This master Angel Food Cake recipe is good as is, but it's also easy to modify to suit any cravings.
1 cup sifted cake flour
1 1/2 cups sugar, divided
12 large egg whites
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 325°.
To prepare cake, lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour and 3/4 cup sugar, stirring with a whisk.
Place egg whites in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed until foamy. Add cream of tartar and salt; beat until soft peaks form. Add 3/4 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time, beating until stiff peaks form. Beat in vanilla, juice, and almond extract. Sift 1/4 cup flour mixture over egg white mixture; fold in. Repeat with remaining flour mixture, 1/4 cup at a time.
Spoon the batter into an ungreased 10-inch tube pan, spreading evenly. Break air pockets by cutting through the batter with a knife. Bake at 325° for 55 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched. Invert pan; cool completely. Loosen cake from sides of pan using a narrow metal spatula. Invert the cake onto a plate.
Nutty: For nut lovers; fold 1/2 cup finely chopped toasted nuts--such as almonds, walnuts, or hazelnuts--into the batter with the flour.
Chocolate glazed: Whisk together 3 tablespoons unsweeetened cocoa, 1 cup powdered sugar, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract and about 3 tablespoons water or cold coffee. Drizzle over cooled cake.
Chocolate malt: Add 2 tablespoons malted milk powder and 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder to the flour mixture.
Citrus-glazed: Whisk together 2 tablespoons lime, lemon, orange juice and 1 cup powdered sugar until smooth. Drizzle over cooled cake.
Ice cream: Cut the cake horizontally into 3 layers, then spread each layer with cup of softened ice cream or sorbet. Reassemble the cake, then freeze it until ready to serve.
Orange: Fold 2 tablespoons grated orange peel and 1 teaspoon orange extract into the batter.
Pink Peppermint: Add 1/4 teaspoon red food coloring to the batter and fold in 1/4 cup finely crushed hard peppermint candies.
Spiced: Add 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice to the flour mixture.