Over the weekend the hubs and I went to dinner at a local favorite, Honeypie. When I leave there I’m usually too full for dessert but this time we got one of their tasty looking cupcakes to go. The cupcake was simply labeled “Vanilla Birthday Cake” but this wasn’t your average cake-y cake. It was so light and airy that it had to be an angel food cake.
Wait, can you even make angel food cupcakes? The thought had never even crossed my mind. It’s such a finnicky cake that it seems like it wouldn’t work. As it turns out, you definitely can!
Because I was suspect of my experiment, I used a reliable angel food cake recipe from The Joy of Cooking and cut the cooking time. Paired with a sweet-tart key lime frosting the cupcakes were deliciously light and similar to the Honeypie revelation. Add this one to your cupcake arsenal, kids. It’s a winner.
Angel Food Cupcakes
cake from The Joy of Cooking
11 egg whites
1 C flour, sifted
3/4 C sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp water
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 tsp cream of tartar
3/4 C sugar
Preheat oven to 350. In a small bowl sift together flour, 3/4 C sugar and salt. Sift through several times. In a separate large bowl, combine water, lemon juice, extracts and cream of tartar. Add in egg whites. Beat mixture on medium-high speed for 4-5 minutes or until mixture has increased to 4-5x the original volume. Mixture should be soft and frothy, holding a soft shape when the beaters are lifted.
Next, add the remaining 3/4 C sugar working 1 Tbsp at a time and beating well as you add each bit. This should take several minutes to do. Mixture should be glossy white and should hold soft peaks where the tips just fold over when the beaters are removed. Do not beat to stiff peaks.
Gently sift in the flour mixture 1/4 C at a time. Use a rubber spatula to gently fold in the flour each time, folding the mixture over the flour until flour disappears. Do not beat or stir.
Carefully spoon batter into cupcake liners, filling 3/4 full. Bake for 18 minutes for small cupcakes or 22 minutes for giant cupcakes.
Key Lime Frosting
1 1/2 sticks butter, room temp
3+ C powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2-3 Tbsp half & half
2 Tbsp Nellie & Joe’s key lime juice*
Beat butter and 1 C sugar. Add in vanilla and 1 Tbsp half and half and beat until creamy. Continue adding powdered sugar and half and half, beating until mixture is creamy but thick. Add additional sugar for more sweetness if desired. Whip in lime juice, if desired.
*optional. You could just increase the amount of vanilla a bit for plain vanilla frosting or you could experiment with other extracts and juices!