Anonymous asked in Food & DrinkCooking & Recipes · 1 decade ago

Why do my egg whites keep going flat?


I've been trying to make Angel Food Cake. It's not THAT bad, it just doesn't rise as high as I think it should. The problem is the vanilla.

The first cake, I added the vanilla at the start, before I began whisking (as my first recipe suggested). The eggs never whitened at all, they just became fairly bubbly.

The second cake, I added the vanilla just before I added the sugar (as a couple other recipes suggested). BEFORE I added the vanilla, my eggs had been whipped white and so the peaks were soft and curved over. As soon as I added the vanilla (while beating the eggs) my egg whites went runny and bubbly and I just couldn't get them white again.

The third time, I added the vanilla at the end, once my egg whites were forming stiff peaks. I noticed immediately (as I was adding vanilla) that it was causing my eggs to lose their stiffness, so I stopped adding it (I probably added about 1/2tsp of vanilla). This one I actually finished. I have yet to taste it (its still cooling) but it looks passable (although somewhat shorter than I want it to be).

So, WHY do my egg whites go flat as soon as I add the vanilla?


4 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Here's the recipe I've used for years. Make sure to not over beat the eggs and to gently fold in the ingredients. You need to fold the dry ingredients gently, by hand, and not use a mixer.

    Angel Food Cake Deluxe

    1 cup cake flour

    1 ½ cups powdered sugar

    1 ½ cups egg whites (about 12)

    1 ½ teaspoons cream of tartar

    1 cup granulated sugar

    1 ½ teaspoons vanilla

    ½ teaspoon almond extract

    ¼ teaspoon salt

    Heat oven to 375∫. Mix flour and powdered sugar. Beat egg whites and cream

    of tartar in large bowl on medium speed until foamy. Beat in granulated

    sugar on high speed, 2 tablespoons at a time, adding vanilla, almond

    extract and salt with the last addition of sugar; continue beating until

    meringue holds stiff peaks. Do not underbeat.

    Sprinkle flour-sugar mixture, 1/4 cup at a time, over meringue, folding in

    gently just until mixture disappears. Spread in ungreased tube pan, 10 ◊ 4

    inches. Gently cut through batter with spatula.

    Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until cracks feel dry and top springs back when

    touched lightly. Immediately invert pan onto heatproof funnel; let hang

    until cake is completely cool.


    Please note, if you should change this recipe it will no longer be an

    approved Betty CrockerÆ Recipe.

    S(Internet Address):

    "For more great ideas visit my Web site at:"


    "© General Mills, Inc. 1998."


    "1 Cake"


    Cakes, Desserts




    16 servings

  • 1 decade ago

    That's a tough Question to address, because there are so many things that can go wrong while whipping egg whites.

    First off, I'd suggest adding the vanilla extract at the beginning of the whipping process, not at the end. It's just an extra step at the end, which can be avoided. That being said, make sure that you're whipping your egg whites in a metal bowl. Copper is the most preferable for egg whites, but copper is prohibitively expensive. Stainless steel will also work, but try to avoid glass or ceramic. Also, make sure your bowl is impeccably clean before you start whipping. If there has EVER been a trace of egg yolk in the bowl, it can affect the whipping of the whites.

    Finally, a weak acid will denature the proteins in the egg whites, and they'll whip much better. The best choice is powdered cream of tartar, which is pretty cheap and widely available. About 1/8 teaspoon per egg white is all you need. If you don't have (or care to buy) cream of tartar, you can make a very weak acid solution using 1 cup of water, and 1 tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice. Dip your whisk (or mixer blades) into the solution, and just shake off the excess. The tiny amount left on the whisk/blades will add enough acid to give structure to your egg foam.

  • 1 decade ago

    I'm guessing either the water or the alcohol is deflating the bubbles in the egg whites. Every recipe I've used for angel food cake puts the vanilla into the batter that you fold into the egg whites after they are whipped. If you haven't tried that, it might be worth trying.

    You can watch a really good video on angel food cake here:

    Youtube thumbnail

    (Part 1)

    Youtube thumbnail

    (Part 2)

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Try adding the vanilla after the egg whites have been mixed with the flour & other ingredients

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