Feb 2010

Orange Angel Food Cupcakes with Whipped Cream Frosting


The Astronomer recently made a lovely batch of lemon bars that resulted in seven egg whites chilling in the fridge. In the past, I’ve whipped up Pavlovas, coconut macaroons, and meringue cookies to avoid wasting perfectly good whites. This time around, I wanted something different—something substantial and with a bit more oomph.

“Does anyone have an amazing dessert recipe that calls for 7 egg whites? Don’t wanna make meringues or macaroons,” I tweeted early this morning. The ideas came back fast and furious. “A sour cherry financier,” suggested @nandita. “Chocolate mousse or lemon souffle,” offered up @EatingLA. “Lemon meringue pie,” said @Savour. “Make angel food cupcakes!” enthused @TheRunawaySpoon.

The vote for angel food cupcakes excited me the most because I initially wanted to make an angel food cake but couldn’t due to my lack of a proper tube pan. Making cupcakes meant that I could have my cake and eat it too!

I paired whipped cream with these light and airy citrus cupcakes because a traditional butter cream would’ve weighed down the delicate package. And just in case you’ve got a lot of whites lying around, this recipe easily doubles.

For cupcakes

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 1/2 cup cake flour, sifted
  • 5 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Zest from two oranges

For frosting

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon granulated white sugar

Make cupcakes

Preheat oven to 350F. Very lightly grease a 12-cup muffin pan (skip this step if your pan is nonstick).

In a small bowl, sift together cake flour and 1/4 cup of sugar.

In a large bowl, beat room-temperature egg whites until foamy, then add in cream of tartar and salt. Gradually add in the remaining 1/2 cup of superfine sugar while the mixer is on high speed, beating the egg whites to soft peaks. Blend in vanilla extract.

Fold in flour mixture, adding it in two or three additions, and fold in orange zest when all other ingredients have been incorporated.

Divide evenly into prepared muffin tins, filling them just about to the top.

Bake for 16-18 minutes, until tops are golden brown and the cakes spring back when lightly touched.

Cool completely before using a butter knife to release the cupcakes from the muffin pan.

Make frosting

In a large mixing bowl, place the whipping cream, vanilla extract, and sugar and stir to combine. Cover and chill the bowl and wire whisk in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. When chilled, beat the mixture until stiff peaks form. Garnish with additional orange zest if desired.

Makes 12 cupcakes and 2 cups of whipped cream frosting.

[For Printable Recipe Click Here]

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30 thoughts on “Orange Angel Food Cupcakes with Whipped Cream Frosting

  1. Yeah, good use of your new mixer. Looks like someone opened and is using one of their wedding gifts early. 🙂

  2. I have no cake flour, can I substitute with something else or can I sift AP flour together with baking powder ?

    Thanks for your help

  3. Those are just adorable! I’m going to make these beautiful cupcakes today. Wow, only 1/2 cup flour these are lower fat, love it!

  4. Nice! I should’ve thought to adopt angel food cake to cupcake tins too, it’s such a light cake, almost guiltfree to eat… though knowing me I’d probably snarf the whole dozen in one go.

  5. Fusion – According to America’s Test Kitchen: “In a pinch, you can replace 1 cup of cake flour with 7/8 cup all purpose flour and 2 tablespoons cornstarch.”

  6. This recipe is the best. It is great to find this especially now that cupcakes are really nice to have as alternative to cakes.

  7. I brought these to a holiday party last night and they were fab. I did leave out the orange, as I intended to top these with whipped cream and flaked coconut. Pinched for time, these babies went out in the buff. I made them 2 days ahead of time and a sugary crust formed on top. The novelty of angel food cupcakes were a hit. Will definitely make again, however if I make them plain I will probably decrease the vanilla just a little bit. Thanks for the recipe and inspiration!

  8. Just as a side note – egg whites can be frozen. Simply pop them into a ziplock bag and freeze. Thaw out in the refrigerator when needed. It will give you a little more time to ponder what you want to do with them ;).

  9. Celine – The cupcakes can be made a day or two ahead of time, but I think that the whipped cream frosting would be best made the day the cupcakes will be served. Over time, whipped cream tends to lose it’s volume quite a bit.

  10. Last June I made these cup cakes, for the children w/ allergies, to go along with the fancy wedding cake. Needless to say though my wedding cake went fast the cupcakes went faster. I had to make sure there were a couple left for the kid they were intended!! I’m going to try to make it into an actual angel food cake but with some sort of chocolate sauce on the side for my daughter’s 21st birthday. Any hints???

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