Lemon Angel Food Layer Cake

I am about to blow your mind, because I BAKED SOMETHING and it was GORGEOUS and DIDN’T FALL APART IN THE OVEN and did not taste bad AT ALL.

That’s a whole lot of caps and a whole lot of self-congratulation, but really: given my baking history, I’m allowed a little back-patting, I think.

OK, so maybe this recipe was adapted from a “semi-homemade” one courtesy of Sandra Lee (via People), which vastly limited my opportunities to screw up. And maybe I actually did end up screwing it up anyway, just a little bit. I mean, obviously. See, I realized too late that a cake topped with whipped cream might not enjoy hanging out in my kitchen on a hundred-degree day with thousand-percent humidity and no air conditioning (our house is ancient and has small windows and low-voltage sockets and I haven’t yet found an air conditioner that works downstairs, and I don’t want to talk about it because it is so hot). And there were still about twelve hours to go before I could serve the cake to our guests, and that very pretty plate that you see in these photos does not fit anywhere in our refrigerator. So I tried to sort of slide it onto a smaller plate, and discovered that angel food cakes do not slide; they collapse. Sigh.

Anyway, I fixed the patchy spots with more frosting, propped up the slightly collapsed side with a few lemon slices, and solved the melting-in-my-kitchen problem by magically rearranging our freezer in a way that enabled me to slide in the cake, plate and all. It was actually even better cold (angel food cake also, apparently, does not freeze – perhaps because it’s plastic? possible, but let’s hope not – so it ended up being just chilled cake with an ice-cream like frosting and frozen lemon slices, yum). Let’s look at some photos, because I’m proud.

What You Need: 

1 package Duncan Hines Angel Food cake mix

1 1/4 cups coconut water

1 tsp lemon extract

2 (3 would have been even better) containers frozen whipped topping, thawed

The peel from one lemon, finely chopped (or use a microplane to remove all the skin)

1 lemon (peel on) cut into thin slices

Sprigs of fresh lemon thyme

What You Do:

1. Make the angel food cake according to package directions, swapping in coconut water for the plain water and adding the lemon extract.

2. Let cake cool, then slice neatly (I used a very long, very sharp knife) into three layers.

3. In a bowl, combine the lemon zest and whipped topping.

4. Place the bottom layer of the cake on a plate, and spread over a little less than a third of the whipped topping. Repeat with the other layers, making the topping thickest on the top layer (so that it fluffs up and looks pretty).

5. Cut a slit into each lemon slice and twist. Garnish the cake with lemon slices and thyme springs. Serve immediately or store in the freezer until ready to serve (defrost lightly before slicing).

“I would like to eat it now please.”

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