Lemon Angel Food Cake Cupcakes / by Alice Zhao

Angel Food Cake Cupcakes

Angel food cake is a bit of a nostalgic food item for me. It's one of those things my mom used to pick up from the grocery store on extremely rare occasions. And when she did happen to bring one home, my eyes would light up and I would beam from ear to ear. I'm not really big on cake in general, but I sure love me some super light and sweet goodness. Mom probably didn't realize I was the one that secretly ate the whole thing. Hmmm... or maybe that's why she rarely bought them?!

I've been meaning to make them for quite some time and even picked up a jar of cream of tartar though my laziness got the best of me and the jar has been sitting quietly unused. When I finally buckled down to look for a recipe, I distinctly remember gasping in horror when I saw that it called for 10-12 egg whites. What would I do with all the yolks? Poor little jar of cream of tartar, it would have to sit dejected in my cabinet a little while longer.

Fast forward to last week and Jared's been on an ice cream making rampage (posts to come). His recipes called for 4 egg yolks per batch. After a couple batches of ice cream I asked, What would are you going to do with all the egg whites? Alas! The opportunity I was looking for! I could finally make angel food cake and not feel guilty for discarding the egg yolks! I took a Gale Gand recipe and altered the proportions to work for 8 egg whites. Her recipe also makes a lemon glaze that she pours over the cake and a lemon confit. I tend to like things plain/original so I opted out of those additions on this one.

Ingredients (modified from Gale Gand's recipe)
- 1 cup sifted cake flour
- 1 cups sugar
- 8 egg whites, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/2 teaspoon saslt
- 1 lemon's grated zest
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Directions (direct copy from Gale Gand's recipe)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Sift the sifted cake flour with 1/2 cup of the sugar 3 times (this is to aerate the mixture and make it light). Set aside.

Whip the egg whites in a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and salt and continue whipping until soft peaks form.

With the mixer running, gradually add the remaining cup of sugar and continue whipping until stiff and the sugar is dissolved, about 30 seconds more. Gradually add the sifted flour-sugar mixture and fold into the whites.

Lastly fold in the lemon zest and vanilla extract. Pipe the batter into ungreased mini muffin tins. Bake until light golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes.

Angel Food Cake Cupcakes
It turns out angel food cake is actually a cinch to make (once you find a good use for those egg yolks!). And it's just as delicious as I remember. And... possibly even better :)