When I was trying to think of the perfect way to end an Easter brunch, I immediately thought of angel food cake, strawberries, and fresh whipped cream. It’s light, delicious, and just feels like spring to me. Since I’ve already suggested serving individual pancetta, leek, gruyere, and baked egg galettes, I decided to keep the individual food theme going and bake mini angel food cakes. That’s when I remembered this post from Jordan on Oh Happy Day. Did you know you can bake a cake in tin cans? They make the most adorable mini cakes. So clever, right? Who needs specialty cake pans?
Other than having a couple of cakes overflow in the oven on my first round (note: Only fill slightly more than halfway up the tin can – these babies rise!), the cakes were relatively easy to make. I placed a circle of parchment paper in the bottom of each can and then ran a knife around the sides to remove them after baking. They all came out with no problem. I cut each mini cake into three layers and assembled them with fresh whipped cream and sliced strawberries.
The cakes were light as air and so delicious. All stacked up, they looked so darn cute – the perfect end to your meal!
Mini Angel Food Cakes
Adapted from Alton Brown
- 1 3/4 cups sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup cake flour, sifted
- 12 egg whites (the closer to room temperature the better)
- 1/3 cup warm water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Remove the label from your tin cans and thoroughly wash and dry them. Line the bottom of each with a circle of parchment paper.
In a food processor spin sugar about 2 minutes until it is superfine (or you can buy superfine sugar at the store). Sift half of the sugar with the salt and cake flour, setting the remaining sugar aside.
In a large bowl, use a balloon whisk to thoroughly combine egg whites, water, vanilla, and cream of tartar. After 2 minutes, switch to a hand mixer. Slowly sift in the reserved sugar, beating continuously at medium speed. Once you have achieved medium peaks, sift enough of the flour mixture in to dust the top of the foam. Using a spatula fold in gently. Continue until all of the flour mixture is incorporated.
Carefully spoon mixture into ungreased cans (I used 15.25 oz. cans). Fill them only a little more than halfway. Be careful – they will rise a good deal and I had a few overflow on my first round. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes. Stick a wooden skewer in one of the cans and when it comes out dry, they’re done.
Cool for an hour before removing from cans. Run a thin knife around the sides of the can, turn upside down, and it should come out easily. Remove the parchment paper from the bottom of the cake. If you have trouble getting them out, open the bottom of the can with a can opener and gently push the cake out.
MAKES APPROXIMATELY 12 MINI CAKES (depending on your can size)
- 1 cup (1/2 pint) cold heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons confectioners sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Whisk the cream until it begins the thicken and then add in the sugar and vanilla. Continue to whisk until soft peaks form.
TO ASSEMBLE CAKES:
Using a bread knife, gently cut the cakes into three sections. Layer with whipped cream and cut strawberries. Enjoy!