Jul 12

Angel Food Cake + Warm Lavender Nectarines


In case you missed it, the 90s are back. Mom jeans, velvet chokers, scrunchies — if only I’d never cleaned out my 4th grade closet. And while I may be a little past the age where I feel compelled (or comfortable) hopping aboard the crop top train, I fully support the return of 90s food trends. After all, I’m a complete sucker for nostalgia.

If you’ll recall, the 90s was the decade that demonized fat. Low-fat, no-fat and fat-free were the 90s diet rules to live by, and while I like to think we’ve grown leaps and bounds when it comes to nutrition, there are certain culinary relics of the decade that I can get behind. Angel food cake, as you may have guessed, is one of my personal favorites. In case you’re not familiar, the angel food cake is the crown jewel of cakes when it comes to light, fluffy texture. Butter-less, oil-less, and yolk-less, this cake is a fat-free dessert marvel (read: why it was a 90s rock star), that manages to stay supremely delicious even in the absence of the good stuff.


Real talk, in the 90s, we would be making this angel food cake from a box mix. But remember when I mentioned how far we’ve come? Yeah, we’re ditching the box. Homemade angel food cake is light years ahead of the boxed stuff. Fresh egg whites, gently folded by hand with airy cake flour and then baked into a cloud-like cake that, I’m convinced, magically defies gravity. That doesn’t come in a box, my friends. So brush aside any intimidation or homemade fears you have, we’re baking angel food cake from scratch.

angel-food-cake-12 angel-food-cake-19

I used a recipe from Fine Cooking for this cake. The scientific balance required to achieve the angel-like texture of this cake is not to be played with, so instead of altering ratios and highlighting new ingredients as I normally would, I left it to the experts. In fact, Fine Cooking has an amazingly informative article on the intricacies of angel food cake-making that I highly recommend you read prior to tackling this recipes. The tips and tricks will ensure you’re cool and confident as you whip this one up.

Since I didn’t feel comfortable taking creative liberties with the cake recipe, I knew that the topping had to be something special. The angel food cakes of my childhood were served with berries. Almost always strawberries, but always berries. And Cool Whip. (Ew.) I love berries, there is absolutely nothing wrong with the classic presentation and if that’s what you’re into, feel free to serve this cake topped with whatever berry tickles your fancy.


But lavender nectarines? Holy moly, you guys. Gently warmed and lightly scented with floral lavender, they’re absolutely to die for. As they cook, they release some of their juices, forming a gorgeous syrup that soaks into the angel food cake and takes this dessert to the next level. It’s summer sunshine in a cake, I kid you not. And don’t forget to add a healthy dollop of unsweetened, homemade whipped cream. It provides a lovely balance to the bright flavor of the nectarines and the lofty sweetness of the cake. (Cool Whip doesn’t count.) Enjoy!


Angel Food Cake with Warm Lavender Peaches
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2840 calories
587 g
66 g
28 g
62 g
16 g
1590 g
1291 g
459 g
1 g
9 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 2840
Calories from Fat 245
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 28g
Saturated Fat 16g
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 7g
Cholesterol 66mg
Sodium 1291mg
Total Carbohydrates 587g
Dietary Fiber 12g
Sugars 459g
Protein 62g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
For the angel food cake
  1. 1 2/3 cups cold egg whites (from 12-13 large eggs)
  2. 1 cup sifted cake flour
  3. 1 1/3 cups confectioners’ sugar
  4. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  5. 1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  6. 1 cup granulated sugar
  7. 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  8. 1 teaspoon almond extract
For the warm lavender nectarines
  1. 2 tablespoons butter or coconut oil
  2. 1 tablespoon dried culinary grade lavender
  3. 1/4 cup brown sugar (adjust for sweetness)
  4. 1 tablespoon bourbon
  5. 4 medium nectarines, sliced
  6. whipped cream, to serve
To prepare the cake
  1. Add the cold egg whites to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment. Let sit for about an hour, or until the egg whites reach 60F. If you don't have a thermometer, that's okay, the egg whites should feel slighter cooler than room temperature.
  2. When you're ready to make the batter, preheat the oven to 325F.
  3. Sift together the cake flour, confectioners sugar and salt. Set aside.
  4. Beat the egg whites on medium-low until they become frothy. Don't be tempted to turn the mixer up too high at this point, medium-low speed is all you need. Once frothy, add the cream of tartar, turn the speed medium and beat until soft peaks form.
  5. With the mixer on and in a slow, continuous stream, add the granulated sugar to the egg whites, whipping until the whites form soft, droopy peaks. Again, be careful not to over-beat in this phase, the batter should be fluffy but still a pourable consistency. In the last moments of whipping, add the extracts and beat only until combined.
  6. Remove the bowl from the stand mixer. The rest of the recipe should be executed by hand. Lightly sprinkle a quarter of the dry mixture over the top of the whipped egg whites and gently fold to combine. Repeat in quarters until all of the dry mixture has been added.
  7. Pour the mixture into an UNGREASED 9- or 10-inch tube pan. Use a spatula to smooth the batter as it will not settle while baking. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until the cake is golden brown and springs back when touched. Remove from the oven and immediate invert on a bottle or metal funnel and let it cool completely. It will feel counterintuitive to cool your cake upside down but trust me, this is what keeps it from falling in on itself.
  8. Once cool, remove from the pan by tapping the sides against the counter to loosen the cake. Alternately, you can run a knife GENTLY around the edges. Lift from the pan and set aside while you make your warm nectarines.
To prepare the warm lavender nectarines
  1. Add the butter/coconut oil and dried lavender to a medium skillet over low heat. Heat just until the butter/oil is warm, then remove from the pan and let the lavender sit in the butter/oil for 5-10 minutes to steep. Strain the lavender from the melted butter/oil and then add the butter/oil back to the pan. It should be infused with the scent and flavor of lavender, if not repeat the process.
  2. Heat the lavender-scented oil over medium heat. Add the brown sugar and bourbon and cook for 2-3 minutes until the brown sugar starts to dissolve. Add the nectarine slices to the pan and cook until heated through. Remove from the heat before the slices start to break down.
  3. Serve warm, spooned over slices of cake with whipped cream.
  1. I highly recommend using a very sharp, serrated knife to cut this cake. It's very delicate and a regular knife may smash the cake.
  2. You'll need a 9- or 10-inch tube pan with a removable bottom to make this recipe. I've heard about people using a bundt pan for angel food cake, but I imagine it's VERY difficult to successfully remove the cake from the pan. You can order a tube pan for ~$15 on Amazon.
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