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Angel Food Cake: an easy recipe for a classic, fluffy dessert 

Total time: 90 Min
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 16 people
By Cookist

If you're in the mood for an easy-to-make dessert that's impressive to look at yet not overwhelmingly sweet, this angel food cake recipe needs to be on your radar. Angel food cake is a beautiful tall cake with a subtle vanilla flavor. It's deliciously tender and moist, with a lighter-than-air texture.

Angel food cake is easy to customize, and it's great for all sorts of occasions, whether you're looking for a tasty homemade dessert to enjoy with afternoon tea, something for a picnic or potluck, or a party. Enjoy homemade angel cake on its own or serve it with fresh seasonal fruit.


What is Angel Food Cake?

Angel food cake, also known as angel cake, is a classic dessert that's famed for its incredibly light, pillowy, cloud-like texture and subtle sweetness. It's made with egg whites and cake flour, which help give the cake its signature texture. This delicious, fluffy cake dates back to the 1800s and has remained popular ever since.

It's similar to chiffon cake and sponge cake, but chiffon cake is a little richer and denser, with a touch more flavor. On the other hand, sponge cake uses both egg yolks and egg whites, making it richer and less airy compared to angel food cake that calls only for egg whites.


Angel Food Cake Ingredients

To make the perfect homemade angel food cake, you only need a handful of ingredients. To give the cake its light texture, you'll need cake flour and egg whites.

Cream of tartar helps stabilize the egg whites, so make sure you have some on hand.

Sugar adds sweetness, and you'll need some vanilla and almond extract to give your cake flavor.

How to Make Angel Food Cake

Making the fluffiest, most cloud-like homemade angel food cake couldn't be easier. Start by beating your egg whites until stiff peaks form. Make sure your bowl is absolutely spotless, otherwise you'll have trouble getting the egg whites to form peaks. Beat in the cream of tartar, vanilla, and almond extracts.

Next, sift the flour, sugar, and salt five times. This is key for an airy angel food cake. Fold the egg whites into the flour mixture.

Gently transfer the batter to a tube pan. Set the tube pan in your oven, then switch the oven on and heat it to 325°F. Bake your cake for 60 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove the cake from the oven. Let it cool completely, then remove it from the pan and add any toppings, glazes, or icing, slice, and serve.


Can You Make Angel Food Cake Without a Tube Pan?

If you don't have a tube pan, you won't be able to make light, fluffy angel food cake. The tube pan is essential because the batter needs something solid to cling to while it's baking, otherwise, the cake will collapse. The reason for this is that cake flour doesn't have as much gluten as regular flour, and there isn't that much cake flour in angel food cake to begin with – it's largely made out of egg whites which is what gives the cake its airy texture.

That said, there's one clever hack you can try. Wrap a piece of foil around a thin can. Fill the can with weights, then place it in the middle of a non-stick springform pan. Line the pan with parchment paper, pour in the batter, and bake the cake. It may not work quite as well as a tube pan, but it's the closest you can get!


Tips for Making the Best Angel Food Cake

Cake flour is a must for this recipe as it will give you the lightest, fluffiest cake.

To prevent your cake from collapsing, let it cool upside-down. This way it can set as it cools.

Cream of tartar is essential for helping to stabilize the egg whites. You won't get the same cloud-like texture in your cake if you don't use it.

Don't overmix the cake batter. It will make your cake dense.

Angel food cake should be placed into a cold oven. Turn the oven on and set it to 325F once the cake is in the oven.

Make sure the bowl you beat the egg whites in is completely clean. If there is any grease or oil, the egg whites won't form into stiff peaks.

Sifting the flour multiple times is essential for getting the ultra-light texture in your angel food cake.

Angel Food Cake Topping Ideas

Top your angel food cake with powdered sugar, some fresh chopped berries or fruit, or a drizzle of chocolate or caramel sauce.

It's also lovely with an orange or lemon glaze, frosting, or cocoa powder.


Angel Food Cake Variations

You can make healthier versions of angel food cake by swapping out the cake flour and replacing it with wholemeal flour, although it won't be as fluffy. You can also opt to use a sweetener like stevia or erythritol instead of sugar.

For a gluten-free angel food cake, simply use gluten-free flour instead of cake flour.

To make vegan angel food cake, use aquafaba instead of egg whites.

You can add other flavorings to your angel food cake such as almond extract, orange extract, or lemon extract, or mix other ingredients into the batter like chocolate, chocolate chips, nuts, or fruit.

Finally, you can decorate your angel food cake with a glaze, buttercream frosting, or icing. There are lots of tasty combinations to try!

How to Store Angel Food Cake

Keep your angel food cake wrapped in cling film or stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. You can store it for up to one week in the fridge, however, the cake might dry out slightly.

cake flour
1 1/4 cups
White sugar
1 3/4 cups
1/4 tsp
Egg whites
1 1/2 cups
Cream of tartar
1 tsp
Vanilla Extract
1/2 tsp
Almond extract
1/2 tsp


In a bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form.

Beat in cream of tartar, vanilla extract, and almond extract. Set aside.

In another bowl, sift the flour, sugar, and salt five times.

Add the flour mixture into the egg whites.


Transfer the batter to a tube pan.

Spread it evenly.

Put the pan in the oven. Set the oven to 325°F. Bake for 60 minutes, or until golden brown.

Remove from the oven. Let the cake cool completely upside-down.

Remove the cake from pan and decorate with powdered sugar and fresh fruit.

Slice, serve and enjoy!


Use room temperature ingredients for making your angel food cake.

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