Last Updated on August 3, 2022
There is no limit to toppings for an angel food cake. But, today we will help you narrow down some amazing choices you have to choose from!
We have compiled the ultimate guide that will not only look at pairing flavors with angel food cake but also amazing textures. And, our comprehensive list will also act as inspiration for many other ideas! So, let’s jump right in!
What Is An Angel Food Cake?
Angel food cake is one of the world’s softest and fluffiest cakes. And, to many people’s surprise, this cake is made with basic ingredients and is extraordinarily easy to make.
Angel food cake is made using mainly sugar, flour, whipped egg whites, and cream of tartar. These are the building blocks, but of course, many recipes also include other ingredients for flavoring, leavening, and adjusting the final consistency.
The ultimate texture and color for an angel food cake should be very pale, super light, and airy with a tight crumb. It should have an amazing lift thanks to the leavening agent used and have a pretty neutral vanilla flavor.
How Angel Food Cake is made
To start, all of the dry ingredients are combined and mixed well. Cream of tartar and vanilla extract will be kept aside along with the egg whites.
Then, in a separate bowl, egg whites are beaten with cream of tartar until they reach soft peaks. Once they have reached this consistency, you can add the vanilla essence or extract.
Then, the dry ingredient flour mixture is sifted directly into the whipped eggs. You can gently fold in a third of the dry ingredients. Right before they are almost fully incorporated, add another third of the dry ingredients. After the final third is folded in, the mixture is placed into a baking pan and baked on low heat.
Once cooled, you are left with a beautiful fluffy white cake, ready to be decorated with a topping of your choice.
How To Choose Toppings For An Angel Food Cake
When choosing toppings for an angel food cake, or any cake really, there are two main factors to take into consideration. The first is flavor and the second is texture.
For flavor, choosing toppings for an angel food cake is surprisingly easy. This cake has a light vanilla flavor profile, which goes with literally any other flavor. You can even be bold and use more savory toppings if you’d like.
So, the texture is what you have to focus on for these types of cakes. Depending on the category of topping you choose, you have a variety of textures and consistency options in front of you.
Let’s say that you want to add a buttercream frosting. We would recommend choosing a softer consistency to pair well with the softer food cake. A hard and stiff frosting will only take away from the amazing airy texture this cake provides.
And, when looking at actual toppings or garnishes as well, the key is choosing what will work best for the cake and you or your guests. If whole nuts are too chunky and crunchy, rather chop them up finely.
Ultimately, while some textures and flavors do work better than others, it comes down to what you like.
Toppings For An Angel Food Cake
1. Sauces or compotes
Sauces and compotes are some of the easiest and most flavorful toppings for an angel food cake. Naturally, they add a ton of fresh flavors, but they also add a smooth, creamy, and soft accompanying texture.
A fruit-based sauce is always an easy and foolproof option. You can make a berry sauce, stone-fruit sauce, or citrus sauce. And, what makes this option great is that you can adjust the texture of the fruits and the consistency of the sauce.
However, you don’t have to use fruit. You can make a delicious butterscotch sauce, salted toffee sauce, chocolate sauce, or creamy vanilla custard sauce. There are loads of other ideas out there, and as we mentioned before, there is no limit to what you can and cannot use.
2. Savory toppings
If you are feeling experimental, we highly recommend trying a savory topping. There are loads of wonderful and semi-traditional sweet and salty toppings for an angel food cake you can draw inspiration from.
For example, maple and bacon-flavored frosting is a hit at any party. You can also make savory red wine-soaked berries. Another great option is a balsamic strawberry drizzle or a salted honey meringue.
Go have a look at fine dining restaurant menus if you want to push the envelope. But honestly, even the more “basic” examples mentioned above will already be uber-creative!
3. Fruit toppings
We have already discussed the tasty fruit sauces that you can make, but you can also use fresh fruit as toppings for an angel food cake. A handy tip is to pair fruit according to their category. So, for example, make a berry topping, citrus topping, or melon topping. It can often be hard to pair fruits within different categories, but not impossible.
And, you should try to use fruits that are in season. You will get the best flavor and texture. Not to mention they will be a lot more affordable!
4. Creamy toppings
Who doesn’t love a good creamy topping for any cake? And with angel food cakes specifically, it will only elevate the already cloud-like texture. For a creamy topping, you can go basic, or extravagant.
Often, a good sweetened or flavored whipped cream topping is enough to get the job done. And, it is relatively easy to add toppings to. But, you can also make meringues, Italian buttercream frostings, marshmallow toppings, royal icings, and mirror glazes.
5. Other garnishes
If you still aren’t convinced, we have even more toppings for an angel food cake for you! Chopped nuts and even seeds are a great way to add texture. Toast them to ensure their flavor comes out well.
You can also use crushed cookies, biscuits, and pretzels (salted for a savory flavor profile).
And, if you have a sweet tooth, you can always make a candy-themed angel food cake.
As you can see, there isn’t a limit to what you can choose. But, hopefully, we have narrowed down some choices. toppings for an angel food cake should be accessible, affordable, and fun.
Let us know what some of your favorite topping options are in the comments below. Or if you have some other ideas for us, don’t hesitate to share!
What is good with angel food cake?
There is no end to what pairs well with angel food cake. The neutral vanilla flavor allows many ingredients to make great options. The key element to consider is texture. You can make sauces, compotes, coulis, frostings, icings, ganaches, and glazes. And, for garnish, fresh fruit, nuts, candy, and cookies are always an easy option.
What toppings can you put on the cake?
Toppings for an angel food cake will largely depend on the sauce or frosting you have used. If you have made a berry sauce, a fresh fruit topping will likely work best. Other ideas include candy, crushed cookies and pretzels, chopped fresh or candied nuts, seeds, and chocolate garnishes.
How do you ice angel food cake?
The easiest way to ice an angel food cake is either by pouring over a glaze or ganache or by using a piping bag. A piping bag will allow you to frost the cake without applying pressure to an otherwise soft and delicate sponge. And, simultaneously you can create beautiful piped decorations.
What are the examples of toppings?
The word topping can refer to anything used on top of an angel food cake. You can use frosting, glaze, icing, ganache, or solid textured items like fruit, nuts, and cookies. These are only a few examples that hopefully give you some inspiration for toppings.
Lindy Van Schalkwyk is a culinary specialist with a background in Advanced Cooking, Advanced Pâtisserie, Media Communications and Nutrition. She has gained invaluable experience in the culinary industry having worked in some of the top restaurants in Africa in 2016 and 2017. Her expertise in nutrition has enabled her to develop recipes for special dietary needs. In 2018, Lindy began working in the Food Media industry, focusing on recipe development, recipe writing, food writing and food styling.