Angel Food Cake

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This is the best homemade angel food cake recipe! It’s a light and fluffy, bakery-quality angel cake that turns out perfectly every time.

a Homemade Angel Food Cake with 3 slices cut out - 2 stacked near the cake and one on a plate


I’ve been baking this angel food cake recipe as long as I can remember. It’s easy to make with 7 ingredients and turns out perfectly every time.

I prefer this homemade angel food cake to store bought because it’s infused with flavor (no bland cake here)! The crusty, sugary exterior and the light and fluffy inside make it absolutely irresistible.

The trick to making bakery-quality angel food cake is using a combination of vanilla extract and almond extract. Plus, I share my secret tip for easily removing the cake from the pan!

In this post, we’ll walk through how to make angel food cake with step-by-step photos and a video. Serve it with homemade whipped cream and berries for a light and delicious dessert.

a slice of Homemade Angel Food Cake on a plate with whipped cream and berries

Angel Food Cake Recipe: Ingredients & substitutions

overhead photo of the ingredients in this Homemade Angel Food Cake Recipe
  • All-purpose flour. Cake flour is a good substitute for all-purpose flour.
  • Egg whites. Fresh, organic egg whites yield the best results. You can also buy liquid egg whites, just make sure they only have one ingredient: Egg whites. If they have stabilizers, emulsifiers or preservatives they might not be able to be whipped to stiff peaks.
  • Granulated sugar. superfine sugar can be used in place of granulated sugar.
  • Vanilla/almond extracts. I don’t recommend making substitutions for these ingredients.
Homemade Angel Food Cake with two slices cut out of it and berries on top

How to Make Angel Food Cake

Let’s walk through how to make angel food cake step-by-step, and don’t forget to watch the video.

Line the bottom of the cake pan with parchment paper *my signature tip!*

Have you ever baked an angel food cake just to struggle to get it out of the pan? Well that won’t happen if you follow this step!

Begin by lining the bottom of a tube pan with parchment paper but do not grease the pan. Trace the inside and outside edges of the angel food pan with a pencil, then cut out the circle to fit in the bottom of the pan.

This is my special, fail-proof step to making sure the cake comes out of the pan easily.

two photos showing How to Make Angel Food Cake - lining bottom of the pan with parchment paper

Next, sift the flour into a medium bowl twice and set it aside. The light and airy flour results in a light and fluffy cake.

two photos showing How to Make Angel Food Cake - sifting flour

Then, put the egg whites and cream of tartar in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the wire whisk attachment or in a large bowl with a handheld mixer. Beat the egg whites until the mixture becomes white and fluffy.

two photos showing How to Make Angel Food Cake - beating egg whites & cream of tartar

Once the mixture becomes white and fluffy, add the sugar, vanilla extract, almond extract and salt and beat until soft peaks form.

Note. You do not want firm peaks. You want soft, pillowy peaks that fold over when lifted up.

two photos showing How to Make Angel Food Cake - beating ingredients until soft peaks form

Then, sift the flour one more time into the wet ingredients and stir gently to combine. Be careful not to over-mix the batter.

two photos showing How to Make Angel Food Cake - sifting flour into egg white mixture

Bake

Once the batter is finished, pour it into the prepared tube pan. 

Then, bake the cake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the cake springs back when lightly touched.

angel food cake in baking pan before and after baking

Next, remove the cake from the oven and invert the cake pan, placing the open side of the pan down on a cooling rack. NOTE: This is very important to ensure the cake does not fall or sink.

Let the cake cool completely before removing it from the pan.

angel food cake pan inverted cooling on a wire cooling rack

Serve

Serve the homemade angel food cake with fresh berries, a dollop of homemade whipped cream and strawberry sauce.

It’s also delicious with a dusting of powdered sugar or you can even coat it in chocolate buttercream frosting – which is how my favorite bakery in my hometown used to prepare it. Or, pour this homemade chocolate ganache over the top and let it harden.

Homemade Angel Food Cake on a serving plate with berries and powdered sugar

Troubleshooting Tips

Angel food cake is easy to make once you get the method down, but it’s also easy for things to go wrong. Here are a few tips to make ensure your success, most are to help avoid the cake falling (and therefore becoming dense instead of light and fluffy).

  • Make sure there is no egg yolk in the batter. Separate the whites and yolks in a separate bowl so you don’t accidentally get yolks into the mixing bowl.
  • Make sure you wash your mixing bowl well. Grease or butter of any kind in the batter will cause the cake to fall.
  • Do not use liquid egg whites with emulsifiers, stabilizers, etc. Use pure egg whites you separated, or a store-bought carton of egg whites that only has one ingredient – egg whites.
  • Do NOT grease the angel food cake pan. The cake needs to “grasp” the sides of the pan as it rises and cannot do that if it’s greased.
Homemade Angel Food Cake on a serving plate with berries and powdered sugar & two slices cut out

Store/Freeze

Store leftover angel food cake in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, or in the freezer for up to 1 month.

a slice of Angel Food Cake on a plate with a bite taken out of it, fork, whipped cream and berries

Angel Food Cake Recipe FAQs

Can you use all-purpose flour instead of cake flour for angel food cake?

Yes, this recipe calls for all-purpose flour and it turns out delicious! You can use cake flour for an even lighter cake.

Can you make angel food in a regular cake pan?

There are a few ways you can do this. I suggest reading this article for the most thorough explanation with many different ways: 5 Ways to Make an Angel Food Cake Without a Tube Pan.

Is angel food cake fat free?

This recipe is naturally fat-free.

Is angel food cake healthy?

This cake is still a special treat. Even though it may be lower in calories than some cakes since it’s made mostly with egg whites, it still has a considerable amount of sugar. So I would not consider it a health food.

Is a tube pan the same as a Bundt pan?

No. A tube pan is different shape than a Bundt pan. Bundt pans have many nooks and crannies that angel food batter will get stuck and and make it almost impossible to get it out.

Why do you cool angel food cake upside down?

Cooling the cake upside down ensures it won’t collapse as it cools.

a slice of Angel Food Cake on a plate with whipped cream and berries

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Angel Food Cake Recipe

Laura
This is the best homemade angel food cake recipe! It’s a light and fluffy, bakery-quality angel cake that turns out perfectly every time.
5 from 2 votes
Course cake, Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12 Servings
Calories 163
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time40 minutes
Cooling2 hours
Total Time2 hours 55 minutes

Ingredients 
 

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line bottom of an angel food pan with parchment paper but do not grease the pan. Trace the inside and outside edges of the angel food cake pan with a pencil, then cut out the circle to fit in the bottom of the pan.
  • Sift flour into a medium bowl twice, set aside.
  • Put egg whites and cream of tartar in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the wire whisk attachment. Beat until the mixture becomes white and fluffy.
  • Add sugar, vanilla extract, almond extract and salt and beat until soft peaks form.
  • Then, sift the flour one more time into the wet ingredients and stir gently to combine.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared angel food cake pan.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the cake springs back when lightly touched.
  • Remove the cake from the oven and invert the cake pan, placing the open side of the pan down on a cooling rack.
  • Cool completely before removing from cake pan.

Video

Notes

Ingredient Substitutions
  • All-purpose flour. Cake flour is a good substitute for all-purpose flour.
  • Egg whites. Fresh, organic egg whites yield the best results. You can also buy liquid egg whites, just make sure they only have one ingredient: Egg whites. If they have stabilizers, emulsifiers or preservatives they might not be able to be whipped to stiff peaks.
  • Granulated sugar. superfine sugar can be used in place of granulated sugar.
  • Vanilla/almond extracts. I don’t recommend making substitutions for these ingredients.
Store/Freeze
Store leftover angel food cake in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, or in the freezer for up to 1 month.

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 163kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 100mg | Potassium: 127mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 25g | Calcium: 4mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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2 Comments

  1. This looks great. I’ve made homemade angel food cake before but lately reverted to using boxed mix. Your recipe has inspired me to try homemade again!

    Question: what do you make to use up the yolks 🙂