Angel Cake

Published by Amy

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Angel Cake. The classic layer sponge loaf. Pink, yellow and plain, sandwiched together with buttercream.

Growing up with Granny baking at home, people are always shocked to find out that as kids, myself and my sisters weren’t big cake fans. We’d always have beautiful birthday cakes created by Granny but we would never have much interest in actually eating them. However there’s one person who has always been loyal to eating Granny’s cakes – that is Papa. Perhaps that is why the tale of his 40th Birthday Angel Cake is all the more facetious.

It’s a cake that I myself have always enjoyed. Even if I wasn’t too fussed for cake as a whole, I always loved the look of Angel Cake. Layered cakes are somewhat common these days but this lovely little sponge is the true original. Another life-long fan of Angel Cake is Papa. But unlike me, he has always been a fan of cake too, being Granny’s dedicated cake-cut-off-consumer for decades!

You would think that such a loyal fan of Granny would also be in receipt of some spectacular birthday cakes, especially when it comes to important birthdays but our Papa is not a demanding fellow. He’s the kind of guy who just does away in the background, making do with what he’s given. So for his 40th birthday, the one is which Granny opened our door to the gigantic Lorimer family, put on a fantastic spread of finger foods, provided a dizzying amount of alcohol…Papa got a cake…a shop-bought Angel Cake. Gasp! Between all the madness of organising his 40th Birthday Party, Granny hadn’t had a chance to bake Papa a cake so he got his favourite little cake, bought from Safeways, with a candle on top.

Did he complain? Not once – he was perfectly happy with his little layer Angel Cake.

Did he share?
Well, no, he didn’t do that either but it was his birthday after all!

Angel Cake. The classic layer sponge loaf. Pink, yellow and plain, sandwiched together with buttercream.

The easiest way to make the layers of Angel Cake would be to use 3 individual loaf tins, or a multi-sized cake tin but if like me you only have one loaf tin, you can improvise by making your own multi-sized cake tin. I used my tray bake tin, with a long sheet of greaseproof paper measured and folded into three 4 inch sections and it worked perfectly well. It’ a tad fiddly getting the paper folded and fitted into the tray but by no means impossible – and cheaper than investing in the tins just for one cake.

Granny's Top Tips

• Gel food colouring is the best option for colouring your cake batter. I use Wilton Food Colour Gels and find them to be great.

Angel Cake. The classic layer sponge loaf. Pink, yellow and plain, sandwiched together with buttercream.

Angel Cake

5 from 3 votes
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes


For the Cake

For the Icing

  • 55 g Butter (at room temperature)
  • 110 g Icing Sugar
  • Splash of Milk


For the Cake

  • Pre-heat your oven to 180°c (160°c for fan assisted oven or Gas Mark 4) and line your tray bake tin with greaseproof paper (instructions above). Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs one at a time, mixing until combined before adding the next. Stir in the vanilla.
  • Sift in the flour and baking powder and mix until you have a smooth batter. Add the milk and mix until combined.
  • Evenly separate the batter into 3 bowls. Leave one as is and add a small amount of yellow and pink food colouring gel to the others, adding until you have your desired hue.
  • Spread the batter into your prepared cake tin and bake in your pre-heated oven for 20-25 minutes, until risen and golden.
  • Allow to cool slightly in the tin before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the Icing

  • Mix the butter, icing sugar and milk in a large bowl until light and fluffy.
  • Trim the edges of the cake and and the top of the yellow and pink layers
  • Spread half the buttercream icing on the top of the yellow layer, before sandwiching the pink layer on top. Repeat on the pink layer and sandwich the plain layer on top.
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Angel Cake. The classic layer sponge loaf. Pink, yellow and plain, sandwiched together with buttercream.

18 Responses

  1. 5 stars
    Baked this for my family and friends and it went down a treat! Thank you for this excellent recipe: so simple to bake but also so impressive-looking and tasty! (This cake served approximately 8 people)

  2. Can I freeze this cake? Sounds lovely going to make a huge one for a charity so need to do it a week early because too busy near the day

  3. My daughter loves this and so I would like to make a 3 layered round birthday cake. Can you suggest how I would change the recipe to make this


    1. While not an expert baker and lacking the skills and experience my sadly departed grandmother used to exhibit in such matters, I hope I may perhaps be able to provide insight into resolving your dilemma.

      If you use the recipe as written, and instead of using loaf tins, a multi-sized cake tin or a tray bake tin, use a round cake tin for each of the three layers, your cake layers will each cook in a lovely round shape.

      I apologise for the extraordinary complexity of this proposed approach but I trust that with experimentation and perhaps some fine tuning you’ll achieve success in baking a round cake.

      1. I know it’s a silly question to ask but do you put all three colours together or is it just one at a time. Sorry if I come across a bit dim

  4. 5 stars
    Lovely cake Baked with my grandson who insisted we make it in three 8 inch round tine. It turned out really well. He iced top with pink icing but other wise kept to recipe. It tasted wonderful.

  5. Sounds lovely. I’m looking at making it for my brother in law he loves angel cake. If you have the loaf tins would you make each mixture 3 times in the 3 different colours or would you still devied the one between the loaf Tin 3 times

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Hello, I’m Amy, the voice-behind and creator-of Baking with Granny.

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