Coconut Angel Food Cake

Oh man. This summer cake could be the best thing that happens to your long weekend - or your Wednesday night. Either way, angel food cake is simply amazing. It's so light and heavenly. The ultimate summer dessert. Then when you add a bit of coconut flavoring and some fresh fruit.... flavor fireworks my friends. Flavor fireworks.

We were having a small little gathering for the holiday weekend. My mom was planning on making strawberry shortcake but I hijacked her part of the meal with the offering of angel food cake. Everyone loves angel food cake. Except perhaps egg yolks since they get tossed aside. 
The absolute only downside to this cake is that you can't make and assemble it hours in advance of eating. But you can do pretty much everything else in advance and that makes it a win. Plus it looks so amazing and patriotic. 

Things you can make ahead:
  • CAKE // 1 full day in advance... maybe two if you really need to
  • WHIP CREAM // the morning of the party
  • BERRIES // the morning of the party 
I'm going to be honest and tell you that I originally wanted to make this with coconut whip cream. It looked so easy on the internet - but in real life I make coconut cream soup. It is currently next to the egg yolks in my fridge. I refuse to toss it. I think I'm going to just add it to some smoothies.

Here's how it goes.

(Step 1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

(Step 2) In a large bowl, sift together the powdered sugar and flour. I didn't have a sifter available but I just used a hand mixer for a few minutes. The point of sifting is to aerate the flour and allows the cake to be light and airy. Hand mixing isn't perfect but it's close. Try to not skip this step. 

(Step 3) In the bowl of the stand mixer, combine the egg whites, cream of tartar and extracts. Whip the egg whites on medium speed until soft peaks form. With the mixer on, gradually add the granulated sugar about 2 tablespoons at a time, beating until stiff peaks form.

(Step 4) Gradually add in the flour mixture over the egg whites. Folding everything together gently. Repeat about 4 times until you have all the flour mixture combined. I'll be honest and say I probably got a bit "less" gentle with the folding. It got tiring but try to be patient.

(Step 5) Pour the mixture into an ungreased 10-inch tube pan. All bundt pans are sold non-stick so you really do not need to grease them. Don't be anxious. Greasing will actually cause the cake to stick to the pan more. Use your spatula to gently cut through the batter to remove any large air pockets.

(Step 6) Bake cake on the lowest rack for 40-45 minutes. It'll be golden brown and when you touch it, it'll spring back a bit. Remove immediately from oven and invert cake still in the pan. Let cool completely in the inverted pan. When cooled, your cake will pop out of the pan easily. If it sticks a touch, use a knife to loosen the sides of the cake from the pan and remove cake. 

(Step 7) Using a serrated knife, slice the cake gently into three equal layers. Transfer gently so as to not break them apart. Fill each layer with the whipped cream and berries.

(Step 8) Serve immediately.

Shopping List (based on this original recipe)
1½ cups sifted powdered sugar
1 cup sifted cake flour or sifted all-purpose flour
1½ cups egg whites (10 to 12 large), at room temperature
1½ teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon coconut extract
1 cup granulated sugar
2-3 cups mixed berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries)
whip cream or Cool Whip

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