You know those cartoons that show a person debating what to do with an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other giving conflicting advice? This cake is like the two of them got together and struck a deal.
Angel food cake is a spongy and light cake perfect for eating plain, or paired with fresh fruit, like in strawberry shortcake. Chocolate cake is, well… chocolate cake, and needs no explanation. If you pair these two ideas together, you get that light and spongy cake with more than a hint of chocolate. Top it with your favorite fruit preserves, like traditional Greek spoon sweets, and you’ll have yourself a delightful dessert that will satisfy your cravings without being sickly sweet.
If you’ve never made an angel food cake before, you may have heard that they are tricky to make. Not true! All you need is a little patience and a light hand and you’ll have yourself a lighter-than-air treat in no time at all! Even better is the fact that this cake can be made with leftover egg whites you may have had from a previous recipe. That’s a pretty good deal!
Chocolate Angel Food Cake Recipe
- 3/4 cup cake flour, sifted first then gently scoop into measuring cup to measure
- 3 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 cup egg whites, about 7 large eggs (see my tutorial on separating eggs here; yolks can be frozen and used later, just allow them to thaw completely)
- 1 tsp. cream of tartar
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 F. Have an ungreased tube pan ready for use. This is not the same as a Bundt pan, but instead is a smooth sided and flat bottomed pan specifically for this type of cake to help it rise. Some may have a removable bottom, and others may have a rotating bar to help remove the cake after it has baked.
Measure out the cake flour and cocoa powder together in a bowl and whisk to blend completely.
In a large bowl whisk the egg whites with the cream of tartar until they start to get foamy. This is much easier to do with either an electric hand mixer or a stand mixer. Add the sugar in slowly while whisking. You can do this a tablespoon at a time, or in a slow steady stream. You don’t want to dump it all in at once or it will cause your eggs to deflate, and the bubbles in the eggs are your leavening. Go slow. Once your sugar is in, add the vanilla extract.
Continue to beat the egg mixture until it is glossy white and stiff enough to hold a peak when the beaters are lifted out. Sprinkle 1/3 of the flour mixture over the egg whites and gently fold in. Once the flour is almost completely mixed in, repeat with the remaining flour, 1/3 at a time. See my Strawberries and Cream Cake recipe for a video on how to fold in flour.
Spoon the cake batter into a tube pan. Gently smooth the top with a spatula. Bake in the oven for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the cake is springy to the touch. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a rack for 5 minutes, then turn the cake upside down and let cool completely (no, it won’t fall out if properly baked). Some tube pans will have little tabs that allow the pan to rest upside down with out it touching the top of the cake. You can also invert the pan and place the tube onto the neck of a wine bottle (see the picture above). Inverting the cake keeps it from getting flattened by its own weight while it cools.
Once the cake is cooled, use a thin spatula or knife to gently loosen it from the sides of the pan, or use the rotating bar if your pan comes with one. When you’re ready to serve, you will find it easiest to cut this kind of cake with a serrated knife. You can top it with a frosting of your choice, or even with whipped cream. The cake pictured was served with warmed sour cherry spoon sweet. You could also gently heat a mixture of any jam of your choice with a little water to thin it and spoon it over your cake. Enjoy!