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History Cookbook: Angel Cake

This recipe is in categories Interwar Years, Baking, Desserts, Party food
About this recipe
Healthiness : (271 votes)
Comments: You need to take care that you do not under or over beat the ingredients and you need to allow the cake to cool properly before removing from the tin.
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 45 minutes
Number of servings: 1 Cake (8-10 people)
Serving suggestions: Serve on a plate with summer fruits
This is a vegetarian recipe

In the 1920 and 30's, the cake was very popular. In the 1920s, many were very rich and sugary. By the 1930s, cakes were no longer thought to be too rich to eat every day. People were looking more at the balance of the ingredients. This Angel cake is fat free.

The cake originated in America amongst European immigrants.  Homemade noodles and pasta were everyday foods and used a lot of egg yolks, this recipe uses the whites so they don't go to waste.

  • 3 oz (75g) icing sugar
  • 2 oz (50g)  plain flour
  • 5 large egg whites
  • 1 level tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 6 oz (175g) sugar

  • icing sugar to decorate
  • Sieve
  • Mixing bowl
  • Teaspoon
  • Weighing scales
  • Wooden spoon
  • Electric whisk
  • Ring tin
  • Knife
Making and cooking it
Always wash your hands before preparing food Always wash your hands before preparing food.

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F/190°C/Gas 5
  2. Sift icing sugar in a small bowl 
  3. Sift flour on top and stir until evenly mixed. Set aside
  4. Put the egg whites, cream of tartar, vanilla extract, almond extract and salt into a large bowl.  Whisk with an electric whisk until stiff peaks form
  5. Gradually whisk in the sugar, a little at a time, to the egg whites
  6. Continue whisking until smooth and glossy, stiff peaks will form again
  7. Fold the flour and icing sugar mixture, a quarter at a time, into the egg white mix.  Use a metal spoon and be gentle, you want to keep all that air in the mixture
  8. Pour the batter into an ungreased 8 inch/20 cm ring tin and use a knife to cut through the mixture to break up any big air bubbles
  9. Bake for about 45 minutes, or until the cake is golden brown and springs back to the touch
  10. Leave to cool (DO NOT try to remove until cool)
  11. When cake is cold, remove from tin, sprinkle with icing sugar and serve
Angel Cake - print view  Angel Cake - print view

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There are 4 comments for this recipe.
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Name: Erika 23rd July 2013
My understanding is that before WW2 cakes were usually iced (or frosted, to use the American term). When food rationing was introduced during WW2 icing was banned. So, as this recipe is in the Interwar Years section, it should have icing. Icing and frosting were popular during this period, we found versions with the cake sliced and buttercream added in the centre like a victoria sponge. This particular recipe from a 1930 cookbook was served plain more like a tealoaf. We hope this helps. The Cookit Team.
Name: Foster 8th December 2012
looks good
Name: Kelly 4th March 2012
This recipy is great!
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