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Upside Down Angel Food Cupcakes

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The oldest bakery in my small town is famous for their angel food cupcakes.  They serve them upside down and with just a bit of frosting. This is my copycat and you have to give them a try!

mini angel food cakes with white frosting and sides and purple frosting flowers on top, surrounded with bright colored candy.

Oh so fluffy angel food cake is always welcome on my table. But it doesn’t always have to be baked in a tube pan.

These angel food cupcakes are a home town favorite. The perfect marriage of spongy cake, a bit of frosting and lots of love go into every one.

I wanted to share a bit of my home with you.  But being in the middle of the country it was hard to decide what that would be.

I was wracking my brain about what my region does better than others.  I thought about doing BBQ pork steaks as a nod to being close to St. Louis, but I wasn’t sure if I have the chops to tell other people how to grill.

It was tempting to do Chicago style pizza, but I haven’t made a recipe that stands up to the real deal yet.  So I want to wait until I find the perfect recipe.

A horseshoe sounded tempting too and I think that is one that everyone might not know about yet.  But with the nice weather, I couldn’t fathom the idea of doing such a heavy meal.

large blue platter filled with frosted angel food cupcakes, ready to serve and eat.

Then a brilliant idea struck!  (I know, how modest of me!)  I was casting my regional net too far.  

Right here in my favorite hometown there is a classic favorite that everyone knows about.  It is unlike anything I’ve seen anywhere else.

We have a local bakery, called Underbrink’s Bakery, that has been here since 1929.  They are famous for some of their breakfast danishes, but I would argue that their claim to fame is their angel food cupcakes.

They serve them upside down and with just a smear of a delicious frosting.  A little frosting flower on top and they are ready to go.  Anyone in town knows exactly where they came from and they are an institution.

collage showing the step by step process of making angel food cake batter starting with egg whites and ending with batter in cupcake tin.

Underbrink’s makes theirs in a large muffin tin, so they end up being about twice the size of mine.  I went ahead and made these in a regular cupcake pan to keep it easy.

I am served these at a BBQ that K.C. and I threw together.  He was making ribs and pulled pork, so I figured people would be too full for a monster dessert anyway.

Mixer bowl of sweetened condensed milk buttercream with offset spatula to spread frosting on angel food cupcakes.

As you can see, some of the angel food shows through the frosting.  I was not being stingy.  I LOOOOOVE frosting and it is not usually something I skimp on.

However, with the delicate angel food, I suggest you don’t go too crazy on the frosting.  You want to keep it feeling light and airy and not way it down with a big ol’ pile of buttercream.  I have it on good authority that what sets Underbrink’s frosting apart is their use of sweetened condensed milk.

So, I made a sweetened condensed milk buttercream.  It is a great way to add a richness and silkiness to buttercream.  You will find yourself using it in place of classic buttercream on everything!

I also used a mix of creme bouquet and vanilla in the frosting to give it that fresh from the bakery flavor.  I wish I could give you a bite.  They turned out so good!

If you like angel food cake and vintage recipes, check out my forgotten torte. It is a simple egg white dessert that is “forgotten” in the oven overnight then topped with whipped cream. It is fabulous!

mini angel food cakes with white frosting and sides and purple frosting flowers on top, surrounded with bright colored candy.

Upside Down Angel Food Cupcakes

Servings: 15 Cupcakes
Author: Carlee
The oldest bakery in my small town is famous for their angel food cupcakes. They serve them upside down and with just a bit of frosting. This is my copycat and you have to give them a try!
4.91 from 11 ratings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Total Time 28 minutes


  • 8 large egg whites
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • cup cake flour
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp cream of tartar
  • ½ cup granulated sugar


  • It is easier to separate eggs while they are cold, but they whip better at room temperature. So, separate the eggs saving the yolks for another use and let the egg whites come to room temperature.
  • Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 325°F and lightly grease 15 wells in cupcake pans.
  • Whisk together the powdered sugar, flour and salt in a mixing bowl.
    ½ cup powdered sugar, ⅔ cup cake flour, ¼ tsp salt
  • Fit your mixer with the whisk attachment and beat egg whites, water, vanilla and cream of tartar on low until it starts to foam.
    8 large egg whites, ¼ cup water, 1 tsp vanilla extract, ¼ tsp cream of tartar
  • Turn mixer to medium and slowly start to add the sugar, just a little bit at a time over the next couple of minutes.
    ½ cup granulated sugar
  • Once the sugar is all added, turn the mixer to high and beat for about 3 minutes. You want to stop when you have medium peaks. (The egg whites shouldn’t be as stiff and glossy as a meringue, but should be close. The top of the peak may fall over a bit.)
  • Sift in half of the dry ingredients. Fold to incorporate. Repeat with remaining dry ingredients, being careful not to overwork the batter. You don’t want to deflate the egg whites, but you do want to full incorporate the ingredients.
  • Spoon into prepared cupcake tins.
  • Bake for about 18 minutes. The tops should be golden and set.
  • Remove from the oven and run a plastic knife around each cupcake to loosen it from the pan. Cool completely, then remove from pan.


We like to frost our angel food cupcakes with sweetened condensed milk buttercream. You can frost them with your favorite frosting, or serve them with fruit and whipped cream for another great presentation.


Serving: 1ServingCalories: 72kcalCarbohydrates: 15gProtein: 2gSodium: 68mgSugar: 10g

Nutritional Disclaimer

“Cooking With Carlee” is not a dietitian or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

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Recipe Rating

Kathleen K Busche

Sunday 25th of November 2018

Carlee...I'm curious why your recipe has water in it? I've never an angel food cake with water

Jan Nill

Monday 18th of September 2017

We lived in your hometown in the 90's and I loved Underbrinks! We moved from there to St. Louis and Minnesota, but whenever I'm anywhere close, I always make a point to go to Underbrinks!!! Do you also have a recipe for their full-sized angel food cake?


Wednesday 20th of September 2017

How fun! Can you believe I've never had their full-sized angel food cake,only the cupcakes? I should get one and then tinker!


Tuesday 31st of May 2016

I adore angel food cake and this is such a fun way to serve it.


Tuesday 31st of May 2016

Thank you! They are definitely a local favorite!


Wednesday 4th of May 2016

So cute Carlee! I love angle food cake!


Wednesday 4th of May 2016

Me too, especially during the spring and summer! Thank you!


Sunday 1st of May 2016

How fun! Thanks for sharing at Merry Monday!


Sunday 1st of May 2016

Thank you!