Angel Food Cake with Brown Sugar–Bourbon Cream

Angel Food Cake with Brown Sugar–Bourbon Cream

Master the art of an old-fashioned cake with this six-ingredient recipe.


  • 1 3/4 cups egg whites (from about 13 large eggs), at room temperature 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 cup cake flour (about 4 1/4 ounces)
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) bourbon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into thin pats
  • 1 1/3 cups heavy cream
  • Mixed fresh berries, for serving


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Beat egg whites in a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment on low speed until frothy, about 3 minutes. Add cream of tartar, vanilla, and salt; increase speed to medium, and beat until mixture is doubled in volume, about 4 minutes.
  2. With the mixer running on medium speed, gradually add granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time.
  3. Beat until meringue is glossy, bright white, and thick enough to form soft, rounded mounds on top of egg white mixture, about 4 minutes. (Stop beating meringue shy of soft peaks.)
  4. Sift cake flour over meringue using a fine mesh strainer; stir once with a rubber spatula just to combine. Fold to fully incorporate flour. (Do not overmix.)
  5. Transfer batter to an ungreased 10-inch footed aluminum angel food cake pan with removable bottom. Gently shake pan to help spread batter, and smooth top using a spatula, if needed. Bake in preheated oven until cake is golden brown and bounces back when top is lightly pressed, 40 to 45 minutes. Invert cake pan to stand on its feet; let cake cool completely, 1 hour and 30 minutes to 2 hours. (Pan bottom may sink slightly.).
  6. Whisk together egg yolks, brown sugar, all-purpose flour, cornstarch, and salt in a small saucepan. Whisk in milk until well combined. Cook over medium-low, whisking constantly, until mixture thickens and begins to bubble, about 8 minutes. Continue to cook, whisking constantly, 1 minute. Immediately pour mixture through a fine mesh strainer set over a medium bowl; discard any solids. Stir in bourbon and vanilla bean paste. Add butter; stir until melted. Press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto surface of pastry cream; chill in refrigerator until cold, about 1 hour and 30 minutes.
  7. Run a long, thin knife around pan edge and center tube to release cake. Lift center tube to remove cake from pan sides; run knife under cake to release it from the pan bottom. Invert cake onto a serving platter. To serve, beat heavy cream in a large bowl using a whisk until stiff peaks form, about 4 minutes. Stir 3/4 cup whipped cream into chilled pastry cream to loosen; fold in remaining whipped cream until just combined. Cut cake slices using a long, serrated knife or angel food cake cutter, and serve with brown sugar–bourbon cream and berries.


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