Angel Food Cake with Strawberry Filling is undeniably the perfect summer dessert.
Now that it’s officially summer, I’m in full-blown summer swing (ha, as if I wasn’t before) and this cake is MY LIFE. With the 4th of July quickly approaching, I am looking for all the excuses to eat all the berry filled desserts.
Since I was a little girl, it’s been my jam. My brother and I spent every summer with our grandparents, both sets in fact, as they lived across the field from each other. Quintessential Iowa. For six weeks we went back and forth, staying with cousins, jumping in pools, and eating all the Angel Food Cake filled with strawberries.
My Grandma would make this cake and I would (rather impatiently) wait until it was time to have a slice. And then another. And then another as a before bedtime snack. Obsessed is an understatement.
Nowadays, I generally don’t need an entire bundt pan of angel food cake. Well, I mean, I do, but I don’t have my younger self’s metabolism these days, ya feel me? So first change: angel food loaf cake. Still airy, fluffy, and delicately sweet, just a smaller portion that doesn’t leave you riddled with guilt as you eat the entire thing, in one day, by yourself. Not that I’d know anything about that.
I also decided to make a homemade angel food cake opposed to a box – no mystery ingredients here! It’s easier than I expected (why has it taken me years to get around to doing myself?!). So never fear, if you’re hesitant about the homemade kind! Angel food cake does require quite a few egg whites and beating, but absolutely worth it. My tidbit of advice: despite how tempting it is, you do want to be careful to not over beat the egg whites. Otherwise you’ll end up with a pretty flat cake.
The other trick to ensuring your cake stays tall and light? Cool it upside down, resting on some cans, for about an hour. This will prevent the cake from deflating. You also want to either use a regular loaf pan (not non-stick) or line the pan with foil so the batter can “crawl” up the pan.
Onto the filling! My other favorite part. Naturally, I had to do something a little different. In lieu of my grandma’s usual jello filling, I use agar agar, also featured in my Summer Strawberry Pie. Agar Agar is the perfect vegetable substitute for gelatin. Once the filling is set, cut off the top of the cake, scoop out the inside, and fill it up with the sweet strawberries. Are you with me? This means that all your hard baking work pays off, because you get to eat the center of the cake! #winning!
The “frosting” is just as light, airy, and delicately sweet as the cake itself – it’s just whipped cream! Strawberries AND angel food cake AND whipped cream? This is what summer dreams are made of. Every. Single. One.
Speaking of summer dreams, I mentioned the 4th of July coming up SO soon (summer stop disappearing so quickly!!!). This strawberry angel food cake is THE cake for the 4th. It’s festive, has the surprise strawberry filling, and you can totally add some blueberries for additional red, white, and blue decoration. Food blogger fail that I didn’t showcase that, but you’re my creative food friends and I totally have faith you can make it happen!
What else is on your 4th of July menu?! I’d love to hear! Keep an eye on your email for my favorite recipes to celebrate the 4th – if you’re not signed up, go ahead and subscribe for the newsletter list!
Angel Food Cake with Strawberry Filling
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 6 egg whites room temperature
- 3/4 cup sugar divided
- 3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 scant cups quartered strawberries ~9 large strawberries
- 1/4 cup sugar
- ~1/4 cup water
- 1 Tablespoon agar agar flakes
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 1-2 teaspoons powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8.5x4.5 inch loaf pan with foil (if it's a non-stick pan). Sift together flour, cornstarch, and half of the sugar (I just measure out the sugar and eyeball half into the flour mix).
- Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites, cream of tartar, vanilla and almond extracts, and salt. Beat on medium speed until soft peaks form, about 1 minute. Slowly add the remaining sugar and beat on high for approximately 2 minutes until stiff peaks form. Be careful to not over-mix here, just until stiff peaks form. Fold in flour mixture until no lumps remain - this may take up to 5 minutes to slowly fold it all in.
- Bake cake for 32-36 minutes until top is golden brown and not sticky to the touch. Once removed, place inverted on top of two cans (see photo above). Let cool for approximately 1 hour.
- Strawberry Filling: As cake cools, combine the strawberries and sugar. Let sit for 30 minutes. Drain the liquid off of the strawberries, you'll get approximately 1/4 juice. Add water until you have 1/2 cup liquid total. In a sauce pan, heat liquid and bring to a boil. Add agar agar, whisk until dissolved, and boil for an additional 10 minutes. Add strawberries, and slightly mash them. Set aside to cool and thicken for 20-30 minutes.
- Whipped Cream: In a chilled mixing bowl, add heavy cream and powdered sugar. Beat until soft peaks form, approximately 3-5 minutes, again being careful to not over beat. Store in fridge.
- Once cake is cooled, cut off top of cake using a serrated knife. Remove the center of the cake by cutting a rectangle inside, cutting about halfway down, and remove the inside of the rectangle. Add strawberries to the interior. Line the cut edge with whipped cream, and replace the top of the cake. Coat the exterior of the cake with remaining whipped cream. Let set in fridge for 15-20 minutes and serve.
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