We’ve had some lovely spring weather here in Knoxville lately, and I’ve started seeing lots of spring baking recipes – lemon and coconut galore! I guess cherry isn’t a quintessential springtime flavor, but this cake definitely looks like spring! Don’t you think?? I love homemade angel food cakes and maraschino cherries make this one extra special. It’s basically traditional angel food cake with chopped maraschino cherries and almond extract, topped with a cherry powdered sugar glaze – yum! If you’ve never made a homemade angel food cake before, don’t worry! It’s not hard at all – especially if you have a stand mixer (A hand mixer will work too, just be prepared for an arm workout!). A few tips: be sure not to get any yolk in your egg whites (yolk will keep your whites from whipping up as fluffy) and take your time to gently fold the flour mixture into the beaten egg whites (you don’t want to deflate your perfectly fluffy egg whites that you worked so hard for!). Enjoy!
Cherry Almond Angel Food Cake
1-1/2 cups egg whites (10-12 large eggs), room temperature
1-1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar
1 cup sifted cake flour
1-1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp vanilla
1-1/2 tsp almond extract
1 cup white sugar
1 (10 oz) jar maraschino cherries, chopped and drained (reserve juice)
2 tbsp melted butter
2 cups powdered sugar
3-4 tbsp reserved cherry juice
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In bowl of stand mixer with whisk attachment, beat egg whites, cream of tartar, vanilla, and almond extract at medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add granulated sugar. Increase speed to high and beat until forms stiff peaks.
3. In separate bowl, whisk 1-1/2 cups powdered sugar and cake flour together. Add about 1/4 of the flour mixture over the egg whites. Using a rubber spatula, lightly and gently fold flour mixture into egg whites. Repeat with remaining flour mixture by fourths. Gently fold in chopped cherries. Pour batter into an ungreased 10-inch tube pan.
4. Bake in preheated oven for 40-45 minutes, or until top springs back when lightly touched. Immediately invert cake in pan, standing tube pan on its legs or resting the center tube over a tall-necked bottle. Cool cake completely in pan, about 2 hours. Loosen sides of cake pan; remove cake.
5. In small bowl, whisk together melted butter, 2 cups powdered sugar, and cherry juice. Pour over cooled cake.
*loosely adapted from Betty Crocker