The BEST Angel Food Cake is a timeless dessert that is easy to make. Tender and sweet, this cake is amazing with berries and whipped cream!
Angel Food Cake, gorgeously topped with whipped cream and fresh strawberries, is a classic dessert with only eight ingredients to achieve a wonderfully light and fluffy cake! Whip together flour, sugar, egg whites, cream of tartar, and flavored extracts to make a lighter-than-air dessert everyone loves!
Growing up, Angel Food Cake was a once-a-year, super special dessert that led me to believe it was both difficult to make and utterly worth it. I avoided making it for years, preferring to pick up a pre-made cake at the store. One day, I buckled down and made my first homemade Best Angel Food Cake and my mind was blown! It was pretty easy, and the taste was so delicate and light without the usual denseness of store-bought cakes. Having done it once, making this angel food cake is now something I do way more than I probably should, but with no regrets because it tastes so unbelievably fantastic!
Angel food cake is a great way to celebrate fresh summer fruits, like an Angel Food Cake Berry Trifle layered with delicious berries! When summer is over, celebrate fall’s warm, comforting flavors with a Pumpkin Pie Angel Food Cake!
Other Recipes to Serve with The BEST Angel Food Cake
- This cake is best friends with every berry out there, so topping your cake with a bright, fresh Raspberry Sauce is a delicious choice!
- Angel Food cake is so flavorful as it is, so why enjoy it with Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries on the side?
Pantry Items: To make this cake, you will need cake flour, granulated sugar, salt, cream of tartar, and both vanilla and almond extract.
Wet Ingredients: This recipe requires egg whites and a little cold water. You can use fresh egg white you’ve separated yourself or liquid egg white in a carton.
Whipped Cream: Grab some heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract to whip up a homemade batch of whipped cream to top your cake with.
Fruit: While it’s not a requirement, having some fresh strawberries or a mix of berries to go with your angel food cake is an excellent addition to this dessert.
How to Make The BEST Angel Food Cake
STEP ONE: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line the bottom of a tube pan with parchment paper. Do not grease the tube pan. Lay two large squares of parchment paper on the counter, sift the flour, salt, and 1/4 cup of sugar from sheet to sheet six times, and then set aside. Sift the remaining sugar and set that aside as well.
STEP TWO: Whip the egg whites until foamy using a stand mixer. Add the cream of tartar, vanilla, and almond extracts and beat on medium-high until thick. Once thick, add one Tablespoon of sugar at a time and beat the mixture until stiff peaks form.
STEP THREE: Remove the bowl from the mixer, sprinkle 1/3 of the flour mixture over the stiff peaks, and fold gently. Continue until all of the flour has been folded in.
STEP FOUR: Gently scoop the cake batter into the prepared tube pan and smooth the top with a spatula.
STEP FIVE: Bake the angel food cake for 40-45 minutes or until golden. Once out of the oven, cool the cake upside down on a wire rack until the cake has cooled completely.
STEP SIX: To remove the cake, run a thin knife around the outside edge and the tube of the pan to release the cake. Press on the base to lift the cake from the pan. Turn it upside down onto a serving plate or cake stand. Lift the base to remove the tube from the cake, then gently peel off the parchment paper.
STEP SEVEN: Top the angel food cake with fresh strawberries for a pretty presentation. Then cut the cake into slices and serve with whipped cream and strawberries or enjoy as is!
Tips for Success
- Separate the eggs over a small bowl and pour the white into the bigger bowl. This way, if a yolk breaks, you only lose one egg instead of having to start over completely. Be sure to save the yolks for other recipes like lemon curd!
- Remember NOT to grease the tube pan! The Angel Food cake will not be able to rise properly and will come out flat if the pan is greased.
- It is SUPER important to cool this cake upside down. Doing so helps prevent the cake from deflating as it cools from weighting the cake press down into the bottom of the pan. Since it’s upside down, any of that pressure pushes the cake toward the top of the pan where things are open, so there’s no compression.
Is Angel Food Cake the healthiest cake?
As you can see from the recipe, there is no butter, milk, or egg yolks in this cake, which makes Angel Food cake pretty darn healthy as far as desserts go! No fat and low calories make this cake a great option when you want something light-tasting and light on the diet. Because Angel Food cake is lightly sweet with a beautiful texture, toppings are optional, which can help cut down on calories and sugar. Whipped cream and berries are delicious with this cake, but Angel Food cake is also perfect!
Do I need a special pan to make Angel Food Cake?
While most other cakes can be made in pans of different shapes and sizes, Angel Food cake must be made in a tube pan, preferably with feet. The tube pan is essential for the Angel Food cake to rise properly and achieve the light fluffiness it is known for. This special pan, while slick, is not entirely nonstick, so the cake batter can lightly cling to the sides of the pan as it rises. This holds the cake in shape so the inside of the cake can cook and steam to perfection. This is why tube pans should never be greased for this cake.
The feet on the sides of the pan allow you to cool the cake upside down without having to balance it on a wire rack like you would with a regular tube pan. This is an option if you have a standard tube pan, but I recommend going that route if you can get a footed pan.
More Cake to Enjoy with Every Occasion!
- Strawberry Jello Cake
- Magic Custard Cake
- Classic Carrot Cake
- Pina Colada Pineapple Upside Down Cake
- Red Velvet Pound Cake
*This post was originally posted on 05/31/2014.
Angel Food Cake
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line the bottom of an angel food cake pan with parchment paper, but DO NOT grease the paper or the pan.
- Lay 2 large pieces of parchment paper on the counter. Sift together the flour, salt, and 1/4 cup of sugar over one piece of parchment. Place the sifter onto the other sheet of parchment, pour the dry ingredients back into the sifter, and repeat until you have sifted the flour mixture 6 times total. Set aside.
- Sift the remaining 1 cup of sugar over the empty piece of parchment paper and set aside.
- In a stand mixer (or in a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer) beat the egg whites on medium speed until foamy. Add the cream of tartar, vanilla extract, and almond extract. Beat on high speed until thick.
- Add the sifted 1 cup of sugar to the eggs 1 tablespoon at a time. Beat until stiff peaks form.
- Remove the bowl from the stand mixer and sprinkle 1/3 of the flour mixture over the top. GENTLY fold the flour mixture into the egg whites with a rubber spatula. Repeat until all the flour has been incorporated.
- Carefully spoon the angel cake batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with the spatula. (Do not tap the pan on the counter, you want to keep as much air in the batter as you can.)
- Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until the top is golden.
- Remove from oven and place the cake pan on a wire rack upside down until the cake has completely cooled. (Turning the cake upside down prevents it from deflating as it cools.)
- Turn the cake right side up and run a thin knife around the outside edge and around the tube to release the cake from the pan. Press the bottom of the pan to lift the cake from the outer wall. Turn the cake over onto a serving plate or cake stand. Lift the base/tube part of the pan away and gently pull off the parchment paper.
- Add the heavy cream to a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or pour it into a large mixing bowl. Beat on medium-high speed until the cream begins to thicken.
- Pour in the vanilla and powdered sugar and continue to beat until stiff peaks form. (Be careful not to overwhisk or you'll make butter.)
- Cut the cake into slices. Serve on a plate topped with whipped cream and fresh strawberries for serving, if desired.
- If you don’t have cake flour, you can use all-purpose flour and cornstarch instead. Measure 1 cup of flour and then remove 2 tablespoons of flour from the cup. Then, stir 2 tablespoons of cornstarch into the flour.
- You can use liquid egg whites instead of separating eggs if desired.