Light And Fluffy Angel Food Cake Recipe

There's nothing inherently virtuous or sinful about any dessert, but angel food cake is a treat so heavenly it can tempt even the strictest of dieters. The polar opposite of devil's food cake, angel food cake is a unique type of sponge cake recipe as it uses no butter — or fat of any kind, for that matter. The lack of fat is where the name comes from, in addition to its ethereally light texture. Recipe developer Taylor Murray has created a perfectly airy and fluffy angel food cake recipe for an easy dessert that goes great with fresh fruit and whipped cream.

This cake has no chemical leaveners at all, and instead utilizes the air whipped into the egg whites to create the fine crumb. For this reason, it is absolutely vital to use cake flour for this recipe. Regular all-purpose flour is too heavy and will collapse the fluffy egg whites. Not unlike meringue, another common pitfall of angel food cake is over-beating the egg whites or over-mixing the batter once the flour is added. Sifting the flour until all the lumps are completely gone is the best way to avoid too much mixing later. 

With that in mind, let's get started on this divine treat!

Gather your angel food cake ingredients

Ready for a bit of heaven? First, gather the ingredients. The very first step should be taking the eggs out of the refrigerator. The egg whites need to be room temperature to achieve optimum fluffiness during the whipping stage. Start by cracking all the eggs into a bowl, then fish the egg yolks out of the whites into a separate container and save for another use (cured egg yolks, anyone?).

While the whites are tempering, get out your flour, sugar, cream of tartar, vanilla extract, and salt. 

Sift the dry ingredients

Once you have all your ingredients ready to go, sift the flour and salt together over a piece of parchment paper. If you don't have parchment, a regular bowl will do just fine. Make sure all lumps are removed during the sifting process, and if you have any doubts, feel free to sift again.

Whip the egg whites

Ready your stand mixer (or hand mixer) with the whisk attachment. Pour the room temperature egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar into the bowl. Mix these ingredients on low for 5 to 6 minutes or until the sugar is dissolved. To check, feel some of the mixture between two fingers. If you can feel the grains of sugar, keep mixing a few minutes longer. If the mixture feels smooth, it's ready to go.

Once the sugar is dissolved, pour in the vanilla, then turn the mixer up to high and beat until stiff peaks form. This process should take roughly another 5 minutes, but keep a sharp eye; over-whipping the whites can lead to deflation and will ruin the final texture of the cake.

Fold in the dry ingredients and bake

Remove the bowl from the mixer and set aside. Place your sifter over the bowl and sift the dry ingredients over the egg whites one last time. Fold the dry ingredients into the egg whites as softly as possible, taking care not to over-beat or to leave any pockets of unmixed flour. Once the batter is ready, transfer it to a cake pan prepared with some cooking spray and dusted flour and smooth the top with a spatula. Put the cake in the oven and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

Let the angel food cake cool

Immediately after removing the cake from the oven, run an offset spatula around the outer edge and where the cake meets the center of the pan. Turn the cake over onto a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes, then flip it back over and let cool completely. If the cake doesn't automatically release from pan, gently pull the sides away from the edge to try to loosen the bottom.

If you'd like, top the cake with whipped cream and jam or fresh fruit before serving. The cake can be stored covered at room temperature for 2 days.

Light And Fluffy Angel Food Cake Recipe
4.9 from 37 ratings
What makes angel food cake so light and fluffy? The right flour, no fat, and expertly whipped egg whites. It's easier thank you think, and perfect for a cherub!
Prep Time
Cook Time
A slice of cake
Total time: 50 minutes
  • 1 ¼ cups cake flour, plus more for dusting
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 14 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Optional Ingredients
  • whipped cream, for serving
  • jam or fresh fruit, for serving
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Prepare a 10-inch tube pan by spraying with nonstick cooking spray and dusting with flour. Set aside.
  2. Sift cake flour and salt onto a piece of parchment paper. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip sugar, cream of tartar, and egg whites on low speed for 5 to 6 minutes, until sugar is dissolved. Add in the vanilla, then turn the speed up to high and whisk until stiff peaks form, about 5 more minutes.
  4. Sift flour mixture into the bowl and fold in gently with a rubber spatula.
  5. Add the batter to the prepared cake pan. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven and immediately run an offset spatula between where the cake meets the pan on the outside edge and in the center.
  6. Allow the cake to cool in its pan, inverted onto a wire rack, for 10 minutes, then flip it and let cool completely until ready to serve. Pair with whipped cream, jam, and/or fresh fruit if desired. Cake can be stored covered at room temperature for up to 2 days.
Calories per Serving 209
Total Fat 0.3 g
Saturated Fat 0.0 g
Trans Fat 0.0
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 42.6 g
Dietary Fiber 0.4 g
Total Sugars 25.6 g
Sodium 242.3 mg
Protein 8.1 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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