The only cake my mom used to make from a “box” was angel food cake. Not sure why except she possibly just didn’t want to bother with the homemade version. She would then frost it with this peanut butter frosting stuff. It is one of the few things I didn’t carry with me into my baking adulthood. Sweet Peas and Saffron may change that with this lovely lemon flavored angel food cupcake recipe. These are delicious enough to take the extra time to bake from scratch!
Lemon Angel Food Cupcakes with Raspberry Buttercream
Makes about 12 cupcakes
- 5 egg whites (from medium eggs; at room temperature)
- pinch salt (large pinch)
- ¾ teaspoons cream of tartar
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar (67g)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup cake flour (56g, *fluffed, spooned & leveled*)
- ½ cup granulated sugar (100g)
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest (loosely packed)
- 1 cup unsalted butter (226g; at room temperature)
- 3 cups powdered sugar (360g)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup raspberries (at room temperature)
- Pre heat oven to 350 F.
- In a small bowl, combine flour, ½ cup sugar and lemon zest. Set aside.
- In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk, beat egg whites on medium high for around 2 minutes, until they are frothy and have loose peaks (will stand for a second and then sink back into the eggs).
- Add a pinch of salt and cream of tartar, continue to beat on medium-high for 3-5 more minutes until stiff peaks form (won’t sink back into eggs).
- At this point, continue beating on medium speed and gradually add the ⅓ cup portion of granulated sugar *by the tablespoon* over a period of 3-5 more minutes. Stop and scrape the sugar/eggs down from the bowl every few minutes.
- Once sugar has dissolved completely (check by running meringue between your fingers, if no grains remain, you are done), fold in the vanilla extract followed by the flour/sugar/lemon zest mixture (best to do this in several batches, and *be gentle*)
- Spoon mixture into muffin pan lined with muffin papers. The batter will stick out of the top of the muffin papers but it won’t overflow while baking. Bake at 350 F for 15-18 minutes, until tops become golden brown. Set aside to cool.
- Using a mesh strainer and a spoon, mash raspberries against strainer until only seeds remain, collecting raspberry juice below in a bowl. Discard solids and set raspberry juice aside.
- Using a stand mixer fitted with a whisk, beat the butter on medium high until light and fluffy. Beat in the powdered sugar, starting on low and increasing speed to medium once sugar begins to become incorporated. Beat for 2 or so minutes until all sugar and butter are well combined.
- Beat in vanilla and raspberry juice. *your buttercream may look broken but it needs to be beaten for several minutes to completely incorporate the raspberries*
- Beat on medium-high for one minute; scrape sides of bowl with spatula and repeat for 5 or more minutes until the color of buttercream is uniformly pink and smooth.
- Using an icing bag fitted with the tip of your choice (mine was the wilton 1M), frost your cupcakes!
Tips for making perfect angel food cupcakes:
- use room temperature egg whites
- make sure your bowl is spic and span, with no water droplets
- beat the eggs until they are frothy and form soft peaks (that stay up, then ‘melt’ back into the eggs) before adding your salt & cream of tartar
- when adding your sugar, add 1-2 tbsp per minute, and stop beating when you can’t feel any sugar granules when rubbing the meringue between your fingers.
- be gentle when adding vanilla, lemon zest and flour/sugar mixture! Fold it in with a spatula and go slow.