Angel food cake with lemon curd and Italian meringue

This Angel Food Cake With Lemon Curd and Italian Meringue is one of the classics. Light and airy with just a hint of sweetness, it makes for a perfect light dessert. Filled with a tart and creamy lemon curd and topped with a fluffy vanilla Italian meringue you’ll feel like you are eating a lemon flavoured cloud.

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Angel food cake has long been my favourite. I can’t remember asking my mom for any other kind for my birthday. That is probably why I still use the recipe my mom and grandma used. This is why I’ve busted out my trusty Better Homes & Gardens Cookbook from 1946 😆. I may be a bit of a hoarder, but this book was put together by my Nan and I feel at this point it’s clearly a family heirloom.

How to make Angel Food Cake

Start by mixing the cake flour and granulated sugar together and sift. Sift the flour and sugar three more times four a total of four. Set aside and move on to the next step.

Now place the egg whites into the bowl of a stand mixer. With the whisk attachment,  mix until the egg whites are light and frothy.

Squeeze in the juice from one lemon (you can also use cream of tartar). Return the mixer to medium high and whip until soft peaks form. 

Now add the remaining granulated sugar, a tablespoon at a time, until it’s all added.

Once all the sugar has been whipped in add the vanilla and mix until fully incorporated.

Now remove the bowl from the stand mixer and, in three additions, add the sifted flour. Do this by folding from the bottom up and bring it over the top this will evenly add the dry ingredients but not knock out any of the air we have whipped in.

Now using an ungreased (I repeat, DO NOT grease) angel food cake pan, fill it with the cake mixture. Then use an offset spatula to even the top. Once you’ve completed this, put it in the oven to bake. 

When the cake has fully baked remove it from the oven and invert onto a bottle, honestly I find a beer bottle works perfectly.

Let the cake cool completely, but don’t leave it way beyond that as it will get harder to remove from the pan. Once it has cooled completely using a sharp knife, just score the outside edge of the cake taking care not to gouge the cake. Then do the same to the inside edge around the center. Lastly use a sharp knife to free the cake from the bottom of the pan.

Using a serrated knife cut the cake in half so you have two rounds.

Now using a spoon, or hands, dig a little trench onto the bottom round of cake.

Then add your lemon curd to fill and smooth it into an even layer with an offset spatula.

Speaking of lemon curd if you are looking for a great and simple curd check out this link from an older blog of mine and you’ll see how versatile it is!

Now place the top layer back on and set aside while we prepare the Italian meringue.

To make the Italian meringue start by placing water and sugar in a small saucepan. Place onto the stove and attach a chancy thermometer, sugar mixture will boil until it has reached desired temperature. While the sugar is heating, don’t forget to check-in often. 

Add the egg whites to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whip the egg whites until they start to become frothy. Then add the juice of a lemon or cream of tartar and continue to whip.

Angel Food Cake

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1 ½ cup granulated sugar divided in half
  • 1 ¾ cup egg whites
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup lemon curd see other recipe
  • 1 batch italian meringue see other recipe below

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 325. Mix flour and 3/4 cups of sugar together, than sift 4 times so its is light and lump free. Then set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer beat egg whites until frothy, add cream of tartar and continue to beat until stiff peaks form.
  • Adding a little bit at a time, fold the other 3/4 cup of sugar into the whipped egg whites until its all been incorporated. With the last addition of sugar also add the vanilla.
  • Now add the sifted flour mixture over top the whipped egg whites, a little at a time. Folding after each addition until all the flour mixtures been fully incorporated.
  • Place the prepared cake batter into a 10" ungreased angel food cake pan. The put into the preheated oven and bake for 75 minutes.
  • Once cake has finished baking invert the pan onto the top of a bottle. Allow to cool upside down until completely cool to the touch
  • Once the cake has finished cooling slice in half. Use a sharp knife to cut a trough into the bottom half of the cake then fill with the prepared lemon curd.
  • Place the top half of the cake back on top to cover the lemon curd. Take the prepared italian meringue and generously dollop all over the cake, using an offset spatula to make an even layer. Use a kitchen torch to gentle brown the meringue all over the cake.

Lemon Curd

Ingredients
  

  • 4 large eggs
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp. lemon zest
  • 3/4 cup butter room temperature

Instructions
 

  • In a metal bowl combine the eggs, egg yolks, sugar and salt. Whisk together for about 1 minute, until fully combined and very frothy.
  • Fill a pot, small enough that your bowl can sit on top of, halfway up with water. Place on the stove top over medium high heat.
  • Add lemon juice, and zest into the egg mixture. Whisk again for about another minute, until light and frothy. Set the bowl on top of the pot filled with water.
  • Allow the lemon mixture to gently cook for 10-15 minutes, while whisking constantly until mixture has thickened up.
  • Remove from heat and add the butter to the thickened lemon mixture. Whisk until it is fully incorporated then pour into a pie plate. Cover with plastic wrap, press it into the curd to prevent a skin from forming. Place in fridge and allow to chill for about 3-4 hours before using.

Italian Meringue

Ingredients
  

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 large egg whites (60 grams)

Instructions
 

  • In a medium saucepan combine the sugar, and water. Heat over medium low heat until sugar has dissolved.
  • Once sugar has dissolved turn heat to medium high and allow the syrup to come to a boil.
  • In the meantime put the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on medium high speed until foamy and the soft peaks are just starting to hold.
  • Once the syrup is boiling clip a candy thermometer to the side of the saucepan. Cook the syrup until it reaches 240 degrees. Remove from heat.
  • With the stand mixer on medium low slowly drizzle the syrup into the egg whites. Once all the syrup has been added turn the mixer to medium high speed and allow the mixture to mix until the bowl feels cool to the touch. (about 10 minutes)
  • At this point your meringue should be glossy and holding stiff peaks. Fill piping bag, or use spatula to spread onto cakes or cookies.

Notes

Italian Meringue is very stable, it can be made two days ahead of time. Just store in the fridge covered with plastic wrap until you are ready to use it.

5 Comments Add yours

  1. michael colombo says:

    every time i read a recipe i try to change it when i asked the question i knew what the answear would be but iam going to make an angel food cake and just put about 3 tbl spoons of itilian merinque in it

  2. Terri says:

    Absolutely it’s always a good idea to change a recipe to suit your tastes.

  3. Erica VS says:

    Thank you so much for posting your recipes!!! You were fantastic on the show and your family is super lucky to have you.

    1. Terri says:

      Aww thank you so much for making my day, that is so sweet of you to say. I love sharing recipes, nothing makes me happier than hearing someone enjoys them.

  4. Debbie Barwick says:

    Where is this recipe.

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