Coconut Angel Food Cake

This is a classic. An incredibly light and airy three-layer angel food cake is filled and frosted with a billowy egg-white frosting and dusted all over with shredded coconut. Easy as can be. Add fresh berries for a tart counterpoint.

A 3-layer coconut angel food cake covered in white frosting on a white cake stand

Angel food cake. Any way you slice it, you’re in for a trip down memory lane. Although the light, airy cake isn’t just the fluffy stuff of sweet memories. It’s still in fashion—and still fashionably simple to whip up. Truly heaven sent. Originally published March 30, 2012.Renee Schettler Rossi

Coconut Angel Food Cake

  • Quick Glance
  • (1)
  • 45 M
  • 1 H, 35 M
  • Makes 1 layered cake
5/5 - 1 reviews
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Preheat the oven to 325°F (163°C).

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and cream of tartar. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites until stiff but not dry, about 11/2 minutes. (Ma-Ma’s directions say to “whip those egg whites sky-high!”) Use a spatula to slowly and gently fold the sugar into the egg whites. Do not beat. Add the vanilla and mix just until combined. Then add the flour mixture to the egg whites, a little at a time, stirring gently. Scrape the batter evenly into an unbuttered standard angel food cake pan.

Bake the cake for about 50 minutes, until the surface springs back when you touch it with your fingertips. Gently invert the pan on a wire rack or on top of a bottle, situating the center hole of the inverted tube pan on the neck of the bottle. Let the cake cool completely.

Slice the cooled cake horizontally into three layers. Place one cake layer, upside down, on a serving platter and spread icing over the top and sides, being especially generous as you spread the icing over the top as this will end up as filling. Sprinkle the icing on top with some of the coconut. Place the middle cake layer upside down on top of the bottom cake layer and spread icing over the top and sides, again being generous with the top layer. Sprinkle coconut over it. Place the third cake layer right side up on top of the other two stacked layers and frost the top and sides. Sprinkle the remaining coconut over the entire cake, covering it evenly. Slice and serve as soon as possible, wearing a mink tail thingie from yesteryear, if desired.

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Recipe Testers Reviews

This coconut angel food cake was amazing with almond extract, but I am looking forward to making it with vanilla and without coconut. It was a huge hit with my family, and I will add it to my file of awesome recipes!


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  1. Very spongy just like wanted. Definitely need some flour in the pan…hoping it’ll come out after sitting in ice water. Now, if you could suggest a recipe for these 11 egg yolks I have left over that’d make this recipe perfection.

    1. Hi KR, think you will love this cake! The frosting is so easy and works so well with the coconut. If you want a fun variation, try lemon curd between the layers.

  2. This cake dazzles and delights me: so beautiful, and just brilliant. And my mother had that fur-wrap-thang, which I found both fascinating and macabre. Good practice for my new pastime of watching Mad Men. My own grandmother was very different (outfit, Christmas morning routine, coconut cake rendition); and she was also exactly the same, in having a way she appeared in the world, a dedication to kitchen traditions that flowed right into my heart and still lives there, and a marvellous way with coconut and cake. Cannot wait to make this, and to get a hold of this book. The title alone made me nod, “Yes!”

  3. Loved this receipe and Ma Ma. Those mink thingies probably were Stone Martens which were quite the accessory way back when in my mother’s time, who was born in 1916.

  4. What was that mink tail biting thingy called???? It’s been driving me crazy for yrs…I know there is a name for it…my mother had one too…

              1. Probably a tippet, or maybe even a boa. But I think tippet is the word Melinda is looking for.

                Amazing what pops out of your memory sometimes. ;)

  5. I’ve always marveled at how many of my own childhood memories revolve around food. Or have some food associated with them. Those memories are precious to me so I try to create the same for my grandchildren. Bravo to Catherine for honoring the memory of your Ma-Ma’s coconut angel food cake!

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