Italian Angel food cake

Italian Angel food cake

Ciambellone degli angeli italiano

The Italian Baker

I scour the internet for old baking books and vintage magazines for my collection, and I found this recipe in an Italian food magazine dated 1955. You can find real gems in old publications; some recipes need adjusting, some can be changed entirely and improved upon, but many are precious just as they are. They speak of a time that no longer exists, bringing you back to old traditions and telling you so much about the baking world of those bygone years.

This recipe is reliable and versatile, and needed no adjustments, so here it is as it appeared in the original magazine. Use it as a base for different fillings and decorations, drizzle over a fruit purée to soak in, or serve it simply as it is. Happy vintage baking to you all!


Quantity Ingredient
a little softened butter, for greasing
a little caster sugar, for dusting
100g plain flour
95g potato starch
2 teaspoons baking powder
10 egg whites, separated into 6 and 4 whites
1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract
350g icing sugar, plus extra for dusting
pinch salt
250g butter, melted


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Butter the insides of an angel food cake tin, about 24cm in diameter, (deep with a hole in the centre) and sprinkle caster sugar inside to coat.
  2. Sift the flour, potato starch and baking powder three times into a bowl and set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a mixing bowl and using an electric hand-held whisk, whisk 6 of the egg whites with the vanilla and icing sugar until stiff.
  4. Put the remaining 4 egg whites into another bowl with the salt and, using thoroughly cleaned whisk attachments, whisk until stiff. Using a spatula, very gently fold this mixture into the egg white and icing sugar mixture until combined.
  5. Now slowly start adding the sifted dry ingredients a little at a time, folding them very, very gently into the mixture. Finally, add the melted butter and fold into the mixture very gently. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 30–40 minutes until golden and cooked through.
  6. Once baked, leave to cool for 10 minutes in the cake tin before inverting on to a wire rack to cool completely. Dust with icing sugar, and/or fill or decorate if you like.
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