How to Make Angel Food Cake (video)
A simple, everyday recipe for homemade Angel Food cake! My easy recipes uses regular, all-purpose flour and granulated sugar. It’s also less sweet than most store-bought Angel Food cakes! This ultra-fluffy, light and delicate white sponge cake is perfect for your next cake creation. Use this recipe for layered cakes, cupcakes and sheet cakes. It’s a simple base that’s great with any frosting or flavor! Try it with my ‘Berry Whipped Cream Frosting’ for a very delicate and fluffy cake!
Watch My Angel Food Cake Video!
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What is Angel Food Cake?
This delicate, light and fluffy cake is super simple and easy to make! Essentially, angel food cake is a version of classic sponge cake but made with egg whites only, no egg yolks involved. The egg whites are whisked to stiff peaks with sugar and vanilla, then the flour is slowly but gently incorporated. This cake gets all its volume from the egg whites so it’s important to handle them as gently as possible! Use this simple cake recipe as a base for just about any flavor – fruit, berries, jams, chocolate, custard or cream.
Ingredients for Homemade Angel Food Cake
Here are the ingredients you’ll need for this easy sponge cake recipe:
- Egg Whites: this sponge cake is made using only egg whites. Be careful when separating the eggs. You don’t want any egg yolk in this recipe!
- Sugar: use white granulated sugar or super fine sugar (castor sugar) for best results.
- Cream of Tartar (optional): this ingredient can help stabilize the egg whites. If you don’t have it, the recipe will still work well without it.
- Flour: use sifted all-purpose flour. You can use cake flour; just increase the amount by 2 tablespoons.
- Baking Powder
- Vanilla Extract: for adding flavor to the cake.
Preparing Your Equipment
Before starting with the ingredients, it’s important to also get your baking equipment ready! Egg whites are notoriously susceptible to deflating at the presence of any grease or oil so it’s very important to start with a clean mixing bowl. Wash your mixing bowl with a degreasing soup and white vinegar. Rinse clean with water and dry the bowl. Also, prepare the oven and your baking pan. Angel food cake needs to be baked in ungreased pans, otherwise it will not rise or stay fluffy. I recommend lining just the bottom of your pan with parchment paper, leaving the rest of the pan clean and ungreased.
How to Make Angel Food Cake
This recipe is so easy to make! Here’s how it’s done!
- The recipe starts with egg whites and sugar. I like to add all the sugar in at once and whisk the egg whites and sugar on low speed for 3 to 4 minutes, until the sugar crystals are starting to dissolve. Then turn up the mixer to high speed and whisk to stiff peak stage.
- Some recipes call for cream of tartar to stabilize the egg whites and you can add 1 teaspoon to the egg whites as they are mixing.
- Once the egg whites are at stiff peak stage, start sifting in the flour. I recommend pre-sifting the flour, then sifting it again when adding to the egg whites.
- IMPORTANT: the flour needs to be folded very, very gently into the egg whites in small increments. I usually split the flour into 3 portions and fold gently from the bottom of the mixing bowl. The flour likes to fall to the bottom of the bowl and it’s important to get all of it incorporated but do so gently! Angel food cake gets all its volume from the egg whites so it’s important to keep them extra fluffy!
- With the batter ready, drop heaping spatula-fuls of the cake batter into your prepared pan. I recommend using a scoop for cupcakes. Tap the filled pan against your work surface to ensure you don’t have any air pockets hiding in the pan. I also recommend using a small spatula to level the top of the batter before placing it into the oven.
- Bake the cake until it’s a light golden color on the outside.
- Once the cake is done, take it out of the oven and let it cool first before handling. If you are preparing this cake using the classic funnel cake pan, invert the cake onto a wire rack to cool. Inverting the cake will help keep it from deflating as it cools.
Enjoy the classic, funnel angel food cake with a dusting of powdered sugar, berries, jam or simple whipped cream. If you want to try out some different frostings and fillings, make sure to check out my ‘Back to Cake Basics’ series for more simple recipes that you can mix and match to create your own cake! Use the leftover egg yolks to make my ‘Easy Lemon Curd’ recipe, which is a great complement to this cake recipe!
Enjoyed this simple cake recipe? Check out some of my other basic cake recipes you’re sure to enjoy!
- The Best Sponge Cake – learn how to make the best vanilla sponge cake for your next dessert!
- Easy Vanilla Cake – my favorite recipe for basic vanilla cake!
- Whipped Cream Frosting – delicate and fluffy whipped cream for cakes!
- Chocolate Sponge Cake – super easy and delicious chocolate sponge cake recipe
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How to Make Homemade Angel Food Cake (video)
- 12 large egg whites, about 2 cups (475 ml)
- 1 1/2 cups white granulated sugar
- 1 tsp cream of tartar, optional
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
Preparing Your Equipment:
- Before starting with the ingredients, it's important to also get your baking equipment ready! Wash your mixing bowl with a degreasing soup and white vinegar. Rinse clean with water and dry the bowl. Preheat the oven to 325F/163C and prepare your baking pan(s). Angel food cake needs to be baked in ungreased pans, otherwise it will not rise or stay fluffy. I recommend lining just the bottom of your pan with parchment paper, leaving the rest of the pan clean and ungreased. I used a 9-inch funnel cake pan. You can also use two, 8-inch round cake pans or a 24-count cupcake pan.
Mixing the Cake Batter:
- Place the egg whites and sugar into your stand mixer bowl and whisk on low speed first for 3 to 4 minutes, until the sugar is about half-way dissolved. If you want to add in the cream of tartar, add it now. Turn the mixer up to high speed and whisk for 6 to 8 minutes, until the egg whites reach stiff peak stage and form glossy peaks. Add in the vanilla extract and whisk again for 30 seconds.
- In a separate bowl, pre-sift the flour and add the salt and optional baking powder; baking powder will help keep the cake fluffy. Begin sifting the flour into the egg whites; do this in small increments (I split the flour into 3 parts). Sift the flour into the egg whites, then fold gently but thoroughly from the bottom of the mixing bowl. It's very important to keep the egg whites as fluffy as possible. Once all the flour is incorporated, sift in more. Watch my video recipe to see how it's done!
- If using a funnel cake pan, drop heaping spoonfuls of the batter into the prepared pan. If using round cake pans, divide the batter evenly between the pans. Use a scoop for cupcakes. Once the batter is in the pan, tap the pan hard a few times against your work surface to fill any possible air pockets. Use a small spatula to leave the batter.
Baking the Angel Food Cake:
- Bake the cake in the preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes for the classic funnel cake recipe; the cake will be a light golden color on the top. Remove the cake from the oven and immediately invert it onto a cooling rack to cool; this will keep the cake from deflating. Cool for at least an hour before handling. For round cake pans, bake for 23 to 25 minutes, or just until the tops are set and lightly golden. For cupcakes, bake for about 20 to 22 minutes.
- Once the cake is cooled, run a knife or spatula along the edge of the cake to release it from the pan. Invert onto a cake stand and garnish with a dusting of confectioner's sugar and berries. Serve the simple funnel cake with jams, butter, whipped cream or berries. Frost layered cakes and cupcakes with my 'Whipped Cream Frosting' or 'Berry Whipped Cream Frosting'.