This post was created in partnership with Roxbury Mountain Maple. All opinions are our own.
Recently I had the honor of interviewing Tanorria Askew, a finalist on the popular cooking competition show, MasterChef. When she got “the call”, she phoned her mom from the breakroom at her desk job, crying. At the filming in LA, she had her makeup done daily by Emmy award-winning makeup artists and Gordon Ramsey critiqued her shrimp and grits. But what impressed me most about Tanorria was the way she views food. “Food is community,” she said. “I cook to make friends.” And by friends, she means people of all shapes, sizes, and colors. This woman loves all people. She hosts dinners for women to discuss the deep racial tensions permeating our country while eating the same, soul-nourishing food around the table.
Before I became interested in food 10 years ago, my narrative was food as chore: calories in, calories out, simple as that. Later, I graduated to food as nourishment, where eating “healthy” was the top priority. Eating this way was better, but it left little space for food as community. Since I was most focused on healthy, it was difficult to participate in a society where it’s natural to bring cookies to new neighbors or make a plate of cupcakes for the family barbecue.
In that vein, these angel food cupcakes with maple cream are a recipe for food as community. They’re a lighter option than the typical cupcake and could be considered a healthy dessert, so they touch on food as nourishment too. But let’s be honest: they’re made with lots of sugar, so sugar + air still = sugar. However, a few things make these angel food cupcakes closer to a healthy dessert:
- Angel food cake has no butter or oil like the typical cake; it’s made of flour, egg whites, and sugar.
- The angel food cupcake serving size is smaller than the typical angel food cake.
- The overall sugar content is slightly lower than in the typical angel food cake.
- We’ve replaced a portion of the granulated sugar in a typical angel food cake with maple syrup, a natural sugar. Though maple syrup still contains sugar, but it’s a naturally-occurring, minimally processed ingredient.
- For the frosting, we’ve used maple cream, maple syrup that’s been condensed into a creamy, spreadable form (same notes as sugar vs. maple syrup, as above).
The maple cream we used is from Roxbury Mountain Maple, a New York-based family business. They’ve found that it’s a versatile and interesting ingredient that they’ve started to sell along with their maple syrup. They’re starting to become known for the stuff, and we find the creamy pure maple spread is very, very good. In this recipe, we’ve used the Golden and Delicate maple cream, which imparts a maple flavor without being overwhelming. It’s worth purchasing a jar, for this recipe or just for spreading on toast or dipping fruit. (Or, swirl a tiny drizzle in your coffee as Ben from Roxbury suggested on our podcast a few months ago.) If you do use this maple cream, make sure to spread just a thin layer; a little goes a long way.
These angel food cupcakes have been through a few recipe tests and consensus is that they’re light, fluffy and uniquely maple flavored: a lovely healthy dessert to reflect food as community.
About the company: Roxbury Mountain Maple is a family business based in the Catskills of New York that produces all-natural, organic maple syrup and maple cream. Supporting Roxbury Mountain Maple promotes family farms, local community, sustainable farming, forest preservation, and your health. For more about the company, see the Roxbury Mountain Maple website.
Looking for maple syrup recipes?
These angel food cupcakes with maple cream are one of our favorite maple syrup recipes to date. If you’re looking for other maple syrup recipes or recipes with maple cream, here are a few we recommend:
Looking for healthy dessert recipes?
A few more healthy dessert recipes:
Did you make this recipe?
If you make these angel food cupcakes with maple cream, we’d love to hear how they turned out. Leave a comment below or share a picture on Instagram and mention @acouplecooks.
This recipe is…
Vegetarian, healthy dessert
Angel Food Cupcakes with Maple Cream
- For the cupcakes
- 8 egg whites (from large eggs)
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- ⅔ cup cake flour
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
- ½ teaspoon orange extract
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons water
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- For the topping
- Golden and Delicate Maple Cream, for spreading
- 6 ounces raspberries
- Preheat the oven to 325°F. Lightly grease a muffin pan with baking spray. On a counter, set two bowls apart the width of the muffin pan, then test setting the muffin pan upside down and on top of the bowls (this will be used for cooling the cupcakes after baking).
- Separate the egg whites and let them stand to come to room temperature.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar and cake flour.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix the egg whites, water, orange extract, maple syrup and cream of tartar. (You can also use a large non-reactive bowl and a hand mixer.) Mix on low speed until the mixture is foamy, then turn up to medium speed and gradually begin to add the granulated sugar, about 1 tablespoon at a time, over a period of 2 to 3 minutes. After all the sugar is added, turn up the speed to high and beat until medium peaks form, about 2 to 3 minutes. The mixture should be modestly glossy and the tips of peaks formed when you dip your finger into the mixture should flop over a bit.
- Remove the bowl from the mixer, and using a fine mesh strainer, sift in half of the dry ingredients. Gently fold the dry ingredients into the egg mixture with a spatula. Then sift and fold in the remaining dry ingredients.
- Using a ½ cup measure and a spatula, spoon the batter into 12 muffin cups. The batter is very fluffy and will rise significantly over the top of the muffin tin. If desired, gently smooth out the tops of the cupcakes, taking care not to deflate the airy batter.
- Bake for about 20 minutes or until the tops are slightly golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove the tin from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Then, set the pan upside down between the two bowls until fully cooled, about 45 minutes.
- When ready to serve, remove the cakes from the pan (you may need to use a sharp knife to release the edges from the pan). Spread the top of each cupcake with a very thin layer of maple cream. Slice raspberries in half, then place them cut side down on the top of the iced angel food cupcakes. Serve immediately. (The cakes are best eaten the day of baking. If desired, you can bake and freeze the cakes by wrapping them in plastic wrap and placing in a sealed plastic bag; however, this can slightly deflate the cakes. We tried this and they tasted nearly as good after freezing; however, eating the day of is the preferred option.)