Angel Food Cake

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This Angel Food Cake recipe is delicate and sweet, making for a perfect summer dessert, especially when topped with fresh berries!

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Angel Food Cake is so airy and fluffy, and its just-right sweet flavor is perfect with berries and a spoonful of whipped cream. Made with egg whites, you do have to be a little more cautious when making Angel food cake (just one drop of yolk can ruin the entire cake!), but it’s so worth making!

Angel food cake topped with fresh strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries.
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Recipe at a Glance

Cuisine Inspiration: American
Primary Cooking Method: Oven
Dietary Info: Vegetarian
Key Flavor: Sweet with a subtle vanilla note
Skill Level: Moderate

  • Light & fluffy: This angel food cake recipe makes a cake that’s so sweet and almost cloud-like! A thin, chewy layer on the outside gives way to a tender, almost bouncy, pure white sponge that is so good.
  • Simple list of ingredients: Just 6 ingredients are all you need for this delicious angel food cake recipe.
  • No oil or butter: You won’t find any fat in homemade angel food cake! It’s not needed.
  • Versatile: This cake is delicious plain, or topped with a dollop of whipped cream. It’s excellent with strawberry sauce, or try chocolate syrup or fudge sauce! Peaches, mangoes, pineapple, berries … they’re all amazing with homemade angel food cake. You can frost it, too!

Ingredients to Make Angel Food Cake

Ingredients for recipe in individual bowls: sugar, flour, vanilla, cream of tartar, egg whites.
  • Flour: I use all-purpose flour for angel food cake. Cake flour will also work well.
  • Sugar: White, or granulated, sugar, sweetens the cake and helps stabilize the egg whites.
  • Salt: Enhances the flavors of the cake and balances the sweetness.
  • Egg whites: All of the leavening for this cake comes from the whipped egg whites. No baking soda or baking powder needed!
  • Cream of tartar: This important ingredient stabilizes the whipped egg whites so that the cake doesn’t collapse.
  • Vanilla: Pure vanilla extract adds a touch of subtle sweet flavor.
  • Swap in cake flour. While all-purpose flour works well in this angel food cake recipe, cake flour is great substitute because of its lower protein content, which can result in a very tender cake.
  • Add a bit of almond extract. Some angel food cake recipes call for almond extract, which can add a nice touch of extra flavor. ¼ teaspoon of almond extract should be plenty.
  • Frost it. While it’s not necessary, you can definitely frost angel food cake! You’ll want to use a light and fluffy frosting that spreads easily because the cake is so tender.
  • Top with berries and whipped cream. While there are so many ways to top angel food cake, berries and whipped cream is my favorite!

How to Make Angel Food Cake

Angel food cake isn’t difficult to make, but it is important that you don’t change the eggs, sugar, or flour in the recipe. There are a few steps you wouldn’t have to take with other cakes that are crucial with homemade angel food cake!

First, you whip the egg whites and sugar, then fold in the other ingredients. After that, bake your cake until it’s light, golden on the outside, and springy. Invert the baked cake over a bottle to cool completely, then slice and enjoy!

Make the Batter

  1. Add the egg whites to the bowl of a stand mixer. Use the whisk attachment to beat the egg whites just until slightly frothy.
  2. Add the cream of tartar and vanilla, then increase the speed and continue whipping the egg whites until they begin to fluff up.
  3. Add a portion of the sugar, a tablespoon at a time, waiting about 10 seconds between each addition to allow the sugar to incorporate into the whites.
  4. Increase the speed and whip until the whites have stiff and glossy peaks.
  5. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, salt, and the other half of the sugar. Sift some of the flour mixture over egg whites and gently fold it in.
  6. Repeat with the remaining flour mixture, until the rest of the flour is fully incorporated.
6 image collage making recipe the bowl of a stand mixer: 1- egg whites in the bowl, 2- after beating until frothy with cream of tartar and vanilla added, 3- sugar being added, 4- whisk with stiff, glossy peaks on it, 5- sifter over egg whites, sifting in flour mixture, 6- folding flour and egg whites together.

Bake and Cool

  1. Pour the cake batter into a tube pan, smoothing the top with a knife or offset spatula. Tap the pan on the counter to remove any air bubbles.
  2. Bake until the top is golden brown and the center of the cake springs back when pressed.
  3. Remove the cake from the oven and invert the cake pan over a heat-safe bottle. Cool.
  4. Run a knife around the edges of the mold and lift the cake out from the mold. Serve bottom-side up.
4 image collage making recipe in a tube pan: 1- batter spread evenly before baking, 2- after baking to show a golden brown top, 3- pan flipped over to cool, 4- cake after removed from pan.

Tips for Making the Best Homemade Angel Food Cake

  1. A tube pan, also known as an angel food cake pan, is required. To make the best angel food cake from scratch, you’ll want to use a tube pan with a removable bottom. The tube pan helps cook the cake evenly, creating a light and airy texture. It also makes removing the cake from the pan easy.
  2. DON’T grease the pan. The batter needs to cling to the sides of the pan in order to rise properly.
  3. Sift the flour 4-5 times. This process aerates the flour, removes the clumps, and evenly combines flour and sugar for folding into the egg white mixture.
  4. Use a very gentle hand when folding the egg whites and flour together. You want as much air as possible to remain in the egg whites, otherwise, you risk your angel food cake collapsing.
  5. Allow the cake to cool upside down. This is important! Otherwise, the cake could collapse under its own weight as it cools.
Angel food cake with a slice cut out and another slice on a plate nearby. Cake topped with fresh berries.

What to Serve With This Angel Food Cake Recipe

Frequently Asked Questions

How to store angel food cake?

Transfer angel food cake to an airtight container or wrap it with plastic wrap and store it at room temperature. It is not necessary to store angel food cake in the fridge.

How long will angel food cake last?

Angel food cake is best eaten within 3 days, at which point it will begin to dry out.

Can I freeze homemade angel food cake?

Yes! Wrap your angel food cake with plastic wrap to freeze it. It will keep for up to 4 months in the freezer. To thaw, let it sit out at room temperature for couple of hours.

Why did my angel food cake collapse?

There are a few reasons angel food cake can collapse. The first is that the egg whites weren’t beaten stiff enough. The second reason can be if you grease your pan. The pan needs to be ungreased so that the cake can climb the sides as it rises. Another can be that it was underbaked. Finally, an angel food cake can collapse in on itself if it’s not cooled upside down.

Why did my angel food cake recipe turn out tough?

If your angel food cake is on the tougher side, this could be because you whipped your egg whites too much. The egg whites should form stiff and glossy peaks. If over-beaten, egg whites can become grainy and result in a tough angel food cake.

Slice of angel food cake on a plate topped with fresh berries and whole cake nearby.

Homemade angel food cake is so good! It’s the perfect lighter cake option, great for family celebrations or holiday parties. This versatile dessert can be topped in so many different ways, depending on the season, the occasion, or your mood! You’ll love knowing how to make delicious angel food cake from scratch.

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Angel Food Cake

This Angel Food Cake recipe is delicate and sweet, making for a perfect summer dessert, especially when topped with fresh berries!
No ratings yet
Servings 12 slices
Course Dessert
Calories 170
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 3 hours
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Ingredients
  

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and position your oven rack in the center.
  • Sift the flour, salt, and half of the sugar together. Repeat this 4-5 times to fully combine. Set aside.
  • Add the egg whites to a clean metal bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Beat the egg whites at medium-low speed until slightly frothy, about 3 minutes. Add the cream of tartar and vanilla, then increase speed to medium and continue whipping until the egg whites begin to fluff up, another 1 minute.
  • Slowly add the remaining sugar, one tablespoon at a time. Wait about 10 seconds between each addition to allow the sugar to incorporate into the egg whites. Once all the sugar is added, increase the speed to medium-high and whip until you have stiff, glossy peaks.
  • Sift about ⅓ cup of the flour mixture on top and use a rubber spatula to gently fold it into the whipped egg whites. Repeat until all the flour is incorporated.
  • Pour the cake batter into an ungreased tube pan and smooth the top with the spatula. To remove any large air bubbles, firmly tap the pan on a counter 2-3 times.
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes until the top is golden brown and springs back when pressed.
  • Carefully remove from the oven and immediately flip the cake pan over on a bottle and allow to cool for at least 2 hours. Once cooled, run a knife around the sides and inside of the pan and lift the cake out from the mold. Then, run the knife around the bottom to release it from the base. Transfer the cake to a cake stand, bottom side up, for serving. To slice, be sure to use a serrated knife for easy cutting.

Notes

Nutrition does not include berries. 
Storage: Transfer angel food cake to an airtight container or wrap it with plastic wrap and store it at room temperature. It is not necessary to store angel food cake in the fridge. Angel food cake is best eaten within 3 days, at which point it will begin to dry out. 
Freezing: To freeze, wrap your angel food cake with plastic wrap, then place in the freezer. It will keep for up to 4 months. Thaw at room temperature for couple of hours.

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice, Calories: 170kcal, Carbohydrates: 38g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 0.3g, Saturated Fat: 0.02g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.04g, Monounsaturated Fat: 0.01g, Sodium: 104mg, Potassium: 128mg, Fiber: 0.3g, Sugar: 29g, Vitamin A: 0.2IU, Calcium: 4mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.

Cuisine American
Course: Dessert

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Comments

  1. Jo says:

    Can this be made with powdered egg whites?

    1. Yumna J. says:

      Sorry, I’m not sure! I’ve never baked with powdered egg whites before. The egg whites add air to the recipe, so using powdered instead could affect the texture.