Birthday cake round one!

It was birthday extravaganza weekend for Wes.  Growing up, angel food was the official birthday cake in my house.  My mom always came up with fun ideas for it. For instance, one time she hid dollar coins in the cake. Looking back, I guess it could have been hazardous, but at the time, I was thrilled.  Great idea Mom!
I decided it was time to start that tradition with Wes for his birthday.  Angel food cake is rumored to be very temperamental and can easily flop.  Being the determined little baker that I am, I wanted to make this cake from scratch.  For the purposes of full disclosure, I did buy a back up box mix just in case something went awry.  
To make the cake, I combined two recipes I already had.  One was a recipe that I made before in a group cooking class, and the other was just a recipe I googled.  In my opinion, the cake turned out beautiful. Sure, I wish it was a bit taller, but the taste was right on.  The pure white color of the cake is just beautiful. And the lemon buttercream I whipped up is absolutely perfect for the cake.  Wes loves the lemon pudding recipe I recently shared, so I wanted the cake to be slightly reminiscent of that flavor.
And lucky for me, I didn’t need the back up cake!  That would have been the third cake I would have made on Saturday, so thank goodness it didn’t come to that. 

 Here’s the recipe!

Birthday Angel Food Cake with Lemon Buttercream

Modified from this recipe

10 egg whites (about 1 1/2 cups), or you can use carton pure egg whites
1 cup flour
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 cup extra fine sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract

Lemon Buttercream

1 stick butter
1/4 cup crisco
3 tbsp cream
3 cups powdered sugar
Juice of one lemon
Zest of one lemon
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Separate eggs, discarding or saving the yolks for later.  Let egg whites sit until they reach room temperature. Once eggs are at room temperature, add extracts and salt to the whites. I highly recommend using a stand mixer with the flat attachment for the next step.  You will need to beat the egg whites for about ten minutes.  Gradually start adding in the fine sugar to the egg whites about three minutes into the process. Beat egg whites until they form stiff peaks.

Meanwhile, sift flour, powdered sugar, and cream of tartar. Repeat sifting process several times. I did this four times.

Once egg whites are ready, slowly fold in the flour mixture.  Pour batter into an ungreased angel food cake pan and bake for about 35 minutes.  The cake will be a medium brown on top.  Immediately invert cake after baking.  Remove cake from pan after it is completely cool.

For the icing, cream butter and crisco.  Add in powdered sugar and milk.  Mix until sugar is completely blended.  Add in vanilla, lemon juice, and lemon zest.  Mix together.  Ice cake once it is completely cooled.

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