My baby is one year old today! No, I don’t mean this guy (who will be three next month). I mean this right here—my blog. Looking back I can’t believe how much it has grown and changed. Honestly, when I hit publish on my first post I didn’t know if I would keep at it. I mean, haven’t we all started tons of stuff in our lives and then not followed through for one reason or another? I’m looking at you, pilates.
But now I can’t imagine my life without my blog. It has been such an amazing creative outlet for me as both a cook and a writer. I definitely already knew my way around a kitchen, but my skills have improved tremendously. I’m taking more risks, trying new things, and thinking outside the box when it comes to flavors and ingredients. I’m also taking myself less seriously as a writer, and consequently enjoying it so much more! Instead of agonizing over sentence structure or finding the perfect word, I’m just, you know, letting it flow.
I had a professor in graduate school who said we shouldn’t pursue writing as a profession unless the first thing we wanted to do every morning was sit down at the computer and write. Um…not so much. But cook something and then write about it? 100% yeah.
Blogging isn’t all fun and games and cookies, though. The strides I’ve made in terms of building traffic, improving my photography, and developing my site have involved tons of Blogging 101 homework. I would be nowhere without Food Blogger Pro, Tasty Food Photography, and Wpopt. My friend Lexi has also given me tons of amazing advice.
I hope to monetize my site soon with a few tasteful ads and by working with brands, but for now I am funding it (paying for camera equipment, a backup service, my two redesigns, Tailwind, etc.) with the money I make from freelance food writing and with the royalties I earn from The Boozy Baker. So I am solidly in the black as a food writer, if not quite as a food blogger.
OMG. I just reread what I wrote and it kind of sounds like an Oscar speech or something, doesn’t it? I think now would probably be a good time to switch gears and discuss what you’re all really here for. Namely, this pumpkin spice angel food cake.
A few weeks ago, one of my coworkers put out an angel food cake from Whole Foods in our office kitchen. Usually I’m pretty good at restraining myself around office sweets, but for some reason I could not stop eating it. Every time I walked by, I sliced off another bite. It was just so light and airy, and it was delicious with my coffee.
Which of course got me thinking. Why not a coffee flavored angel food cake? And then, because it’s that time of year, why not a pumpkin spice angel food cake? A little research led me to this recipe from Gale Gand. I’ve adapted it here, adding a healthy dose of pumpkin pie spice.
Angel food cakes are a wee bit fussy. First of all, it’s important to measure your egg whites. You want 1 1/2 cups. Lots of recipes will tell you that you need a dozen eggs, but that’s not always the case. This time I only used nine. You also must sift your flour to ensure a fluffy, tender cake. Lastly, you have to cool the cake in the pan upside down. I do this by sticking a wine bottle through the hole in the middle and flipping the cake on top.
Naturally, this pumpkin spice angel food cake is perfect with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a cup of coffee. Store leftovers loosely covered with plastic wrap at room temperature for up to three days.
Thank you so much for reading along this past year! I hope you have tried and enjoyed some of my recipes. I have lots of fun stuff planned for the months ahead (fall is my favorite cooking time of year), so come back soon! XO
- 1 1/2 cups egg whites (9 to 12 eggs)
- 1 1/4 teaspoons cream of tartar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, divided
- 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
- 1 tablespoon hot water
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sifted cake flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
- 3 to 4 tablespoons strong brewed coffee (or prepared instant espresso)
- Preheat the oven to 375ºF. In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or with a hand mixer) whip the egg whites until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and salt and whip until the mixture forms soft peaks. With the mixer running, slowly add in 1 cup of sugar and whip until the mixture forms stiff peaks, about 30 seconds.
- In a small bowl, stir together the instant espresso powder and hot water.
- Using a sieve set over a large bowl, sift the cake flour, remaining 1/2 cup sugar, and pumpkin pie spice.
- Using a spatula, carefully fold the flour mixture 1/3 at a time into the egg white mixture. Fold in the espresso-water mixture and the vanilla extract.
- Spoon the batter into an ungreased 9- or 10-inch tube pan and spread it evenly. Bake until golden-brown, 30 to 35 minutes.
- Remove the cake from the oven and invert it over a wine bottle (insert the bottle through the hole in the middle of pan and flip the cake over on top). Let cool to room temperature. Run a knife around the cake to loosen it, then turn it out onto a serving plate.
- Combine the confectioners' sugar and 3 tablespoons coffee in a small bowl and whisk until smooth. If the mixture is too stiff, add the remaining tablespoon of coffee. Pour some of the glaze over the top of the cake, letting it drip down the sides (you may not need all the glaze).