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Decorative picture of angel food cake slices on a plate
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5 from 2 votes

Angel Food Cake

To make this recipe, you only need 7 ingredients. The light and fluffy texture of this cake is distinctive. This cake has been a family's favorite for many years.
Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time1 hr 5 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: angel food cake, angel food cake recipe, chocolate angel food cake
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 169kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cake flour, spooned and leveled
  • 1 ¾ cups superfine sugar (caster sugar), divided
  • 1 ½ cups egg whites, at room temperature - about 12 large
  • 1 ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract - optional

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
  • Place the flour and 1 cup (200g) of superfine sugar in a food processor and pulse until aerated, fine and powdery. Then sift into a large bowl and set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, using an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whisk egg whites, cream of tartar, salt, vanilla extract, and almond extract if used, on medium-low speed until foamy, about 1 minute. Then increase the speed to medium-high and add the remaining ¾ cup of sugar, one tablespoon at a time. Mix until glossy and stiff peaks form, about 5-6 minutes.
  • Add the flour mixture, ½ cup at a time, and gently fold with a rubber spatula after each addition. Don't overwork the batter, or the cake could deflate. Fold just until combined.
  • Spoon the batter into a 9 or 10.5-inch (23 or 27cm) springform tube or tube pan.* To remove any air bubbles, run a knife (take care not to scratch the pan) or wooden skewer through the batter and bake for about 35-45 minutes or until golden brown and the top bounces back to the touch.
  • Then remove the cake from the oven and cool it on a wire rack upside down for about 3-4 hours. To remove the cake from the pan, run an offset spatula around the edges, and remove the springform pan's ring, or tap the tube pan on the counter upside down until the cake comes out. Cut with a long, sharp knife and dust with powdered sugar if desired. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Freeze for up to 1 month.

Video

Notes

*Pan 
The smaller the pan, the higher the cake and the bigger the pan, the lower the cake will turn out. I used a 10.5-inch (27cm) springform tube pan.
I know that some people had success baking this cake in a bundt cake, but unfortunately, I haven't had great success removing the cake from a bundt pan and, therefore, can't recommend it.

Substitutions
  • Cake flour - it's the flour of my choice when making this light cake. If you don't get cake flour in the store, then make your own cake flour. This recipe works well with both store-bought and homemade cake flour.
  • Superfine sugar - is my preference when using a food processor. You can substitute for regular sugar but need to pulse a little longer until you have a superfine, light, and aerated texture. If you don't have a food processor, then adjust the recipe as follows. Sift 1 ¼ cups (150g) powdered sugar and the flour 5x. Then proceed with the ingredients and steps as directed.
  • Egg whites - use only freshly separated egg whites. Any other than freshly separated egg whites won't fluff as much as needed, and the cake won't rise much either.
  • Cream of tartar - acts as a stabilizer. Don't skip or substitute it, or the cake will collapse.
  • Almond extract - adds a lovely taste to the cake, but you can leave it out without substitution. Don't use more as the recipe says, or the flavor is too overpowering.

Expert tips
  • Be sure that all bowls and the baking pan you use are free from any grease or fat of any kind. Otherwise, the egg whites don't whip up during mixing, or the cake doesn't rise during baking.
  • Use only room temperature egg whites to create the fluffiest texture.
  • The sugar/flour mixture needs to be light and aerated when adding it to the egg whites.
  • Don't overmix the egg whites. They should be glossy and hold a firm, stiff peak. Overmixing could lead to grainy egg whites, and the cake would not rise in the oven.
  • Fold the sugar/flour in 3-4 additions carefully into the egg whites just until combined. Don't overwork the egg whites, or the mixture could deflate.
  • Let the cake cool upside down that it stays in shape and doesn't deflate during the cooling process.
  • Remove the baked cake from the pan after 3-4 hours.

Chocolate Angel Food Cake
To make a chocolate version of this airy cake, add ¼ cup (21g) of unsweetened cocoa powder - spooned and leveled - to the aerated flour/sugar mixture and sift 2x. Proceed with the recipe as directed.

More questions?
Make this recipe perfect every time. So be sure to check the full post above. I included easy step-by-step photo instructions and a video to make it easy for you to replicate this recipe.

Nutrition

Calories: 169kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 100mg | Potassium: 122mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 29g | Calcium: 4mg | Iron: 1mg