Angel food cake

Light and gorgeous, Rachel Allens version of this classic American dessert is splashed with lavender essence for a floral flavour
By Rachel Allen
Angel food cake
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6-8
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • butter, for greasing
  • 125 g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • A pinch of salt
  • 175 g caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar, sifted
  • 8 egg whites
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

For the icing

  • 1/4 tsp essence of lavender
  • 1-2 tbsp boiling water
  • 250 g icing sugar, sifted


1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Butter the sides of a 23 x 6 cm cake tin and dust with flour, then line the base with a disc of baking parchment.

2. Sift the flour and salt into a bowl and mix in 150g of the caster sugar. In a separate bowl, mix together the remaining sugar with the cream of tartar.

3. Tip the egg whites into a large, spotlessly clean bowl or in an electric food mixer. Using a handheld electric beater or the food mixer, whisk the egg whites for about 20 seconds or until they begin to turn cloudy and frothy. With the beater or mixer still running, add the mixed sugar and cream of tartar, then continue to whisk until the mixture is glossy and forms stiff peaks.

4. Carefully fold in the vanilla extract, followed by the dry ingredients, adding these a quarter at a time and folding in very lightly, so as not to knock any air out of the mixture. Tip the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 20-28 minutes or until golden on top and a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.

5. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin for 15 minutes. Using a small, sharp knife to loosen the edges, carefully remove the cake from the tin and leave on a wire rack to finish cooling before transferring to a plate to serve.

6. For the icing: In a small bowl, mix together the lavender essence with 1 tablespoon of boiling water. Sift the icing sugar into a separate bowl, then add the lavender mixture and stir together until well mixed and runny enough for drizzling add a few more drops of hot water if it seems too stiff. Use a spoon to drizzle all over the cake in a zigzag pattern.

Text © Rachel Allen 2012. Photography © Philip Webb 2012.
Recipe from:

Rate This Recipe