Anna Olson's picture perfect angel food cake

Whipped egg whites give angel food cake its angelic airiness.  This is a fantastic make-ahead cake, since it stays moist for days.

Makes 10-inch (25 cm) tube cake  |  Serves 12 to 16  |  Prep time 25 minutes  |  Cook time 35 minutes

Angel food cake
  • 1 cup cake & pastry flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 8 large egg whites, room temperature
  • ½ tsp cream of tartar
  • pinch salt
  • ½ cup icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Whipped cream and berries, to serve
Lemon mascarpone cream
  • ¾  cup whipping cream
  • ½  cup mascarpone cheese
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 3 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
Sugared fruits and flowers
  • 1 egg white, lightly whisked
  • 1 cup superfine sugar (also called fruit or quick-dissolve sugar)
Angel food cake
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 °F (160 °C).
  2. Sift the flour and granulated sugar twice and set aside.
  3. Whip the egg whites with the cream of tartar and salt until foamy, then gradually add the icing sugar (lower the speed when adding), whipping until the whites hold a medium peak when the beaters are lifted.  Stir in the vanilla.
  4. Add the flour to the whipped whites in 2 additions and using a whisk to fold in the flour evenly and easily.  Scrape the batter into a 10-inch (25 cm) ungreased tube pan, spread it to level and bake the cake for 30-35 minutes, until it springs back when gently pressed (try not to open the oven before 25 minutes).
  5. Turn the cake pan upside down to cool the cake, and do not remove the cake from the pan until completely cooled.  To remove, run a palette knife carefully around the outside of the cake, and very gently around the inner tube, invert the pan and tap it on the counter until it comes out.
  6. Serve the cake with whipped cream and berries, if you wish. The cake will keep, well wrapped (not refrigerated) for up to 4 days.
Lemon mascarpone cream
  1. Whip 1/2 cup (125 mL) of the whipping cream until it holds a soft peak. 
  2. Stir the remaining ¼ cup (50 mL) of cream into the mascarpone cheese by hand, along with the lemon zest and sugar until the sugar has dissolved. 
  3. Fold in the whipped cream and the lemon juice and chill until ready to assemble.
Sugared fruits and flowers
  1. Spread the berries out on a paper-towel lined tray and let them come up to room temperature.  Be sure the flowers are completely dry, and for larger flowers, have an empty egg carton ready.
  2. Use a small paintbrush to paint a sheer layer of egg white onto the berries and flowers. Some berries, like the raspberries and blackberries, do not need the egg white but can be dipped in the sugar directly. 
  3. Immediately after brushing, sprinkle or dip the fruits and flowers in the superfine sugar and shake off any excess. 
  4. Set the fruits  and small flowers  on the tray to dry for an hour, and large flowers can be set in the egg carton (so the air circulates all the way around them).  Once dried, you can begin to decorate your cake