Homemade Angel Food Cake is my all-time favorite cake. I always requested this cake with strawberries and whipped cream for my birthday each year.
This angel food cake recipe is so light, fluffy, and incredibly delicious. It is very good plain or of course, you can always add whipped cream, fresh berries, homemade strawberry sauce, powdered sugar, etc.
Every time I take a bite out of a slice of angel food cake, I am flooded with so many amazing childhood birthday memories. This cake is fairly easy to make at home, it may seem daunting or intimidating, but don’t let that stop you from making this spectacular cake. If I can do it, you can do it. Let’s get baking!
Step 1: Gather the ingredients
In order to make homemade angel food cake you need just 6 ingredients with an optional 7th:
- Sugar – If you can find superfine/caster sugar use that, otherwise use white granulated sugar.
- Salt – This will balance out the sweetness and enhance the flavor of the other ingredients.
- Flour – I highly recommend using cake flour, but if you can’t find it, you can use all-purpose/plain flour.
- Egg whites – You will need a whole lot of egg whites. They are the star of this yummy angel food cake recipe. They should be room temperature if possible.
- Cream of tartar – The cream of tartar will help stabilize the egg whites. I don’t recommend leaving it out, but if you absolutely can’t find it, you can leave it out.
- Vanilla extract – This adds lots of flavor to the cake.
- Almond or Orange extract – This is optional, but helps add a bit more flavor.
- Tube Cake/Angel Food Cake Pan
- Food processor
- Cake spatulas
- Hand or Stand mixer
Step 2: How to make Angel Food Cake from scratch
Crack open an egg and shuffle the egg yolk back and forth from the shells and allow the egg white to fall into a measuring cup. Continue doing this until you have 1 1/2 cups worth, which is 10 to 12 large eggs. Allow the eggs whites to sit and come to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
Some people prefer to crack the egg into a bowl and then just grab the egg yolk gently with clean hands and remove it. Whichever method you prefer for separating them.
Note: It is CRUCIAL that there isn’t any bit of egg yolk in with the egg whites. Otherwise the bit of egg yolk will mess with the structure of the egg whites when beaten.
Preheat the oven to 350 F/176 C. Make sure the main rack is in the middle position.
Add the sugar to a food processor and blend it for about a minute to create the super fine sugar. The finer sugar will dissolve easier in the egg whites. Some recipes call for only using powdered sugar or a combination of both, but I tend to only use granulated.
Pour about a cup of the super fine sugar into a measuring cup. Set the cup aside to use later on in the recipe.
Add the salt and the cake flour to the food processor along with the remaining sugar. Blend those all together for about 30 seconds or so. This will make the mixture nice and light, which helps produce a good texture for the cake when baked.
Note: If you absolutely can’t find cake flour, you can use all-purpose flour, but it won’t turn out quite as good.
Step 3: It is all about the egg whites
Add the room temperature egg whites to a large bowl. Or if you are using a stand mixer add them to the mixer bowl. Then use a hand mixer or the stand mixer and mix until the egg whites are frothy. Add in the cream of tartar and the extract/s.
TIP: Make sure the beaters and the bowl are completely clean.
Blend some more, about two minutes, until the egg whites double or triple in volume, but are not quite soft peaks. When you pick up the beaters, the egg whites should still drizzle off. And you will still see some tiny bubbles around the edges.
With the mixer speed on medium, add the cup of sugar about one tablespoon at a time allowing it to to get mixed in completely before adding the next spoonful.
You can also just hold the measuring cup and pour a little in at a time as well.
After the sugar has been incorporated keep mixing the egg whites until soft peaks form. When you pull up the beaters out of the egg whites, the resulting peak should just curl over a bit, but the main peak keep its shape. That is what we mean when we say “soft peaks.”
Also if you, grab a pinch of the egg whites with your fingers and rub them together, you shouldn’t feel any gritty sugar.
Step 4: Finish the angel food cake batter
Add the light flour mixture about a third of it at a time and fold it into the egg whites. Don’t stir! Just fold the batter onto itself and keep doing that until the dry flour mixture is incorporated. Then fold in the next third, etc. until all incorporated and their is no dry flour mixture at all in the batter.
If you just stir or use the mixer it will ruin all that nice air you beat into the egg whites.
Now, the angel food cake batter is ready.
Step 5: Bake that homemade angel food cake
Take a completely clean tube pan/angel food cake pan and pour the cake batter into it. Then spread out the top evenly. Run a butter knife or knife through the batter in circles and zig zags to help settle the batter and collapse any really be air pockets.
If you don’t have the tube pan, you can find them online or at Walmart fairly cheap.
Note: Do not spray the pay with cooking spray or grease and flour it. It needs to be completely clean and dry. Otherwise the cake won’t climb up the walls like it is supposed to when baking.
Bake the cake for 35 to 45 minutes until the top gets nice and golden brown and it springs back when pushed. Also if you poke it with a bamboo skewer, the skewer comes out clean. The cake will also probably have cracks on top, which is completely normal, so don’t worry about that.
When the cake comes out of the oven, use oven mitts and flip the cake upside down and rest the middle part on a flipped over glass. This probably seems weird, but the cake has to cool upside down, otherwise it will probably collapse while cooling.
Tip: Some angel food cake pans like this one, have pieces of metal that the flipped over pan will rest on, so you don’t need to use a glass.
Allow the cake to cool upside down for 1 to 2 hours until completely cooled and at room temperature.
Step 6: Serve that cake
To remove the cake, run a cake spatula along the edge of the pan and the cake. Do this around the center part as well.
Push up on the bottom to release the cake, and then run the cake spatula or a knife on the bottom to loosen the cake.
Turn the cake upside down on a cake pedestal, cake board, or plate and the cake should release just fine. So awesome!
Slice the angel food cake with a bread knife or other serrated knife and serve it with fresh berries, whipped cream, this yummy homemade strawberry sauce, powdered sugar, etc.
My favorite way to eat it, is with sliced strawberries that have been lightly sugared, and whipped cream. So good! Enjoy!
How long does fresh Angel Food cake last?
It is best when eaten fresh within a day. It will last a few days at room temperature if kept in an airtight container, bag, or wrapped tightly with plastic wrap. If placed in the fridge it will last about a week. And if frozen it will last 4 to 5 months.
Can I add cocoa powder to it?
Sure! If you want to make a chocolate angel food cake, you can add 1/4 cup of sifted cocoa powder along with the flour and mix in the food processor with the sugar.
Can I use gluten-free flour to make Angel Food Cake?
Yes! You can use an all-purpose gluten-free flour instead of the cake flour. But only use 3/4 of a cup instead of a full cup of the flour. And then also use 1/4 cup of cornstarch.
Here are a few other cake recipes you may like:
Angel Food Cake
- Tube Cake/Angel Food Cake Pan
- Food processor
- Cake spatulas
- hand or stand mixer
- 1 3/4 cups of granulated sugar or fine sugar 350g
- 1/4 tsp salt 1g
- 1 cup of cake flour 115g
- 1 1/2 cups of egg whites about 10 to 12 large eggs (approx. 350ml)
- 1 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar 5g
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract 5ml
- 1/4 tsp. almond or orange extract 1ml
- Fruit for toppings whipped cream, etc.
- Begin by separating the egg whites from the yolks into a measuring cup until you have 1 1/2 cups worth. Save the yolks and use them in other recipes if you like. Allow the egg whites to come to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Make sure there is no yolk in the egg whites.
- Preheat the oven to 350 F/176 C. With the rack in the middle position.Add the sugar to a food processor. Pulse and blend for about a minute to produce a super fine/caster sugar. Pour about a cup of it into a measuring cup and set that cup aside for later.
- Now add the salt and the cake flour to the remaining sugar in the food processor. Blend for 20 to 30 seconds.
- Pour the egg whites in a large bowl. Mix with a hand mixer or the stand mixer until frothy. Then add in the cream of tartar and the extract/s. Mix until the egg whites double or triple in volume.
- Continue beating the egg whites. While beating the egg whites add the cup of sugar about a tablespoon at a time allow it to mix in before adding the next tablespoon. After the sugar is incorporated keep beating until you get soft peaks. When you pull up the beaters, a peak should form and then curl over a little bit. Those are soft peaks.
- Now, add about 1/3 of the flour mixture and fold it into the egg whites with a spatula. Do not stir, just keep folding the batter in on itself until there is no dry flour left. Then repeat with the next third, etc. Until the flour mixture is all incorporated.
- Now add the batter to an ungreased Angel Food Cake/Tube Cake pan. Make sure it is ungreased! Then run a butter knife through the batter in circles and zigzags to help it settle and break up any large air pockets.
- Place the cake in the oven, middle rack position, and bake it for 35 to 45 minutes, until a bamboo skewer comes out clean. It will be nice and golden brown on top, and probably have cracks, which is completely normal.
- When the cake comes out of the oven use oven mitts and flip the cake over and set the middle part on a flipped over glass. It will balance fine on it. Allow the cake to cool upside-down for 1 to 2 hours.
- Once the cake has cooled it can be removed from the pan. Run a cake spatula, butter knife, or something along the edge of the cake all around. Then do the same with the inside part of the cake. Push the cake up from the bottom, if that middle piece separates, which they often do. Then run the knife or spatula underneath the cake to loosen it.Flip the cake over onto a cake pedestal or plate or cake board, and you are done. Awesome!
- Now use a bread knife or other serrated knife and serve up a slice or two or three. Serve it with berries, whipped cream, etc. Enjoy!
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