9/23/09

Lemon Angel Cake Using a Prepared Angel Food Cake

Angel food cake was always a 'birthday' staple in my home growing up. We might have a 'regular' cake on say, a Tuesday evening in August, but when it came to one of our birthdays, we knew it would be angel food cake. I'm not sure why, as it's not that we all loved angel food more than a typical white or chocolate cake... as a matter of fact I would bet my brothers would have chosen the other cake if given a choice, but it was tradition and the fact that angel food cakes appeared on our birthdays made them special.

The funny thing is... we didn't want them frosted. My mother used to frost them, but I think she realized that most of the time the sweet cake coupled with the overly sweet powdered sugar frosting she made was overkill. We tempered it with ice cream and scraped off the frosting. Soon it was our family tradition to have a naked Angel Food Cake for our birthdays... served with chocolate or vanilla ice cream.

My own family today prefers different styles of cakes for birthdays, but my love for angel food has never wavered. This recipe is old... Grandma's and Great Grandma's have been making it for the last 50 years, but with the internet, everything old is new again and you can find a directory list for any topic or website - which is great because classics will never be lost with so much information at our fingertips.

Coupling angel food with lemon just makes sense. So good!

Lemon Angel Cake

2 envelopes unflavored gelatin
1 cup lemon juice
6 eggs, separated
2 cups sugar, divided
19-ounce angel food cake, in 1-inch pieces
1 cup heavy cream
¼ cup powdered sugar


Soften gelatin in lemon juice. Beat egg yolks until thick and lemon-colored. Combine with 1 cup sugar and gelatin mixture in small pan. Cook over low heat till thickened. Cool. Beat egg whites to soft peaks. Gradually add remaining sugar. Beat until stiff and glossy. Fold in lemon mixture. Fold cake into mixture, coating all pieces well. Spoon into lightly greased 10-inch tube pan. Chill overnight. Combine cream and powdered sugar (2-3 drops of yellow food color if desired). Beat stiff. Remove cake from pan. Spread cream over. Store in refrigerator.
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