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Delicious Angel Food Cake from Scratch

If you love a light, fluffy angel food cake, one just like your grandmother used to bake, this is the recipe for you! This recipe is absolutely delicious and best of all, it’s an easy process. 

I’m spending a full month baking some classics that (until now) haven’t been featured on this blog. At the top of my list: Angel Food Cake. 

Last year at Christmas I posted my step-mom’s famous peppermint angel food cake (it starts with a box of cake mix). 

I’ve also recently made a couple of chiffon cakes, (my Orange Chiffon and Banana Berry Chiffon). 

All of those were delicious (and the chiffon cakes were “from scratch” cakes that are similar to angel food cake). 

But, today? Well, I wanted the kind of angel food cake my grandma would’ve made in her kitchen. I knew it would involve a key ingredient, one I happened to have on hand. . .eggs whites. 

Egg Whites are the Key Ingredient in Angel Food Cake

If you love a light, fluffy angel food cake, one just like your grandmother used to bake, this is the recipe for you! This recipe is absolutely delicious and best of all, it’s an easy process.

If you’re wondering what makes angel food cakes (or any chiffon cakes) that light, airy texture, it’s not baking powder. It’s not even baking soda. The “lift” in chiffon cakes comes from egg whites. 

I happened to have over 40 eggs on hand and needed to use some up so this was perfect! This recipe, which I found at Sally’s Baking Addiction (a favorite site) called for a dozen eggs. 

Yep, you read that right! Twelve egg whites go into this cake. 

And, if you’re fretting over what to do with all of those leftover egg yolks, don’t fret! I’ll be posting a link to that delicious and simple lemon curd, which I made to go with my angel food cake. (I can’t imagine spending $6/jar for lemon curd, now that I see how simple it is to make!)

Angel Food Cake calls for No Liquids

You read that right. No milk. No water. No oil. No butter. No. . .anything! Just the egg whites. Now you see why you need twelve of them! Those eggs aren’t just taking the place of the baking powder; they’re taking the place of fat and milk, as well! 

This is a really basic but delicious vanilla cake but you can add other flavors, if you like. I’ll share more about that in a bit, but let’s start by looking at what you’re going to need to make this light and fluffy cake. 

Angel Food Cake Ingredients

If you love a light, fluffy angel food cake, one just like your grandmother used to bake, this is the recipe for you! This recipe is absolutely delicious and best of all, it’s an easy process.

You will find a full printable recipe card at the bottom of this post but here’s a quick peek at what you’ll need. These are simple ingredients you might already have on hand in your kitchen. 

  • sifted cake flour (do not use all purpose)
  • egg whites, recently separated
  • white granulated sugar
  • cream of tartar
  • pure vanilla extract
  • salt
  • Optional: powdered sugar, berries, and whipped cream for decorating

How to Make this Delicious Angel Food Cake

This one is truly light as a feather, y’all. I was surprised at how easily it came together, but I will say it required a couple of key pieces of equipment that helped. 

First, a food processor. This isn’t 100% critical, (and I’ll give you suggestions if you don’t have one) but it’s helpful. 

Second, a stand mixer or electric mixer. This isn’t a cake you’ll be mixing by hand. Those egg whites take time and energy you just don’t have. 

Okay, here we go! 

Move your oven racks down and preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Measure out your cake flour. You’ll do this with the spoon method (gently spooning flour into measuring cup, not scooping). You’ll need a cup plus two additional tablespoons. 

If you love a light, fluffy angel food cake, one just like your grandmother used to bake, this is the recipe for you! This recipe is absolutely delicious and best of all, it’s an easy process.

Place the sugar in your food processor and pulse until it’s light and almost powdery. 

Remove one cup and set aside. 

If you love a light, fluffy angel food cake, one just like your grandmother used to bake, this is the recipe for you! This recipe is absolutely delicious and best of all, it’s an easy process.

Add flour and salt to the sugar that’s still in your food processor and pulse 5 – 10 times until it’s light and fully incorporated. Set aside. 

If you love a light, fluffy angel food cake, one just like your grandmother used to bake, this is the recipe for you! This recipe is absolutely delicious and best of all, it’s an easy process.

If you haven’t already done so, separate your egg whites.

If you love a light, fluffy angel food cake, one just like your grandmother used to bake, this is the recipe for you! This recipe is absolutely delicious and best of all, it’s an easy process.

Place the white in a large glass bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the cream of tartar. 

If you love a light, fluffy angel food cake, one just like your grandmother used to bake, this is the recipe for you! This recipe is absolutely delicious and best of all, it’s an easy process.

Mix on medium-low speed with whisk attachment for about a minute until it’s light and frothy. 

If you love a light, fluffy angel food cake, one just like your grandmother used to bake, this is the recipe for you! This recipe is absolutely delicious and best of all, it’s an easy process.

Add the cup of pulsed sugar that you set aside earlier. 

Turn your mixer to medium-high and set a timer for about five minutes. (I kept an eye on mine.) 

If you love a light, fluffy angel food cake, one just like your grandmother used to bake, this is the recipe for you! This recipe is absolutely delicious and best of all, it’s an easy process.

Mix on medium-high speed until you have soft peaks. (See photo for demonstration. You don’t want stiff peaks.) 

If you love a light, fluffy angel food cake, one just like your grandmother used to bake, this is the recipe for you! This recipe is absolutely delicious and best of all, it’s an easy process.

Add vanilla extract and mix just long enough to incorporate. 

Bring it Together! 

Now comes the fun part: bringing it all together! 

Grab a fine strainer. For best results you’ll want to add the flour mixture (through the strainer) in three increments, pausing to stir with a rubber spatula between each addition. 

If you love a light, fluffy angel food cake, one just like your grandmother used to bake, this is the recipe for you! This recipe is absolutely delicious and best of all, it’s an easy process.

This is a process. A couple of times I paused because the flour disappears into the egg whites and the whole thing looks like well, egg whites. 

I guess that’s the idea! I just kept gently folding, getting out any lumps that formed. 

Scoop your airy batter into a dry tube pan. I don’t recommend any other sort of pan for this cake because you can’t grease the pan. (If you do, you’ll end up with a cake fail.) 

A tube pan (often called an angel food cake pan) is specifically designed for this type of cake.

If you love a light, fluffy angel food cake, one just like your grandmother used to bake, this is the recipe for you! This recipe is absolutely delicious and best of all, it’s an easy process.

Smooth out your cake batter with silicone spatula or offset spatula.

If you love a light, fluffy angel food cake, one just like your grandmother used to bake, this is the recipe for you! This recipe is absolutely delicious and best of all, it’s an easy process.

Place in preheated 325 degree oven on middle or lower rack.

If you love a light, fluffy angel food cake, one just like your grandmother used to bake, this is the recipe for you! This recipe is absolutely delicious and best of all, it’s an easy process.

Bake for 40 – 45 minutes or until the top turns a lovely golden color. 

If you love a light, fluffy angel food cake, one just like your grandmother used to bake, this is the recipe for you! This recipe is absolutely delicious and best of all, it’s an easy process.

Remove from oven and flip upside-down on a wire cooling rack. (If I’m ever grateful to have these Wilton stackable cooling racks it’s for a project like this, where you want to have room for air to circulate underneath after you invert pan.) 

If you love a light, fluffy angel food cake, one just like your grandmother used to bake, this is the recipe for you! This recipe is absolutely delicious and best of all, it’s an easy process.

If you don’t have wire cooling racks you’ll want to use a bottle to hang the upside-down cake from. (The first time I did this with my Orange Chiffon cake, I was worried the cake would fall out. . .but it didn’t.) 

Let cake cool completely. This is not a cake to be handled while hot. 

Once cooled, you can run a knife along the sides of the pan to loosen the cake and then tap it against he countertop to release. (Be gentle. You don’t want it to tear.)

Separate the pans and then gently remove the bottom piece. (You might need to loosen it with a knife, as well.) Place on serving plate.

Dust with powdered sugar if you like. 

If you love a light, fluffy angel food cake, one just like your grandmother used to bake, this is the recipe for you! This recipe is absolutely delicious and best of all, it’s an easy process.

I also added a few fresh berries to mine and made some homemade lemon curd with those leftover egg yolks.

If you love a light, fluffy angel food cake, one just like your grandmother used to bake, this is the recipe for you! This recipe is absolutely delicious and best of all, it’s an easy process.

Your cake is now ready! 

Slice with a serrated knife (a regular one will mash the cake) and serve. 

If you love a light, fluffy angel food cake, one just like your grandmother used to bake, this is the recipe for you! This recipe is absolutely delicious and best of all, it’s an easy process.

Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container (like a cake container) or tightly covered in plastic wrap at room temperature. I actually prefer my angel food cake cold so mine went into the fridge. 

What to Expect from this Classic Angel Food Cake

If you love a light, fluffy angel food cake, one just like your grandmother used to bake, this is the recipe for you! This recipe is absolutely delicious and best of all, it’s an easy process.

As promised, it’s exactly what Grandma would’ve put on the table back in the day. 

Mind you, I don’t think she had a food processor. And if we go way back-in-the-day she wouldn’t have had a stand mixer, either. 

In other words, grandma worked hard to make this cake for those she loved. But no doubt she was proud to serve it. I know I was!

If you love a light, fluffy angel food cake, one just like your grandmother used to bake, this is the recipe for you! This recipe is absolutely delicious and best of all, it’s an easy process.

I’m so happy I finally got around to make this one, y’all. It’s light and airy, and has a sweetness that’s not overpowering. 

I love the spongy texture. (It’s fun to play with!) But most of all I love the idea that I don’t have to rush to the store to buy one the next time I’m in the mood for angel food cake. 

(It kind of makes me sad that my kids missed out on this homemade version growing up. I had them convinced that WalMart was our local bakery. (Shh. Don’t tell them!) 

How to Serve Angel Food Cake

If you love a light, fluffy angel food cake, one just like your grandmother used to bake, this is the recipe for you! This recipe is absolutely delicious and best of all, it’s an easy process.

I love this so much and I want to gobble down the whole thing! (Thankfully, it’s lower in calories than most cakes, so it’s somewhat forgiving in that regard.) 

Here are some ideas for serving this cake: 

Strawberry Shortcake: This is how we always used our angel food cake. Slice and cover with berries and whipped cream. Delicious! 

Lemon curd and blackberries (or blueberries). This is my new favorite way to eat it. I’m crazy about lemon curd and love to pair citrus with berries. 

Trifle: I use angel food cake in many of my trifles. It would be great in my Cookie Butter Trifle and my Mint Oreo Trifle. You could layer the cake with a simple Cheesecake Mousse and then whipped cream with fresh strawberries, if you like. The possibilities are endless! 

Variations on this Homemade Cake Recipe

Now that I see how simple this is, I’m already thinking of ways to change it up. Here are a few suggestions: 

That’s it for this post, friends! I hope you enjoyed this delicious angel food cake recipe

If you make this recipe and love it, don’t forget to leave a review and a comment below. And while you’re at it, go ahead and pin some photos to your Pinterest boards!

Questions People are Asking:

Does homemade angel food cake taste better than boxed angel food cake mix?

Y’all, I’m going to be honest: I wasn’t really expecting this to taste much different from the boxed angel food cake I made last Christmas. I was wrong. This is light years better. So, so, so much better! And I’ll confirm that my children and grandchildren were so floored by the flavor and texture. Truly, everyone loved it!

Can I bake this in a loaf pan or bundt pan?

I don’t recommend baking an angel food cake in anything other than a tube pan, which separates and makes for easier release.

Can I add fresh fruit to the batter?

I haven’t tried this and would be afraid to do so, concerned about the ratio of liquid to dry ingredients. Fresh fruit is perfect on the outside of this cake, though!

Can I add almond extract?

Absolutely! This cake would be lovely with the addition of almond flavor. Lemon juice (or extract) is another great flavor option.


See this recipe at

Full Plate Thursday 

Weekend Potluck

The Lazy Gastronome

Busy Monday 

About the Author

Janice Thompson is an author, baker, and all-around mischief maker! She has overcome a host of baking catastrophes, including a toppled wedding cake, to learn more about the baking process. Janice has published over 150 books for the Christian market but particularly enjoys writing recipes and baking devotions. To learn more about Janice or to drop her a note, visit her About the Author page.

Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that I make a very small commission off of items you purchase at absolutely no additional cost to you. Please check out my policy page for more information about this blog and the ads that run on it. 

Delicious Angel Food Cake from Scratch

Delicious Angel Food Cake from Scratch

Yield: 12
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Additional Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

If you love a light, fluffy angel food cake, one just like your grandmother used to bake, this is the recipe for you! This recipe is absolutely delicious and best of all, it’s an easy process.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup plus two tablespoons sifted cake flour (do not use all purpose)
  • 12 egg whites, recently separated
  • 1 3/4 cups white granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Optional: powdered sugar, berries, and whipped cream for decorating

Instructions

  1. Move your oven racks down and preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Measure out your cake flour. You’ll do this with the spoon method (gently spooning flour into measuring cup, not scooping). You’ll need a cup plus two additional tablespoons.
  3. Place the sugar in your food processor and pulse until it’s light and almost powdery.
  4. Remove one cup and set aside.
  5. Add flour and salt to the sugar that’s still in your food processor and pulse 5 - 10 times until it’s light and fully incorporated. Set aside.
  6. If you haven’t already done so, separate your egg whites. Place the white in a large glass bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the cream of tartar.
  7. Mix on medium-low speed for about a minute until it’s light and frothy.
  8. Add the cup of pulsed sugar that you set aside earlier.
  9. Turn your mixer to medium-high and set a timer for about five minutes. (I kept an eye on mine.)
  10. Mix on medium-high speed until you have soft peaks. (See photo for demonstration. You don’t want stiff peaks.)
  11. Add vanilla extract and mix just long enough to incorporate.
  12. Grab a fine strainer. You’re going to add the flour (through the strainer) in three increments, pausing to stir with a rubber spatula between each addition.
  13. This is a process. A couple of times I paused because the flour disappears into the egg whites and the whole thing looks like well, egg whites.
  14. I guess that’s the idea! I just kept gently folding, getting out any lumps that formed.
  15. Scoop your airy batter into a dry tube pan. I don’t recommend any other sort of pan for this cake because you can’t grease the pan. (If you do, you’ll end up with a cake fail.)
  16. A tube pan is specifically designed for this type of cake.
  17. Bake for 40 - 45 minutes or until the top turns a lovely golden color.
  18. Remove from oven and flip upside-down on a wire cooling rack. (If I’m ever grateful to have my Wilton cooling racks it’s for project like this, where you want to have room for air to circulate underneath.)
  19. If you don’t have wire cooling racks you’ll want to use a bottle to hang the upside-down cake from.
  20. Allow to cool completely. This is not a cake to be handled while hot.
  21. Once cooled, you can run a knife along the edges to loosen the cake and then tap it against he countertop to release. (Be gentle. You don’t want it to tear.)
  22. Separate the pans and then gently remove the bottom piece. (You might need to loosen it with a knife, as well.)
  23. Dust with powdered sugar if you like.
  24. Your cake is now ready! Slice with a serrated knife (a regular one will mash the cake) and serve.
  25. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container (like a cake container) at room temperature. I actually prefer my angel food cake cold so mine went into the fridge.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 183Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 100mgCarbohydrates: 42gFiber: 0gSugar: 40gProtein: 4g

The nutrition information is a product of online calculators. I try to provide true and accurate information, but these numbers are estimates.

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