A Complicated Cake Recipe.

Mocha Coffee Angel Food Cake

Let me be clear about this fact…I like to cook. My mother liked to cook. My grandmother liked to cook. The only difference is that they had the time and took the time to make everything just right. I appear to have no extra time and even less patience. I consider myself part of the “Microwave Manipulators Menagerie”. Don’t call me a “Baby Boomer” anymore. But…back to the cooking. I like desserts (to a fault!) . I cannot help it (sure!). I was just made this way (so untrue!). I want to make a different dessert for Thanksgiving this year. I will keep all of the buttermilk pies and the pecan pies. This will be an extra cake to go along with all of the other multitudes of desserts.

Drum rolls needed…please! I intend to attempt the best cake of all time according to the expert…me and only me. I intend to make the very complicated

Neiman Marcus Coffee Angel Food Cake with Butter Icing Covered in Almonds!

Some cooks may consider this cake to be easy. They may even say that I have lost my mind to call it complicated. If I have to separate even one egg white, I think that the recipe is difficult. This cake has 1 1/4 cups of egg whites! Do you realize the significance of that statement? That means that the recipe calls for 10 to 12 eggs! This cake is:


I have mentioned this cake in another post. There was a time when I ordered a slice of this cake at the Neiman Marcus Mermaid Bar (described as a “whimsical cafe”) every, single time that I went shopping with my mother at the NorthPark Center in Dallas. At some point during the last few years or so, they stopped making it. I was totally crushed. I even talked to the manager about the decision. His answer was so complicated that I can’t even explain the reason.

Nevertheless…here is the complicated recipe for “the most talked about cake at Neiman Marcus”…



1 1/2 cups sifted sugar

1 cup sifted cake flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 cups egg whites (10 to 12 eggs)

1 1/4 teaspoons cream of tarter

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 tablespoon powdered instant coffee

Butter Icing (recipe follows)

Toasted almonds, slivered or chopped (to sprinkle generously on the icing…I say…the more the better!)

Cake Directions:

Add 1/2 cup of the sugar to flour. Sift together four times. Add salt to separated egg whites and beat with flat wire whisk or rotary eggbeater (old recipe!) until foamy. Sprinkle cream of tartar over eggs and continue beating to soft-peak stage. Add the remaining cup of sugar by sprinkling 1/4 cup at a time over egg whites and blending carefully, about 20 strokes each time. Fold in flavorings.

Sift flour-sugar mixture over egg whites about 1/4 at a time and fold in lightly, about 10 strokes each time. Pour into ungreased round 10-inch tube pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 45 minutes. Remove from oven and invert pan on wire rack. Ice with Butter Icing (add a bit of powdered coffee to icing if desired). Sprinkle generously with toasted almonds.


1/2 cup butter

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

3 to 4 tablespoons milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions for Icing:

Cream butter. Add salt and sugar, a small amount at a time, beating continuously. Add milk as needed, and flavoring. Beat until light and fluffy. Ice the cake and sprinkle generously with toasted almonds.





18 thoughts on “A Complicated Cake Recipe.

  1. I made this last night and it was so good. I accidentally used unbleached all purpose flour (which I sifted 4 times) by mistake instead of cake flour which I had bought just for this. (You can use all purpose flour if you don’t have cake flour as it turned out great) One other thing, I had egg whites in a carton that I used and it foamed and soft peaked nicely. I did use expresso powder (not instant coffee) in the cake and the icing. I also used butternut vanilla and cake batter flavoring in the icing . It is so light and I am sure had I used cake flour it would have been even lighter. I am saving this recipe and thank you so much for sharing it. An easy complicated cake to make!


  2. Sounds delicious! The best gizmo I have found for separating eggs is from Pampered Chef. It works amazing. Also what is your Crème Brulee recipe? I make sheet cakes once in a while for people and never know what to do with the egg yolks I end up with.


    • I really like this cake! You can also put some of the coffee into the icing if you choose. I have not been to a Pampered Chef party for a while…I need that “gizmo”! I will send you the Crème Brulee recipe when I get back in an hour or two…errands, errands!

      Liked by 1 person

    • I just made a comment about your motorcycle post, but I entered it under your lunch pail post. I really, really liked the lunch pail post. Evidently, I do not know where to click or anything. I have decided to write a post with the Crème Brulee recipe! It has six egg yolks instead of the five that I told you about! Of course, you have a gizmo, so separating eggs is a breeze!


  3. Forgive me if you already know this, but based on the description of what you consider complicated (separating eggs) I thought I’d take a chance and mention it: “1 1/2 cups sifted flour” is different from “1 1/2 cups flour, sifted”. For this recipe, sift a bunch of flour onto a big piece of wax paper, then measure off a cup and a half of that by pouring it into measuring cups. Don’t measure off 1.5 cups of flour and sift that into the prep bowl. It makes a difference. (Also, if you have an angel food pan with the tabs (feet) on top that let you invert it without any jury-rigging, you’ll find it much easier.)

    You can do this! Good luck 🙂


    • Thank you for your message and your advice! I just do not like to separate eggs…I realize that the cake is not particularly complicated!! I know what you are talking about with the flour. This is an old recipe from Helen Corbitt and I wrote down the recipe for the post directly from her original cookbook. I have a slightly different recipe that I have also used. I do have an angel food pan, but don’t use it very often. I really appreciate your comment! I will take any and all cooking advice! Thank you for reading my blog!


      • It’s my pleasure. You have a lovely blog.

        Lol. An egg separating aversion, huh? That’s no yolk! (Sorry, terrible joke.) Well, as long as you’re able to work around it, good for you! Food, and the making of it, shouldn’t be an exercise in anxiety.

        Interesting to read that old recipe verbatim. Thanks for posting it! I look forward to reading more of your posts 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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