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No other dessert feels like springtime quite like angel food cake. Light, airy and delicate, and just the right amount of sweet, angel food cake brings to mind all the beauty of spring.
Some bakers have taken a citrusy twist on their angel food cake recipes by adding lemon, bringing a refreshing new flavor to the traditional dessert. These lemon angel food cake recipes taste even sunnier and brighter thanks to the inclusion of fresh lemon juice and lemon zest.
Lemon Angel Food Cake with Lemony Frosting
Martha Stewart’s recipe for lemony angel food cake has a bonus dose of lemon: She adds a citrus cream frosting and decks it out with candied lemon flowers.
Angel food cake differs from other cakes in that the recipe doesn’t call for butter. And the only leavening agent in angel food cake is egg whites. Hence, many angel food cake recipes, including this lemony angel food cake, calls for egg whites, 12 of them to be exact. It might sound excessive, but these egg whites are what will make your lemon angel food cake so dainty and elegant. (And there are clever ways to use all of those leftover egg yolks when you’re through making this lemon angel food cake recipe. More on that shortly.)
Cream of tartar is also important here, offering extra softness and a gentle crumb to your angel food.
Stewart’s lemony angel food cake recipe calls for adding lemon zest and juice (and cream of tartar) into the egg whites before you whisk them into peaks, which mixes tons of fresh lemon flavor right into the fluffy cake.
For the icing, Stewart makes a lemon cream frosting with heavy cream, sugar and lemons, but the real star of the show is the candied lemon-peel flowers she uses to decorate the lemon angel food cake. She peels lemons, then uses a flower cookie cutter to create pretty floral shapes out of the peels. The floral lemon peels simmer in sugar and water to help make them tender and oh-so sweet.
Easy Lemon Angel Food Cake Recipe
The cake calls for caster sugar, the term for a super fine sugar that’s widely available in the United Kingdom. Caster sugar ensures your angel food cake is as light and airy as possible. It can be difficult to source in the U.S., but you can find it at a specialty baking store or on Amazon.
If you can’t find caster sugar, it is worth taking the extra step to blend your granulated sugar in the blender for a few pulses. This will grind up the sugar granules and make them extra small and light. It might seem like it wouldn’t make much of a difference, but when you’re creating a light dessert such as angel food cake, you want all your ingredients to work together to ensure the end result is as fluffy and delicate as possible.
Use The Yolks For Lemon Curd
Oh, and wondering what to do with all of your leftover egg yolks from your lemon angel food cake? Make lemon curd!
This recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction calls for egg yolks, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, butter and salt. Serve the lemon curd on top of pancakes, scones, or of course, along with your lemon angel food cake.
This recipe from the New York Times pairs lemon angel food cake with preserved lemon curd for a recipe that is destined to become the queen of your spring parties. You can buy preserved lemon, or make it yourself, but beware it takes about a month to prepare them.