Chocolate Angel Food Cake

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.

a chocolate angel food cake on a cake stand

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 
  • Salt
  • Dutch process cocoa powder
  • Hot water 
  • Vanilla extract
  • Egg whites 
  • Cream of tartar

How to make Chocolate Angel Food Cake

A bowl of whipped meringue
  • For the best texture, start the egg whites on medium and gradually raise the speed to medium high.
  • Whip to full peak.
folding chocolate into a bowl of meringue
  • Fold the cocoa mixture into the meringue.
Folding flower into chocolate meringue
  • Fold the flour in three batches to maintain as much air as possible in the whipped whites.
chocolate angel food cake batter in a pan
  • Pour the batter into an ungreased tube pan. The cake will rise to the top of the pan.
an upside down angel food cake on a cooling rack.
  • 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.

two bowls of chocolate angel food cake batter
The batter on the left is made with the alkalized (Dutch process) cocoa powder. The batter on the right is made with “natural” cocoa powder.

I was happy to discover that my favorite Dutched cocoa is absolutely the best option for this cake recipe.

three slices of chocolate angel food cake on a wood table.
The top two slices are made with the Dutch processed cocoa. The bottom slice is made with natural cocoa. The cake made by mixing the cocoa with water (middle) had the best chocolate flavor.
a slice of chocolate angel food cake on a plate with cream and strawberries

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.

Some more angel food cakes to try: Strawberry Angel Food Cake and Lemon Lavender Angel Food Cake.

Here are a few more chocolate cakes to try: Chocolate Chiffon Cake, Chocolate Genoise, Chocolate Butter Cake, Chocolate Buttermilk Cake, Chocolate Pound Cake, Sourdough Chocolate Cake.

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

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4.56 from 18 reviews

Chocolate 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. A hint of cocoa add a chocolate-y flavor to this classic recipe.
Prep Time30 minutes
Bake Time35 minutes
Cooling Time1 hour
Total Time2 hours 5 minutes
12 slices
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  • 4 oz cake flour (¾ cup plus 2 tbsp, see note)
  • 12 oz granulated sugar (1 ½ cups, divided)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 oz dutch process cocoa powder (¼ cup)
  • 2 oz hot water (¼ cup)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 12 large egg whites (room temperature)
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar


  • 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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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: 167kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 0.2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Sodium: 99mg | Potassium: 137mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 29g | Vitamin A: 0.2IU | Calcium: 7mg | Iron: 0.5mg
Have you tried this recipe?Mention @eileen.bakingsense or tag #bakingsense!

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Recipe Rating


  1. Thank you for this recipe! I live at 5000′ feet, where cakes like this can be tricky, so I Frankensteined together your recipe and a regular high-altitude angel food cake recipe and it turned out so well! The method of making the cocoa slurry worked great, and I also added in 1/8 tsp. of espresso powder to boost the chocolate flavor.

  2. Great recipe. I am on WW so subbed Stevia 1:1 for sugar. As with other angel food cake recipes it didn’t rise as much, but I assume that’s due to the lack of real sugar. I saw another recipe recently about adding more cornstarch in this case, which I’ll try next time. But, this was just fine for me for now given it’s 2 WW points. And, I agree about the quality of cocoa. I used normal baking cocoa and it was light brown. Next time will use Dutch. Thank you for the recipe with weights instead of US measurements. I think it makes a big difference.

  3. I was so excited putting this cake together. I appreciated the step-by-step details as it made it very easy to get this cake actually prepared. Unfortunately, when I took it out of the oven at the specified time, it ended up on my counter in a big chocolate goo. The cake fell out of the pan and was nowhere near cooked. This recipe, I do believe needs cook for longer. I’m sorry I can’t give it a five-star review since I ended up having to throw it in the trash. My mom recommended I go with a tried and true recipe from her Better Homes and Gardens cookbook. I will do that from now on.

    1. The baking times are always just an estimate since there are many, many factors that can affect the exact baking time. You always needs to go more by the look and feel of the cake than by the timer.