How did Angel Food Cake get its name? I was pondering this very question while baking this Angel Food Cake (Sheet Cake) version a couple of days ago. Wikipedia states; Angel Food Cake “is so named because of its airy lightness that was said to be the “food of the angels”.
Here is my own theory which is completely unfounded by any religious doctrine including my own.
Well, you see, some angels were having a birthday party and needed a birthday cake. It couldn’t be just any old cake; it had to be lighter than air just like they are. They had no way of baking a cake, so decided to do what all good angels don’t do – they came to earth and stole the only birthday cake they could carry. Thus, the name Angel Food Cake was bestowed. It should really be called Angel Food Birthday Cake.
With that decided, I need to set the story straight on this cake. This is not an Angel Food Cake any angel would steal. It is not lighter than air and it is eggier than the traditional variety. But, and this is a very important “but,” it is out-of-this-world delicious and beautiful – especially with the Lemon-Cream Cheese Frosting and Holly Cupcake Decorations.
Whether you believe my version or Wikipedia’s of how Angel Food Cake got its name really doesn’t matter. All that matters is the taste and this cake is sensational.
I want you to be honest now – doesn’t my theory about how Angel Food Cake got its name make the most sense?
The original recipe is found at Southern Living Magazine under the name “Heavenly Angel Food Cake”. Maybe, I should have renamed it “Sin-sational Angel Food Cake”.
Angel Food Cake (Sheet Cake)
- For the Cake:
- 2 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 1/2 cups egg whites 12-16 (use fresh egg whites only)
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- For the Lemon-Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 1 1/2 8-oz. packages cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup butter softened
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 16-oz. package powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- For the Holly Cupcake Decorations:
- For the Cake:
- Preheat oven to 375F. Position the oven rack 1/3 from the bottom of the oven.
- Line a 13 x 9-inch pan with aluminum foil – allowing 2” overlap over the sides of the pan. Do NOT grease the pan or the foil.
- Sift together sugar, flour & salt. Set aside.
- With an electric mixer, beat egg white & cream of tartar on high until stiff peaks form.
- Slowly, fold in the sugar/flour mixture, 1/3 cup at a time. Do not overmix – fold only until just blended after each addition.
- Carefully, fold in vanilla and lemon juice.
- Gently spoon batter into prepared pan. Note – batter will reach to the top or almost to the top of the pan.
- Place the pan in the preheated 375F oven.
- Bake 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Remove the cake from the oven and turn over and onto a very lightly floured (clean) cloth or onto a wire cooling rack that has been sprayed with cooking oil.
- Let the cake cool with the pan in place until completely cooled – approximately 1 hour.
- Once cake has cooled, remove the pan and peel off the foil.
- Spread Lemon-Cream Cheese Frosting over the entire cake or cut the cake into pieces then frost.
- Garnish with Holly Cupcake Decorations.
- *See Notes for baking in other pans.
- For the Lemon-Cream Cheese Frosting:
- Using a stand-mixer, beat cream cheese & butter at medium speed until creamy and light.
- Add lemon juice and beat just until blended.
- Gradually add powdered sugar on low speed just until blended then stir in lemon zest.
This cake can be baked in an ungreased angel food cake pan - 30-35 minutes.
in 3 ungreased 9-inch round pans - 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Subscribe To Our Newsletter
Thank you for visiting Simply Sated. I would love for you to join my mailing list to ensure you see each newly posted recipe.
Sign up today!
Linda (Meal Planning Maven)I never thought of making an angel food cake in a rectangular pan...how creative! And your cake is lovely!
Susie GallI wish I could claim this as an original idea, Linda, but I can't. I do love this cake, though. The only bad thing about it is it is addictive. Thanks for your sweet comments and thanks for coming by.
Joanne T FergusonG'day Looks great and very festive! Wish I could come through the screen and try now! Cheers! Joanne
Susie GallThank you for being so sweet and for stopping by today. Have a great week and weekend!
Jenny.USo pretty, but I'm an angel food purist. Nothing but naked cake for me! I'd use your pretty frosting and holly on some cupcakes though!
Becky (The Cookie Rookie)BEAUTIFUL!!!! This just looks so festive and perfect!
Susie GallThanks, Bec. I'm I still the angel beneath your wings? Whaat?!
JanelleCan this recipe be doubled? I would like to do a 18 by 13 inch cake.
Susie GallHello Janelle, and thanks for your question about doubling the Angel Food Sheet Cake. It wish it would, but doubling this recipe would not work. It would be best to make the cake batter twice and to make two separate cakes. Thanks for stopping by and have a great day.
LindsayWhy tin foil? Wouldn't parchment paper or wax paper be better?
Susie GallHello Lindsay, Thank you for your question. Yes, parchment paper or aluminum foil (on the roll) are the best to use. At the time I wrote this post, I wasn't that familiar with parchment paper. Plastic wrap would melt, so that shouldn't be used. Thanks for stopping by and thank you for your question. Susie Gall
Tonia Hoefswas wondering, do the the egg whites need to be room temp?
Susie GallNo, they do not, and this is one of the great things about this recipe. No fuss! Thanks.