a clean towel.
  • The beaten whites shouldn’t be too stiff. The peak should bend softly.IMG_0796
  • The pan will be at least 3/4 of the way full.IMG_0797
  • When I say that you cool this gal upside down, I really mean it.IMG_0801
  • Here she is out of her pan.IMG_0819

For the Sauce:

  • The crystals are beginning to melt around the edgesIMG_0764
  • Almost there and it’s time to swirl.IMG_0769
  • Check out the color.IMG_0772
  • Careful. The caramel really bubbles up when you add the cream and butter and the steam can cause some damage so please stand back.IMG_0775
  • I use my flat whisk to smooth and blend the sauce but any wire whisk will work.IMG_0779
  • The best and easiest way to clean the pan and whisk is to add water to the skillet and place over medium high heat and boil until the caramel is dissolved.

A final picture IMG_0832


Tangerine Angel Food Cake with Bittersweet Caramel Sauce
Makes one voluptuous, 10-inch cake or about 12 servings.

For the cake:
1 cup (4 ounces) cake flour
1 1/4 cup (5 ounces) confectioners’ sugar
1/4  teaspoon table salt
11 large (1 1/3 cups) egg whites, at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 cup (7 ounces) superfine sugar
2 tablespoons finely grated tangerine zest
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

For the sauce (makes 1 1/2 cups):
1 cup (7 ounces) granulated sugar
1 cup heavy cream, warmed
4 tablespoons (2 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 -3  tablespoons Grand Marnier
Good pinch of Fleur de Sel

To make the cake:
Heat oven to 350. Have ready an 10 x 4–inch angel food cake pan.  If the pan doesn’t have feet to support it while cooling the cake, have ready a bottle or funnel to hold the pan in a level, upside-down position.

Sift ( just a regular old sieve will work here) together the flour, confectioners’ sugar and salt three times (no joke – THREE times) onto a sheet of parchment, waxed paper or foil and set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment on medium-low speed until foamy. Add the cream of tartar, increasing speed to medium, and beat until whites are opaque and climbing about half way up the bowl (the tracks from the whisk will be beginning to hold their shape) forming very soft peaks. Continue beating while slowly and continuously adding the superfine sugar. Beat on medium high until the whites are thick, shiny and form medium-firm, fluffy peaks. (The peaks should droop over gently.) Do not over beat. You want to leave some room for those whites to expand in the oven. Add the tangerine zest and vanilla. Beat just until blended, about 10 seconds.

Sift 1/4 of the flour mixture over the beaten whites. Using a large rubber spatula, gently fold the dry ingredients into the whites. Repeat with remaining flour mixture, one quarter at a time.

Using the spatula to gently coax the batter, pour evenly into the prepared pan.  Smooth the top. Bake until the cake is light golden brown and the cake is springy when touched, about 40 minutes. Immediately invert the pan onto the counter if the pan has feet or if it doesn’t, invert the pan sliding the center tube onto the neck of the bottle. Let cool completely.

To remove the cake, rotate the pan, gently tapping the bottom edge of the cake pan on the counter as you turn it until the cake loosens from the pan. If necessary, run a long, thin knife between the cake and the pan and around the inside of the tube to loosen the cake. Slip the cake from the pan and gently lift it up from the center of the pan and arrange on a flat serving plate.

To make the sauce:
In a medium, heavy skillet,spread the sugar in an even layer. Cook over low heat until the sugar is melted and the caramel is deep brown, about 10 minutes. Stop stirring, increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. If sugar crystals form around the edge of the pan, wash down with a clean pastry brush dipped in water. Boil without stirring until the liquid turns deep amber in color, about 5 minutes.

As the mixture darkens, gently swirling (not stirring) the pan over the heat to caramelize evenly. (I like to test the color by putting a drop or two on a white plate. If the caramel is too light in color, the sauce will be too sweet – too dark and it will be bitter.) Slide the pan from the heat and slowly add the heavy cream. Be careful as the mixture will bubble and spatter and the steam will be very hot. Using a long-handled wooden spoon, stir gently until the caramel is completely melted and the sauce is smooth.

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the butter, cardamom and salt. Set aside to cool. Use warm or at room temperature or cover and refrigerate up to 2 weeks.

Cut the cooled cake using a serrated knife and a gently sawing motion. (I’d say you can use an angel food knife but I don’t think anyone has those any more.) Serve slices of cake drizzled with the warm or room temperature caramel sauce.

Via Jennifer:I made a carrot angel food cake, with multi-colored carrots (red, yellow, and orange). The weight and moisture of the carrots did prevent the cake from rising as much as usual, but it still worked out well enough.I made a double batch of buttermilk glaze, poured half of it over the cooled cake then took the other half and beat it into a brick of cream cheese, to make a frosting.
Via DrBabs:  I was with my brother-in-law last weekend for Passover.  He’s an amazing baker.  The changes we made were to make it kosher.  We used matzo cake meal in place of flour, and made Passover-friendly confectioner’s sugar by putting 1 1/4 cup of granulated sugar minus 4 tablespoons with 4 tablespoons of potato starch into a blender, and voila! 1 1/4 cup of confectioner’s sugar.  (Actually a little more.)  To up the orange flavor, we added fior di sicilia, a wonderful orange extract (about a teaspoon).  We also beat the egg whites with a teaspoon of kosher salt instead of cream of tartar because I don’t like the taste of cream of tartar, and the salt helps the whites beat up really well).

Via Nickelmoon: Here is what I learned from this one: 1.Use only fresh eggs-the fine print on egg whites sold in stores says they WON’T beat up for cakes. 2. DO NOT grease the pan…had to search for that one…preparing the pan as you would for other cakes, doesn’t work with egg white based cakes because  they need to “grip” to rise. 3. There is a fine line to over-beating. 4. You CAN freeze egg yolks. 5. Everyone loves this cake—evokes memories of a kinder time.
Spicy Angel’s Cake: cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, allspice and black pepper as well as some homemade squash butter.  Softly spicy with a hint of heat.

// ]]>

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  • Laura @MotherWouldKnow
    April 3, 2012 at 11:29 am

    Oooh lala. Unfortunately some of us will have to wait until after Passover to try this one, but when we do – watch out!! Many angel food cake recipes are so plain, but this one looks so tempting.

  • Lisa | Dust with Flour
    April 3, 2012 at 11:44 am

    Oh, she’s very pretty! Can’t wait.

    • Abby Dodge
      April 3, 2012 at 4:00 pm

      She is lovely, isn’t she? I’ve been saying that I could wear her as a hat..

  • Cher
    April 3, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    That is beautiful.
    Thank you for showing the pictures of the whipped egg whites – figuring out what stage they should be in always seems to be my nemesis.
    And that sauce just sounds amazing.

    • Abby Dodge
      April 3, 2012 at 4:01 pm

      Glad you found that pic helpful.. A picture really can replace the words..

  • Elizabeth @Mango_Queen
    April 3, 2012 at 9:32 pm

    I love angel food cake! I’m tempted to #baketogether ! Just might add some of my favorite flavors. That said, I’m off to experiment in the kitchen ! Thanks for sharing this recipe, Abby !

    • Abby Dodge
      April 4, 2012 at 9:44 am

      Hi Elizabeth! How did we not see each other at IACP? Very sad. I’d love to have you join in for #baketogether !

  • happycao
    April 4, 2012 at 2:32 am

    Hi, if I were to make these into cupcakes or in a silicon bundt pan, do I need to turn the pan upside down as well when cooling?

    • Abby Dodge
      April 4, 2012 at 9:49 am

      Great questions.. I haven’t baked with Silicone so I’m not sure how to answer this q.. I’ll ask folks on twitter and see if anyone has thoughts. That said, my gut reaction is that the silicone pan won’t be sturdy enough to hold it’s shape when it’s upside down – but I’m not sure. The thought behind the inverted cooling is to keep the cake from collapsing.. I’ll have some extra egg whites this afternoon (Easter Sugar Cookies in progress). I’ll do a little experimenting with the cupcakes and get back to you.

      • happycao
        April 4, 2012 at 4:01 pm

        ooo…let me know how it goes! and easter sugar cookies sounds amazing right now!

        • Abby Dodge
          April 4, 2012 at 5:05 pm

          will do.. Didn’t get to them today- t’mrow will be the day. I had the final pass of my upcoming book that I had to finish..Due out in September.

  • Georgie
    April 4, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    Great minds think alike… I was wondering what to make for Easter that would travel well and thought of an Angel Food Cake with berries. I’m super excited about this #baketogether. I’m making this next week, for Greek Easter & I’m making your caramel sauce too. Swoon!

    • Abby Dodge
      April 4, 2012 at 5:04 pm

      oh.. good timing on my part! Happy Easter

  • Mireia
    April 4, 2012 at 4:49 pm


    • Abby Dodge
      April 4, 2012 at 5:04 pm

      Love to have bake with all of us!

  • Renee - Kudos Kitchen
    April 5, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    I’ve only made an angle food cake once, and that was a looooong time ago. I guess it’s about time I dust off my cake pan and get busy whipping up those egg whites. Your looks amazing Abby!!!

    • Abby Dodge
      April 9, 2012 at 4:32 pm

      Dust off that pan Renee and get your baketogether on!!

  • Hanaa
    April 5, 2012 at 11:46 pm

    I’ve made an orange flavored AF cake before and have no doubt it’ll taste awesome with tangerine zest as well. The other day I saw an AF cake that was shaped like a roll. In other words, it was baked in a jelly roll pan. It looked really interested and I’d like to try that. Do you think it would work OK? What size jelly roll pan would you estimate I’d need for your recipe?


    • Abby Dodge
      April 9, 2012 at 4:34 pm

      LOVE the roll cake idea! I’d go with a half sheet pan but you might still have to cut the recipe down ~ That’s part of the baketogether fun, right??

  • Janis
    April 6, 2012 at 11:19 am

    This looks so good! I hopefully will have time this month to make it.

    • Abby Dodge
      April 9, 2012 at 4:36 pm

      HOping you can squeeze ‘her’ in!

  • Janwa
    April 6, 2012 at 8:40 pm

    I’m in! I already have some egg whites thawing in the fridge! 🙂

    • Abby Dodge
      April 9, 2012 at 4:35 pm

      WHOOT WHOOT!! Keep us posted!

  • Judy
    April 8, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    This post brought back memories from many many years ago. I was a teenager who was taking home ec. in school (Do they even still call it that?) My grandmother’s birthday was approaching and I wanted to make her her favorite cake. Angel Food Cake with Lemon Icing. I got a rcipe from my home ec teacher and she used a class to teach all of us the technique. I decided to add lemon to the cakes also and thus began a lifetime of tweaking recipes to make them mine. That my friend was back in the 50’s.
    For her birthday I made 2 lemon angelfood cakes – sliced them in half and filled them with a thin layer of lemon pie filling and covered them with a thin lemin icing just before they were served so they wouldn’t get soggy. Not too shabby for a rank amature if I do say so myself – Thanks for the lovely memory and I follow all your bake alongs.

    • Abby Dodge
      April 9, 2012 at 4:37 pm

      I am impressed! You were a Baketogether baker before you even knew it.. The layering idea sounds delicious!

  • Jody @FieldstoneFarm
    April 9, 2012 at 11:55 am

    I raise fancy breed chickens, and always have a supply of wonderful fresh eggs. Angel Food cake is a staple at my house, along with creme brûlée (made with the unused egg yolks.) Still have almond AF from Easter, can’t wait to play with this for #baketogether… Fun!!!

    • Abby Dodge
      April 9, 2012 at 4:38 pm

      OOOO… I have “egg” envy.. lucky you! Can’t wait to see what you whip up this month Jody.

  • Jamie
    April 11, 2012 at 9:24 am

    Voluptuous is right! Gorgeous! And that sauce is to die for! Stunning! Now I often make sponge cakes of so many flavors and have even made yours, but I don’t make angel food cakes because of all the yolks left! Gotta put on my thinking cap…

  • Nina
    April 12, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    Wow…looks delicious. First time to your blog and loved it. I so want to participate in Baketogether…..will make the angel cake and post it:)

    • Abby Dodge
      April 12, 2012 at 5:50 pm

      Hi Nina and Welcome! Looks to me like you and I are cut from the same baking cloth. Can’t wait to see what you do with this cake!

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  • Sheri
    April 17, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    Holy crap, is this a delicious cake! I made cupcakes. And balanced out the healthy cake with a luscious caramel buttercream.


    • happycao
      April 18, 2012 at 4:37 pm

      Oh good to hear it turns out well as cupcakes!

  • Elizabeth @Mango_Queen
    April 17, 2012 at 11:23 pm

    Hi Abby, yes, too bad we didn’t get to connect at the IACPNYC. What a wonderful experience it was! Next event, we must see each other.
    And here it is, my favorite fruit, the MANGO lazily glazed over your divinely delicious Angel Food Cake recipe ! It was superb. My family enjoyed it. Thanks for sharing the recipe, Abby! Presenting The Mango Caramel Angel Food Cake….


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  • Louisa
    April 24, 2012 at 1:07 am


    I really enjoyed reading this post, and noted with pleasure that you planned to serve Angel Food Cake for your children’s birthdays. You likely do not recall that when we were very young, my mother always served an Angel Food Cake heaped with pastel colored Seven Minute Frosting at my birthday parties. I have a picture of you at one of those parties digging in! I love your idea of serving such an ethereal cake with a rich, unctuous caramel sauce instead.

    • Abby Dodge
      April 25, 2012 at 9:54 am

      your Mom frosted angel food cake w pastel colored 7 minute frosting? Inspired choice –creating the best of both worlds! Funny you should mention a pic of me.. I just stumbled across pix of you and Mary and Lisa in the garden at Packer – great memories!

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  • Nina
    April 24, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    Abby, I just posted mine. We loved the cake…thank you so much for the lovely recipe. Looking forward to more of baketogether:)

    • Abby Dodge
      April 25, 2012 at 9:55 am

      Oh my.. this looks stunning! and I love that you’ve given everyone a Half recipe.. perfect!

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  • Nancy
    April 28, 2012 at 10:53 pm

    Sprinkles, anyone? So glad I made time to #baketogether this month, it sure beats my usual modus operandi, bakealonebetween10pmandmidnight! Still tweaking the post, recipes will follow but wanted to get’er up while it’s still April. Baketogether love.

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  • Lisa | Dust with Flour
    April 29, 2012 at 6:14 pm

    Loved the cake! I did nothing fancy this time, just substituted almond extract. Made a blackberry curd to accompany the cake. Next time I will switch things up a bit. Beautiful recipe.

    Thank you for hosting us. As always, I’ve enjoyed seeing the other bakers’ inspirations.


  • Michelle Jaffee
    April 30, 2012 at 7:00 am

    Fun one, Abby! I must say I am re-addicted to angel food cakes. Not necessarily a bad thing. : )

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  • Hannah
    April 30, 2012 at 10:10 am

    My family LOVED this cake, Abby! Thank you for sharing your terrific recipe and directions. I’ll be baking it again and again. 🙂

  • Renee - Kudos Kitchen
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    Whoops, I added my link but didn’t put my name to it on the thumbnail. I added the title instead. Sorry.

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