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The Best Angel Food Cake (8 Ingredients)

This Angel Food cake is divine; store-bought varieties don’t come close.  Homemade angel food cake is soft, pillowy, fluffy. It’s scrumptious all on its own, or with berries and whipped cream. 

homemade angel food cake sliced on plate
Homemade angel food cake is extraordinarily fluffy, tender, and soft.

Homemade Angel Food Cake is not the same as store-bought

When your previous experience with angel food cake involves only store-bought versions, it’s easy to assume all angel food cake tends to be on the bland-dry-boring spectrum of cakes. That’s where this homemade angel food cake will absolutely waltz in and change all past notions.

Homemade angel food cake is heads above the rest:

  • It smells amazingly aromatic as it bakes.
  • It’s the opposite of bland; homemade angel food cake so lavish with flavor, it needs no embellishment. People eagerly devour this delicious cake all on its own.
  • It’s also not even a little bit dry. This angel food cake recipe yields the most fluffy, tender, and pillowy soft cake.
  • This angel food cake is actually dairy-free, containing no butter and no milk.
  • There are only 8 ingredients to this recipe.
homemade angel food cake in tube pan
A tube pan is essential for angel food cake.

Only 8 Simple Ingredients

Angel food cake may feel like it belongs in the professional-baker category of desserts, but take heart: it only requires 8 simple pantry ingredients to make this fluffy soft cake come true, anytime you want.

Aside from the usual players like eggs, vanilla, sugar, and salt, you’ll also need cake flour, cream of tartar, and almond extract.

Cake Flour

The main difference between cake flour and all-purpose flour lies in the lower protein content of cake flour. Protein becomes gluten when liquids are introduced, which directly affects the structure and texture of baked goods.

With airy-light cakes like our angel food cake, the lower protein content is essential to achieving that signature pillowy soft crumb.

Cream of Tartar

Cream of tartar may be a strange name, but it’s a pantry staple for baking. It helps bind ingredients together and stabilizes light and fluffy baked goods. It’s essential when recipes involve whipping plentiful air into egg whites.

homemade angel food cake on platter
Homemade angel food cake is delicious on its own.

Egg Whites Only

Use large egg whites only; it’s important to remove any yolk that accidentally falls in with the egg whites. I’ve definitely plucked bits of yolk out of the whites, just to ensure the egg whites whip up as nice and airy as possible.

Soft Peaks vs. Stiff Peaks

Use either a stand mixer or an electric hand mixer to whip the egg whites into required peak levels. Be sure eggs are at room temperature.

Soft peaks: when you turn gently pick whisk up from the mixture and turn it upside down, the peaks are soft and gently bend over at the tips

Stiff peaks: when you turn whisk upside down, the peaks hold up strong and pointy, without bending at tips. 

homemade angel food cake with whipped cream and berries
Whipped cream and berries compliment angel food cake perfectly.

Other Cakes to Bake and Eat

Try this easy apple cake, too:


homemade angel food cake on platter

The Best Angel Food Cake

4.90 from 19 ratings
This Angel Food Cake is indeed divinely delicious. It is 200% better than any store-bought version, and easy to make at home. You will need a 2-piece angel food cake pan for best results. I bought my pan specifically for this cake, and I'll be using it again and again.
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Servings: 12

Ingredients  

  • 1 cup cake flour
  • ¾ cups sugar
  • 12 large egg whites only, room temperature
  • 1 ½ tsp cream of tartar
  • ¼ tsp table salt
  • ¾ cups sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp almond extract, must have

Instructions

  • Important: Do NOT grease the 2-piece angel food cake pan.
  • Preheat oven to 375F. Sift cake flour and 3/4 cup sugar into a bowl and set aside. 
  • Using stand mixer or electric hand mixer on medium-high speed, beat egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt until it forms soft peaks. Add the other 3/4 cup sugar slowly, and then beat on high until stiff peaks form.
  • Beating on LOW, add in flour mixture and both extracts slowly, stopping as soon as batter is incorporated. Do not over-mix. Using rubber spatula, fold in the sides and bottoms of bowl, to fully incorporate.
  • Spoon batter into un-greased angel food cake pan. Gently shake to even out batter.
  • Bake 30-35 min, or until the top springs back with a gentle touch, and top is golden.
  • Invert pan upside down, to cool completely. Run a thin knife around pan sides, and remove bottom from the sides. Gently cut bottom away from pan.

Notes

It's important that not even a little egg yolk gets mixed in with the egg whites.
Soft peaks: when you turn gently pick whisk up from the mixture and turn it upside down, the peaks are soft and gently bend over at the tips
Stiff peaks: when you turn whisk upside down, the peaks hold up strong and pointy, without bending at tips. 
If you enjoyed this recipe, please come back and give it a rating ♡

Nutrition

Calories: 158kcal | Carbohydrates: 34.5g | Protein: 4.5g | Fat: 0.2g | Sodium: 104mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 25.3g
Course: cake, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Diet: Low Fat
Method: baking

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