Light as air angel food cupcakes are exactly what you need to satisfy that sweet tooth without feeling weighed down.
It feels like it's been a while since I've shared a cupcake. I feel like there are never enough cupcakes around. Every time I make a batch, I find myself wanting more. This is especially true when it comes to these angel food cupcakes. These tasty little cupcakes are seriously so light and are almost like you are eating a sweet cloud.
Angel food cakes have a reputation for being difficult to make, but I can assure you, that is not the case with these cupcakes.
Although making angel food cupcakes aren't terribly hard to make, it is important to make sure you are using the ingredients I list out in the recipe!
- Cake flour - Cake flour has lower protein and gives you a more tender and lighter crumb. It is the best flour to use for a cloud-like cupcake like this.
- Powdered sugar - Powdered sugar is needed to dissolve faster, and ensure we don't accidentally deflate the egg whites.
- Salt - This won't give us salt cupcakes! Instead, it helps to balance the flavors and bring out the vanilla in the cake.
- Egg whites - We don't use any leavening agents in these cupcakes. Instead, we use beaten egg whites to create volume and help the cupcakes rise in a light and cloudlike manner.
- Cream of tartar - Cream of tartar helps stabilize the egg whites as we beat them into peaks. It is possible to make the cupcakes without it, but I recommend at least trying to find this ingredient.
- Granulated sugar - The powdered sugar alone isn't enough to sweeten the cupcakes properly. We use granulated sugar that we process down so that it is nice and fine to sweeten the recipe.
- Vanilla - I recommend using a nice pure vanilla extract.
As you can see, all the ingredients are used in a way to make everything light and fluffy like a cloud. This is very important.
Baking success tips
The most important thing you can do is make sure you are following all the recommendations I make. The extra effort is worth it in the end for the lightest angel food cupcakes ever.
- Yes, you really do need to process the granulated sugar. The large sugar granules cut into the whipped egg whites and can deflate them.
- Yes, you really do need to sift your flour. It keeps the dry ingredients fluffy which makes it easier to incorporate into the egg whites without deflating them.
- Recommended tools: sifter, mini food processor, egg white separator,
Decorating and topping these angel food cupcakes is so much fun. I recommend staying away from dense or heavy toppings such as American buttercream.
Instead, opt for something light to compliment the lightness of the cupcake. Whipped cream and fresh berries are popular. Berry sauce, a light brush of jam, or even a tiny bit of ganache would also be good.
These cupcakes will last at room temperature for about 1 - 2 days. Plain cupcakes freeze well when kept in an airtight container. They should last about a month in the freezer. Leave them to thaw completely before enjoying.
You can make your own cake flour easily! Measure out ⅔ cup of all-purpose flour, remove 2 tablespoons of the flour, and stir in 2 tablespoons of cornstarch. Sift the flour and cornstarch together.
You may have had a bit of fat in the egg whites. Thoroughly wash and dry your mixing bowl and beaters. I also like to rub them with a cut lemon. Make sure no yolk made its way into the whites.
It could be that the granulated sugar was not processed enough, you did not sift your ingredients, or that you over mixed your batter when adding the dry ingredients into the egg whites.
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Angel Food Cupcakes
- ⅔ cup cake flour
- ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons powdered sugar, divided
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 6 egg whites
- ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- zest of one lemon optional
- ½ teaspoon raspberry extract optional
- ⅔ cup heavy cream
- seasonal fruit
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cupcake tin with cupcake liners (You can also make them without the liners and very lightly grease and flour the tins, but I find they are easier to make and less likely to deflate when you use liners.
- In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, ½ cup of the powdered sugar, and salt. Mix until combined and set aside.
- Process your granulated sugar to make it fine to the touch. Set aside.
- In a freshly cleaned and dried mixer, add the egg whites and beat until frothy.
- Add the cream of tartar and continue to beat until the egg whites form medium peaks.
- Slowly begin to beat in the granulated sugar. Continue to beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks that are nice and glossy. Beat in the vanilla as well as the lemon zest and raspberry if using.
- Sift in the flour mixture into the beaten egg whites. Gently fold in the flour until it is incorporated. Do this by hand and occasionally scrape the bottoms and sides of the bowl. Your goal is to fully add in the flour without deflating the air in the whites. The volume of the mixture will go down slightly and the mixture will turn slightly runny. This is normal, but it should not become watery, if that happens, it is overmixed.
- Evenly divide the batter into your cupcake tin and bake for about 14 - 16 minutes, or until the cupcakes are risen and are very slightly golden brown at the edges. They should feel a bit bouncy when you touch them, but do not press down too much.
- Remove from the oven and carefully remove from the tin. Handle with a light touch as they are still hot and rough handling can still slightly deflate the cupcakes. Set aside to cool.
- While the cupcakes are cooling, beat the heavy cream and the remaining powdered sugar. Dollop on top of the cupcakes and then finish with seasonal fruit.