Brown Sugar Angel-Food Cake — Or What To Do With A Dozen Egg Whites

When life gives you a ton of egg whites, reach for brown sugar, and make this beauty.
When life gives you a ton of egg whites, reach for brown sugar, and make this beauty.

It’s not often that you’re left with 24 egg whites in your fridge.

But that’s exactly what you’ll end up with if you make Chef Missy Robbins’ handmade pappardelle like I did.

Just think of it as the perfect excuse, though, to bake up a “Brown Sugar Angel-Food Cake.”

This recipe comes from “Martha Stewart’s Cakes” (Clarkson Potter, 2013) from the Editors of Martha Stewart Living.

As the name implies, this recipe swaps out the usual granulated sugar for light brown sugar instead. And what a difference that makes.

A good use for an empty wine bottle.
A good use for an empty wine bottle.

What the brown sugar does is impart an almost toffee-caramel taste. It’s enough to make me never go back to granulated again for this type of cake.

Like any good angel food cake, this one is sweet, fluffy, squishy, and light as air. It also boasts a crispy thin exterior, too.

Just be sure to let the cake cool completely — inverted atop a bottle — before digging in to ensure it doesn’t collapse.

Simple and satisfying.
Simple and satisfying.

It’s divine just dusted with powdered sugar. But you could also serve it with softly whipped cream or macerated summer berries.

This cake will make fine work of a dozen of those leftover egg whites. You’ll still have another 12 remaining. But after one taste, you just might commit to making a second brown sugar angel-food cake. After all, your neighbors are sure to love you if you ferry a few slices their way.

And don't forget, this cake is naturally fat-free. It's enough to make you reach for a second slice.
And don’t forget, this cake is naturally fat-free. It’s enough to make you reach for a second slice.

Brown Sugar Angel-Food Cake

(Serves 10 to 12)

1 cup sifted cake flour (not self-rising)

1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar

12 large egg whites, room temperature

1 teaspoon cream of tartar

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon salt

Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

Whipped cream, for serving (optional)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees with a rack in lower third (but not on bottom shelf). Using a sieve, sift flour and 1/2 cup brown sugar onto a piece of parchment. Set sieve over a bowl, and sift again.

With an electric mixer on medium speed, beat egg whites until frothy, about 1 minute. Add cream of tartar, lemon juice, vanilla, and salt; beat until soft peaks form, about 2 1/2 minutes. With mixer running, add remaining 1 cup brown sugar, a little at a time, beating no longer than 1 minute.

Raise speed to medium-high, continue beating until firm, but not stiff, peaks form (when beater is lifted, only the tip of the peak should fall over slightly). Gently transfer egg-white mixture to a large, wide bowl. Sprinkle a third of reserved flour mixture over the whites. Using a whisk, gently combine in a folding motion, allowing batter to fall through the whisk as you fold. Sprinkle remaining flour mixture over whites in 2 more batches; fold in with a flexible spatula until just combined. Be careful not to overmix or the egg whites will deflate.

Gently spoon batter into a 10-inch tube pan. Run an offset spatula gently through the center of the batter to remove any large air bubbles. Bake until a cake tester comes out clean, and cake is springy to the touch, 45 to 50 minutes.

Remove cake form oven; invert pan onto its legs or over a glass bottle and let cool completely. Turn pan right side up. Run a knife around edge of cake to loosen; turn out cake onto serving plate. (Cake can be stored at room temperature, wrapped in plastic, up to 2 days.) Dust with confectioners’ sugar. To serve, slice with a serrated knife and serve with dollops of whipped cream, if you like.

From “Martha Stewart’s Cakes” from the Editors of Martha Stewart Living

More: Coffee-Orange Angel Food Cake

And: Missy Robbin’s Pappardelle with Chickpeas, Rosemary, and Garlic

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2 comments

  • “… you just might commit to making a second…”

    Or maybe try the equally delectable-sounding coffee-orange angel food cake which popped up as another one of your recipes here. I’ve often thought that food bloggers could do their readers a service by adding a separate category for #yolks/#whites in their index. This one would be a “12-white” entry, for example, and the pappardelle = “24-yolks”. I saw reference in the other one just now to a yolk-intensive custard recipe which you promised (back then) would be coming soon. Predictably, I will be delving into your archives and drooling again this afternoon, Carolyn.

    Also, oh to be your lucky lucky neighbor!

  • Hi Carroll: That WOULD be useful to have a searchable category devoted to recipes for leftover stuff — like egg whites, buttermilk, obscure flours, etc. Have fun looking through my archives. And drooling is totally acceptable. 😉

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