I've never been a huge Valentine's Day person, but I will participate in the chocolate-eating festivities. Who am I to deny a box of chocolates or, even better, chocolate-covered strawberries? Truth be told, I'm usually the one baking a dessert during the holiday just because I'm craving it, but I don't mind. This year, I'm whipping up strawberry angel food cake stacks layered with strawberry compote and chocolate whipped cream. It seems basic but it is simply divine. I know I'll be enjoying this special dessert all year round.
Strawberry Angel Food Cake Stacks
- 24 ounces strawberries, halved
- ½ cup granulated sugar (100 grams)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
Strawberry angel food cake
- 1 cup cake flour (118 grams)
- ¾ cup powdered sugar (98 grams)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 12 egg whites, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- ¾ cup granulated sugar (150 grams)
- ½ cup strawberry puree (120 grams)
Chocolate whipped cream
- 1 cup heavy cream (250 ml)
- ¼ cup powdered sugar (33 grams)
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder (10 grams)
- 1 tablespoon grated chocolate for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking pan with butter. Line bottom with parchment paper and brush more butter on top.
- Combine halved strawberries, sugar, and vanilla in a medium saucepot. Bring to a boil over medium heat and continue to cook until berries are softened and liquid is reduced, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and place about half in a blender, reserving the remaining. You'll need ½ cup strawberry puree total for the cake batter. Puree until smooth and let cool completely.
- Sift together cake flour, powdered sugar, and salt three times.
- Combine egg whites, cream of tartar, and lemon juice in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat egg whites with whisk attachment until soft peaks form. Slowly add granulated sugar 2 tablespoons at a time while mixer is still running until all of the sugar has been added. Continue to beat egg whites until medium-stiff peaks form.
- Fold in ⅓ of the dry ingredients. Add ¼ cup strawberry puree and another ⅓ dry ingredients, folding until just combined. Add remaining ¼ cup strawberry puree and remaining flour, folding just until combined. Gently pour cake batter into prepared baking dish and spread in an even layer.
- Bake strawberry angel food cake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool completely on a wire rack.
- Make chocolate whipped cream. Whip together heavy cream with cocoa powder and powdered sugar until stiff peaks.
- Use a 3 ½-inch biscuit cutter and cut 6 rounds from the cake. Slice each round in half horizantally to create two layers. Spread chocolate whipped cream on bottom layer followed by reserved strawberry syrup. Stack top layer and spread more whipped cream and strawberry syrup. Grate chocolate on top if desired and serve immediately.
Watch how to make this:
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
To me, Valentine's Day wouldn't be complete without strawberries and chocolate. It's the perfect marriage of ingredients. And so, I decided to make the ultimate angel food cake stacks with these two flavors.
Angel food cake is possibly one of my favorite types of cake. I love how light and airy it is with the right amount of vanilla in every bite. I usually make a plain angel food cake and top it with fresh berries. But to make a Valentine's Day appropriate version, I decided to add strawberries to the cake.
Simmer fresh or frozen strawberries with sugar and vanilla in a medium pot. The pan will look dry in the beginning but as the berries cook, the water will seep out. Continue to simmer the berries until the liquid is thickened and the fruit is soft.
Reserve about half of the strawberry compote for topping the cake. Meanwhile, puree the other half to mix directly into the cake. You'll need a total of ½ cup of strawberry puree. You can also prepare the puree the day before.
Next, follow the steps to make the angel food cake. If you ever made this cake before, the procedure is exactly the same except for the addition of the strawberry puree.
First, whip the egg whites with cream of tartar and lemon juice until soft peaks form. Then, add the sugar 2 tablespoons at a time until all of the sugar has been added. Take your time with this step. If you add the sugar too quickly, it will deflate the egg whites.
Keep beating the eggs until medium peaks form. Then, add the sifted flour mixture and strawberry puree in batches until they are both incorporated. If you add the ingredients in batches, it makes it easier to fold in without overmixing. Make sure you are gently folding the cake batter so that the egg whites don't deflate.
Normally when you make angel food cake, you use a special tube pan to bake the cake in. However, since we're making angel food cake stacks, we're going to pour the batter into a 9x13 baking pan. Grease only the bottom of the pan to prevent the cake from sticking. Then, pour the cake batter and bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
When a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, remove the cake from the oven and let cool completely. The cake will sink a bit in the center but that's normal since we're not flipping the cake upside like you normally would.
While the cake is cooling, make a batch of chocolate whipped cream. Simply whip together heavy cream with cocoa powder and powdered sugar until stiff peaks form.
Now it's time to assemble. Use a biscuit cutter to cut 6 round circles from the cake. As you press down, the cake will crack a bit on the top. Cut each round in half to create two layers. Then, spread the chocolate whipped cream on the bottom layer followed by the strawberry compote. Stack the remaining layer on top and repeat.
Garnish the tops with a sprinkle of grated chocolate and voila! The angel food cake stacks are ready to be served.
I'm not exaggerating when I say I absolutely loved this strawberry chocolate cake. As soon as I finished one, I immediately wanted another. It's light and yet flavorful at the same time and the flavors are unbeatable. What's even better is that you can make trifle cups with the remaining angel food cake scraps!
For more strawberry dessert inspiration check out this roasted strawberry mousse cake!