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Strawberry angel food cake stacks make a beautiful dessert with delicate flavors. Fluffy layers of strawberry angel food cake are filled with strawberry compote and chocolate whipped cream for one incredible bake.
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What makes this recipe special
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.
- Strawberries: If fresh strawberries are in season, use fresh berries. However, you can substitute them with frozen. Adjust the amount of sugar depending on the sweetness of the berries.
- Cake flour: Cake flour is used for its lower protein content compared to all-purpose flour. The lower protein helps create a lighter and more delicate texture in the cake.
- Powdered sugar: Also known as confectioners' sugar, is used for sweetness and to contribute to the cake's fine texture. The fine texture of powdered sugar helps in creating a smooth batter, resulting in a softer and more velvety cake.
- Egg whites: Egg whites are the primary leavening agent in angel food cake. When whipped, egg whites trap air and create a foam structure that gives the cake its light and airy quality. The absence of egg yolks ensures that the cake remains white and cloud-like. Egg whites also provide stability to the cake structure.
- Cream of tartar: An acid that helps stabilize the whipped egg whites. It strengthens the protein structure in the egg whites, preventing them from collapsing and ensuring that the cake maintains its volume and fluffiness.
- Lemon juice: Adds acidity, which aids in stabilizing the egg whites during whipping.
- Cocoa powder: To create chocolate whipped cream, we're adding cocoa powder to heavy cream. Use unsweetened cocoa powder since we are adding powdered sugar to sweeten the whipped cream.
How to make strawberry angel food cake stacks
Step 1: Cook strawberry puree
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 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.
Step 2: Prepare angel food cake
Next, follow the steps to make the angel food cake. If you ever made this cake before, the procedure is the same except for the addition of the strawberry puree.
First, whip the egg whites in a stand mixer 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 will 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 down like you normally would.
While the cake is cooling, make a batch of chocolate whipped cream. Whip together heavy cream with cocoa powder and powdered sugar until stiff peaks form.
Step 3: Assemble cake layers
Now it's time to assemble. Use a biscuit cutter to cut 6 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!
Frequently asked questions
While fresh strawberries are recommended, you can use frozen strawberries in a pinch. You can use them straight from the freezer if using frozen.
Cream of tartar stabilizes the egg whites, helping them achieve and maintain their volume when whipped, resulting in a lighter and fluffier cake.
While the components can be prepared in advance, it's recommended to assemble the cake just before serving to maintain its freshness and texture.
More strawberry dessert recipes
Looking for more strawberry desserts? Try these:
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.