This is how you faceplant into cake on a Friday.

Angel Food Layer Cake with Whipped Coconut Cream and Grapefruit Syrup I

I’m not even the biggest cake person ever and I’m about to do the faceplant.

I’m actually weird about cake. I like it when it’s chocolate chocolate chocolate.

I’m even weirder about angel food cake and I HAVE to be in the mood for it. You might remember when I made angel food cupcakes – I’m more in the mood for those because they are sort of bite sized. You also might remember that I made angel food French toast and well… who the heck wouldn’t be in the mood for that?

But the cake? You know. It’s a thing.

Slicing it into layers and adding just the thinnest spread of whipped cream is incredible. It makes this usually light cake a bit more rich, but not in a bad way. I don’t sweeten the cream so it truly just adds a decadence that angel food cake lacks. I’m a bit obsessed.

Angel Food Layer Cake with Whipped Coconut Cream and Grapefruit Syrup I

Let’s also take a moment to realize that angel food cake making is NOT easy. At least not for me. The first time I made one, I figured it would be an actual piece of cake. My grandma made them all the time and it seemed like no biggie.

Oh it is though. Crazy flours, fine sugars, egg whites that need to sit out and lots of folding – not stirring. Super high maintence.

I have no idea what that’s like.

Angel Food Layer Cake with Whipped Coconut Cream and Grapefruit Syrup I

Sidenote: if you’re soooo not into coconut, use regular old whipped cream! I won’t hate you.


Coconut whipped cream. UGH. So good.

It also does not have a strong coconut taste. Nor does it squeak beneath your teeth. Did you just cringe?

Angel Food Layer Cake with Whipped Coconut Cream and Grapefruit Syrup I

Can we discuss the most important part of this whole thing? The grapefruit syrup. OH MY GOSH. This syrup. I want to drink it. I did eat a few spoonfuls. If you’re a grapefruit freak like me, it adds the perfect touch. I also made more citrus syrups and more recipes with them because once I get on a recipe tangent I just can’t quit.

Even better… this makes a lot of syrup. Like, a lot. You can cut the recipe in half but, obviously, what you should do is make the entire batch and store it in the fridge for cocktails.

See. I know what you like.

Angel Food Layer Cake with Whipped Coconut Cream and Grapefruit Syrup I


Angel Food Layer Cake with Coconut Whipped Cream and Grapefruit Syrup

Yield: makes 1 cake

Total Time: 1.5 hours


grapefruit syrup
1 cup freshly squeeze grapefruit juice
1 1/4 cups sugar

10 large egg whites, at room temperature
1 cup cake flour
1 1/4 cups caster sugar (I blend granulated sugar in my food processor to get this amount)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cans cold (refrigerated overnight) full-fat coconut milk


grapefruit syrup
Combine the juice and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat and whisk constantly so the sugar dissolves. Continue to simmer the juice for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally so it doesn't bubble over. Remove from heat and let sit at room temperature until it cools and thickens. You can make this ahead of time and store it in the fridge.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Make sure the egg whites are at room temperature before using. Sift together the flour, 1/2 cup of the sugar and salt, repeating the sifting process 3 times. Yes this is a pain, but necessary.

Add the egg whites to the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium speed until frothy, then add in the cream of tartar and vanilla extract. Beat on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add in the remaining sugar a few tablespoons at a time, beating until incorporated.

Remove the bowl from the stand and using a spatula, slowly fold in the flour mixture in two or three additions. Do not stir - use the spatula to turn over the egg whites consistently until the flour is incorporated.

Spoon the batter into the pan, evenly the top off with a spatula. Bake the cake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until golden on top and spongy. Immediately invert the cake and allow it to cool completely.

To make the coconut whipped cream, make sure the cans have been refrigerated overnight. Turn them upside down, open the cans and pour out the liquid (you don't need it for this recipe, I keep it for smoothies, etc), leaving you with the thick cream in the can. Add it to the bowl of your electric mixer and using the whisk attachment, beat it on medium-high speed until thick and creamy. I do not add any extra sugar, but feel free to do so if you'd like.

Gently slice the angel food cake into three layers using a large serrated knife. The coconut cream is thick, so take a spoon and spatula and using small amounts, frost the top of each layer (I use a very line layer of coconut cream) and then add the other layer of cake. When the cake is assembled back to it's normal shape, begin frosting the outside. I like to do a thin coat on the outside edges and a thicker coat on the top.

I find that it's best to frost the cake close to serving time, but I do like to refrigerate it for about 30 minutes before serving. Slice the cake into wedges and serve with the grapefruit syrup for drizzling on top.

[cake recipe from this lime angel food cake]

Angel Food Layer Cake with Whipped Coconut Cream and Grapefruit Syrup I

so fluffy. !!

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88 Responses to “Angel Food Layer Cake with Whipped Coconut Cream and Grapefruit Syrup.”

  1. #
    Christi — February 21, 2014 @ 8:09 am

    Boom. Going to get the ingredients right now….regardless of my stinky running clothes and a toddler with fierce bed head. Looks so good!!!!


  2. #
    ashley - baker by nature — February 21, 2014 @ 8:09 am

    This is just the prettiest cake I ever did see. Now… time to eat it demolition style!!!


  3. #
    Averie @ Averie Cooks — February 21, 2014 @ 8:09 am

    Omg this is a MASTERPIECE!!! I cannot even believe you make angel food. I admit I have never done it, b/c it’s one of those things like croissants (I remember that post of yours too) that I just cannot even deal. The sugars, flours, whipping, folding, eggs, etc. nah, I have never gone there. But…this does give me some inspiration to try! And the whipped coconut cream would seriously be the best thing ever! Pinned!


  4. #
    Taylor @ Food Faith Fitness — February 21, 2014 @ 8:10 am

    This is GORGEOUS Jessica!
    I have never made angel food cake…because it looks so dang hard!
    I kinda cheat and use the boxed stuff….You may judge.
    I am loving the whip cream layer! Sometimes angel food needs a little bit of richness to break it up!


    • Jessica — February 21st, 2014 @ 2:09 pm

      no judgement ever!


  5. #
    Christina (Sisters Running the Kitchen) — February 21, 2014 @ 8:30 am

    I have always been intimidated by the thought of making angel food cake….Im not a fan of the coconut flavoring/grapefruit but I want to try the base of your cake- the actual angel food cake- I have to conquer my fear!! thanks :)


  6. #
    Laura (Blogging Over Thyme) — February 21, 2014 @ 8:31 am

    This grapefruit syrup makes me so happy. High fives for citrus!


  7. #
    Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat — February 21, 2014 @ 8:48 am

    The angel food cakes of my childhood tasted a bit like sponges (probably because they came out of a box) but you have my complete, undivided attention with the coconut frosting and grapefruit syrup!! YUM!


  8. #
    Ali @ Inspiralized — February 21, 2014 @ 9:17 am

    The grapefruit just sends me over the edge… or maybe it’s the beautiful pictures.


  9. #
    DessertForTwo — February 21, 2014 @ 9:20 am

    It’s like you know my taste buds. This is exactly the kind of cake that I would eat half of by myself and not feel guilty because: egg whites and fruit. Healthy! And coconut whipped cream? Super food, lol. Heather’s Dish just told me to put coconut oil in my coffee, and I’m loving it. I’m not a huge coffee person (only on Fridays), but you might like it, too.

    Maybe you covered this: is caster sugar the same as powdered sugar?


    • Jessica — February 21st, 2014 @ 2:09 pm

      nope! powdered is a even more fine and the caster is still in granular form – just a lot finer than regular old white sugar.


  10. #
    Jenna — February 21, 2014 @ 9:21 am

    Yum i bet this is so good!! I adore the combo!! On my to make list


  11. #
    annie @ chase that i love — February 21, 2014 @ 9:33 am

    what a masterpiece!
    I would eat this for the coconut whipped cream alone, but I love citrus things too!


  12. #
    Tieghan — February 21, 2014 @ 9:38 am

    Coconut whipped cream and grapefruit syrup sound amazing together! Pretty cake!


  13. #
    Jessi Otey — February 21, 2014 @ 9:41 am

    WOW -usually not a huge cake fan but I am now dying to try this!


  14. #
    Jamie @ Dishing Out Health — February 21, 2014 @ 9:57 am

    Holy beautiful! Literally looks like heaven. Making an angel food cake is above my pay grade as well. My baking skills are just not that fine tuned. But I will faceplant into a slice of yours any day!!


  15. #
    Erin | The Law Student's Wife — February 21, 2014 @ 9:59 am

    Angel food cake is such a high-maintenance diva, but oh so good! This cake looks like a fluffy pillow I could curl up and be happy with for a long, long time.


  16. #
    Ashley @ Hudson on the Potomac — February 21, 2014 @ 10:06 am

    This cake screams spring! I have been screaming spring since early January. I love it!!! Perfect for showers and parties coming up soon!


  17. #
    Jen of My Tiny Oven — February 21, 2014 @ 10:21 am

    Angel Food Cake, Coconut and Grapefuit all in the same dessert… Perfection!


  18. #
    Katrina @ WVS — February 21, 2014 @ 10:25 am

    The grapefruit in this is really catching my eye – I love this Jess! I feel like it’s a punch in the face to winter.


    • Jessica — February 21st, 2014 @ 2:07 pm

      that’s exactly what it is!


  19. #
    Ali | Gimme Some Oven — February 21, 2014 @ 10:36 am

    LOVE coconut whipped cream! And that syrup sound hea-ven-LY.


  20. #
    Tracy | Peanut Butter and Onions — February 21, 2014 @ 10:39 am

    Lady , your flavor combo’s are to die for!


  21. #
    lacy — February 21, 2014 @ 10:41 am

    omg. this looks


  22. #
    Beth @ bethcakes — February 21, 2014 @ 10:45 am

    What a lovely cake! I love that you paired the angel food with a simple whipped cream. And grapefruit syrup! I need to get my hands on some of that.


  23. #
    Taylee @ twist me fit — February 21, 2014 @ 11:13 am

    Looks so good! Can’t be too bad for you since it includes grapefruit. ;-)


  24. #
    allie@sweetpotatobites — February 21, 2014 @ 11:54 am

    I love angel food cake but making it intimidates me as well! I’m going to have to just suck it up and give it a shot.

    And coconut whipped cream? Yes.


  25. #
    Pat — February 21, 2014 @ 11:58 am

    Angel food cake! And, coconut, that’s heaven! The last time I baked an angel food cake it was from a box. This is a cake that would be easier on my waistline, next month is my husband’s birthday and this will be perfect!


  26. #
    Heather — February 21, 2014 @ 12:10 pm

    This is going on my to do list, ASAP!


  27. #
    Miriam — February 21, 2014 @ 12:20 pm

    There you go… I was looking for a cake recipe for my sister baby shower THIS IS IT! :)


  28. #
    David @ From Ballparks to BBQ — February 21, 2014 @ 12:22 pm

    This cake looks pillowy!


  29. #
    Sarah @Sarah Cooks the Books — February 21, 2014 @ 12:25 pm

    I’ve never used grapefruit syrup in anything before, but I think I’m going to have to give this one a shot!


  30. #
    Laura — February 21, 2014 @ 12:37 pm

    This cake def has a little coconut-flavored halo above it! I’m loving the idea of a grapefruit-flavored twist. That certainly helps take this cake to the next level. So, friend-in-my-head, did you watch ladies figure skating last night? Were you happy with the results?


  31. #
    joelle (on a pink typewriter) — February 21, 2014 @ 1:26 pm

    OMG. This has all my boyfriend’s favorite things — I just found his birthday cake for next week! Thanks!


  32. #
    Nikki Lynn — February 21, 2014 @ 2:00 pm

    I thought you were not supposed to grease/spray the cake pans for angel food cake? Have you noticed any thing “weird” when you spray the pan? Maybe that is a silly question considering you put it in your recipe… just curious though.


    • Jessica — February 21st, 2014 @ 2:06 pm

      hmmm that could very well be true! i am much more of a cook than a baker – but i do spray it every time i bake one (probably out of habit) and they still seem to come out well.


      • Nikki Lynn — February 21st, 2014 @ 2:39 pm

        Thank you!

      • Jason — February 22nd, 2014 @ 10:33 am

        Never spray Angel Food cake pans!!! Think of why you try so hard to make sure that you don’t get any egg yolks in with the whites,,,, because the fat is in the yolk, and fat deflates the volume when you whip the whites. The lack of spray helps the cake climb the walls of the pan without sliding down.
        Sorry,,, I’m a food geek.

      • Jessica — February 22nd, 2014 @ 10:39 am

        haha, thanks jason!!

  33. #
    Alyssa — February 21, 2014 @ 2:19 pm

    Okay so I don’t even like angel food cake and I want this!! Of course I have the juiciest, sweetest grapefruits in my fridge at home too… or maybe there’s just one left. Crap. Okay so maybe I’ll just make the syrup and have cocktails. That works too.


  34. #
    Victoria Bakrdjian — February 21, 2014 @ 2:24 pm

    Holy jesus I want this! And grapefruit syrup? Can you be any more of a genius??

    Side note: Could you believe I didn’t like coconut when I was younger? I think it was the flakes more than the flavor… That and blueberries. I know, it’s crazy! I could eat all the broccoli in the world and any other vegetable but when it came to blueberries, I was like, “Ugh, no.” Thank god my taste buds improved!


  35. #
    Alicia Greenrabbit — February 21, 2014 @ 2:47 pm

    Okay ………grapefruit ,angel food cake and coconut whipped cream!
    Will it be like salad ,diet coke and blue cheese dressing?
    You know what I mean.?
    And if you can’t get enough of that luscious citrus ,try “Yes To Grapefruit” face scrub ,it’s like you just squeezed a fresh grapefruit all over your face. Now that’s yummy!


  36. #
    Marcella — February 21, 2014 @ 3:04 pm

    I must admit, angel food cake never really appealed to me. Haven’t even ever tasted one yet. But with the coconut and grapefruit it definitely looks worth a try!


  37. #
    Todd | HonestlyYUM — February 21, 2014 @ 3:07 pm

    Can’t stop staring…this is what dreams are made of. At least my dreams :)


  38. #
    Lynne from Design The Life You Want to Live — February 21, 2014 @ 3:11 pm

    I could marry that cake. So delish !!! Thanks for sharing your awesomeness Jessica!!

    Lynne xx


  39. #
    Catalina @ Baby on Board — February 21, 2014 @ 3:25 pm

    I like angel food cake, but sometimes I found it too dry and plain, this maybe the answer on how to improve it, I like the tropical flavors that you used, I would probably add a little toasted coconut on top, for some extra texture and flavor! It sounds really good and delicious! Citrus and coconut, with the fluffiness of the cake, such a perfect combo!


  40. #
    Mariah and Coty@quirksandtwists — February 21, 2014 @ 6:24 pm

    I seriously just bought a pre-made angel food cake today. I’m thinking I need to make the whipped topping and syrup to accompany this! Looks fab!


  41. #
    Angelyn @ Everyday Desserts — February 21, 2014 @ 7:40 pm

    I actually don’t really like cake either, but there’s coconut whipped cream and grapefruit syrup (!!!) so I’m there.


  42. #
    Melia — February 21, 2014 @ 9:03 pm

    Beyond gorgeous! I’m up for a high maintenance baking challenge-thanks for sharing! Also I’m all about maximizing the use of that syrup. Cocktail life!


  43. #
    Molly @ Doughvelopment — February 21, 2014 @ 10:05 pm

    HOW DO YOU KNOW WHAT I LIKE?! Haha, airy angel food cake, tangy grapefruit syrup and fluffy coconut whipped cream?! Just a few of my favorite things!! Cannot wait to make this!


  44. #
    Tracy — February 21, 2014 @ 11:26 pm

    I cannot wait to make this!!! Angel food cake is my absolute favorite!


  45. #
    Greg Urbano — February 21, 2014 @ 11:45 pm

    OMG that is so delicious!


  46. #
    Hunter @ Vivian & Me — February 22, 2014 @ 2:43 am

    Oh my, this looks so good! What a great combo- angel food cake and grapefruit, both light and fresh with a little tang from the grapefruit. Awesome idea!


  47. #
    Jason — February 22, 2014 @ 10:36 am

    Which cans of coconut did you use for the frosting? Coco Lopez style or the India style that is less sweet? You may have just posted an great lactose free dessert!!!


    • Jessica — February 22nd, 2014 @ 10:40 am

      i used thai kitchen organic full-fat! it’s my favorite to make the whipped cream – this brand never fails for me.


  48. #
    Paula – bell’alimento — February 22, 2014 @ 1:20 pm

    Without a doubt I could faceplant into cake! Pinning


  49. #
    Barbara | Creative Culinary — February 22, 2014 @ 4:52 pm

    Grapefruit is too often the overlooked citrus and I love it too. Makes the BEST fajita marinade ever with it’s more potent acid; you have to be careful they don’t fall apart BEFORE cooking!

    I’ve tried angel food cake. Take any regular issues, add Denver’s altitude and my ‘cake’ fell out of the pan, one inch tall and hard like a brownie. Guess I should try again; this looks lovely.,


  50. #
    Katie — February 22, 2014 @ 8:10 pm

    My absolute two favourite things! Coconut and angel food cake! I’ll definitely try this next weekend!



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