Julia Child once said that “A party without cake is just a meeting,” and she was right. Angel food cake is both delicious and versatile, able to be used for any occasion (even a meeting!).
Angel food cake has an amazingly light flavor and fluffy taste on its own, but it is made even better when it is topped with any of hundreds of possibilities.
Many summer hosts especially will keep a few of them on hand for an easy, seasonal dessert. But what happens if your guests don’t eat it all?
We all hate wasting food, so in this article we’ll provide some great ideas for using angel food cake. Top it, turn it into something else, or cook it again; do anything except throw it away!
How Long Will Angel Food Cake Keep?
Typically, angel food cake does not have a very long shelf life. It is best eaten very fresh, the same day that it is made.
That said, angel food cake can be kept for about two days after it is prepared as long as it has not been topped and is stored in an airtight container.
Keep in mind that your angel food cake doesn’t rot after two days (if it has started to rot, you will see splotches of mold on it). That’s just how long it can stay fresh.
You can keep using your angel food cake for several more days for lots of other dishes, such as these below:
1 – Make Churros, French Toast, and More
Churros are a fried dough treat that originated in Mexico, topped with sugar and sometimes cinnamon. But instead of using dough, you can actually use leftover angel food cake to make them.
French toast is a great option since you’re supposed to use day-old or stale bread to make it. It will be even sweeter and fluffier when made with last night’s angel food cake.
Probably one of the most popular things to do with leftover angel food cake is to make a bread pudding. True to its name, bread pudding uses some kind of baked good as its base and it’s a great way to use leftover or stale angel food cake.
You can make lemon bars using angel food cake, as well as many other desserts.
Finally, one last category of dessert we’ll cover is a torte. A torte (which is popular in Europe) is very similar to a cake except that a cake uses mainly sugar, butter, flour, and eggs; and a torte uses the sugar, butter, and eggs, but has little to no flour and instead uses nuts or breadcrumbs.
Make the flour substitute for a torte from your leftover angel food cake. You can find specific recipes that will walk you through how to do this.
2 – Cover it in Moist Goodies
Somewhat similar to the idea behind making a bread pudding is covering the leftover angel food cake in some kind of juicy or moist topping. You don’t even have to do any additional actual cooking; just mix up the toppings and throw them on.
Go with the classic strawberries. Not just any strawberries, though; you want them sweetened and in plenty of juice. That way, when you put them on the cake, the juiciness of the strawberries makes up for a drier cake.
For another quintessential summer angel food cake dish, top with peaches and cream. Once again, canned peaches with all of that yummy juice work great if your cake has gone slightly stale.
Make a yogurt parfait! No one will notice that the angel food cake on the bottom is slightly stale when it’s covered up by creamy yogurt and fresh, juicy berries.
Another great option for leftover angel food cake is using it as an ice cream topping, either whole or crumbled. Who doesn’t love double dessert?
You can make it extra decadent by drizzling some sweet liqueur as an after-dinner treat.
Many toppings and combinations of toppings can be used to breathe new life into leftover angel food cake. Have fun experimenting with items you love and different pairings.
3 – Make a Trifle
Making a trifle is a great use of leftover angel food cake. A trifle is a type of dessert that layers some kind of sponge cake with fruit, whipped cream, jelly, and custard; the leftover angel food cake makes a great stand-in for a traditional sponge cake.
There are even more possibilities of trifles than there are toppings: pineapple orange trifle, blueberry lemon trifle, caramel and toffee trifle, even a peanut butter cup trifle. The possibilities are endless for satisfying any taste preferences.
4 – Fill it and Frost it
Another way to breathe new life into leftover angel food cake is to fill it with fruit or another topping, frost it with creamy frosting on all its sides, or both.
Better yet, layer the frosting: cut your angel food cake lengthwise, frost in between the pieces, and re-stack the layers of cake with the frosting now in the middle.
5 – Fry it up
Similar to French toast, you can throw your leftover angel food cake onto the griddle or into the pan.
Or toss the angel food cake bites in some kind of batter, then sugar them up and throw them in your air fryer. It will be even more delicious than deep frying; plus, you save a ton of calories and fat.
6 – Do Something Different: Baked Alaska
Baked Alaska is a particularly indulgent dessert, which consists of a cake layer topped with lots of ice cream and then a layer of meringue on top, caramelized at very high temperatures, and served before the ice cream begins to melt.
Be forewarned: baked Alaska is not for the faint of heart. You will also need to find a recipe that will work with your oven (size and maximum temperature), but for those who love this treat, nothing compares.
7 – Do Some Good
You can always donate your leftover angel food cake to a food bank or bring it to say thank you to first responders. If it’s a store-bought cake that is still sealed, there is a good chance that a food pantry or another charity might accept it.
If not, give it to a neighbor or other acquaintance who might really need it to brighten their day.
What Not to Do with Leftover Angel Food Cake
One thing you don’t want to do with leftover angel food cake is compost it. This goes for most baked goods because the sugars used attract the wrong kind of critters.
Perhaps most of all, don’t force yourself to eat it. We indulge in desserts because the entire experience is enjoyable; forcing ourselves to eat stale treats that we no longer want defeats the purpose.
How to Avoid Angel Food Cake Waste
Let’s finish up by looking at how to reduce food waste by eliminating leftover angel food cake in the first place.
You can bake a small batch, or better yet, make angel food cupcakes and freeze any cupcakes or leftover batter. You can make a mini angel food cake in a bread loaf pan.
Having a party? Ask everyone to bring a dish; that way, you only have your own leftovers at the end of the night.
Or send guests home with a goody bag, including some angel food cake. Pick up some inexpensive plastic or paper ware ahead of time and divide all the leftovers among your late-night revelers.
Enjoy Your Cake!
Whether you use one of these methods to cut down on leftovers or decide to use one of these ideas to get creative with leftover angel food cake, the most important process is to enjoy your cake in the first place!
Sarah is the founder of Baking Kneads, LLC, a blog sharing guides, tips, and recipes for those learning how to bake. Growing up as the daughter of a baker, she spent much of her childhood learning the basics in a local bakery.