Great British Bake Off Technical Challenge Week 1: Mary’s Angel Food Cake

It’s the return of the Great British Bake Off! Hurrah!

This means it’s time to get inspired to bake some things, bake some new things, and generally eat even more baked goods than usual! I bought the book the other week, and had a flick through the technical challenges to see if there were any I would actually want to eat, let alone bake (ie. Not Mary’s Queen of Puddings like last series….. custard, sponge, jam, and meringue? I think not.)

Week 1 is cake, as usual, and the technical challenge is an angel food cake, a cake of pure whiteness, no yolks, no butter, just egg whites, sugar, a little flour…..


You can find the recipe on the BBC Food website.

While my mum was visiting at the weekend, we decided to have a go.. How did we get on?

Well… step 1 was making the cake.


It is baked in a tube pan, which I did actually already own, although mine doesn’t have feet, so I balanced it precariously on top of a jar when I was leaving it to cool.


As you can see, I failed to bear in mind the oven fudge factor (my oven is super efficient, so generally I need to reduce the temperature or timings, even from the fan oven settings), it ended up being a little browned on the outside. I can feel Mary’s disppointed look already.

Umm…. I also couldn’t get whipped cream at my local shop, they had sold out, so I whipped some extra thick double cream instead…. spread it over the cake using my poor frosting skills….. (this would probably earn another disappointed look), then added a bit of the lemon curd on top (no passionfruits to be had!)


Yep. Spot all those crumbs that have sneaked their way into the cream. Sheesh.


And on the inside? Yeah, you can see the browned edge, alas. But I had folded in the flour quite well, no lumps, some good height, no sloping or sagging sides. Having watched the bake off episode however, well I reckon mine isn’t looking too bad!

And it tasted nice, which is, after all, the main thing! I think I like the lemony cream coupled with the cake the best, but then I love lemon a lot. Also, the cake texture was a little odd when you’re used to standard cakes made by creaming butter and sugar.

Lastly, well I’m afraid I preferred Grandma K’s lemon curd recipe to the one for this recipe! Sorry Mary! This recipe is a bit more similar to shop bought than homemade.

I’m linking this post up to the Great Bloggers Bake Off run by the Crazy Kitchen and Mummy Mishaps


  1. Looks so light and yummy. I wonder if it will work with gluten free stuff. I’ll try!

    1. It was yummy, strange texture in comparison to regular cakes, but good. I wasn’t a fan of the lemon curd though.

      1. Oh okay! What was wrong with the lemon curd? Looks so light and egg-y! I love light egg-y things. I think I’ll give this a go.

      2. Yeah, too eggy! I just found that Grandma K’s recipe is nicer. Richer and less shop bought-ish.

  2. No Pinterest button?

    1. Pinterest button? Do I have the technological knowhow for that?

  3. thank you for linking up
    you did well and i always get a few cake crumbs caught up in my frosting too! the sponge does look light and airy . i think you would have been judged quite highly in that round of the show 🙂

    1. Pesky crumbs!

  4. nothing wrong with a bit of crumb in your cream that’s for sure!
    Thanks for joining in with the #GreatBloggersBakeOff

    1. It doesn’t harm the taste! Yum!

  5. Well done! it looks gorgeous – a real technical skill in making that cake 🙂

    1. Thanks! I’m not totally satisfied with it, but it tasted ok!

  6. Paul J Barina Jr · · Reply

    Do you mind if I tell you a couple of things? Angel Food cake is American and we grow up baking… no.1 is that NO OIL OR FAT CAN BE IN OR ON ANY SURFACE. Buy some household cleaning ammonia at the grocery store and wash the whisks, spoons, bowls, and angel food cake pan you are going to use in mixing the cake. Even if you think your stuff is clean, it isn’t clean enough! Next, from the texture of your cake, you didn’t whip the whites stiff enough. Stiffer next time! Also, stir less, and fold more. When you finally start doing it right, your cake will rise half inch above the pan and stay there! You’ve got a good start! (I’m watching Mary on the British Baking Show and the best grade I could give her is a B-)

    1. Ummmm thanks? I guess?

      What I have learned after 6 years of now living in the USA is that I don’t like Angel Food Cake. It is bland and has to have other things with it to give it flavour. Also that you would have to pry my kitchen scales out of my cold dead hands.

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