Pumpkin Angel Food Cake with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

Everyone in my family has always loved angel food and chiffon cakes. My aunt used to make a birthday cake on each of our birthdays....always a lemon-flavored angel food cake with 7-minute frosting.  My mother used to make an orange angel food/chiffon cake, the recipe from her friend Alice, with fruit in the whipped frosting...it was divine. I used it often for women's lunches because you could make it way in advance and refrigerate; back in the 60's, you could cheat and buy an orange sponge cake in the A & P. Then they stopped making it and alas, we had to start making it from scratch.

The last family favorite angel food cake recipe I'll share is another idea my mother's best friend Alice (Guess you can tell Alice was inventive in the kitchen!) came up with back in the 40's. I know, everybody makes ice cream cakes now, but back then, it was quite a novelty. And...she used pistachio ice cream, which was a very unusual flavor in those days. Mother copied her idea and would bake an angel food cake, split it in thirds and spread each layer thickly with pistachio ice cream. Then she'd whip some cream, put a teeny dash of green food coloring in and frost the cake. Back in the freezer it went. To this day, when I want an ice cream treat, I buy a small loaf of angel food cake and spread it with pistachio ice cream! Isn't it funny how food combinations you loved as a child stay with you? Like those little pecan tarts from Sanders (anyone remember Sanders?)....I used to sneak them out of the freezer as a child....now I prefer my pecan pie frozen. And stewed prunes with macaroni and cheese. How weird is that? We went home for lunch in the 40's and often Mother made mac and cheese, always serving it with stewed prunes. She loved stewed prunes, made them until her death. 

This particular angel food cake is pumpkin and as delicious as anything I've had in ages. The frosting is a killer recipe too. The cake is made from scratch (no problem, just be sure you have a tube pan with a removable bottom) and you can frost the entire cake, or just use a dollop of frosting on each slice like I did. 

Love fall...love pumpkin recipes. (But not quite as much as rhubarb recipes!)

Pumpkin Angel Food Cake with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
Cake recipe from Chattavore; Frosting recipe from Real Housemoms

1 1/2 cup granulated sugar 
3/4 cups cake flour-I used Swan's Down
1 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice 
12 Large egg whites (room temperature)
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon table salt (or 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt)
1 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
3/4 cups pumpkin puree (fresh or canned)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. You need a tube pan that has a removable bottom.
Whisk 3/4 cup of the sugar and the pumpkin pie spice  with the cake flour in a medium bowl.
Beat the egg whites and the cream of tartar together in a stand mixer for about a minute, until foamy. Increase the speed to medium-high and whip until puffy, about a minute, then add the salt and the remaining sugar a tablespoon at a time. Whip until soft peaks are reached.
Remove from the stand mixer and gently whisk in the lemon juice by hand. Sift the flour/sugar mixture over the egg whites 1/4 cup and a time, gently but thoroughly folding in with a silicone spatula after each addition. Now, add the pumpkin puree 1/4 cup at a time, taking great care not to deflate the egg whites as you are folding. 
Carefully scrape the batter into the tube pan. Tap the bottom of the pan against the counter a few times to settle it. Place in the oven for 50-60 minutes, until golden brown and springy.
Remove the cake from the oven and immediately invert. Most tube pans have "feet" or the center portion is taller than the edges allowing the pan to stand off of the counter, but if your pan doesn't, or if your cake rose a lot, invert over a funnel. 
Cool like this for at least three hours before removing from the pan. This step keeps the cake from deflating as it cools.
Run a thin knife around the edge of the pan and around the center tube to loosen the cake. Push the bottom out of the pan. Run a sharp, thin knife under the cake to remove the bottom of the tube pan. You could use a piece of parchment on the bottom before baking, but I find it just as simple to release the cake carefully with a knife. Serve at room temperature.
You can serve the cake as is, or frost with the following recipe. I just sliced and used a dollop of the frosting on each piece.

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

8 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
6 oz of cream cheese, softened
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

Cream together the butter and cream cheese until well combined and fluffy. Add in the vanilla. Slowly beat in the powdered sugared and then the cinnamon. Continue to beat until everything is well incorporated and the frosting is fluffy.


  1. It has been a really long time since I last baked a chiffon or angel food cake. Yours turned out just perfect with that airy and soft crumb. Excellent, Barbara.

  2. What a novel angel food cake..I still have my mother's thin tin mold!
    Yes it is amazing how some tastes stay with us..forever.
    We watch a show here ..Ricardo's new show..and one segment is a star w/ a favorite taste..inevitably..something of their youth:)

    This weekend was lemon merigue pie made w/ the Shirriff's box (sp?)

    Melts in your mouth AFC:)Love that.

  3. Love this angelfood cake Barbara, look delicious ! :)

  4. My favorite cakes are chiffon or angel food. I love the lighter texture. Great recipe combination, Barbara! The frosting sounds like the perfect topper.

  5. don't think i'd mind this pumpkin dish at all!
    also, frozen pecan pie sounds amazing. :)

  6. Honestly I have never baked an angel food cake. Now I want do it. Looks so yummy!

  7. Oh Barbara...this pumpkin angel food cake looks fabulous...light and airy...what a treat!
    Hope you are having a great week :)

  8. This is a glorious recipe. I can't wait to try this. Angel food cakes were always my birthday cake as a kid. Thanks.

    Wishes for tasty dishes,

  9. This stopped me in my tracks. I've never seen a pumpkin angel food cake! I love angel food cake. I have to try this.

  10. I have some things I prefer frozen too--how interesting. This cake looks killer good. I have a mini angel food cake pan I got from my grandmother 25 years ago with a bottom that doesn't come out. Now I just need to figure that part out (so I don't eat a whole full sized cake)...

  11. Angel food cakes were very popular at our house and my mother made an excellent one. I've never thought to use pumpkin in an angel food cake. Very creative idea Barbara. Hope the storm didn't do any major damage to your area and that you are safe.

  12. I love this beautiful fall version of an angel food cake, looks delicious Barbara!

  13. This is a perfect fall cake Barbara! Very fluffy and moist!



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