October 21, 2016
slice of chocolate cake on a fun plate

Mexican Chocolate Angel Food Cake

by Berkeley Wellness  |  

This cake gets its name from the combination of chocolate and spices, which is common in Mexican cooking.

Makes 10 slices


¾ cup cake flour

1⅓ cups granulated sugar

¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

2 teaspoons instant espresso powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

¼ teaspoon allspice

12 large egg whites, at room temperature

1 teaspoon cream of tartar

¼ teaspoon salt

1½ teaspoons vanilla extract

¼ teaspoon almond extract

¼ cup mini chocolate chips (2 ounces)

1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar (optional)


1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. If your angel food cake pan doesn’t have “legs,” have a long-necked bottle ready to hang the cake on as it cools.

2. On a sheet of wax paper, sift together the flour, ⅓ cup of the granulated sugar, the cocoa powder, espresso powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. Set aside.

3. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, beat the egg whites, cream of tartar and salt until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in the remaining 1 cup granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, until very stiff peaks form. Beat in the vanilla and almond extracts until well combined.

4. Sift the flour-cocoa mixture over the egg whites and sprinkle the chocolate chips lightly over the top. Fold into the egg whites.

5. Pour the batter into an ungreased 10-inch angel food cake pan or tube pan and bake for one hour, or until the cake is set and pulls away from the sides of the pan. Invert the cake pan over the neck of the bottle and allow the cake to cool upside down.

6. With a small metal spatula, loosen the sides of the cake and invert onto a cake plate. Dust with the confectioners’ sugar, if desired, before serving.

Nutrition per slice: 190 calories, 1.7g total fat (1g saturated), 0mg cholesterol, 1g dietary fiber, 39g carbohydrate, 6g protein, 126mg sodium.

Good source of: riboflavin, selenium.

Keeping angel food cakes moist

Angel food cakes are a rarity among cakes. They are made with no fat. They are leavened by beaten egg whites (lots of them). The resulting cake is light and airy, but only if you know the right way to cool it. As the cake bakes (in a tube pan or special angel food cake pan), the batter climbs up the tall sides and center tube. When it comes out of the oven, it needs to cool upside down so that the cake does not collapse and become dense. Some angel food cake pans have “legs” designed to suspend the pan off the counter as the cake cools. But if you use just a regular tube pan, then a good trick is to suspend the pan upside down over the neck of a bottle.

From The Wellness Kitchen, by the staff of The Wellness Kitchen and the editors of the University of California, Berkeley Wellness Letter.