Angel food cake had long been a favorite of mine, but NOT the store-bought version; I don’t know what they put in that but it’s not cool. Making this cake at home is easy peasy and you’ll LOVE the result, perfect for snacking or an amazing dessert.
This cake basically floats right into your mouth. It is all the reason you need to get that angel food cake pan. In a pinch you can use a 9×13 loaf pan with parchment paper at the bottom but it’s not quite the same. Click here to buy an angel food cake pan so you can make this cake the very best way.
How to Make Angel Food Cake
1. Set oven to 350F. Add the the flour and half the sugar to the bowl of a food processor and whiz, whiz, whiz. You’ll want them mixed and all fluffed up. Afterwards give them a quick sift into a bowl and set aside. If you don’t want to use a food processor you can just sift the ingredients 5 or 6 times.
2. Separate the egg whites into a small bowl transferring each egg white into a measuring up or bowl. Try not to crack the eggs right into the bowl because a piece of shell, bad egg or broken yolk can make things unpleasant to say the least. Add the egg whites, cream or tartar, salt and vanilla into the CLEAN bowl of your stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Mix on low then increase speed to medium-high.
3. Once the eggs are frothy begin slowly adding in the remaining sugar a tablespoon at a time while the mixer is running. Don’t rush this step as it’s the key to a thick marshmallowy meringue. You should scrape the bowl down once or twice during this step to achieve a uniform meringue with no pools of runny stuff at the bottom.
4. Run the mixer until you have stiff peaks that hold their shape and have a thick texture.
5. Fold the dry mixture to the meringue a quarter cup at a time.
6. Gently fold until the all the dry mixture has been incorporated. Use the spatula to cut through the middle then swoop up along the edge, turn the bowl and repeat.
7. Transfer the batter to the angel food pan and run a knife or skewer through to help break up any larger air bubbles. Transfer to the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes at 350F The cake is done when golden in color and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
8. After baking invert onto the counter to cool for an hour. The cake cools upside down in the pan so it retains it’s super-fluffy texture. Once cool, run a knife along the inner and outer edge then lift the cake from the pan and run a knife along the bottom. Invert cake onto a cake plate and dust with powdered sugar. Serve alone or with whipped cream and fruit.
Pro Tips For making this Recipe
- Measure your flour correctly! Adding too much flour to the recipe is the most common mistake. The best, and easiest way to measure flour is by using a scale. If you don’t have one then fluff your flour with a spoon, sprinkle it into your measuring cup, and use a knife to level it off.
- DON’T grease/butter/oil your cake pan! The batter needs to cling to the wall of the pan to rise properly.
- If you don’t have cream of tarter you can use an equal amount of white vinegar or lemon juice to stabilize the egg whites.
- Super fine sugar is amazing for meringues but if you can’t find it either whiz regular granulated sugar in the food processor or use it as is and just make sure to sprinkle in ever so slowly.
- Take care when folding in the dry ingredients. You’re incorporating them gently being careful not to crush the air bubbles in the meringue.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it healthy?
Well… I would not say it’s healthy to eat angel food cake but it is high in protein with no fat. There is a good deal of sugar in this cake however so while it’s a healthier cake for sure it is not quite health food.
What is the flavor?
Angel food cake tastes like an amazing marshmallow and the best vanilla cake ever magically combined into one light-as-air, delicious dessert.
Is there yeast in this recipe?
Nope! The only leavening agent in angel food cake is the beaten egg whites. When the air bubbles in the batter are heated they expand and lift the cake up, no yeast or baking soda/powder needed.
Can you make it in a regular cake pan?
The batter needs to climb up the pan so a regular cake pan will not work well. You can use a 9 inch loaf pan but will need to place a rectangle of parchment paper at the bottom so the cake will release after you run a knife down the sides.
Can I make it the day before?
Angel food cake can be made the day before, wrap with plastic and leave out at room temperature. The cake will not fare well for more than a day so don’t make it too far in advance.
Can you use all-purpose flour instead of cake flour?
This is one of the recipes where you really shouldn’t sub cake flour but if you really need to; measure out one cup of flour then remove three tablespoons and add two tablespoons of cornstarch back in.
If you’ve tried this Angel Food Cake Recipe then don’t forget to leave a rating and let me know how you got on in the comments below, I love hearing from you!
Angel Food Cake
- Angel Food Cake Pan
- 1 cup cake flour 100g
- 1 1/2 cups super fine sugar 225g, divided
- 1 1/4 cups egg whites about 10 eggs, 250mL
- 1 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract 8mL
- Place rack in the bottom third of your oven and set to 350F. You'll be using an angel food cake pan for this recipe but there is NO NEED to prep the pan, so no buttering and flouring etc.
- Separate the egg whites into a bowl or liquid measuring cup. The best practice is to separate the egg whites one-by-one into a small bowl, transferring the whites to your larger bowl or measuring up as you go. This way there's no heartache if a yolk breaks.
- You have two choices for the dry ingredients. If you have a food processor handy go ahead and add half the super fine sugar and all the cake flour to the bowl of your processor and whiz, whiz whiz. Then sift the mixture into a bowl and set aside. If you don't have a processor or just don't feel like using it then sift the flour and sugar into a bowl five or six times.
- Pour the egg whites, cream or tartar, salt, and vanilla into the CLEAN bowl of your stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Run on low then increase speed to medium-high.
- Once the egg whites become frothy you can sprinkle the remaining sugar in a tablespoon at a time. It's VERY important to add the sugar in slowly with the mixer running, if you dump it in too fast you'll never get a thick, luscious meringue.
- After you reach the stiff peak stage it's time to fold in the dry ingredients. Add about 1/4 cup of the dry mixture at a time and fold in with a spatula. Cut down the middle of the bowl and bring the spatula back up, scraping the side as you go, turn the bowl slightly and repeat until the flour and sugar is incorporated. Repeat until there is no dry mixture left.
- Transfer the batter to your cake pan and run a knife or skewer through a few times to help break up any air bubbles hiding in the batter.
- Bake at 350F 35-40 minutes or until a the cake is golden brown and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Invert onto the counter and allow to cool upside-down for about an hour. Most angel food cake pans have feet at the top so the cake can cool upside down but if yours doesn't just invert onto a wire rack.
- Once the cake is completely cooled run a thin knife along the inner and outer edge then pull the center piece out. Run the knife along the bottom of the pan and invert onto a cake stand. Serve alone or with whipped cream and berries.
- Measure your flour correctly! Adding too much flour to the recipe is the most common mistake. The best, and easiest way to measure flour is by using a scale. If you don't have one then fluff your flour with a spoon, sprinkle it into your measuring cup, and use a knife to level it off.
- DON'T grease/butter/oil your cake pan! The batter needs to cling to the wall of the pan to rise properly.
- If you don't have cream of tarter you can use an equal amount of white vinegar or lemon juice to stabilize the egg whites.
- Super fine sugar is amazing for meringues but if you can't find it either whiz regular granulated sugar in the food processor or use it as is and just make sure to sprinkle in ever so slowly.
- Take care when folding in the dry ingredients. You're incorporating them gently being careful not to crush the air bubbles in the meringue.