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Try My Easter Classics! Angel Food Cake and Ambrosia Salad are must haves for Easter dinner.

Author: Carol Ann Kates

This year my family is celebrating Easter with a blast from the past—some of our favorite Steele’s Markets recipes. I’ve had several former Steele’s customers request recipes from the bakery. I have been working hard on duplicating these. The following recipe for angel food cake took many tries to perfect. I’ve been told it’s the best.

You can either serve angel cake with whipped cream or crème anglaise and, of course, seasonal berries. It’s easy to add fresh mint leaves as a garnish to any dessert, and a sprig of mint spruces up the presentation. Serving angel food cake with crème anglaise adds a new twist to strawberry shortcake, one of my family’s favorites. If you chose to purchase an angel food cake from the supermarket instead of baking one yourself, dress it up with homemade crème anglaise. I like making crème anglaise when I make angel food cake because 12 egg whites go into the cake recipe and 6 yolks are needed for crème anglaise.


Angel Food Cake:

  • 1 cup + 1 tablespoon cake flour, sifted

  • ¾ cup sugar

  • 12 extra large egg whites

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Crème Anglaise:

  • 2½ cups half-and-half

  • 1 vanilla bean, cut lengthwise with insides scraped out

  • 6 egg yolks

  • ¾ cup sugar

  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch

  • 1 tablespoon Cognac


To prepare the cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine flour and sugar and sift the two together 3 times.

  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine egg whites, salt, and cream of tartar. Using an electric mixer, beat at a high speed until soft peaks form. Peaks should not be stiff but should fall over slightly when the beater is lifted out of the mixture.

  3. Add the remaining sugar to the egg white mixture near the center of the beaters with the mixer running at a low speed.

  4. Add vanilla to the egg white mixture and continue beating until egg whites form stiff peaks. Add ½ cup of the flour mixture to the egg white mixture and beat for 10 seconds. Continue adding ½ cup of the flour mixture at a time and beating for 10 seconds until all the flour mixture has been added to the egg white mixture.

  5. Pour batter into an ungreased 10-inch tube pan and bake for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove cake from the oven, invert, and cool. Cooking tip: It is important to scrape the bowl constantly during the mixing process. Don’t overbeat the eggs; this can cause the cake to collapse.

Crème Anglaise:

  1. In a heavy medium saucepan, place half-and-half and the insides of vanilla bean. (Husk is discarded.) Bring to a simmer over a medium-low heat. Whisk yolks, sugar, and cornstarch in a medium bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in the warm half-and-half mixture. Return the mixture to the saucepan over a medium heat until custard thickens, about 6 minutes, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Strain through a sieve into a bowl. Add Cognac and blend gently to mix. Refrigerate until well chilled, then cover.

To serve:

  1. 1 angel food cake

  2. Fresh whipped cream or Crème Anglaise

  3. 8 cups mixed assorted berries in season

  4. Strawberries

  5. Blueberries

  6. Raspberries

  7. Blackberries

  8. Fresh mint springs

  9. Cut angel food cake into slices. Place a dollop of whipped cream over each slice or ladle with crème anglaise. Mound berries in the center of each slice. Garnish with mint springs. Tips on storing vanilla beans: To store vanilla beans, wrap them tightly in plastic wrap, place in an airtight jar, and refrigerate. When stored this way, they will keep nicely for 6 months.

Carol Ann’s Deli’s Heavenly Hash – aka Ambrosia Salad

To set ourselves apart, we named our ambrosia salad Heavenly Hash. It was a customer favorite at Steele’s and a traditional Easter salad. If you can find colored mini marshmallows, the pink, yellow, and light green colors add a festive spring flair


For the dressing:

  • 1 cup sour cream

  • 1 cup whipped cream or Cool Whip®

  • ¼ cup sugar

For the salad:

  • 1 ½ cups pineapple tidbits, drained

  • 1 ½ cups mandarin oranges, drained

  • ⅜ cup maraschino cherries, drained

  • 3 cups miniature marshmallows

  • 1 cup shredded coconut


For the dressing:

  1. In a small bowl, combine sour cream, whipped cream, and sugar and whisk to blend. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to toss salad.

For the salad:

  1. Place pineapple tidbit in a colander to drain. Place the colander over the sink and shake gently, removing any extra moisture. Follow the same procedure for mandarin oranges and maraschino cherries. In a large bowl, combine pineapple tidbits, mandarin oranges, maraschino cherries, marshmallows, and coconut. Fold in dressing and mix gently. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Tips on storing shredded or flaked coconut: Unopened canned coconut can be stores at room temperature for up to 18 months; coconut in plastic bags up to 6 months. Once opened, both should be refrigerated in airtight containers.

Carol Ann

Carol Ann Kates is the award-winning author of cookbook, Secret Recipes from the Corner Market and Grocery Shopping Secrets. She’s an expert in how to shop, select, and store produce for maximizing home cooking outcomes and minimizing time and money spent. As a former supermarket and deli operator, Carol Ann shares grocery-insider wisdom—the same expertise you used to receive when patronizing a mom-and-pop establishment. Contact her at and explore her website,

Copyright 2024 All Rights Reserved Carol Ann Kates


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