Angel food cake with lemon curd

IMG_1130ALook at this cake, not having a smooth side, imperfection decoration, simply because I don’t have the patient to decorate the cake or making it smooth. It is just beyond me! I think the way this cake looks will tells you it is home made.

Most people will have an answer said this is chiffon cake base, eventually it is not chiffon but angel food cake base. There are three basic cake commonly use as base. Sponge cake, chiffon, angel food cake. Three of them content light airy interior.

Sponge cake, made with butter, sugar, flour, eggs. It contain whole eggs Their leavening comes only from beaten egg whites (no baking powder or soda), and they have little or no butter. Is very common with eggy,  yellowish, crumble texture, light as well. It is a versatile cake that you could add any flavour.

Chiffon cake, made with eggs, sugar, flour, water and vegetable oil but no butter. It is very light, slightly dry if you just eating the cake itself. Chiffon cakes are light like sponge cakes, but the egg whites are not beaten separately. Chiffon cakes also generally contain oil so they are more tender and moist than sponge cake.

Is an obsession throughout South-east Asia, in Japan there are whole bakeries devoted to it. Chinese schoolchildren eat it as a snack. In the Philippines the ability to turn out airy chiffon is the test of a good home cook. Yet few in Britain know about it, despite our collective love of cake. I remembered when I was a kids, I had green pandan (pandanus amaryllifolius or screwpine leave) chiffon cake, it is very soft, spongy, dry. Often it made me choke when I eating it too quickly, simply because it is tasty. Most housewife in Asia would perfecting this chiffon cake recipe and by making them as light as possible, adding flavouring in it.

Angel food cake, made with egg whites, sugar and flour. It is even lighter than chiffon cake, Angel food cakes have no fat or leavening (such as baking powder). They are leavened with beaten egg whites and they have a high proportion of egg white to flour.

The following recipe was adopted from Mary Berry that made it at Master class of the Great British Baked-Off. I think this cake make a good center piece on your dinner party. You will need a special mould for this cake 25cm angel food cake pan or chiffon pan

Cake ingredients

  • 125g plain flour
  • 300g caster sugar
  • 10 large free-range egg whites
  • 2 large lemon, grated zest only
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  • ½ tsp salt

Lemon curd ingredients (this makes more lemon curd than you need for this cake)

  • 10 large free-range egg yolks
  • 400g caster sugar
  • 4 large lemons, juice only (±200ml)
  • 2 large lemons, grated zest only
  • 175g unsalted butter, cubed
  • 2 passion fruit


  • 300ml whipping cream
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4 (fan 160C) and arrange an oven shelf in the bottom third of the oven. Sift the flour and 100g/3½oz of the caster sugar together in a bowl and set aside.
  2. Whisk the egg whites in a large bowl with an electric hand whisk or mixer on a high speed for one minute until frothy. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, cream of tartar and salt and continue whisking for 2-3 minutes, or until soft peaks form when the whisk is removed from the bowl. Increase the speed and add the remaining 200g/7oz of caster sugar, one tablespoon at a time to form firm, but not stiff peaks.
  3. Sprinkle over one-third of the flour mixture and fold gently to combine. Repeat with the remaining two-thirds of the flour mixture folding gently to keep as much air in the mixture as possible.
  4. Transfer the batter to a 25cm/10in angel food cake pan. Gently run a knife through the centre of the batter to remove any pockets of air. Cook for 45-50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  5. Remove from the oven and immediately turn upside down onto the tin’s cooling legs, or place over the neck of a wine bottle. Leave to cool for at least one hour.
  6. Run a knife around the inner and outer edges of cake to remove it from the pan. Invert onto a plate. Carefully use a palette knife to separate the cake from the base of the pan. Leave to cool on a wire rack.
  7. For the lemon curd, mix the egg yolks, sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest together in a large pan. Cook over a low heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, making sure to stir the sides and base of the pan. Cook for 5-7 minutes, or until the mixture coats the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter. Pass through a sieve into a large jug. Fill two 350g/12oz glass jars with the lemon curd and seal with lids. Cover the remaining curd with cling film and leave to cool.
  8. For the topping, whisk the cream and vanilla extract in a bowl until soft peaks form when the whisk is removed. Spoon the topping over the angel food cake and, using a palette knife, coat the top and sides of the cake, smoothing as you go.
  9. Cut the passion fruit in half and scoop out the seeds. Stir the passion fruit into the reserved, cooled lemon curd and drizzle over the angel food cake before serving. You may want to use just one of the jars of lemon curd to serve with the cake and save the other to eat separately.

Note: Do not be tempted to grease the tin – it will prevent the cake from rising properly. If you want to cut back on fat or have a dairy intolerance, this is a great cake to make. The cake itself doesn’t contain any butter and you can easily swap the toppings for a fruit syrup or jam if you want to make it completely dairy-free. The egg yolks are used up in a job lot of lemon curd, but you could always buy in a good jar lemon curd and save your yolks for another use.





8 thoughts on “Angel food cake with lemon curd

  1. Thank you very much, Jill C.
    I’m certainly enjoying reading your comment here, you shared your thoughts of the cake in your childhood, I believed every kids loves chocolate, and I love chiffon cake as kids.

    Box mix cake is easy, and the result is very consistent too. I’m just don’t really keen on the extra ingredient had added into it. No doubt it turn out great!

    I like to shared the knowledge that I know in post like this, because it is important to know the food your enjoyed and the different in between each type. Beside that I’m an obsessive researcher when I want to know something. I’m a little curious cat! Hahahaha.

    Yes, indeed. The French had a very special way when it comes to the food, that’s how they been practiced for many years, and it still works. It means their formula to maximum enjoying their food is a key as long as not over doing it, everything is about balance.

    I will be waiting for your new post of the cake, I’m really hope you going to enjoy that, certainly I did enjoyed this cake very much. Wishing you have a good baking week. Thank you for your writing. I really appreciated.

  2. This is a fantastic post, thank you, Treedson!

    I remember each of these cakes from childhood: (in America). Not that my mother baked them: her kind of baking – IF she baked a cake – was from a box mix. (She was very hands on & creative in other ways, just not baking). Each of these were my favourite – especially because I liked desserts (as I do now) but wasn’t crazy for chocolate the way other kids were. So these were perfect for me.

    It’s fascinating to me, the way you take the time to think about and explain and teach us the distinctions between the cakes. And I completely agree, re fear of fats, of sweet food.. we live in London, in South Kensington, in a part that is very French. And I notice that they have a different attitude towards eating in general. A dessert, or a snack for a child after school, is served sitting down. You pay attention to the treat. It’s not like they’re sticking the kid in front of a TV with a big bag of crisps.

    I was really craving baking, and I just did (I’ll post about it in Merry Meals), so I can’t make this today. But I do have a good jar of lemon curd, and I love the idea of using the whites for the cakes and the yolks for the curd, so I’ll have to find a recipe to use the yolks. I can’t wait to try this cake- this week!

    But first, I need to buy an angel food cake tin. Otherwise I’d use something else, grease it, and wonder why mine didn’t rise!

    By the way: I LOVE how this came out. I agree: it’s not a goal (of mine, at least) for cakes to be ‘perfect’. That’s the beauty of something being homemade: those little imperfections.

    Lovely post, thank you.

    1. Thank you. Beside the idea is to use up the egg yolks, so you could have extra few tub, either give it away as gift or keep it for solo indulgence.

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