Recipe: Lemon-Poppy Angel Food Cake with Poached Rhubarb, Chèvre Whipped Cream

In our chef's guide to spring entertaining, Woods Hill Table owner Kristin Canty shows us how to throw a successful spring get-together with recipes you can make at home. Below, learn how to make a decadent lemon-poppy seed angel food cake.

Recipe Lemon-Poppy Angel Food Cake with Poached Rhubarb and Chevre Whipped Cream

Lemon-poppy angel food cake is garnished with poached rhubarb. / Photograph by Pat Piasecki

Lemon-Poppy Angel Food Cake with Poached Rhubarb and Chèvre Whipped Cream

Serves 6 to 8

For the lemon-poppy angel food cake

  • 1 c. granulated sugar
  • ¼ c. all-purpose or pastry flour
  • 1 c. egg whites (about 8 eggs)
  • 3 tbsp. poppy seeds
  • 1 tbsp. lemon zest
  • Pinch of cream of tartar

For the poached rhubarb

  • 2 c. water
  • 2 c. granulated sugar
  • 1 lemon
  • 3-4 large rhubarb stalks, sliced
  • 5 large mint leaves

For the chèvre whipped cream

  • 1 c. heavy whipping cream
  • 1 c. goat yogurt
  • ¼ c. granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract

For the toasted almonds

  • ½ c. whole raw unsalted almonds
  • Pinch of salt

For the lemon-poppy angel food cake

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Sift a half cup of the sugar and all of the flour together and set aside. Zest lemon with microplane and set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat egg whites and a pinch of cream of tartar with the whip attachment at medium-high speed.
  4. When whites begin to turn white and foamy, slowly add the second half cup of sugar until it is all incorporated. Whip whites until a medium-peak meringue forms.
  5. Remove from the stand mixer and gently fold in the flour/sugar mixture until fully incorporated. Fold in the poppy seeds and lemon zest.
  6. Portion gently into a bundt pan or angel food pan and bake for approximately 25 minutes, or until the top is browned and a cake tester comes out clean when inserted. Do not oil pan (angel food cake needs to cling to the sides to rise appropriately).
  7. After removing from the oven, turn pan upside down on a cookie sheet to cool. Release gently with a butter knife around the edges if the cake sticks a little.

For the chèvre whipped cream

  1. Place all ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat with the whip attachment until stiff peaks form. Reserve in refrigerator until needed, or whip right before serving.

For the poached rhubarb

  1. Cut the top and bottom of the rhubarb to remove any dirty or dried ends. Cut into sections about 6 inches long. Wash and wipe dry. Using a mandoline and a cutting guard, slice the rhubarb sections lengthwise from top to bottom to achieve long strips (about 1/16 of an inch thick).
  2. Using a vegetable peeler, remove three large strips from the lemon.
  3. Combine water, sugar, lemon peel, and mint in saucepot and bring to a boil.
  4. Using a strainer, strain over the prepared rhubarb and let sit for 10 minutes.
  5. Move to the refrigerator to cool completely.

For the toasted almonds

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Place almonds on a tray and toast in the oven for seven minutes. Check occasionally to see if the nuts have started to roast and turn slightly darker. When you begin to smell the nuts, they are done.
  3. Let cool and roughly chop, or leave whole. Sprinkle with salt.

To assemble

  1. Place a large piece of angel food cake on a plate. Top with chèvre whipped cream and toasted nuts. Lay several strips of poached rhubarb on top, and then drizzle some of the rhubarb liquid on the cake for added sweetness and moisture.