This is the only angel food cake recipe you will ever need; it is soft, light, and airy and only requires six ingredients. Once you make your own, you will never want a store-bought one again. The perfect dessert to make to wow your family and friends comes out perfect every time.
This cake is one of the lightest cakes you will ever eat. I always thought this cake was very challenging to make, but then I found a recipe that laid out the steps so easily and realized that it was actually a simple cake to make. There are so many ways to dress it up, and if there is anything left over, you can place cut-up pieces of cake and put them into my trifle recipe.
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Why you’ll love this angel food cake
- Simple ingredients I love that this angel food cake recipe only requires six ingredients, most of which are already in your kitchen. So, whenever I feel like angel food cake, I can bake one up.
- Texture This cake is so light and fluffy that it is like biting into a cloud. There is nothing like the silky texture of this cake.
- Variety of toppings This simple vanilla cake has a light sweetness, which is why adding some beautiful toppings is so essential. You can make it your own with berries and whipping cream or have it plain; there are many ways to serve this angel food cake.
Ingredients for this cake
- Granulated sugar You have two options. Here you can use superfine sugar, or I like to use granulated sugar and pulse it in the food processor until it is fine sugar. Either option is good. You want fine sugar so that it quickly dissolves into your egg whites.
- Cake Flour This recipe uses cake flour, not all-purpose flour. Cake flour results in a softer and lighter cake.
- Egg whites Make sure they are at room temperature before you get started with this recipe. The eggs will whip up much better than a cold egg. You also want to use a fresh egg; egg white from a carton won’t expand as much during the whipping process. There will be quite a few egg yolks left over I like to make this pound cake recipe with the leftovers.
- Cream of tarter The acid from the cream of tartar helps the egg whites reach their volume and structure. which is what you are wanting because this is where the structure of your cake comes from.
- Vanilla I recommend good quality vanilla or homemade pure vanilla. This is where the flavor comes from for your cake.
How to make Angel Food Cake
I’m confident that once you have made this angel food cake recipe, you will always want homemade and skip the checkout line at the grocery store.
- Pulse the granulated sugar into superfine sugar using a food processor or blender. If you’re using superfine sugar you can skip this step.
- Set sugar aside You want to set aside 1 cup of sugar; you will need it to add to the egg whites.
- Add Cake flour Pulse the remaining sugar and cake flour together until combined; this will create aeration in the dry ingredients.
- Beat Egg white and cream of tartar Beat the egg whites in a stand mixer until they become foamy.
- Add superfine sugar slowly add the sugar that was set aside to the egg whites and whip on medium-high until you reach soft peaks. This should take around 4-5 minutes.
- Vanilla add your pure vanilla once the egg white mixture has reached soft peaks.
- Fold in dry ingredients You want to fold your cake flour and sugar mixture into the egg whites in three additions. As tempting as it is to dump all the dry ingredients into the egg white, three additions are much better. Fold the first addition until you don’t see the flour in the egg white, then add the next addition, and repeat until there are no more dry ingredients.
- Pour and spread out the batter into a tube pan, do not grease the tube pan this will prevent the batter from rising properly.
- Bake at 325°F (163°C), you want to have a lower temperature for this cake to cook properly.
- Cool Place the tube pan upside down on a wire rack so that it will hold its shape and cool down.
- Run a knife along the edge in order to release the cake from the pan you will need to do this because the cake naturally sticks to the sides.
- Serve You can serve this cake on its own and slice it with a serrated knife, or you can decorate it with strawberries and whipping cream and then slice it.
Tips for making the perfect Angel Food Cake
This cake is simple to make but does require the baker to pay attention to a few details, here are few tips to help you achieve a successful angel food cake.
- Your eggs should be room temperature, so remove them from the fridge at least and hour before you begin or separate egg whites from yolks into a bowl an allow to sit for 30 minutes
- You want to make sure you have yolk-free egg whites; just the smallest amount of yolk in your egg whites will prevent your egg white from whipping up. I recommend separating each white into a separate bowl before adding it to the rest of the egg whites. This will help so that in case a yolk piece sneaks in there, you don’t have to waste all the egg whites you have separated and just the one possibly.
- Make sure the bowl you are using to whip your eggs is completely clean and dry. I like to wipe down the inside of the bowl with a little bit of lemon juice to cut any oils that might remain on the bowl.
- Be sure to gently fold in the flour, do not over beat in the flour I like to fold in the same direction so that I don’t loose all the air from the whipped egg whites.
- Don’t grease the pan, if you grease the pan it will interfere with the way the cake rises. So as hard as it is don’t grease it. By not greasing it is a little harder to remove from the pan but this perfectly normal. Be patient and allow it to cool at least 1 hour and then run a knife around the edge and the center of the pan to loosen it.
- Cool the cake upside down on a cooling rack, you want to allow it to cool like this for at least an hour.
What to serve with angel food cake
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do you cool an Angel Food Cake upside down?
Angel Food Cakes are leavened with air (egg whites) if you don’t cool them upside down they will collapse. As soon as the cake comes out of the oven immediately place on a cooling rack.
How to Store an Angel Food Cake
When you are ready to store the cake you want to place it in an air tight container or wrap tightly and store in an airtight bag. It will keep up to two days at room temperature or one week in the fridge.
The Best Angel Food Cake
- 1 Stand Up Mixer or hand mixer
- 1 angel cake pan smooth sides not a bundt pan
- Adjust the oven rack to the lower middle position and preheat oven to 325°F (163°C).
- In a food processor, pulse the sugar until fine and powdery. Remove 1 cup and set aside to use in step 3; keep the rest inside the food processor. Add the cake flour and salt to the food processor. Pulse 5-10 times until sugar/flour/salt mixture is aerated and light.
- In a large bowl using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip egg whites and cream of tartar together on medium-low until foamy, about 1 minute. Switch to medium-high and slowly add the 1 cup of sugar you set aside. Whip until soft peaks form, about 5-6 minutes. See photo and video above for a visual. Add the vanilla extract, then beat just until incorporated.
- In 3 additions, slowly sift the flour mixture into the egg white mixture using a fine mesh strainer, gently folding with a rubber spatula after each addition. To avoid deflating or a dense cake, don’t add the flour mixture all at once. Sift and very slowly fold in several additions. This is important! Pour and spread batter into an ungreased 9 or 10 inch tube. Shimmy the pan on the counter to smooth down the surface.
- Bake the cake until a toothpick inserted comes out clean, about 40-45 minutes. Rotate the pan halfway through baking. The cake will rise up very tall while baking. Remove from the oven, then cool the cake completely upside-down set on a wire rack, about 3 hours. Once cooled, run a thin knife around the edges and gently tap the pan on the counter until the cake releases.