This homemade angel food cake is wonderfully light and fluffy, and easy to make with just a few ingredients. Top it with whipped cream and fresh berries for a real showstopper!
What’s in this Angel Food Cake Recipe?
Made without butter, it’s less dense than traditional cakes, and it’s super simple to make. It’s perfectly airy and light, meaning that you can easily enjoy more than one slice.
- Cake Flour Substitute: The recipe card calls for a mix of all-purpose flour and cornstarch as a substitute for cake flour. But if you have some cake flour on hand, you can use an equivalent amount (1 cup) instead.
- Sugar: Use granulated sugar.
- Egg Whites: Egg whites only! Make sure to fully and properly separate the egg whites from the yolk. You don’t want any yolk getting mixed into the cake, as that will affect the final texture.
- Vanilla Extract: Vanilla adds flavor to the cake.
- Cream of Tartar: This is an acidic ingredient that helps to stabilize the egg whites, which prevents the cake from collapsing–it’s delicate!
- Salt: A little bit of kosher salt enhances the overall flavor.
Pro Tip: Change up the flavor of this cake by using a different extract, like almond or citrus!
Variations on Homemade Angel Food Cake
This angel food cake is endlessly riffable!
- For a chocolate angel food cake, add ½ cup of unsweetened cocoa powder to the batter and top with chocolate whipped cream frosting.
- For a lemon angel food cake, swap some or all of the vanilla extract for lemon extract.
- For a pineapple angel food cake, use pineapple extract and top with fresh chopped pineapple.
- For a strawberry angel food cake, use strawberry extract and top with chopped fresh strawberries or strawberry preserves.
Angel food sponge cake gets its name from its super light, fluffy, and airy texture. It doesn’t include any fats like typical cakes, and relies solely on whipped egg whites for its structure.
Use a tube pan for this cake recipe. You can find pans with removable bottoms, which is really helpful to keep the cake in tact. A bundt pan isn’t going to work for this recipe.
The simple list of ingredients doesn’t include any fats, which makes this cake a relatively light and “healthy” option as far as desserts go. It’s low in calories, but of course there is plenty of sugar.
A slice of angel food cake contains 148 calories.
Unfortunately, this recipe for angel food cake is not gluten-free due to the use of all-purpose flour. I do not have experience making this cake gluten-free, but you could certainly try with a gluten-free 1:1 baking flour.
Yes, angel food cake freezes remarkably well for up to 6 months!
How to Store Angel Food Cake
Once your angel food cake has cooled completely, remove it from the pan. It’s best enjoyed the day it’s made, but it will keep for 2 days at room temperature. Store it in an airtight container or cover with plastic wrap. It will keep for up to 1 week in the refrigerator.
How to Freeze Angel Food Cake from Scratch
This cake also freezes well. Wrap the cooled cake in plastic wrap and place in a freezer-safe container. It will keep for up to 6 months. Thaw the frozen cake for 3-4 hours, or overnight, at room temperature before serving.
Toppings for Angel Food Cake
I love this angel food cake served simply with whipped cream and fresh berries. It’s also delicious with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a drizzle of caramel sauce, hot fudge sauce, or lemon curd. My favorite way to serve it, though, is as part of a strawberry shortcake trifle!
Angel Food Cake Recipe
- ⅞ cup all-purpose flour 105 grams
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch 15 grams
- 1½ cups granulated sugar 300 grams, divided
- 12 egg whites 420 grams
- 1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract 6 grams
- 1½ teaspoons cream of tartar 5 grams
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- Kitchen Scale (optional)
- Stand Mixer (optional)
- Hand Mixer (optional)
- Move the top oven rack to the lowest position. Preheat oven to 350°F. A tube pan with removable bottom works best for this recipe. Do not grease or spray the pan.
- In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cornstarch, and ¾ cup of the sugar. Set aside the extra sugar and the sifted ingredients.⅞ cup all-purpose flour, 2 tablespoons cornstarch, 1½ cups granulated sugar
- In a large bowl, using a hand or stand mixer, beat the egg whites, cream of tartar, vanilla, and salt on a high speed until soft peaks have been reached.12 egg whites, 1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract, 1½ teaspoons cream of tartar, ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- At this point, slowly add the remaining sugar to the egg mixture while continuously beating into stiff peaks.1½ cups granulated sugar
- Once the egg whites have reached a stiff peak, use a spoon or spatula to gently fold the dry ingredients into the eggs just until blended.
- Pour the batter into the ungreased tube pan. Bake for 40-45 minutes, just until the top is browned, completely dry, and has started to crack.
- Once done baking, immediately take the pan out of the oven and turn it upside on top of a bottle to prevent the cake from collapsing. Cool upside down for 1 hour before removing from pan. Once cooled, to remove the cake, slide a knife along the edges of the pan until it has been released.
- Make sure the eggs are beaten into stiff peaks so that the cake holds its shape when it is baked.
- Don’t let any egg yolk get into the egg whites. The yolk can prevent the whites from forming peaks as they contain fat.
- Carefully fold the dry ingredients into the egg whites to keep as much air in the batter as possible.
- Don’t use a bundt pan for this recipe. The angel food cake needs the structure of a tube pan to keep it together.
- A stand mixer will work best to beat into peaks, and more quickly, but a hand mixer will work as well. A hand mixer will double the time it takes to reach peaks.
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