This Chocolate Angel Food Cake is light as a feather and not too sweet. Cocoa adds chocolate-y flavor to this classic recipe. Learn which cocoa to use for the best color and flavor.
As I discuss in my post about Flour in Cake Batter, you can turn almost any vanilla cake recipe into a chocolate cake recipe by simply replacing a portion of the flour with cocoa powder. So the best way to make Chocolate Angel Food Cake is to replace some of the flour in classic Angel Food Cake with cocoa.
Ingredients for Chocolate Angel Food Cake
- Cake flour
- Granulated sugar
- Dutch process cocoa powder
- Hot water
- Vanilla extract
- Egg whites
- Cream of tartar
How to make Chocolate Angel Food Cake
- For the best texture, start the egg whites on medium and gradually raise the speed to medium high.
- Whip to full peak.
- Fold the cocoa mixture into the meringue.
- Fold the flour in three batches to maintain as much air as possible in the whipped whites.
- Pour the batter into an ungreased tube pan. The cake will rise to the top of the pan.
- Cool the cake upside down on a cooling rack.
- 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.
Pastry Chef tips for making Chocolate 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.
- Use Dutch processed cocoa powder for the best color and flavor.
- I like to use a hand whisk to fold the cocoa mix and flour into the meringue. You can switch to a spatula once most of the flour is incorporated.
- 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.
The best cocoa to use for Chocolate Angel Food Cake
For all my baking I use an alkalized (Dutch processed) cocoa. It has a very deep color and flavor, and a super-fine texture that blends beautifully into a batter.
I tested this recipe using Hershey’s “natural” (non-alkalized) powder, using the same technique of mixing the cocoa with hot water.
Even before the cake went into the oven I was not happy with the results. Where the batter for the other cakes had a deep color, this batter was very pale. The batter made with the Dutched cocoa tasted like melted chocolate ice cream (hey, who doesn’t like to taste raw cake batter?). The Hershey’s batter had a bland, nondescript, sweet flavor. The same could be said for the baked cake.
I was happy to discover that my favorite Dutched cocoa is absolutely the best option for this cake recipe.
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.
If you love this recipe as much as I do, please consider leaving a 5-star review.
Chocolate Angel Food Cake
- 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 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 small bowl whisk together 1 oz dutch process cocoa powder, 2 oz hot water and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract until smooth. Set Aside
- In a large mixer bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk 12 large egg whites on medium speed until frothy. Add 1 teaspoon cream of tartar and continue whipping until soft peaks form. With the mixer running, gradually add the remaining 3/4 cup of sugar. Increase the speed to medium-high and continue whipping until stiff peaks are formed. The total whipping time will be about 8-10 minutes.
- Use a hand whisk to fold in the cocoa mixture until it’s about 3/4 the way incorporated.
- Sift 1/3 of the flour mixture over the meringue and 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. You can switch from a hand whisk to spatula to finish folding.
- Scoop the batter into the tube pan and spread to even layer. Bake until the cake is springs back when pressed or a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 35 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.
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