making an angel food cake from scratch is an exercise in anxiety management for me. Will it rise to the top of the pan? Will the volume hold after I pull it out of the oven?
Luckily, I have the perfect solution if it doesn’t.
This Snowball Cake (not to be confused with the pink fluffy concoctions you see next to the Twinkies at the grocery store) is a light and summery dessert full of fresh fruit, angel food cake torn into bite-sized pieces, and whipped cream. I’ve been making it for years, for several very good reasons.
- This dessert can be, and actually must be made ahead so it can be chilled before serving.
- In addition to pineapple, you can try adding different fresh fruits. My favorite is strawberries, but I can imagine that blueberries, peaches, or cherries would be tasty and colorful.
- Use a store-bought angel food cake, a mix, or make your own cake from scratch.
- Although delicious with real whipped cream, whipped topping sold in the freezer section holds up better overnight.
- Coconut on the outside is not required but then it won’t look like a snowball unless coconut is used.
- This recipe is easy to cut in half–and I recommend it. Just use a smaller mixing bowl when assembling. In fact, the cake you see in the pictures is a half-batch that will easily feed 8 people.
- 2 packages unflavored gelatin (2 tablespoons total)
- 4 tablespoons cold water
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1 cup pineapple juice drained from 1 20-ounce can crushed pineapple (add water to make 1 cup if necessary)
- Crushed pineapple from 20-ounce can
- ¾ cup sugar
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 cup fresh strawberries, chopped
- 2 8-ounce containers whipped topping
- 1 angel food cake, baked
- Whole strawberries for garnish
- Sprinkle gelatin over cold water and allow to dissolve.
- Add boiling water, pineapple juice, sugar, lemon juice, and strawberries and stir to combine.
- Refrigerate until slightly jelled and gently fold in whipped topping.
- Tear angel food cake into bite-sized pieces.
- Line a 4-quart mixing bowl with plastic wrap or criss-cross 2 long and narrow pieces of wax paper over the bottom of the bowl.
- Then start with a handful of angel food cake pieces as your first layer. Now add a layer of the gelatin/fruit mixture, then another layer of angel food cake. Alternate layers until all is used. It's a good idea to push the cake pieces against the side as you build your cake so it will hold together and have a firm base for the whipped topping later on.
- Refrigerate overnight.
- The next day, turn cake out onto a cake plate with the help of the plastic wrap or wax paper. Remove the wrap and frost with the second container of whipped topping. Decorate with flaked coconut for a "snowball" effect.