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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:


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homemade angel food cake on platter

The Best Angel Food Cake

4.9 from 15 reviews

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 min
  • Cook Time: 30 min
  • Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 12 1x

Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 12 large egg whites only, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/4 tsp table salt
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract (must have)

Instructions

  1. Important: Do NOT grease the 2-piece angel food cake pan.
  2. Preheat oven to 375F. Sift cake flour and 3/4 cup sugar into a bowl and set aside. 
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Spoon batter into un-greased angel food cake pan. Gently shake to even out batter.
  6. Bake 30-35 min, or until the top springs back with a gentle touch, and top is golden.
  7. 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

  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 158
  • Sugar: 25.3 g
  • Sodium: 104 mg
  • Carbohydrates: 34.5 g
  • Fiber: 0.2 g
  • Protein: 4.5 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Author: Chew Out Loud
  • Category: dessert, cake
  • Method: baking
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Low Fat

Keywords: Homemade Angel Food Cake, Easy Angel Food Cake

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71 comments

    • Colleen

    I love angel food cake, but for some reason I’ve never actually made one. And cakes are kinda my thing! I have got to try this recipe!!

    • Nina

    Do I have to use a 2 piece cake pan?

      • chewoutloud

      Nina, you can try a one piece, but the 2 piece pans that come apart after baking do help to remove the cake easier. Enjoy!

    • DanielleJD

    DELICIOUS! And so easy – I’ve eaten half of my quality control cake already 🙂

      • chewoutloud

      YAY, Danielle – so happy you liked it 🙂 It’s our fave angel food cake ever. Happy continued baking 🙂

    • Faith

    Can I use champagne instead of the vanilla & the almond extract?

    • Roberta

    This IS the best angel food cake. I served it with Ina Garten’s raspberry sauce and fresh whipped cream. Absolutely delicious.

      • chewoutloud

      So happy you liked it, Roberta!

    • Maddy

    Didn’t have cake flour, so I used all purpose flour/cornstarch. Also halved the recipe bc only had 6 eggs lol but it still turned out great!!!

      • chewoutloud

      Wow, that’s great, Maddy. So glad you liked it! Thanks for coming over and letting us know 🙂

        • Sonya

        question – there is sugar used twice and 2/3 cup each time?

          • chewoutloud

          Yes, Sonya, there are 2 separate sugar amounts (2/3 cup each time) per instructions. Hope you love this cake! Enjoy 🙂

    • Becky Neustaedter Clancy

    I made this for a baby shower today but made a couple adjustments. I cross referenced an angel food recipe from Michael Symon of The Chew and added the extracts to the egg whites when I started beating them instead of trying to add them after the whites had formed stiff peaks–I found this to be easier and I was less likely to overmix when I added the sugar/flour mixture. I also added the zest of a lemon because that is what his recipe called for and it sounded good to me! It came out perfectly–I’m so glad you mentioned the 2-piece tube pan! I had to find one, but I can’t imagine making one without it! Everyone loved the cake! I’m not a huge angel food cake fan, but this one is a keeper! Thank you!

      • chewoutloud

      You’re so welcome, Becky! Glad you all liked it 🙂 Great idea, bringing it to a baby shower!

    • Rachel

    How would you adjust the temperature/timing for cupcakes?

      • chewoutloud

      Rachel, for this particular recipe I’d stick with the whole cake, because it works best with an angel food tube pan that doesn’t have any nonstick coating. Plus, the two-piece pan that separates makes it really easy to remove the cake. As for cupcakes, I’ve never tried that and can’t adequately advise for bake/temp time unless I do the recipe testing for it. If I were testing the recipe, though, I would use paper liners,to help with oven rise. I’d also keep same temp but start checking early with toothpick. Let me know if you decide to give it a go! 🙂

    • Kathiw

    I think I blew it ! I got the stiff peaks but when adding wet to dry I might have over mixed it . I wanted to be sure to get it folded in correctly with the rubber spatula and I noticed my fluffy volume decreased. Baked it anyway it was my first attempt. So. I see it baked well but only half the volume. Any suggestions on when mixing wet to dry without overdoing it?

      • chewoutloud

      Kathi, you’re on the right track! You’re absolutely right that if wet/dry gets overmixed, the volume will decrease too much and thus the baked cake won’t rise as much. Are you baking in an ungreased angel food cake pan? It’s imp to leave it ungreased so the batter has some cling action as it rises. As far as the folding, I very gently and softly use a rubber spatula to repeatedly “flip” batter over and over on top of itself (very softly!) until most of it is incorporated. The volume shouldn’t decrease by too much; we’re just trying to get the whites mixed into the batter until there are no large egg white streaks left. But a few little streaks are okay. And very gently place batter into the pan, without dumping it in, so that no volume is lost there. You really sound like all you need is a try #2, and you’ll have yourself a beautiful cake! 🙂

    • Nicole

    Ours came out very liquidy before baking and did not fluff up much when baked…was maybe 1/4 of thickness of pan. Re read directions 2-3 times and followed to a T….and thoughts?

      • chewoutloud

      Nicole, I do have a couple of thoughts (because this cake definitely should bake up nice and tall)… did you use the full amount of large size egg whites, and were they at room temp? Did any yolk get into the egg white batter? Also, it takes quite a bit of time to whisk to the soft peaks and then later to stiff peaks; whisking to stiff peaks is essential to getting all that airy-ness into the batter. Otherwise, it will not bake up fluffy. When incorporating wet/dry ingredients, be sure to either whisk on very low speed or you can also use a rubber spatula to fold them into each other. The key is not to over mix here. If the egg white batter gets overmixed, it will also prevent baking up fluffy. Also, how fresh is your cream of tartar? It’s important for that to be fresh. Even though the batter is somewhat liquidy, it should be bubbly/frothy. Otherwise, it may not have been whisked to stiff peaks or possibly overmixed later on. Lastly, the pan should not be greased. That helps the batter “cling” to the sides as it rises in the oven, and prevents deflating. Hope I was able to help? I encourage you to try again, as this is really a super duper angel food cake 🙂 Thanks for writing in, Nicole! 🙂

    • Tiffany

    Do you think I could use the egg white beaters instead?

      • chewoutloud

      Tiffany, I’ve never use Egg Beaters, so I’m not sure about the results; I’d definitely want to do recipe testing with that before I give you good advice on it 🙂 If you do try it, let me know how it turns out. 🙂

    • Payrick Lin

    Hi, first time trying to bake! where should the oven rack be placed? My family and I can’t wait to try this!

      • chewoutloud

      I usually place oven rack on lower middle position… gives the cake some breathing space 🙂 Hope you guys love it as much as we do 🙂

    • Petra

    Should i reduce the temperature after putting it inside the oven ore keep it at 375 for 30 min?

      • chewoutloud

      Hi, Petra! 🙂 No need to reduce the temp. Hope you guys love it, and thanks for coming over 🙂

    • Brianna

    Can I use a bunt pan instead of a angel food cake pan?

      • chewoutloud

      Brianna, I used to wonder the exact same thing, but as it turns out, it does need to be made in a tube pan that has 2 separate pieces (main part and removable bottom part)… it is really the only way the cake comes out nicely in one piece. I bought my pan the minute it went on sale, and it was SO worth it! Serious, this angel cake in itself is worth the purchase. But this pan also makes great chiffon cakes, too https://www.chewoutloud.com/2014/07/22/banana-chiffon-cake-2/

    • Anna

    Hi! I’d like to bake this cake for my mum’s birthday, however she’s gluten intolerant and I’d like to substitute cake flour with shredded coconut. What do you think? Also, she doesn’t like sweet cakes… I know you reduced the original amount of sugar, but is it still very sweet?

    Thanks! Xx

      • chewoutloud

      It’s not very sweet, at least by our standards 🙂 I’m not sure about the gf flour, though, because this recipe really is developed for use with the regular kind. You might want to check out gf substitution recommendations first.

    • Megan Alyse

    Wonderful recipe!

      • chewoutloud

      Thanks, Megan 🙂

    • Tari

    Wow! I didn’t have an angel food cake pan, so I made cupcakes using this recipe. They’re amazing! So much better than store bought! Just barely sweet. I may have to break down and buy a pan.

      • chewoutloud

      Yay, Tari! So glad you enjoyed this 🙂

    • Sharon K Collier

    Do you think the sugar could be substituted with splenda?

      • chewoutloud

      Hmm, I’m not sure how that will turn out, Sharon… I haven’t always had the same results baking with other sweeteners vs. regular sugar. If you do try this, I’d love to hear how it turns out! Thanks for coming over, and I do hope you’ll try this yummy angel food cake! The great thing is that it’s quite healthy, given its use of all egg whites!

    • Laura

    any high altitude adjustments? I live near Denver

      • chewoutloud

      Laura, I’m not sure how how your altitude is, but here is a great link to high altitude baking adjustments! (knowing me, I’d try the cake as written first, and then make adjustments only if needed the second time) Hope that helps, and so glad you visited! 🙂

    • Julie @ Lovely LIttle Kitchen

    I love all your cakes! And good for you for taking those boys out with you for your birthday!

      • chewoutloud

      Thank you, Julie! 🙂

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