Angel Food Cake Recipe – with video

Light as a feather, not too sweet, tender and moist Angel Food Cake is possible with the right ingredients and, especially, with the right technique.

an angel food cake on a glass cake stand is being showered with powdered sugar.

If ambrosia is the food of the gods, then I guess Angel Food Cake is the food of the angels. No offense to anyone who likes it, but if you’ve ever eaten ambrosia salad you probably figure the angels got the better end of that deal.

It had been years and years since I made an Angel Food Cake. My memory of Angel Food Cake was generally of a rubbery, overly sweet and bland cake.

Well, not any more. Despite baking and taste testing this recipe 8 times, I’m not sick of this cake at all. I think the simple flavor of this cake is what I’m attracted to at this point. It’s the perfect partner for fresh, seasonal fruit, which is pretty much my favorite food.


  • Egg whites 
  • Granulated sugar 
  • Cream of tartar
  • Cake flour 
  • Salt
  • Vanilla extract
  • Water 

How to make Angel Food Cake

a bowl of whipped egg whites.
  • Whip the egg whites at medium speed until soft peaks form.
  • Slowly add the sugar, then increase the speed to medium high until full peaks form.
  • The process takes about 8-10 minutes.
a bowl of egg whites and a bowl of flour.
  • Gather the whipped egg whites and the flour/sugar mixture.
sifting flour into a bowl of egg whites.
  • In three stages, sift the flour into the egg whites and fold until combined.
a bowl of angel food cake batter and an empty cake pan.
  • Transfer the batter to an ungreased angel food cake pan.
an unbaked angel food cake in a pan
  • Spread the batter evenly into the pan. Bake immediately.
an angel food cake baking in an oven.
  • Bake the cake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and the cake springs back when lightly pressed.
an upside down angel food cake on a cooling rack.
  • Cool the cake upside down on a cooling rack.

How to cool Angel Food Cake:

  • All recipes, including mine, direct you to bake the cake in an ungreased pan. The batter will stick to the ungreased pan while it bakes and after it comes out of the oven. Usually you don’t want a cake to stick to the pan, but it’s essential for this recipe. (Oh, and for this reason never use a non-stick pan for Angel Food Cake.)
  • Since the baked cake is stuck to the bottom (and sides and middle) of the pan, you can flip the pan over onto the cooling rack as soon as it comes out of the oven. This cake has a very delicate texture when it’s warm so it needs the pan to help it stay in place until it is completely set.
  • You can see the difference between the two cakes in the photo. The tall cake was completely cooled, upside down, in the pan. The shorter cake was removed from the pan after about 10 minutes, while it was still warm. Same recipe, same mixing technique, two totally different results.
Two slices of angel food cake on a marble table.

The cake on the left was cooled completely, upside down, in the pan. The cake on the right was removed from the pan while still warm.

Pastry Chef tips for making a great Angel Food Cake

  • Use fresh egg whites, not pasteurized. Frozen fresh whites are fine.
  • Use a clean bowl and whisk, a tiny bit of grease will collapse the egg whites.
  • Whip the whites on medium/medium high and don’t add the sugar until the whites reach soft peak, then add slowly.
  • Use a tube pan so the cake bakes from the middle and sides.
  • Don’t grease the pan and don’t use a non-stick pan.
  • Cool the cake upside down.
A tray of 6 slices of angel food cake labeled for different mixing techniques and ingredients.

The cakes from all my experiments. The base recipe made the best cake.


  • Angel Food cake will keep, covered, at room temperature 2-3 days.
  • The whole cake or individual slices can be wrapped in plastic and frozen for up to 3 months.
a slice of angel food cake on a glass plate with fresh peach slices. A whole cake is on a stand in the background

a half eaten slice of angel food cake on a glass plate with a fork and slices peaches

Do you think everything is better with chocolate? Then check out my Chocolate Angel Food Cake recipe. I also have a wonderful recipes for Lemon Lavender Angel Food Cake and Strawberry Angel Food Cake.

Now that you’ve made this recipe what should you do with the extra yolks? Check out this collection of recipes that use extra yolks for some great ideas.

Did you know that you can freeze egg yolks? Yup, you can.

If you love this recipe as much as I do, please consider leaving a 5-star review:

Tips for Angel Food Cake success: Use fresh whites, not pasteurized. Frozen fresh whites are fine. Don't whip on high speed. dont add sugar until soft peak clean bowl and whisk, no grease Fold with a spatula just until combined. Don't overfold Use a tube pan Don't grease the pan Cool upside down Don't over bake. The cake should not pull away from the sides of the pan.
Print Recipe
4.75 from 32 reviews

Angel Food Cake

Light as a feather, not too sweet, tender and moist Angel Food Cake is possible with the right ingredients and, especially, with the right technique.
Prep Time30 minutes
Bake Time40 minutes
Total Time1 hour 10 minutes
12 slices
Save Recipe


  • 4 ½ oz cake flour (1 cup, see note)
  • 12 oz sugar (1 ½ cups, divided)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 12 large egg whites (14 oz)
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 oz water (¼ cup)


  • Preheat the oven to 350 °F. Have an angel food pan, or tube pan, ungreased, ready for the batter.
  • Into a medium bowl sift 4 ½ oz cake flour, half the sugar and ¼ teaspoon salt. Whisk the ingredients together to distribute the salt and sugar evenly. Set aside.
  • In a large mixer bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk12 large egg whites on medium speed (#6-7) until frothy. Add 1 teaspoon cream of tartar and continue whipping until soft peaks form. With the mixer running, gradually add the remaining sugar. Increase the speed to medium-high (#7-8) and continue whipping until stiff peaks are formed. The total whipping time will be about 8-10 minutes.
  • Add 2 teaspoons vanilla extract and 2 oz water and whip back to full peak.
  • Sift 1/3 of the flour mixture over the meringue and use a spatula to fold in the flour until it’s almost incorporated. Sift and fold in the remaining flour mixture in two batches. Fold just until all the flour is incorporated. The batter will still be quite fluffy.
  • Scoop the batter into the tube pan and spread to even layer. Bake until the cake is lightly browned and springs back when pressed or a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 35-40 minutes.
  • Remove the pan from the oven and immediately invert the pan over a cooling rack. Leave the pan inverted until the cake is completely cool.
  • Run a small spatula or paring knife around the sides of the cake to loosen and release the cake from the pan.
  • The cake will keep, well-wrapped, at room temperature for several days.

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.



If measuring the flour by volume use the “dip & sweep” method. That is, dip the measuring cup into the flour bin, overfill it, then sweep away the excess.


Serving: 12g | Calories: 166kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 0.3g | Saturated Fat: 0.03g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.01g | Sodium: 99mg | Potassium: 102mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 29g | Vitamin A: 0.2IU | Calcium: 4mg | Iron: 0.1mg
Have you tried this recipe?Mention @eileen.bakingsense or tag #bakingsense!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating


  1. How did your cake get done with no browning on the edges? It looks beautiful being so white on the outside as well, but every angel food cake I’ve ever seen is golden brown. Is there a technique or is it maybe your pan?

    1. If you see the first photo at the top of the page there is some browning on that cake. I baked this cake a whole bunch of times. The cake at the end that has no browning came from a cake that was wrapped in plastic. The brown crust got a little soft and I peeled it off the cake.

  2. Hi Eillen, I’m enjoying your 5 days of Baking lessons and have just read lesson 4 above but I have seemed to not recieved day 3 lesson (Velvety Soft White Cake) is it possible for you to forward to my email below. [email protected]

    1. You have to be careful that the egg whites are not pasteurized. As I noted in the post, pasteurized egg whites are not stable enough for meringue based recipe. It should say so on the label that the egg whites can’t be used for meringues (see the photo in the post). Even if the egg whites manage to whip up, it’s likely they won’t be stable enough to bake into a light and airy cake.

  3. would this recipe work in a Wilton chequered pan? with strawberry flavouring and pink colouring? I find ordinary sponge make odd colours (blues come out greenish for example), so am hoping a white sponge will keep the light pink colour with a white sponge in the other sections? When cut the cake will look like chequerboard pattern pink and white. Thanks for all the tips you gave above btw.

    1. Yes, because cakes made with yolks start out yellow, a pink tinted cake will always have a slightly orange hue. My main concern with your plan to tint angel food cake batter would be that folding the coloring into the batter will deflate the whipped whites and then your white and pink cakes will have different textures. Maybe you could use my White Cake Recipe. If you do, I would suggest splitting the batter and tinting half before folding in the whipped whites.

  4. I have made several sugar-free angel food cakes all – but this one – failed. you have great tips and techniques for this cake. As sugar replacements are not sugar – nor do they bake or taste like sugar – the favor is a bit different but it really turned out well.
    A great recipe!
    Thank you.

    1. What sugar substitute did you use? What adjustments did you have to make? The information might be helpful to others. Thanks!

  5. Have you ever had issues with this cake smelling too eggy? It came out really well with a nice, light texture, but smells very strongly of egg compared to other angel food recipes I’ve tried.

  6. What size pan did you use? I always thought the footed angel food pan came in just the one size, but a quick google revealed a few sizes.

    A quick tip for people without the footed pan, you can invert your pan, keeping it above the bench by placing the centre hole over a narrow necked bottle.

  7. It fell . My egg whites whipped beautifully, everything was gorgeous and light when it when into the oven and the sunk to about half the height?! Any idea where I went wrong??

  8. Could I cut this recipe in half? I made creme brûlée with 6 egg yolks so I’m trying to figure out what to do with the remaining egg whites?

    1. I haven’t tried it, but I’m guessing if you have an Angel Food pan you could just make a shorter cake. If you try it let us know how it works out.

    2. @Dana, Smaller Angel Food cake pans are out there, check Amazon and there is pan that makes 6 mini AF cakes (like a cup cake pan) as well if you want them that small. I have one.

  9. I’m making your Angel Food recipe for my WWII Army nurse neighbors 101st Birthday next week. It’s her favorite so wish me well!