Angel food cake can be incredibly satisfying to make from scratch, but you may already know that it requires some special equipment.
You need an angel food cake pan, which isn’t as easy to find (or as inexpensive) as you might think. If you don’t have this pan, you can use a regular pan, but you’ll need a glass bottle to cool it down.
So, how do you cool angel food cake? If you don’t have a glass bottle or special cake pan, just invert the cake straight onto the wire rack — it won’t fall out! You can also invert the cake pan onto any elevated object that can rest on the edges (e.g. bricks, bowls, spoon handles, tin cans, etc.).
We’ll discuss some alternative cooling methods for angel food cake pans without using glass bottles. We’ll also answer some questions about these cooling methods!
How Is Angel Food Cake Cooled?
One of the softest, fluffiest, and spongiest cakes in the world is angel food cake.
The secret to this cake lies in the eggs! It is made using regular cake ingredients.
It is only egg whites that have been beaten stiff that are used to make these cakes.
When the cake batter is baked, the egg whites act as a natural leavening agent, further lifting and softening the cake crumb.
This may all sound fairly straightforward up until this point, and it is. However, most angel food cakes fail in the cooling process.
The crumb of angel food cake is extremely delicate and finicky. It is extremely fragile – even the slightest draft will cause it to collapse.
It is for this reason that these cakes are cooled upside down over glass bottles.
In order to avoid the cake falling over too easily, fill the glass bottle with some type of weight. Angel food cakes are baked in tube pans and bundt pans, so the hole can be inserted inside the neck.
Why Does Angel Food Cake Need To Be Cooled This Way?
It may seem excessive, and some even say it’s unnecessary. But here’s why it is crucial and the only method that really works.
There are two reasons for this. First, the cake’s structure (while it’s still warm) cannot support its weight.
This is why inverting it (turning it upside down) will reduce the weight. It will also allow the cake to cool in an elongated form, which maintains its fluffy texture.
Secondly, you need a glass bottle (or something similar) to keep the cake off the counter.
It will sweat if you just place the cake on the counter without any ventilation – this will change the flavor and texture of the cake.
Therefore, the glass bottle allows the cake to stand inverted while getting ventilation while keeping it off the counter.
Why Is A Glass Bottle Used?
Many angel food cake pans are actually marketed as “angel food cake pans” because they are traditionally baked in tube pans.
They are similar to regular tube pans, but they have a set of three or four small metal legs on the top of the pan (the open side). They aren’t very tall (about 12 inches tall), and they are made of the same material as the pans.
Inverting the angel food cake and still having enough space to let it ventilate explains why the glass bottle is used.
Cooling angel food cake using a glass bottle is the easiest method, just like using a cake pan without feet.
How To Cool Angel Food Cake (Without A Glass Bottle)
The angel food cake must be inverted and allowed to ventilate while cooling, as we have explained.
In general, angel food cakes are baked in pans that have feet. These feet help create the space between the pan and the surface area. Therefore, they are perfectly fine as is.
If you want to bake a cake in a regular cake pan (without feet), you’ll need some alternative methods – you don’t need a glass bottle; it’s just super easy.
The good news is there are countless alternatives if you’re creative!
Method 1: Use A Cooling Rack
In order for this to work, you will need a cooling rack of a certain type. The cooling rack must be at least 14 inches from the surface area (tabletop).
Having too little space for heat to escape will not only cause the cake to take longer to cool, but it can create a sticky, unattractive layer on the surface!
You can always place the sides of a short cooling rack on glasses or mugs of equal height to create more space beneath it.
The steps are as follows:
Place the cooling rack over the glasses or mugs. Make sure the cooling rack doesn’t jiggle and is secure. If necessary, place all 4 edges under the glasses or mugs.
Put the wire rack over the opening of the cake pan, then press them tightly together. Flip the cake pan over quickly so the wire rack is at the bottom. The cake won’t fall out since the pan isn’t lubricated.
Place a wire rack on top of the 4 mugs, and let the cake cool for a couple of hours at room temperature. Keep it away from drafts.
Method 2: Place It Over Bowls, Spoons, Or Bricks
It is a versatile method that can be used even if you do not have a wire cooling rack or glass bottle – you can use anything to make it work!
In order to make the set-up more secure and to keep the cake from falling off, you will need at least two items of the same height.
Here is how to do it:
The cake pan corners should be lined up with three containers (equal heights) positioned in a triangle.
By elevating the cake pan, you are supporting its weight, allowing it to ventilate and cool down, and supporting its weight.
Bricks, canned food, mixing bowls, and other cake pans can be used instead of storage containers, large wooden spoons (although they might be too short), or wooden spoons (if they are long enough).
Angel food cake can even be baked in the back of a muffin pan – it supports the cake pan and allows some ventilation at the same time!
You can easily find a makeshift cooling system by thinking about these two requirements!
We thought you might have a few additional questions now that you know all about angel food cake, plus how to cool it without a glass bottle.
Can you cool an angel food cake inside the fridge?
It is possible, but there are many drawbacks.
It is still important to turn the cake upside down and give it ventilation. Secondly, the fridge can cause a sticky layer to form on the cake, or it may dry it out.
In order to achieve the best results when cooling a cake, especially one as delicate as this, you should always follow the proper cooling techniques!
How do you get an angel food cake out of the pan?
The angel food cake pan is not greased, so the cake won’t fall out when it’s inverted and cooled. Of course, this means that the cake can become stuck.
Here is how to get an angel food cake out of the pan:
Around the inner and outer tubes of the pan, run a thin, flexible knife.
Take the cake out of the sides by lifting it up.
Along the bottom of the cake pan, slide the knife.
As soon as the tube part is removed, invert the cake on a wire rack so it can be caught.