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This is the lightest and most delicate cake you've ever tasted. Lavender angel food cake is airy, aromatic, and the perfect final note for afternoon tea, a light summer meal, a garden party, or just a simple Sunday afternoon. It's heavenly.
Lavender lemon angel food cake is light, fluffy and so delicious. It's covered in an easy-to-make meringue frosting and sprinkled with lemon zest and lavender flowers. It's beautiful and a surprisingly easy dessert to make.
What is angel food cake?
Angel food cake is a sponge cake. It's incredibly light, since it uses no butter, and has an airy texture that comes from lots of whipped egg whites. For this lemon lavender angel food cake, you will need 12 egg whites (+ an additional 4 egg whites to make the frosting).
Angel food cake has a sweet taste on its own, and in this case is complemented by zesty lemon and gentle, floral, lavender.
Ingredients to make lemon lavender angel food cake
For the lemon lavender angel food cake you'll need:
- Egg whites: You'll need 12 egg whites to make this angel food cake. Make sure they're at room temperature, and save the egg yolks for another use! You'll whip the egg whites to create the light-as-a-feather texture of this cake.
- Cream of tartar: If you've never used cream of tartar before, it's a powder similar to baking soda. You'll need 2 teaspoons for the angel food cake. The cream of tartar will help stabilize the egg whites and increase their volume.
- Sea salt: Add ½ teaspoon to balance the flavors and help bind things together.
- Granulated sugar: Slowly add the 2 cups of sugar to the recipe. Add 2 tablespoons at a time to the egg whites and continue to whip the cake batter until all the sugar is combined and stiff peaks start to form.
- Dried lavender: You'll add 1 ½ teaspoons of dried lavender to the batter, and mix until just combined.
- Lemon oil: For this lemon lavender angel food cake recipe use 1 teaspoon of food-grade lemon oil. If you have lemon essential oil in your house (say, for a diffuser), do a quick search to see if it's ok to consume before adding it to the recipe.
- Zest from 1 lemon: Using a microplane, zest one whole lemon. This will give a bright citrusy flavor to the cake.
- Cake flour: Using 1 ⅓ cup of cake flour will help produce a fine and delicate crumb. All-purpose flour will give a different texture to the cake; angel food cake is one of those recipes where cake flour is best.
To make the meringue frosting you'll need:
- Egg whites: 4 more egg whites are needed to make the beautiful meringue frosting.
- Sugar: Similar to the angel food cake, you'll combine the egg whites and sugar as the basis of the meringue.
- Cream of tartar: Just a ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar will do!
- Sea salt: Add just a pinch.
- Lemon oil: Adding ½ teaspoon of lemon oil will give the meringue frosting a delicate citrus flavor to complement the angel food cake.
What to do with leftover egg yolks
If you haven't made lemon angel food cake before, you might be surprised about the number of egg whites you have to use. They are what gives the cake its light as air, cloud-like fluffiness.
Whatever you do, don't throw away the delicious yolks! They'll keep for 4 days in your fridge so you'll have time to use them in another recipe. Here are a few ideas:
- Make some tangy lemon curd (you could serve this with the lemon angel food cake for big-time bonus points!)
- Add some to your morning omelet to make it extra tasty.
- Make a traditional Caesar salad dressing.
- Start your Sunday with some delicious eggs benedict with hollandaise sauce. This smoked salmon eggs benedict is delish!
- Make some homemade mayonnaise.
- Make strawberry ice cream!
What can you do with culinary lavender?
This lavender angel food cake is your answer. Although all lavender is technically edible, culinary lavender has a much less perfume-y or soapy sense to it. All you'll be baking with are the lavender buds (not the stems, leaves, etc.).
Culinary lavender pairs nicely with citrus, like lemon, as well as other fruits like blueberries and orange. It's floral and somewhat sweet and can be the perfect addition to baked goods, drinks, and dry rubs for meat dishes. Promise, this lavender angel food cake makes for a truly delicious teatime experience or light dessert during the beautiful spring and summer season.
Can I use cartoned egg whites to make angel food cake and/or meringue?
Check the carton for any notes or disclaimers about using cartoned egg whites for recipes like these, the cartoned version may not be able to whip up to stiff peaks. You can absolutely experiment with them, if it's all you have on hand, however, there's a chance they won't create the consistency that you need to make angel food cake or meringue. Fresh egg whites work best.
Can I use lavender from my garden?
All lavender is edible, however, certain varieties of lavender are best for cooking (so you avoid the soapy smell and taste). English lavender is a popular type to cook with, for instance. Fresh lavender from the garden is a great option to decorate the cake with, however, dried lavender is best for cooking/baking.
Can I use lemon extract instead of lemon oil?
Lemon oil has a higher concentration of lemon flavor, but you can absolutely substitute lemon extract for lemon oil.
Can I freeze lemon lavender angel food cake?
If you cover the cake, it will keep at room temperature for a couple of days. Otherwise, wrap the cake or store it in an air-tight container in the freezer for a couple of months. Only store in the freezer if you haven't already iced the cake.
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Lavender Lemon Angel Food Cake
- 12 egg whites (at room temperature (Reserve egg yolks for another use. See blog post for ideas.))
- 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons dried lavender
- 1 teaspoon lemon oil
- Zest from 1 lemon
- 1 ⅓ cup cake flour
- 4 egg whites
- ⅔ cup sugar
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
- A pinch of sea salt
- ½ teaspoon lemon oil
For the Lavender Lemon Angel Food Cake
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the room-temperature egg whites in a large bowl and add the cream of tartar and sea salt. Using electric beaters, beat the egg whites until they are frothy, about 2 minutes. Gradually add the sugar, about 2 tablespoons at a time, while continuing to beat the egg whites. Beat the egg whites until all the sugar has been added and they form stiff peaks, about 5 minutes. Add the lavender, lemon oil, and lemon zest and beat just until they are combined.12 egg whites, 2 teaspoons cream of tartar, ½ teaspoon sea salt, 2 cups granulated sugar, 1 ½ teaspoons dried lavender, 1 teaspoon lemon oil, Zest from 1 lemon
- Hold a fine mesh sieve over the bowl of beaten egg whites and add ⅓ cup of the cake flour. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the flour into the egg whites. Repeat with the remaining cake flour, ⅓ cup at a time.1 ⅓ cup cake flour
- Pour the cake batter into an ungreased 10-inch angel food cake pan and bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
- Remove the cake from the oven and invert the pan onto a wine bottle (or something similar.) Note: some angel food cake pans have feet to hold the cake upside down while it cools. If yours does, use them rather than a wine bottle. When the cake is completely cool, run a knife around the outside to loosen it, remove the bottom of the cake pan, and gently coax the cake out and onto a serving platter.
For the frosting
- In a double-boiler, or using a heat-proof bowl over a pot of water, add the egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar. Bring the water to a boil, making sure that the water does not touch the bottom of the other pot or bowl. Using an electric beater, beat the frosting until the sugar has dissolved and the frosting is hot. Remove from the heat and continue to beat until the frosting has cooled and is thick, about 5 minutes. Quickly beat in the lemon oil and salt.4 egg whites, ⅔ cup sugar, ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar, ½ teaspoon lemon oil, A pinch of sea salt
Assemble the Lavender Lemon Angel Food Cake
- Once the cake has cooled completely (at least 2 hours) spread the frosting over the top and sides of the cake using a rubber spatula. You can sprinkle a little lemon zest and lavender flowers over the top, if you'd like.
We have thoroughly tested this recipe for accuracy. However, individual results may vary. See our full recipe disclosure here.
For more inspiration, check out all of our cake recipes!