Forget all the fussiness you associate with angel food cake—none of it was ever necessary. Your eggs don’t need to be room temperature; your sugar doesn’t need to be superfine; you don’t need to stream things in slowly or “gently fold” till combined. The key is using a can of “instant flour,” normally used for thickening gravies rather than baking. Low in protein and pregelatinized so that it can rapidly dissolve in liquids, it results in a cake that’s ethereally fluffy, no folding or futzing required.
- Preheat oven to 350°F, positioning a rack in the bottom third.
- Using a hand or stand mixer with whisk attachment on medium-low, whisk together the egg whites, sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla until smooth and just foamy, about one minute. Gradually increase speed to maximum. Beat until you can just see trails coming from the beaters and the egg whites have reached a thick yogurt-like consistency, about five minutes.
- Reduce speed to medium-low and, with mixer running, slowly shake in flour. Stop mixer and whisk by hand a few times to make sure all the flour has been evenly incorporated.
- Pour the cake batter into an ungreased angel food cake pan. Gently lift pan about 2” and drop onto counter three times to release any trapped air bubbles.
- Bake cake for 50 minutes without opening the oven.
- After 50 minutes, remove cake and immediately flip upside down to cool. Let angel food cake rest for a minimum of one hour before unmolding it.
Allison Robicelli is a D-list celebrity-chef chef, author, humorist, entrepreneur, general polymath, and all-around good time. You may remember her from such places as Food52, Eater, Food Network, VH1, and many other quirky corners of the food Internet. She is the author of the critically acclaimed cookbook/memoir Robicelli's: A Love Story, With Cupcakes, which has been called one of the funniest food-related books of all time. You should buy it.