An Obsession with All Things Handmade and Home-Cooked

Not So Angelic


Considering how many dozens of times I’ve tried and failed to make a vegan angel food cake, it’s a miracle in itself that I still haven’t given up hope that it might one day work. The resulting rejects could very well satisfy a voracious sweet tooth for months on end, but only if they could stomach a soggy, leaden crumb more suited for dish sponges than cakes. Anyone in their right mind would know when to say “uncle,” but each flat frisbee that emerges from the oven only fuels my desire to crack the angel food conundrum.

Needless to say, I’m not alone in this quest; Vegans have been trying to recreate this ethereal cake since the beginning of time (or at least the beginning of veganism) to varying degrees of success. And in case you’re wondering, no, a block of tofu plus a half cup of oil does not angel food make. Yikes, and I thought my own experiments were pretty far off the mark…!  Tireless research lead to only one existing recipe worth exploring, and so like a ravenous lion, I pounced upon Bryanna Clark Grogan’s angel torte.

As you can see, the crumb is still considerably more dense and moist than a traditional angel food cake.  The flavor?  Well, it’s… Sweet, that’s for sure.  Admittedly, I did pass on the almond extract, but knowing that the recipient is a purist, known to turn up his nose even at the addition of lemon zest or innocent little chocolate chips, I knew that such additions just wouldn’t fly.  So it’s perhaps a bit closer to the target, but still not quite right.  The quest for angel food is still not over, but  for now, I’m happy to at least have something to serve to my dad on his birthday [today!], since angel food is the only sort of cake he truly enjoys.  Happy birthday, Dad, and here’s hoping that I’ll be able to make the perfect rendition for you one of these years!

Author: Hannah (BitterSweet)

Author of My Sweet Vegan, Vegan Desserts, Vegan a la Mode, and Easy as Vegan Pie.

41 thoughts on “Not So Angelic

  1. That’s one nut I’ve been trying to crack myself! It looks delicious though. Cake can do no wrong.

  2. still looks good! I’d eat it!

  3. It’s the quest that keeps you going! I’m glad you’re getting closer- that cake looks extremely edible anyway ;) Happy Birthday to your dad!

  4. Happy birthday to your dad. This cake looks good even its not the perfect Angel food cake. I m sure you ll suceed in creating a perfect one soon :)

  5. I support you in this quest! Angel Food Cake was always my favorite!

  6. Even if this isn’t the perfect angel food cake, I’m sure it is delicious! And your pictures always always always bring a smile to my face. I say it every time but WOW, you are really talented. Your pictures are always sweet and whimsical, just perfect.

  7. I’ve had an AMAZING vegan angel food cake. The woman said her secret was putting some pureed silken tofu in her mixer with some agar agar, turning it on high, taking her kid to the park, and then coming back and using it. She didn’t specify exact measurements – can’t remember if this was to remain mysterious or if she just didn’t know – but I would suggest experimenting with that combination because this angel food cake was UNREAL.

  8. Aww, Happy Birthday to your Dad!!!

    I’m still hoping for a miracle with vegan Angel Food Cake. That’s one dessert I miss since it really can’t be re-done.

  9. I know you were aiming for angel food but that looks darn delicious, with a nice moist crumb. Makes me want to eat my screen :)

  10. Thanks, Hannah!
    I really appreciate the effort (again and again and again and…) – and the cake IS really sweet. That’s a good thing.
    Thank you for you the sugar and the thought…

  11. Good luck cracking the angle food cake case! I’m not going to even try because I don’t have the patience or the skill to pull off such a feat. Keep trying!

  12. Boy, you like a challenge don’t you?!! Good luck in your future endevours – and I’m sure you Dad will enjoy your prototype!

  13. Good for you for not giving up! It still looks good at least :) Hmmmm would a ton of milled flax seed mixed with a little water help to lift it a bit?? Who am I kidding I’m sure you’ve already tried it lol :)

  14. It looks gorgeous Hannah! I’m sure your dad was thrilled with the cake, even if it wasn’t exactly like traditional angel food cake. I know that it’s only a matter of time before you crack the angel food code.

    Happy birthday to your dad.


  15. Ah so sweet! And that cake still looks delicious!

  16. Beautiful, still! I hope you find the right recipe soon too!!

  17. I am sure your dad loved his cake, even if it isn’t “perfect.” The picture is pretty, by the way!

  18. Wow I admire your tenacity with trying to create the perfect recipe. =) I’m sure your dad loved it! Looks delicious.

  19. Happy Birthday to your Dad, and good luck on your quest for the perfect vegan angel food cake!

  20. I know you know that angel food cake was my favorite pregan cake. I’m so happy you’re one step closer and that your dad got a delicious birthday dessert!

  21. Happy Birthday to your dad! I think it looks pretty delicious, either way!

  22. That sounds delicious. Your killing my diet! lol

    Happy Birthday to Dad.

  23. Hannah-
    *thanks for the comment- you always brighten a smile on my face :-)
    Angel food cake is a classic “fluffed by eggwhites” dessert that is also often plain vanilla, very sweet and supposedly low in fat. While I do wish there was a solution to creating a similar consistency to the original type free of animal products, I definitely support your quest in trying out all the possibilities- you never know, just as a random suggestion, maybe the secret is purred white beans, lots of baking powder or little liquid! :-)

  24. Good luck on your quest! This version looks pretty tasty too :)

  25. maybe this could also be the problem with vegan creme puffs? whatever the problem is!

  26. How sweet of you to try to make that for your dad. Good luck on your quest. It looks pretty good as cake.

  27. Good luck! If anyone can do it, you can!

  28. Happy Birthday to your dad! Your cake looks wonderful. I’m sure we’ll see an angel food cake from you very soon!

  29. Well, it still looks like a pretty darn good cake! Happy birthday to your dad!

  30. Oh how I wish for a vegan angel food cake. I, too have tried, and failed at this. Maybe someday…

  31. It sure looks delicious Hannah and congratulations with your dad! I’m sure he’s gonna love it!

  32. Well keep trying Hannah. And if you want more opinions, send some to us :D Kidding! I think the biggest obstacle is that as far as vegan angel cake goes, its virtually impossible to make a ‘vegan-meringue’ Egg whites are kind of unique in that regard. But this looks very close!

  33. From what I hear, this is the hopeless quandary of vegan baking…so it’s awesome that you’ve begun the noble journey! :-)

  34. Well, big crumb or little crumb, it still looks fantastic. I’m definitely going to try out this recipe! A little whipped “cream” on top with the strawberries and I bet it’s to die for.

  35. When we’ve had our fill of vegan waffle parties and you’ve perfected your angel food cake, we can have a vegan angel food party!

  36. Good luck in your quest! I have to say though, that even if it wasn’t quite right, that cake up there looks pretty delicious anyway.

  37. What a difficult quest that is!! I’m excited to see this angel-inspired dessert, even if it can’t quite live up to its non-vegan counterpart in texture. I’m sure one day you’ll figure it out!!

  38. It still looks yummy, though! And angel food cake really would be one of the last frontiers of veganism!

  39. Pingback: Vegan Victuals: The Blog |

  40. your cake looks delicious! what was the recipe to this?

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