Almond Angel Food Cake W/ Brandy Tart Cherry Sauce

A decadent take on angel food cake.

This is work but the payoff is worth it. The angel food cake is made with almond flour, creating a denser cake, but one with lots of nutty flavor. And that flavor becomes BFFs with the tart cherry topping and toasted, candied almonds.

For a cake that seems so simple, I found it to be kind of fussy. Then again, I’ll be the first to admit I’m no baker. Essentially the recipe below – adapted Dessert for Two’s Mini Angel Food Cake in a Loaf Pan recipe – is an angel food cake made in a loaf pan, but instead of traditional cake flour, I opted for almond. It might be because the almond flour is heavier, or I’m just bad at folding in my ingredients, but I didn’t get as nice of a rise out of my cake as I would have liked. But, it tasted amazing all the same. As our stomachs know, looks aren’t everything.

If you do feel up to the task – more power to you. Here’s a list of tips I found helpful, from everything about whipping to soft peaks to letting the cake cool upside down.

But because of the work involved, I wouldn’t hold it against anyone if they opted for a classic Betty Crocker boxed mix of angel food cake. The only thing you’ll be missing out is all that awesome almond flavor – but hey, they make confetti angel food cake mix now, so it might be worth it.

And besides, the cake isn’t the only star of the show here. The tart cherry topping combines my all-time favorite fruit with sweetness of brown sugar and honey, and the richness of brandy. And to top of that topping, you have syrup and brown sugar coated almonds that have been lightly toasted.

There’s a lot of moving parts that come into play, but like I said, the payoff is oh so worth it for this one.

Time You Need

  • Prep: 30 minutes
  • Baking: 40-50 minutes
  • Total: 1.5 hours

What You Need

  • For the cake:
  • 1/2 cup of almond flour
  • 1/3 cup of sugar
  • 1/4 tsp of salt
  • 7 egg whites, room temp
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ tsp almond extract
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp cream of tartar
  • For the cherry sauce:
  • 4 cups of frozen or fresh pitted tart cherries
  • 1 tbp honey
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp cinammon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 ½ tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup of brandy, preferably cherry or apple brandy
  • For the almond topping:
  • 2 cups of sliced almonds
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • Optional Topping:
  • Ice cream optional or whip cream

What You Do

  • For the cake:
  • Preheat oven to 325.
  • In a small bowl, mix together  flour, salt, and sugar.  Mix until no clumps remain.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add egg whites and cream of tartar, and then using a stand or hand mixer beat on medium speed until foaming. Then add lemon juice and vanilla and almond extracts, and beat on  medium speed until the egg whites form soft stiff peaks.
  • The gently fold in the mix of sugar, salt and flour. Pour the batter into a clean bread loaf pan. Use a spatula to gently smooth the top.
  • Place in the oven and bake for 40 minutes, or until a nice beautiful brown forms on that bastard.
  • Remove from oven, and set the cake upside down on a cooling rack. Or use two small cups to hold the sides of the pan upside down. Let the cake cool completely before removing from loaf pan.
  • Remove gently with a butter knife and set to the side.
  • For the cherry sauce:
  • In a medium sized pot, add cherries, honey, cinnamon, salt, lemon juice, vanilla extract and brandy. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer.
  • Slowly stir in the brown sugar.
  • Then, take about 1/4 cup of the cherry juice from the pot and place in a small bowl. Whisk that together with corn starch to form a slurry.
  • Then slowly add the slurry back to the pot and stir until the mixture has thickened.
  • Let everything slowly simmer for 5 minutes before removing from heat.
  • Serve hot over the slices of the angel food cake.
  • For the candied almonds:
  • Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper and spray with cooking spray. Preheat oven to 350.
  • In a bowl, add almonds, syrup, and brown sugar. Mix well.
  • Spread almonds in a single layer of the baking sheet. Bake in the oven for just about 3-4 minutes. Until the sugar begins to caramelized.
  • Remove from oven and serve warm over the top of cake and cherry sauce.
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