We came back early from China, unexpectedly. It is kind of a bummer to everyone, especially little croissant’s grandparents and great grandparents. They teared up when saying goodbye to little croissant and I have never seen some of them ever teared up in my whole life. Who knows a little human being can bring so much joy and sadness at the same time? On the bright side, I came back to Seattle just in time for fall and everything pumpkin. 🍁
I wasn’t planning to bake any new pumpkin desserts this year, but as I came back early and the weather is chilling, the leaves are falling, and the air is full of the smell of fall, I think maybe I’ll give pumpkin another month in my kitchen. Or until thanksgiving ends and we move on to cookies.
I baked a loaf of Harvest Bread, which is part pumpkin bread, part spice cake, part apple cake, part carrot cake, from Sally’s Baking Addiction. It is exactly what I crave – a super moist bread that’s not too sweet but full of warm pumpkin spice flavor. It is a wonderful recipe, but it’s not something I haven’t come across before.
It is this recipe that makes me think I have to write this post and share it with you – Pumpkin Angel Food Cake with Cream Cheese Glaze by Erin Mcdowell. I haven’t made angel food cake in ages and I think that’s the case for most of you. Oh peeps, why did we forget how good a properly made angel food cake is. I have always loved the light and delicate texture of an angel food cake, but it often lacks flavor and tastes kind of bland. The additions of pumpkin and spice in this recipe totally solves the problem.
“I packed as much as I could into it to make it really pumpkin-flavored without ruining the light, airy feeling of an angel food cake,” Erin said on Instagram. She nailed it. And the cream cheese glaze on top? Heaven.
Can I tell you how good this Pumpkin Angel Food Cake is? I brought it over to a friend’s house for a hotpot party. Normally nobody will have room for desserts after hotpot. I mean, if you don’t overeat, what’s the meaning of a hotpot? But we devoured the WHOLE CAKE. Not even a crumb was left. One of our friends kept saying “I’m so full but I cannot stop eating”. Mr.186, the picky eater, actually complimented the cake and requests every future cake I make for him will be like this.
This is probably my favorite recipe of 2019. And that says a lot. Make it before all the fall leaves are gone. I’m seriously considering abandon pumpkin pie and make this for Thanksgiving. Until next time, happy fall/pumpkin baking!
Pumpkin Angel Food Cake with Cream Cheese Glaze Recipe Report
1. 12 large egg whites
2. 1¼ teaspoons cream of tartar
3. 1¼ cups (248g) granulated sugar (preferably superfine sugar)
4. 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
5. 1¼ cups (141g) cake flour
6. 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon*
7. ¾ teaspoon ground ginger*
8. ½ teaspoon ground cloves*
9. ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
10. 1¼ cups (283g) pumpkin puree
Cream Cheese Glaze
1. 4 ounces (113g) cream cheese, at room temperature
2. ½ cup (56g) confectioners’ sugar
3. 3 tablespoons heavy cream or whole milk
4. 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
5. Pumpkin pie spice, as needed
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place an ungreased angel food cake pan on a baking sheet.
2. MAKE THE CAKE: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites and cream of tartar until they become white and frothy, about 2 minutes. Add the sugar in a slow, steady stream and continue to whip to stiff peaks. The meringue should be smooth and glossy. Add the vanilla.
3. In a medium bowl, sift together the cake flour, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt. Gradually sprinkle a small portion of the flour mixture over the meringue and, using a silicone spatula, fold in gently to incorporate, repeating until all the flour mixture is incorporated. Do not overmix.
4. Place the pumpkin puree in a large bowl. Add about a quarter of the batter to the pumpkin puree and mix to combine. This will lighten the puree and make it easier to incorporate into the rest of the batter without deflating it much. Add the remaining batter to the pumpkin mixture in 2 or 3 additions, folding just until incorporated.
5. Gently spoon the batter into the prepared pan and spread into an even layer. Transfer to the oven and bake until the top is golden brown and the structure is set (it will spring back lightly when touched), 35 to 40 minutes.
6. Invert the cake pan onto a cooling rack and cool completely in the pan. When the cake has cooled, turn the pan upright and run a sharp knife gently around the edge of the cake to loosen it. Invert the cake pan onto the cooling rack to release the cake.
7. MAKE THE GLAZE: In a medium bowl, mix the cream cheese with a whisk until it’s light and fluffy. Add the confectioners’ sugar, cream and vanilla; mix to combine. The glaze should be thick but drizzle-able. If it’s too thick, add more cream or milk 1 teaspoon at a time until it reaches the desired consistency. Drizzle the glaze over the cake and garnish with pumpkin pie spice, if desired.
OBSERVATIONS & NOTES:
*I used 1½ teaspoons Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Pie Spice instead
1. It is a pretty standard angel food cake recipe and you shouldn’t have any problems following the directions. If you’ve never made angel food cake before, be sure to take your time to whip the egg whites and don’t knock off too much air when incorporating with flour.
2. Don’t skip or cut down the cream cheese glaze! The tang from cream cheese balances out the sweetness from angel food cake and adds dimensions. The recipe amount is perfect – you wouldn’t have leftovers but have enough to cover the whole cake.
3. Make it, make it, make it. The texture is insane, the flavor is bold and the pumpkin & cream cheese combination is perfect. Thank you Erin for reminding me how good an angel food cake is!