Espresso Angel Food Cake

espresso angel food cake post

What do you save that you rarely use later?

I took a survey at my office.  Here’s the short list:

  • bacon grease
  • leftovers
  • individual condiment packages from fast food restaurants
  • half-empty shampoo bottles

For me, it’s egg whites. I always plan to bake an angel food cake, but I don’t. Or  I could make healthy scrambled eggs. But since I don’t cook breakfast very often, that’s not likely to happen either.   I  move them around in my crowded freezer for awhile and eventually throw them out.  That’s why I end up using a cake mix in one of my all-time favorite desserts.

As it turns out, angel food cake mixes always rise higher than my scratch cakes and taste quite good. Adding flavoring, such as instant espresso, improves them considerably. A thin layer of rich espresso-flavored butter creme frosting on this light-as-a-feather fat-free cake makes an easy dessert. Almonds (toasted in the microwave if you like) are the finishing touch. This cake not only looks impressive but makes any dinner a special occasion.

sliced espresso angel food cake

This cake is my adaptation of  Helen Corbitt’s Coffee Angel Food Cake once (and maybe still, I’m not sure) sold at Neiman-Marcus. My short career in the men’s furnishings department in the downtown Dallas store forced me to walk by the snack bar everyday and drool.  Now I  make it myself and you can too.

espresso icing

Espresso Icing


Espresso Angel Food Cake
Recipe type: Dessert-Cake
Espresso-flavored angel food cake covered with espresso-flavored icing, decorated with toasted almonds
  • 1 angel food cake mix
  • 1 tablespoon instant espresso added to water called for in cake mix.
Espresso Icing
  • ½ cup butter (1 stick)--softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 2 teaspoons instant espresso
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¾- 1 cup toasted, sliced almonds
  1. Follow directions on package, adding instant espresso to water before adding water to dry cake mix. Continue mixing and bake as directed. Allow to cool completely and remove from pan.
Espresso Icing
  1. Whip butter until light and fluffy. Add powdered sugar and mix well. Add milk and espresso. Continue to mix, adding milk if necessary for easily spreadable consistency.
  2. Cover cake with toasted sliced almonds.


More ideas for coffee-flavored desserts….

Homemade Coffee Ice Cream

The Virtues of Instant Espresso

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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Holly Geriner March 26, 2012 at 1:25 pm

Would you refrigerate this cake?


Kristin August 24, 2010 at 9:25 am

I grew up eating this cake. First from Neiman’s and then my mom made it. Thank you for posting the recipe!


M. May 25, 2010 at 11:14 am

looks delicious….semi-homemade 🙂


Ann May 25, 2010 at 10:22 am

This looks fabulous, I will add this to my recipes!


Clivia May 25, 2010 at 8:32 am

This looks like a light and delicious summer cake. Nicely done!


mike May 23, 2010 at 1:33 pm

2 of my favorites! Well, the 87 frozen egg whites are always on hand, but I have my cappuccino every morning and keep at least 2 jars of instant espresso in the pantry. LOVE this combo – I will be making the cake though (prod prod) – I need to use up those whites. I also love your cake plate – is that depression glass???


Debbie May 23, 2010 at 11:53 am

Looks so yummy and it has to be more heatlhy than most cakes. Now to substitute that butter… hmmm! Maybe skim milk for the milk in the icing? Makes me want to eat an angel food cake again!


Romaine May 23, 2010 at 8:50 pm

Yes, you could definitely substitute skim milk. I guess you could also cut back on the butter…but I would rather eat a smaller piece or do a few extra jumping jacks.


Amanda May 23, 2010 at 8:43 am

OMG Romaine, that looks fantastic! Bookmarked!


The Errant Cook May 20, 2010 at 10:11 pm

Egg whites are more easily stored in the freezer if you first freeze them individually in an ice cube tray before transferring to a zip-top bag. This way, you can use them one at a time if needed, and they thaw quite fast. As a “caker,” I do this all the time because there’s always one cake that will use only yolks (or some yolks and some whole), and another that will need just the whites.


Romaine May 21, 2010 at 5:12 pm

I have read this idea before but never tried it. Makes sense and addresses perfectly my problem. When I put all the egg whites in a jar to freeze, they are too difficult to use. This is the perfect solution. Thanks for taking the time to comment.


sandy May 20, 2010 at 2:22 pm

Your Espresso Angel Food Cake look beautiful and I know it taste amazing. Would it taste (just wrong) to make it with Folgers instant coffee? I don’t drink coffee so the only thing in the house is my mothers instant Folgers. I know Espresso has a taste of it’s own. Please advise.


Romaine May 20, 2010 at 8:58 pm

Sandy, the instant coffee should work just fine.


Jill May 20, 2010 at 6:59 am

This looks really delicious! I’ve never attempted an angel food cake from scratch, but I like the boxed mix. This would be a great way to dress it up, and espresso with the sweet cake sounds wonderful. I regularly eat yogurt with espresso powder mixed in thanks to your tip!


EXPRESSO ANGEL CAKE May 20, 2010 at 1:19 am



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