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Chocolate Coffee Orange Angel Food Cake

by Lori on May 10th, 2011

A slice of cake, take five

Having the right tool for a job is important. If you are driving a nail, use a hammer, not a screw driver. If you are baking an angel food cake, use a tube pan, not a bundt pan.

The Story

I learned this lesson the hard way when I made my first angel food cake. At the time, I did not have a tube pan. However, I did have a bundt pan, which I thought was essentially the same thing. It had a hole in the middle anyway.

When I read the part of the angel food cake recipe that said not to grease the pan, I was skeptical. Every cake recipe I made before stated to grease and flour the pan. I proceeded as instructed, except I used a bundt pan instead of a tube one.

The cake baked beautifully. When it was time to remove it from the pan, I read that I needed to slide a knife around the edges. It was a bit tricky given the bumpy nature of a bundt pan. I ended up scratching my pan, muttering to myself in frustration and tearing the cake to shreds before finally getting it out. I served it as a trifle with whipped cream and fresh fruit since it was in bits and pieces.

Then my mother-in-law found for me the most beautiful tube pan at a yard sale. It has a removable bottom and feet for cooling the cake upside down. For Mother’s Day, I baked her an angel food cake. It was amazing how easily it came out of the pan!

Angel food cake pan, take one

The Moral of the Story

For the best results, use the right pan or utensil for the job.

About the Recipe

When it came time to select an angel food cake recipe for Mother’s Day, I couldn’t decide between Food Gal’s Coffee Orange Angel Food Cake or Pixelated Crumb’s Chocolate Angel Food Cake. Both looked delicious. I decided to make a cake that included elements from both recipes.

The Cast of Characters

Cocoa and coffee, take one
The chocolate, coffee and orange complement each other nicely. (Orange not pictured)

The Play-by-Play

Sift together the flour, salt, sugar and cocoa.
Sifting cocoa, take one

Stir in the coffee granules.
Adding instant coffee

In your stand mixer, whip the egg whites until frothy.
Egg whites in mixter, take one

Add the cream of tartar.
Adding cream of tarter to egg wites

Then add a bit of sugar.
Adding sugar

Keep whipping until the egg whites are soft and fluffy, forming soft peaks.
Egg whites whipped, take two

Add the orange juice, zest and vanilla.
Adding orange zest and vanilla, take two

Mix slowly until incorporated.
Whipped egg whites with flecks of orange

With a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, fold in the flour and cocoa powder mixture.
Cake batter in pan, take two

Pour the batter into the tube pan.
Pouring cake batter into pan

Drop the pan on the counter a couple of times to remove any air bubbles.
Cake batter in pan, take four

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes.
Angel cake in the oven

It’s done when a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
The toothpick test, take one

Invert the pan to cool completely.
Inverted cake pan cooling, take four

Once it is cool, run a thin knife or spatula around the edges.
Scraping the side of the pan

Remove the sides of the pan.
Angel food cake without sides, take two

Run the knife or spatula along the bottom of the pan.
Slicing the bottom of the cake, take two

Remove the bottom of the pan.
Angel food cake out of pan, take two

Slice and serve!
A slice of cake, take two

Recipe: Chocolate Coffee Orange Angel Food Cake

Summary: A light coffee chocolate angel food cake with an orange twist
Adapted from Food Gal’s Coffee Orange Angel Food Cake and Pixelated Crumb’s Chocolate Angel Food Cake


½ cup all purpose flour
1 ½ cups sugar, divided
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons instant coffee granules
12 large egg whites at room temperature
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
Zest from one orange
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Sift together flour, salt, ¾ cup sugar and cocoa powder. Stir in the coffee granules. Set aside.
  2. Beat the egg whites until frothy. Add the cream of tartar and the remaining sugar, and continue beating until shiny peaks form.
  3. Reduce the speed of the mixer, and add orange juice, zest and vanilla extract.
  4. Fold the flour mixture into the egg mixture with a rubber spatula. Pour the mixture into a tube pan.
  5. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a wooden skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.
  6. If your pan has legs, turn it upside down, and let it cool. If it is legless, invert the pan on a wine bottle to cool completely.

The Footnotes

  • About whipping the egg whites: Let the eggs get to room temperature first and add cream of tartar while whipping them.
  • About folding in the other ingredients: Use a wooden spoon or rubber spatula to gently folder in the chocolate, vanilla and orange zest into the whipped egg whites. Be careful not to over mix and flatten your batter.
  • About removing air bubbles: Once you have the batter in the pan, drop it a few times on the counter to remove the air bubbles before baking. I am not sure why it is important, but it’s fun to do.
  • About removing the cake from the pan: After the cake has cooled, slide a thin knife or spatula around the edges of the pan to loosen it. Also use a tube pan and not a bundt one. It will come out of the pan much easier.
  • About cutting the cake: Use a serrated knife when cutting the cake to keep from crushing it.
  • About storing: Wrap it in saran wrap to keep it moist. Store it at room temperature for a couple of days or in the refrigerator if you want to store longer. Mine was long gone before then.

Baking time (duration): 35 to 40 minutes

Number of servings (yield): 8

Meal type: dessert

My rating: 5 stars:  ★★★★★ 1 review(s)

Additional Resources

Here are a couple of other angel food cake flavors I thought sounded interesting, but haven’t had a chance to try. Citrus flavors seem to be popular. If you try them, let me know how you like them.

Do you have a favorite angel food cake recipe?

  1. Wow! What a delicious looking coffee cake!

  2. Oooooh, that looks so good. I am definitely trying this one! I love chocolate and orange together. Such a great combination. I had to laugh at your story about using a tube pan for an angel food cake. I did the same thing when I first started cooking. I didn’t understand there was a difference in the bundt and tube pan…HA!

    • That is funny you had the same challenge with the bundt/tube pan thing. It’s amazing that the shape of the pan would make such a big difference.

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