Daffodil Cake

Daffodil Cake
Photo: Nico Schinco
Prep Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
55 mins
10 to 12

Much like its namesake flower, the daffodil cake is a cheerful sign that warmer days are ahead. Here's how it works: half of the batter is ethereal angel food; the other half is enriched with egg yolks and the zest and juice of an orange and a lemon. After layering both in a tube pan and baking, you pour the tart, citrusy glaze on top to create a dessert that will rouse your taste buds—and brighten any gathering.



  • 1 ¼ cups sifted cake flour

  • 1 ½ cups sugar, divided

  • 1 ¼ teaspoons kosher salt (we use Diamond Crystal), divided

  • 12 large egg whites, plus 6 large yolks

  • 1 ½ teaspoons finely grated lemon zest, plus 2 tablespoons fresh juice

  • 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest, plus 1 tablespoon fresh juice

  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar

  • Edible pansies, for serving (optional)

Mixed-Citrus Glaze:

  • 2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar, plus more if needed

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus more if needed

  • ½ teaspoon grated orange zest, plus 1 tablespoon fresh juice

  • 1 teaspoon orange-blossom water (optional)

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

  • Pinch of kosher salt


  1. For the Cake: Preheat oven to 350°F. Sift flour, 1/4 cup sugar, and 1 teaspoon salt through a coarse-mesh sieve onto a piece of parchment. Beat yolks and 1/4 cup sugar with an electric mixer on high speed until doubled in volume, 3 minutes. Beat in both zests and juices.

  2. In a clean bowl with clean whisks, beat egg whites on high speed until foamy. Beat in remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining 1 cup sugar; beat to stiff peaks. Transfer to a large, wide bowl. Sift one-third of flour mixture over top; gently but thoroughly fold in. Repeat twice more with remaining flour mixture.

  3. Fold half of egg-white mixture into yolk mixture; dollop into an ungreased 10-inch angel-food-cake pan. Top with remaining egg-white mixture. Run a knife through to release air bubbles. Bake until top springs back when lightly touched, 35 to 40 minutes.

  4. Invert pan onto its legs (or rest on the neck of a wine bottle); let cool 1 hour. Run a knife around inside of pan and tube to release cake and unmold, then use it to release cake from pan bottom; remove.

  5. For the Glaze: Whisk together all ingredients to create a thick but pourable glaze. If too thick, whisk in more lemon juice, 1 teaspoon at a time; if too thin, more confectioners' sugar. Place cake on a cake stand and pour glaze over top, letting it drip down sides. Let stand until set, about 30 minutes; decorate with flowers.

Cook's Notes

This cake is best the day it's made, but can be stored at room temperature up to 1 day.

Related Articles