A few days of vacation coupled with a long holiday weekend provided welcome R&R last week. Now we’re back, rarin’ to go — well, refreshed at least.

We left off with requests for angel food cake desserts and corn pudding made from a corn muffin mix.

This week we’ll focus on the cake only, as we got quite a few responses. Next week we’ll talk about corn pudding.

About “angel food”: It’s sponge cake made with stiffly beaten egg whites but no yolks or other fats, which makes it a favorite of those watching their waistline.

But don’t kid yourself, what you embellish the cake with can quickly cancel out any calorie savings.

Other ingredients may vary, but all angel food cakes have six ingredients in common. They are egg whites, sugar, flour, cream of tartar, salt and flavorings.

A nicely made angel food cake offers a snowy-white, ethereal crumb under a golden brown crust. The cake’s texture really does function as a sponge for other flavors, especially fruit. So it is a popular base or building block for summertime desserts.

We heard from several readers, including Lauri Bailey of Charleston.

She writes, “This recipe was given to me by Mr. Kenyatta Seward, a co-worker at Oakland Elementary, and is so simple to make. It is perfect for warm-weather parties, since it is so light and fresh.”

Hawaiian Wedding Cake

Ingredients

1 box (3.4-ounce) vanilla instant pudding mix, regular or sugar-free

1 can (20-ounce) crushed pineapple in juice, undrained

1 cup nondairy whipped topping (light may be used)

1 angel food cake, sliced horizontally in half or thirds

Freshly sliced cherries or berries (original recipe calls for maraschino cherries)

Directions

Mix pudding mix and pineapple with its juice. Fold in whipped topping. Spread on the top of the bottom layer of cake. Put next layer on. Spread pudding mixture on top. Repeat if using a third layer. Arrange fruit (berries or cherries) on top. Cover and refrigerate overnight before serving.

Kim Smith of Ridgeville got this recipe from a Taste of Home magazine some years ago. She says she first tries recipes out on her family and then church members, at dinners and bake sales.

“If I see empty dishes, it’s a keeper.”

Kim says she has made this with blueberry syrup and pie filling, and says other pie fillings such as peach or cherry would work fine, too. Just leave out the syrup then.

Angel Cake Dessert

Ingredients

1 angel food cake, cubed

6 ounces Smucker’s Strawberry Syrup (half a bottle)

2 cups confectioners’ sugar

1 (8-ounce) box softened cream cheese

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

16 ounces nondairy whipped topping

1 cup chopped pecans

2 (21-ounce) cans strawberry pie filling

Directions

In a bowl, combine cake cubes and syrup. Stir until combined. Set aside.

In another bowl, combine sugar, cream cheese and vanilla. Beat until blended. Fold whipped topping into cheese mixture.

Add pecans and mix with the cake cubes. Spoon cake mixture in a trifle bowl and layer with strawberry pie filling. Repeat layers and end with pie filling. Cover and refrigerate for 3 hours.

Judy Oken of Meggett. She writes, “You must have had this one before, but just in case ... It cannot be easier!

“Do not add oil or eggs to this cake. This is a two-ingredient cake.”

Pineapple Angel Food Cake

Ingredients

1 (16-ounce) angel food cake mix (Betty Crocker)

1 (20-ounce) can crushed pineapple, undrained

Nondairy whipped topping or vanilla ice cream for serving

Directions

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl beat together cake mix and crushed pineapple on low speed for 30 seconds.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl with spatula; then beat on medium speed 1 minute.

Pour into ungreased 13x9-inch baking dish. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, until lightly browned on top.

Cool completely. To serve, cut into squares and then top with nondairy whipped cream, vanilla ice cream or whatever you prefer.

From Robbie Yarnall of Charleston:

“This recipe came from a dear friend in Washington, I have used it many times and everyone loves it. I have never tried it, but I think blueberry pie filling would also be good. Better if made the day before serving.”

She notes, “I take some of the fat and calories by using low-fat cream cheese, skim milk and low-calorie pie filling.”

Cherries in the Snow

Ingredients

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese

1 cup confectioners’ sugar

1 cup cold milk

2 envelopes Dream Whip

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 angel food cake, cut into small pieces

1 can cherry pie filling

Directions

Cream package of cream cheese, gradually adding the confectioners’ sugar, the cold milk, envelopes of Dream Whip and the vanilla. Whip until smooth and peaks are formed.

Take a portion of the mixture and spread it on the bottom of a trifle bowl. Arrange chunks of cake over the mixture, continue to layer mixture and cake, ending with mixture.

Spread cherry pie filling on top. Cover with plastic wrap. Chill thoroughly before serving.

Also thanks to Elsie Clees of James Island for a similar recipe. Elsie also offers a recipe for icing an angel food cake:

Angel Food Cake Icing

Ingredients

12 ounces nondairy whipped topping

1/2 cup chocolate powder, such as Nesquik

1 tablespoon coffee liqueur, such as Kahlua

Directions

Mix all ingredients well with spoon and frost cake.

Variation: Can also use creme de menthe liqueur and grate frozen Andes Mints on cake.

Sharon Cook of Charleston shares two more ideas.

Chocolate Cherry Almond Trifle

Serves 8

Ingredients

2 (3-ounce) boxes sugar-free chocolate pudding mix

1 (12-ounce) container nondairy whipped topping; set aside 1 cup

8 ounces roasted almond slices, divided in half

1 angel food cake

1 pound fresh pitted cherries, divided in half

Directions

In large mixing bowl with hand mixer, combine chocolate pudding mix with all but 1 cup of the whipped topping. Cut or tear angel food cake into 11/2- to 2-inch pieces.

In large trifle bowl or inverted punch bowl, begin by layering 1/4 angel food cake pieces, then 1/2 of chocolate pudding mixture, then another layer of 1/4 cake pieces, then a layer using half of the cherries, then a layer with half of the almond slices, followed by another layer of 1/4 of cake pieces, remaining chocolate pudding, then a layer with remaining cake pieces.

Top with reserved whipped topping, remaining cherries and remaining almond slices. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 4 hours.

Peach Cream Cake

Ingredients

1 angel food cake

1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

1 cup cold water

1 (3-ounce) package cheesecake or vanilla instant pudding mix

1 teaspoon almond extract

1 pint whipping cream, whipped

4 cups or more sliced, fresh peaches

Directions

Cut cake into 1/4-inch slices; may use the electric knife on a well-chilled cake. Arrange slices on the bottom of a 9x13-inch baking pan. In mixing bowl, combine sweetened condensed milk and water; mix well. Add pudding mix and beat until well blended.

Chill 5 minutes. Stir in extract; fold in whipped cream. Pour half the cream mixture over cake slices; arrange half of the peach slices on top. Repeat layering, ending with peach slices. Chill 4 hours.

Who’s got the recipe?

A James Island reader is looking for pork chop and rice casserole recipes.

We have missed the window for this year’s crop, but a downtown reader is looking for recipes using loquats.

Looking for a recipe or have one to share?

Reach Features and Food Editor Teresa Taylor at food@postandcourier.com or 937-4886.