• Lemon meringue angel food cakes. (Alan Benson)Source: Alan Benson

Think of this as a light chiffon cake-like version of lemon meringue pie.






Skill level

Average: 3.7 (26 votes)

A type of sponge cake originating in the USA, angle food cake dates back to the 1800s and has a light, chiffon-like texture and simple but addictive flavour. Whipped cream and ruby-ripe fresh strawberries are the classic accompaniment but here it is teamed with lemon curd and meringue to create a cake hybrid of the lemon meringue pie!

This recipe is part of our Bakeproof: Meringue column. Read tips on how to make the perfect meringue in her column.


Angel food cakes

  • 150 g (1 cup) plain flour
  • 275 g (1¼ cups) caster sugar
  • 12 egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1½ tsp natural vanilla essence or extract


Lemon curd

  • 60 ml (¼ cup) strained fresh lemon juice
  • 75 g (⅓ cup) caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 50 g unsalted butter, cubed, at room temperature


Italian meringue

  • 3 eggwhites, at room temperature
  • 165 g (¾ cup) caster sugar
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) water

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Cooling time: 30 minutes

Chilling time: 2 hours

Equipment: 12-hole, 180 ml (¾ cup) capacity, straight-sided, loose-bottomed, individual cake tin; sugar thermometer

Angel food cakes

1. Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced). Have an ungreased 12-hole, 180 ml (¾ cup) capacity, straight-sided, loose-bottomed, individual cake tin (see Baker’s tips) ready.

2. Sift the flour and 55 g (¼ cup) of the caster sugar twice onto a piece of baking paper. Use an electric mixer with a whisk attachment to whisk the eggwhites on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. With the motor running, gradually add the remaining 220 g (1 cup) of sugar, a large spoonful at a time and scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally, and whisk until the sugar has dissolved completely and the mixture is thick and glossy. Whisk in the vanilla.

3. Sift one-third of the flour and sugar mixture onto the eggwhite mixture and use a large metal spoon or spatula to fold until just combined. Repeat with the remaining flour and sugar mixture in two more batches.

4. Spoon the mixture into the ungreased tins, dividing evenly and gently smoothing the surface with the back of a metal spoon. Bake for 18 minutes or until well risen, golden, and a skewer inserted into the centre of the cakes comes out clean (be careful not to overbake).

5. Immediately turn the cake tin upside down and rest on four egg cups over a wire rack (so the cakes are suspended in the tin) and set aside for 30 minutes or until completely cool. Remove the cakes from the tin by gently easing away from the side and using the loose bases to push them out (see Baker’s tips).


Lemon curd

6. Meanwhile, combine the lemon juice, sugar and eggs in a medium heatproof bowl and place over a saucepan of simmering water (make sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water). Stir with a small balloon whisk for 10-12 minutes or until the mixture thickens to a consistency similar to pouring cream (do not boil). Remove the bowl from the saucepan and gradually stir in the butter, a couple of cubes at a time and allowing it to melt and be incorporated so the curd is smooth before adding the next lot. Cover with plastic wrap (see Baker’s tips) and place in the fridge to chill for at least 2 hours before using.


Italian meringue

7. Put the eggwhites in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment.

Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan and stir with a wooden spoon over low heat until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat to medium and bring to the boil. Boil for about 10 minutes, occasionally brushing down the side of the pan with a pastry brush dipped in water to dissolve any sugar crystals, until the syrup reaches hard ball stage, 120°C on a sugar thermometer.

8. Meanwhile, just before the syrup is ready, whisk the eggwhites on high speed until firm peaks just form.

Remove the syrup from the heat and stand for about 1 minute or until the bubbles subside.

With the stand mixer running on high speed, gradually add the sugar syrup to the eggwhites in a thin steady stream until all the syrup has been incorporated. Continue to whisk on medium speed for another 10 minutes or until the meringue has cooled to room temperature.


To assemble

9. Use a small serrated knife with a pointed end to cut a 2.5 cm deep cone shape from the top of a cake, leaving a 1 cm border. Spoon a little of the chilled curd into the hole to fill.

Spoon a generous amount of the meringue onto each cake and use a small palette knife or the back of a teaspoon to spread and swirl as desired. Use a blowtorch to lightly caramelise the meringue.


Baker’s tips

• We’ve used Baker’s Secret Loose Base dessert Pan 12 Cup cake tin.

• You may need to run a palette knife carefully around the outside of the cakes to help them release.

• The un-iced cakes will keep for up to 2 days in an airtight container at room temperature. The filled and iced cakes are best eaten the same day.

• If making the curd ahead of time, you can transfer it straight into a clean airtight jar, cover with an airtight lid and place in the fridge. It will keep in an airtight jar or container in the fridge for up to 1 week.


Photography by Alan Benson. Styling by Sarah O'Brien. Food preparation by Tina McLeish. Creative concept by Belinda So.


This recipe is part of our Bakeproof: Meringue column. Read tips on how to make the perfect meringue in her column.


View previous Bakeproof columns and recipes here.


Anneka's mission is to connect home cooks with the magic of baking, and through this, with those they love. For hands-on baking classes and baking tips, visit her at BakeClub. Don't miss what's coming out of her oven via Facebook,TwitterInstagram and Pinterest.