This Angel Food Cake recipe is tender and fluffy – a no-fail, easy-to-make, homemade angel food cake that turns out perfectly every single time. So much better than a box mix!
If we had to pick a favourite dessert of all time and cheesecake was off the table, angel food cake would be the definite winner! It’s fluffy, tender, and has the perfect sweet flavour to go with fresh berries and delicious whipped cream!
Homemade angel food cake can be SO easy to make and our no-fail recipe is truly amazing. With a few simple no-fail tips and tricks, a homemade angel food cake is an easy summer dessert to add to your baking repertoire!
If you’ve never experienced this cloud-like dessert, you are in for a treat! Angel food cake is all about that incredible lightness and airy texture that pairs perfectly with fresh fruit and fluffy whipped cream!
So, what exactly is angel food cake? Well, it’s a cake that’s light, soft and fluffy, and it’s made with just a handful of basic ingredients. The magic lies in HOW it’s prepared.
Angel food cake is readily available as a boxed cake mix in most North American supermarkets but we definitely recommend skipping the box mix and trying our delicious recipe. It is truly stellar, and it’s far tastier and prettier than anything we’ve ever whipped up from a box mix. And if we’re honest, it’s not really that much more difficult to make!
To make this recipe you’ll need these ingredients:
- all purpose flour and cornstarch OR cake flour
- powdered sugar
- egg whites
- cream of tartar
- vanilla extract
- fruit and whipped cream for serving
When it comes to modifying this recipe, we suggest you proceed with caution. Cakes made with whipped egg whites are notoriously easy to mess up and one wrong move can cause the whole cake to deflate or prevent it from rising in the first place. We recommend adding flavour by incorporating a small amount of a powder ingredient into the flour mixture OR by adding a flavour extract.
- Lemon: Add some lemon zest and lemon extract to the batter and serve with lemon curd and whipped cream.
- Berry: Make your favourite homemade berry sauce to serve with the angel food cake.
- Cinnamon: Add some cinnamon to the cake batter and serve with cinnamon-infused whipped cream.
- Chocolate Cherry: Fold a little cocoa powder into the cake batter and serve with cherries and chocolate-flavoured whipped cream.
- Matcha: Fold a small amount of Matcha powder into the cake batter for a green tea twist!
- Almond Cream: Add some almond extract and flavour your whipped cream with almond extract too. Serve with some fruit and slivered almonds.
- Coconut: Fold in a small handful of shredded coconut to the batter and add some coconut extract. Serve with lime wedges and pineapple, and freshly whipped cream.
The most important kitchen item you’ll need to make this recipe is a great angel food cake pan. An angel food cake pan shouldn’t be non-stick. Choose an aluminum pan for best results. You can find my favourite one HERE (affiliate link). It’s basic, works fantastically every time, it’s easy to clean, and it won’t break the bank!
You’ll also need these items (affiliate links):
- a stand mixer or hand mixer
- a whisk
- a silicone spatula
- a mesh strainer or flour sifter
- measuring cups and spoons
- mixing bowls
Time needed: 2 hours
Throw away that boxed angel food cake mix and try these simple tips to make sure your homemade angel food cake turns out perfectly, just like mine!
- DON’T GREASE your pan!
Use a 10-inch fluted aluminum tube pan (also known as an angel food cake pan) and pour that batter right into it – no greasing required! Greasing the pan would prevent the cake from rising up in the oven as the batter would have nothing to cling onto as it bakes. And don’t worry, removing the cake is easy with a thin knife or offset spatula.
- WHIP those egg whites!
This recipe calls for 12 egg whites!! Whip them up to peaks as stiff as you can get, and don’t forget the cream of tartar. It lends stability to the egg whites. My favourite Kitchen Aid Mixer does a fabulous job of this – check it out HERE (affiliate link)!
- SIFT your dry ingredients twice or three times!
You want anything you add to the whipped egg whites to be as light as possible to keep the volume of the batter. No clumps here!
- FOLD with a whisk!
Using a whisk to fold the dry ingredients into the whipped egg whites will help the mixture keep its volume. Don’t forget to be VERY gentle and add the dry ingredients in 3-5 additions to ensure maximum volume!!
- Cool it upside-down with lots of air flow!
This ensures the cake keeps its height and doesn’t fall as it cools!
- SLICE with a serrated knife!
When it comes time to serve, cut the cake with your favourite serrated or bread knife. This will cut through the cake with little effort, keeping as much height as possible.
What makes Angel Food Cake so light and airy?
The secret to the light and airy texture of angel food cake lies in the beaten egg whites. When you whip the egg whites, they incorporate air, creating tiny air bubbles that give the cake its delicate structure. Beating the egg whites to the right consistency is crucial for achieving that fluffy and heavenly result.
How do I make angel food cake from a box mix?
If you’re short on time or prefer a convenient option, using a box mix for angel food cake is perfectly fine. Simply follow the instructions on the box, which typically involve adding water and beating the mixture before baking. It’s a quick way to enjoy a delicious angel food cake without the hassle of measuring and sifting ingredients.
Why does angel food cake require a tube pan?
Angel food cake requires a tube pan to ensure even baking and to maintain its unique shape. The tube in the centre of the pan allows heat to circulate and reach the centre of the cake, promoting even baking and preventing the cake from collapsing as it cools.
Can I bake angel food cake in a non-stick pan?
No, angel food cake requires an aluminum tube pan. As the cake bakes it sticks to the sides of the pan which is what allows it to rise so high. An angel food cake baked with a non-stick pan won’t rise.
How do I prevent my angel food cake from deflating?
To prevent your angel food cake from deflating, ensure that your egg whites are beaten to stiff peaks and properly folded into the batter. Avoid overmixing, as it can deflate the air trapped in the egg whites. Also, resist the temptation to open the oven door while the cake is baking, as the sudden change in temperature can cause it to collapse.
How do I store leftover angel food cake?
To store leftover angel food cake, place it in an airtight container or wrap it tightly in plastic wrap. It’s best to keep it at room temperature for up to two days. Avoid refrigerating angel food cake, as the moisture can affect its texture.
Can I substitute cake flour with all-purpose flour in angel food cake?
While it’s best to use cake flour for angel food cake, you can substitute it with all-purpose flour in a pinch as long as you replace two tablespoons of all purpose flour with cornstarch. Be sure to sift the all-purpose flour and cornstarch a few extra times to help achieve a lighter texture.
We hope you love this recipe as much as we do! Let us know in the comments below, what’s your favourite recipe to make from scratch? We’d love to know!
Watch the video below to see exactly how I make this recipe. You can find more delicious recipe videos on my YouTube channel
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- 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour, minus 2 tablespoons OR use 1 1/2 cups of cake flour in place of the all purpose flour and cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 12 egg whites, at room temperature
- 3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- a pinch of sea salt
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon real vanilla extract
- berries (or your favourite fruit sauce) and whipped cream for serving
- Preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Measure the all purpose flour and cornstarch (or the cake flour, if using) and 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar very carefully into a large bowl. Whisk together with a wire whisk.
- Sift the flour mixture into another large bowl using a fine sieve or flour sifter. Sift the flour mixture back into the first bowl and then again into the second bowl (so you'll sift the mixture at least 3 times). Set aside.
- Add the egg whites to a large mixing bowl or to the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.
- Whip on medium speed until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and salt.
- Continue whipping on high speed until soft peaks form.
- While continuing to whip on medium-high speed, add the 3/4 cup powdered sugar slowly – about 2 tablespoons at a time – until it’s fully incorporated.
- Increase the speed to high and whip until hard peaks form, adding the vanilla as it whips.
- Using a wire whisk, fold the flour mixture into the whipped egg whites about 1/4 cup at a time, making sure to fold very gently and slowly, so as not to deflate the egg whites. This is a critical step, so take care and take your time.
- Pour the batter slowly into an un-greased 10-inch angel food cake or tube pan and smooth out the top carefully.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes at 325 degrees Fahrenheit or until the top of the cake is golden brown and the cake springs back when you touch it gently.
- Invert the cake to cool (turn it upside down) on a glass to promote air flow. Cooling the cake upside down with lots of airflow will ensure that it doesn't fall as it cools and that it maintains its grand height.
- Let the cake cool completely to room temperature (I let it cool for at least an hour) before slicing and serving with fresh berries (or your favourite fruit sauce) and whipped cream.
Storage InstructionsStore this cake in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Serving SuggestionsWe suggest serving this angel food cake with fresh berries, fruit coulis or sauce, and whipped cream.
Notice: Nutrition is auto-calculated, using Spoonacular, for your convenience. Where relevant, we recommend using your own nutrition calculations.
*I’ve adapted this recipe from Anna Olson’s version from her cookbook Bake with Anna Olson (affiliate link).
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