Angel Food Cake


angel food cake

Angel Food Cake

This is a fantastic angel food cake recipe that is very spongy and light! It is definitely worth the effort to make! I got this recipe from the cookbook, The Joy of Cooking, which provides alot of tips and information on the science and correct baking instructions of an angel food cake.

Please refer to the bottom of this post to read about angel food cakes and tips on better baking!


  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 1 cup cake flour {not all-purpose or self-rising}
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 11 egg whites
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  • 2 tsp vanilla


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Sift flour and salt three times in a bowl and set aside for later use; Sift sugar twice in a bowl and set aside for later use.

angel food cake 3

4. Separate the egg whites from the yolks carefully.

angel food cake 6

5. In a mixer beat egg whites on medium-high until foamy {about 1 minute}.  Add the cream of tartar and beat on medium-high until soft peaks form {about 2 minutes}. Add sugar and vanilla and beat on medium until those ingredients are incorporated into the mixture. {less than 30 seconds}.

angel food cake 7

Stiff peaks should form and be rather thick.

angel food cake 13

6. In the same bowl, fold in the sifted flour in batches {not all at once} until combined. *While turning the bowl, use a rubber spatula to fold in the mixture lightly by cutting down the center and coming up the side.*

angel food cake 9

7. Gently spoon the batter in an ungreased tube pan {similar to a bunt pan but without the ridges} used for angel food and sponge cakes. Make sure that you do not pat down the batter, although you may smooth it across the top to make it even.

angel food cake 14

8. Bake for 45 minutes on the lower third half of the oven rack. It should be slightly caramel colored on top when finished.

angel food cake 15

9. Let the cake “hang” for an hour and a half. That means turn the cake {still inside the pan} upside down, either on the cake pan prongs or on something to lift the cake above the counter or table where you are leaving it. Read further under ‘The Pan’ section below for more details.

angel food cake 16

10. After hanging the cake, use a knife to separate the cake from the pan sides and gently pull cake away from the wall. Turn upside down and gently knock on the pan bottom with a utensil to loosen the cake. Repeat this process until the cake falls out.

angel food cake 17

10. Enjoy your angel food cake plain {which is VERY good} or garnish with strawberries or other fruit!

angel food cake 1


[yumprint-recipe id=’6′]

About Angel Food Cakes

Laboratory research in some types of recipes – and no cake has a larger bibliography than angel cake – has become so elaborate as to intimidate the housewife, who can rarely know the exact age of the eggs she uses or the precise blend of flour. Yet, working innocently as she must, she can still contrive a glamorous result with a little care. The main risers in angel cake are air and steam, so the egg white volume is important.

Egg Whites

Have egg whites ready. They should be at least 3 days old, at about room temperature and separated just before use. Divide the beating time into 4 quarters. During the first quarter, beat whites gently until foamy. Add salt, cream of tartar and liquid flavoring. Be sure the cream of tartar has been in a closely covered container. It is added midway during the first quarter of the beating and controls both the stability of the foam and the whiteness of the cake. End the first quarter of the beating with an increasing speed and gradually add, whilte continuing to beat at a high speed, 3/4 of the sugar called for in the recipe.


If you are using an electric mixer, the sugar addition should be in the second quarter because it guards against over-beating the whites. If you are beating by hand with a flat whip – and this gives the best results- or a rotary one, the gradual addition of sugar is made in the last half of the beating time. In either case, the remaining 1/4 of the sugar is sifted with the cake flour to keep the flour well dispersed when it is folded into the egg and sugar mixture.  The folding should never be done mechanically. As in all hand folding, the movement is both gentle and firm, but rapid. Avoid breaking down the cellular structure of the egg whites which have trapped air.

The Pan

The pan and its preparation are integral with good results. Choose a tube pan with a removable rim. {I did not} Since the dough is light, it helps to have a central tube to give it additional support while is rises. If the pan has been used for other purposes and any grease remains, the batter will not rise. Wash a suspect pan with detergent, scrubbing well to remove every trace of grease. after putting the batter in the pan, draw a thin spatula gently through the dough to destroy any large air pockets.

angel food cake 12
More information about the pan coinciding with the picture above, can be found in the following paragraph.


Endless experiments have been performed for baking angel cakes – starting with a cold oven and ending with a very hot one. But the best oven is one that is not so slow that it will dry and toughen the cake and not so hot that it will set the protein of the whites before they can expand to the fullest volume. In other words, the ideal is a moderate, preheated oven. We use 350 degrees for about 45 minutes for the recipes given here.  Place the pan on a rack, adjusted in the lower third of the oven. When the cake is done turn  the pan upside down when you remove it from the oven. Use an inverted funnel to rest the pan on, if the tube is not high enough to keep the cake above the surface of the table. {The pan I used had prongs with which to hang the cake, by allowing air into the pan, when placed upside down.} Let the cake hang for about 1 1/2 hours until it is thoroughly set.

Be sure to remove it from the pan before storing. Do not cut a fresh angel or sponge cake with a knife, but use  a divider or 2 forks inserted bath to bath to pry the cake gently apart. {I used a serrated bread knife to carefully and gently cut the cake without pressing down on cake.}

*All instructions and baking tips were gathered from the cookbook, The Joy of Cooking.*


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  1. says

    Hi Danielle, I love angel food cake! It’s great with fresh strawberries. Just slice the berries, sprinkle a bit of confectioners’ or granulated sugar on top, mix in, let sit a while in your refrigerator. The result will be a lovely berry sauce to serve with the angel food cake. Good post! Thanks!

    • Danielle Wells says

      Thanks for reading! And yes, I need detailed instruction for something like this, so I hope they’re a helP!

  2. Rattlebridge Farm -- Foodie Friday says

    A great step-by-step! Thanks so much for contributing this great recipe to Foodie Friday! Hope to see you again soon.

  3. says

    It’s a beautiful cake!!
    I always have tons of egg-whites in the freezer (I bake challahs and use only the yolks, so I freeze the whites). and it is just the cake that I should make

  4. says

    Oh thank you SO much for pictures!! I tried making angel food cake last month. By some twist of fate it was perfect the first time, but I hadn’t read the recipe all the way through, and didnt turn it upside down… Flop. The second one was baked in a hurry and was a disaster. I’ve been too scared to try it again, but your pictures defining “foamy” and “soft peaks” make me much more confident! Stopping by from Foodie Friday :)
    ~April @DimplesandDelights

  5. says

    I love angel food cake, but don’t have the right pan. Tried making it as cupcakes once, but they didn’t rise too much. I’d love to borrow a pan and make this!! As a kid my mom didn’t like angel food cakes, so I suppose I especially like them now because I never had them much growing up.

  6. says

    Wow! I’ve never made angel food cake before (probably because I like my desserts heavy and rich an gooey ;) I didn’t know it was such an art. You’ve made it seem doable with this great tutorial. Thank you for sharing it at What We Accomplished Wednesdays. Have a great week!


  7. says

    This is a beautiful Angel Food Cake. The presentation of your information was so nicely done and it was useful good information. My favorite cake is Angel Food and I have never tried making it from scratch. You have definitely inspired me to give it a try! Thank you so much for sharing on the BBQ Block Party.
    Terri – Easy Life Meal & Party Planning

  8. says

    I just love a great Angel Food Cake and yours looks delicious. Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday. Hope you are having a great summer weekend and come back to see me real soon!
    Miz Helen

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