If your birthday is in February and you live in south Louisiana, there is a good chance your birthday cake will be a king cake. This simple Chocolate Angel Food (Cake or Dessert) is the one I prepared for my granddaughter who has a February birthday, but she didn’t want another king cake.

The Chocolate Angel Food recipe offers lots of variations. You can use a store-bought angel food cake, make one from a cake mix or make an angel food cake from scratch.

The store I went to did not have any angel food cakes, so I quickly baked one from a mix.

You don’t have to grease a pan, and all you add to the mix is water. In no time, I had the cake baked, but it does take a while to cool completely, hanging upside down in the pan, so allow for that. An angel food cake made from scratch is not complicated, and I’ve included a simple recipe.

Chocolate Angel Food is just angel food cake filled and frosted with chocolate whipped cream and garnished with toasted pecans. Or you can make a trifle-type dessert with pieces of angel food cake folded into the chocolate cream mixture. Another variation is to remove a slice from the top of the cake and hollow out the center bottom portion of the cake and fill that with the chocolate cream. Put the top slice back on, and when it’s chilled and served, each slice is centered with chocolate cream. You will probably have some cake leftover if doing a trifle or hollowing it out. Keep those pieces for another dessert.

Toasted pecans can be sprinkled over the top or folded into the whipped chocolate cream. To get them on the side of the whole cake as in the photo, you have to put some pecans in the palm of your hand and almost toss and pat them onto the cake sides. The colder the cream the better.

Corinne Cook is a columnist for The Advocate. Reach her at food@theadvocate.com.