Angel food is one of my favorite types of cake (and cupcakes). Its light sweetness and cloud-like texture make it the perfect end to many meals because it pairs well with coffee and doesn’t feel heavy after even a large meal. But the texture is not without its drawbacks. For example, it doesn’t go particularly well with heavy, buttercream-type frostings and it is prone to being squished during slicing if not handled with a light touch.
There are ways to cut an angel food cake without squishing, however. The Baker’s Catalogue is currently stocking an angel food cutter, which is a many-pronged fork that allows you to perforate your cake (much like using a fork to split an english muffin) and easily pull off pieces. If you prefer your cake slices to have clean edges, rather than being “gently torn” by the Baker’s Catalogue cutter, all you need is a long, sharp serrated knife. A gentle sawing motion will have your cake sliced evenly, and without squishing, in no time.
KrooieMay 29, 2007
I have one of these “cake rakes.” I rarely use it for cutting angel food cake, though. I tend to use it as a guide for cutting tomatoes or onions!
I usually go the serrated-knife route when I cut an angel food cake. IMHO, the “rake” doesn’t work that well.
lyssMay 30, 2007
I adore Angel Food cake. When I was a child, it was the cake of choice for my birthday, and my grandmother used to ask how I’d like it each time: with swirls of color, fruit, plain, whipped cream. . .
I’ve never gone the route of a cake rake, though I do know what the are. Honestly, I prefer a serrated bread-cutting knife. They’re already just about made to do the job of cutting tender baked goods. Just seeing the rake reminds me of old kitchen tools, however, so maybe I’ll seek one out. I can never withstand the lure of the Baker’s Catalogue!
LinCMay 30, 2007
I remember that angel food cake cutter from the 1950’s. My mother still has one. They really do work, but you have to be gentle.
If you have never made an angel food cake from scratch, I definitely recommend you try it. It takes a while to beat the egg whites, but it’s worth the effort. Definitely use cake flour. The angel food cakes from the stores use artificial foaming ingredients that make the cake tough. And the box mix angel food cakes are nasty. Made-from-scratch angel food cake is lighter and sweeter than the store version and can be delicately flavored. I like to add a little orange extract to mine.