Lemon Blueberry Angel Food Cake
I’ve been working on 3 fun flavored angel food cake desserts this week and I’ve been reminded how much I love angel food cake. It’s ultra light, pairs well with any fresh fruit and it gives me all the summer vibes.
This recipe is for a lemon angel food cake. There’s lemon zest in the batter, plus you hide 3/4 cup blueberries inside the cake! Bake the cake and once its cool, top it with fresh lemon glaze.
Then my favorite part: add the garnishes! I used lemon slices, blueberries and baby’s breathe. Baby’s breathe is not edible, so be sure to remove it before eating.
How to make angel food cake without cake flour
It is possible to make angel food cake without cake flour! Cake flour is a light, finely milled flour with a lower protein content than all purpose flour.
I’ve never bought cake flour. And I don’t want to have to buy it just to make one recipe. So I set out to create an amazing homemade angel food cake that doesn’t use cake flour.
Here’s the best part: you can make your own cake flour at home and all you need are 2 ingredients – all purpose flour and cornstarch!
It does take a little bit more effort, because you need to swift the all purpose flour with the cornstarch FIVE times.
Why sift the all purpose flour and cornstarch together so many times?
You are essentially creating cake flour, so you need to make sure everything is well incorporated and light as a cloud.
Well sifted = lighter and fluffier angel food cake
Important Tips for making homemade lemon blueberry angel food cake with lemon glaze
1. Sift!!! Don’t skip this step.
2. Allow the egg whites to come to room temperature. If you forget like I did to set them out early, you can speed up this process by putting the egg whites inside a container or ziploc bag and place that inside a bowl of warm-hot water for 10 minutes.
3. Whipping egg whites into stiff peaks can take 10-15 minutes. But this is KEY to fluffy angel food cake. Stiff peaks means the mixture doesn’t fall back on itself when your remove the beater.
4. Sift the dry ingredients into the whipped egg white mixture in batches (about 3 or 4 batches) and use a spatula to gently FOLD the mixture together.
5. DO NOT spray the angel food cake pan with cooking spray. The batter needs to be able to travel up the sides of the pan to get that traditional angel food cake height.
6. Use an angel food cake pan! Unfortunately, using a bundt pan will not result in good angel food cake. A bundt pan is not meant for angel food cake, therefore it will not turn out the same.
7. Be careful not to place the blueberries too close to the bottom of the angel food cake pan. Doing so could cause the angel food cake to fall apart when removing it from the pan.
8. Once the cake is done baking, immediately invert the pan. I like to stick the center of my angel food cake pan on a mug or can of beans to cool inverted. Allow the cake to cool for 2-3 hours, then use a small spatula or knife and go around the sides of the pan and the center piece to help release the cake from the pan.
9. For best tasting lemon glaze, use freshly squeezed lemon juice.
How far in advance can you make angel food cake? How long can angel food cake sit out?
You can bake and store an angel food cake in an airtight container on the counter for 1-2 days.
You can store an angel food cake lightly wrapped in plastic wrap and in an airtight container in the fridge for 5 days.
How to freeze an angel food cake?
Make sure the cake is completely cool, then wrap the cake well in aluminum foil. Place inside a freezer ziplock bag and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Allow the cake to defrost overnight in the fridge.
How do I know if my angel food cake is done?
I like to use a popsicle stick or wooden kabob skewer and insert that into the cake. If it comes out with no crumbs, it’s done.
How long do you leave angel food cake upside down?
Leave the angel food cake upside down until it’s completed cool, about 2-3 hours.
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Lemon Blueberry Angel Food Cake
- 1 cup all purpose flour (minus 2 tbsp) OR gluten free all purpose flour
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 & 1/2 cups granulated sugar, divided into 3/4 cup
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 12 egg whites, room temperature
- 1 & 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp lemon zest (this is about 2 small lemons)
- 3/4 cup blueberries (keep a good distance between blueberries and bottom of the pan)
- 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- Additional lemon slices, blueberries and baby’s breathe. Baby’s breathe is not edible, so be sure to remove it before eating.
- Preheat the oven to 350º F. Empty 1 cup of all purpose flour, properly measured, into a medium bowl. Remove 2 tbsp of flour and return to the flour bag. Add 2 tbsp of cornstarch to the flour. Sift 5 times. In this step you’re really making you own cake flour, so everything needs to be incorporated and light as a cloud.
- Add in 3/4 cup sugar and salt to the flour mixture. Sift 2 more times. Set aside.
- In a mixing bowl over medium speed, begin to beat the room temperature egg whites for about 2 minutes. Add in the cream of tartar, vanilla extract and lemon zest. Continue to beat the mixture for 2-3 minutes, turning the speed up to medium-high.
- Gradually add in the remaining 3/4 cup of sugar, about 1 tablespoon at a time. Wait 10-15 seconds between scoops of sugar. Continue to beat the mixture on high until stiff peaks form. The mixture will be white, glossy and really airy! The whole beating process can take 10-13 minutes.
- Remove the bowl from the stand mixer. Gradually sift in the flour mixture (in about 3-4 batches). To do this hold the sifter over the bowl, and add in 1/3 or 1/4 of flour mixture. Then use a spatula to gently FOLD the mixture together. To your best to not over mix, which will deflate your egg whites.
- Add half of the angel food cake batter to an un-greased angel food cake pan. Then drop in half of blueberries, one at a time. You can use a toothpick to push some of the blueberries into the batter.
- Add the remaining batter to the pan, and add in the remaining blueberries, pushing some down into the batter again.
- Place in the oven to bake for 40-43 minutes or until a popsicle stick or kabob skewer comes out clean when inserted into the cake.
- Once the cake is done baking, immediately invert the pan. I like to stick the center of my angel food cake pan on a mug or can of beans to cool inverted. Allow the cake to cool for 2-3 hours, then use a small spatula or knife and go around the sides of the pan and the center piece to help release the cake from the pan.
- Place the cake on a serving plate.
- Using the lemons you zested, squeeze out the juice. Combine 3 tablespoons of lemon juice with 2 cups powdered sugar. Stir with a spatula until well combined. Drizzle the glaze over the cake. Garnish with lemon slices, blueberries and baby’s breath.
- If serving the next day, place the unglazed cake in an airtight container on the counter. Add the glaze a few hours before serving.
This recipe turned out great using gluten free flour! We love King Arthur Gluten Free Measure for Measure Flour.
There are many tips for this recipe included in the blog post!