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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Upside Down Angel Food Cupcakes
- 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.
- Fit your mixer with the whisk attachment and beat egg whites, water, vanilla and cream of tartar on low until it starts to foam. Turn mixer to medium and slowly start to add the sugar, just a little bit at a time over the next couple of minutes.
- 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.