Angel Food Cake Recipe - USA | Ingredients: egg whites, cream of tartar, vanilla extract, almond extract, caster sugar, flour

Angel Food Cake

Angel Food Cake Recipe - USA | Ingredients: egg whites, cream of tartar, vanilla extract, almond extract, caster sugar, flour
Region / culture: USA | Preparation time: 20 minutes | Cooking time: 45 minutes | Servings: 8


Angel Food Cake
Angel Food Cake

Angel Food Cake is a light, fluffy dessert that has been a favorite for generations. Known for its airy texture and sweet, delicate flavor, it's a classic treat that's perfect for any occasion. This recipe takes you through the steps to create your own Angel Food Cake from scratch, using simple ingredients that come together to make a dessert that's both impressive and delicious.


The origins of Angel Food Cake can be traced back to the United States in the 19th century. It was first mentioned in cookbooks in the late 1800s, making it a relatively modern cake compared to other classic desserts. The cake gained popularity for its unique texture, achieved by whipping egg whites to incorporate air, creating a light and fluffy sponge without the use of yeast or chemical leavening agents. Its name is said to come from its airy lightness, which is said to be "food for the angels."


How to prepare

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F, gas mark 4).
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the egg whites until foamy.
  3. Sprinkle the cream of tartar, vanilla extract, and almond extract over the egg whites. Continue whisking until the mixture forms stiff peaks, but is not dry.
  4. Gradually add 0.5 cups of sugar, 1 tbsp at a time, while continuously whisking. The mixture should be shiny and form soft peaks that bend over at the peaks. Do not overbeat.
  5. Sift the flour, remaining sugar, and salt together three times.
  6. Sift a fine layer (0.13 of the total amount) of the flour mixture over the egg mixture.
  7. Gently fold in the flour mixture using a metal spoon until almost incorporated.
  8. Repeat the previous step, blending in the last addition of flour mixture until fully incorporated.
  9. Pour the mixture into an ungreased 9-inch (23 cm) ring-shaped cake tin.
  10. Bake on the lowest shelf of the oven for approximately 45 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean and the top is golden brown and feels dry.
  11. To cool the cake, leave it in the tin and turn it upside-down. Let it cool for at least 1 hour and 30 minutes.
  12. To remove the cake from the tin, run a knife around the outside edges and carefully turn it upside-down onto a plate. If you don't have a ring-shaped cake tin, you can use a round cake tin and place an empty can upside-down in the center to create the hole. When cooling the cake, support the cake tin and the empty can on a jar so that the cake is not resting on anything and can settle downwards.


  • There are many ways to add a twist to your Angel Food Cake. For a citrusy flavor, add the zest of a lemon or orange to the batter. For something different, mix in a teaspoon of cinnamon or a handful of mini chocolate chips. You can also experiment with different extracts, like coconut or lemon, to give the cake a unique flavor.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

To ensure your Angel Food Cake turns out perfectly, there are a few key tips to keep in mind. First, make sure your egg whites are at room temperature to achieve maximum volume when whipped. It's also crucial to avoid any fat contamination in the egg whites, so be careful when separating the yolks and ensure your mixing bowl and whisk are completely clean and dry. When folding in the flour, do so gently to avoid deflating the egg whites. Lastly, remember not to grease the cake tin; the batter needs to cling to the sides to rise properly.

Serving Suggestions

Angel Food Cake is delightful on its own, but it can also be served with a variety of toppings to enhance its flavor. Fresh berries, a dollop of whipped cream, or a drizzle of chocolate sauce all make excellent accompaniments. For a more decadent treat, serve it with a scoop of ice cream or a side of custard.

Cooking Techniques

The key technique in making Angel Food Cake is properly whipping the egg whites to achieve the right consistency. They should be whipped until stiff peaks form but are not dry. Another important technique is the gentle folding of the dry ingredients into the egg whites to maintain the airiness of the batter.

Ingredient Substitutions

If you don't have cream of tartar, you can substitute it with an equal amount of lemon juice or white vinegar to help stabilize the egg whites. If you're out of almond extract, simply omit it or replace it with an additional teaspoon of vanilla extract for a more pronounced vanilla flavor.

Make Ahead Tips

Angel Food Cake can be made a day in advance, making it a convenient option for entertaining. Once cooled, wrap the cake tightly in plastic wrap to keep it moist and store it at room temperature until ready to serve.

Presentation Ideas

For an elegant presentation, dust the top of the Angel Food Cake with powdered sugar or cocoa powder. Serve individual slices on plates with a garnish of fresh mint leaves or edible flowers for a touch of sophistication.

Pairing Recommendations

Angel Food Cake pairs beautifully with light, fruity wines such as Moscato or a sparkling rosé. For a non-alcoholic option, serve it with a fresh berry compote or a citrus-infused iced tea to complement its delicate flavors.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Angel Food Cake should be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two days. If you need to keep it longer, it can be frozen for up to a month. Thaw the cake at room temperature before serving. Reheating is not recommended, as it can dry out the cake.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

A typical serving of Angel Food Cake contains about 140 calories. This relatively low calorie count is due to the absence of fats and the use of egg whites as the main ingredient. It's a guilt-free option for those looking to indulge in a sweet dessert without overdoing it on calories.


A single serving of Angel Food Cake contains approximately 28 grams of carbohydrates. The majority of these carbs come from the caster sugar and plain white flour used in the recipe. Since the cake is fat-free and made with egg whites, it's a lighter option compared to other desserts, making it a good choice for those watching their carbohydrate intake.


Angel Food Cake is known for being a low-fat dessert option. This particular recipe contains virtually no fat, as it relies solely on egg whites without the yolks and does not include butter or oil. This makes it an excellent choice for those looking to reduce their fat intake without sacrificing the pleasure of a sweet treat.


Each serving of Angel Food Cake provides about 4 grams of protein, primarily from the egg whites. While not a high-protein food, it does contribute to your daily protein intake, making it a more nutritious option than many other desserts.

Vitamins and minerals

Angel Food Cake contains small amounts of various vitamins and minerals, including calcium, iron, and potassium, which come from the egg whites and flour. While not a significant source of these nutrients, it does offer a bit more nutritional value than many other cake recipes.


The main allergens in Angel Food Cake are eggs and wheat. Those with allergies to these ingredients should avoid this recipe. However, it's free from nuts, dairy, and soy, making it suitable for people with those particular food sensitivities.


Overall, Angel Food Cake is a light, low-fat dessert that's lower in calories and carbohydrates than many other cakes. It provides small amounts of protein and essential nutrients, making it a slightly healthier option for satisfying your sweet tooth.


Angel Food Cake is a timeless dessert that's perfect for any occasion. Its light, airy texture and delicate sweetness make it a favorite among those looking for a guilt-free treat. With this recipe, you can create a beautiful and delicious cake that's sure to impress. Whether served plain or dressed up with your favorite toppings, Angel Food Cake is a versatile dessert that's both simple and sophisticated.

How did I get this recipe?

I vividly recall the moment I first laid eyes on this recipe for Angel Food Cake. It was a warm summer day, and I was visiting my aunt who lived in the countryside. She was known for her exceptional baking skills, and that day she decided to teach me how to make this light and fluffy cake.

As I watched her carefully measure out the ingredients and beat the egg whites until they formed stiff peaks, I was mesmerized by the process. The scent of vanilla and sugar filled the air, and I couldn't wait to taste the finished product.

After the cake had baked to a perfect golden brown, my aunt sliced a piece for me to try. The first bite was like a taste of heaven - airy and sweet, with a hint of vanilla that lingered on my tongue. I knew right then and there that I had to learn how to make this cake for myself.

Over the years, I collected recipes from various sources - friends, family, cookbooks, and even strangers I met at farmers' markets. Each recipe had its own unique twist, but none could compare to the one my aunt had taught me that day.

I experimented with different variations, adding lemon zest or almond extract, but nothing quite matched the simple perfection of the original Angel Food Cake recipe. It became a staple in my baking repertoire, a go-to dessert for special occasions and everyday indulgences alike.

As I grew older, I passed the recipe down to my own children and grandchildren, sharing the joy of baking and the satisfaction of creating something delicious from scratch. Each time I make the cake, I think back to that summer day with my aunt, and I am grateful for the knowledge and memories she imparted to me.

Now, as I stand in my kitchen with flour dusting my apron and the smell of freshly baked cake wafting through the air, I can't help but smile. The recipe for Angel Food Cake has become more than just a dessert - it is a reminder of the love and tradition that has been passed down through generations.

I may have learned to make this cake from my aunt, but the true secret ingredient is the joy and passion that I bring to the baking process. As I take a bite of the light, fluffy cake, I am transported back to that summer day, surrounded by family and filled with the warmth of a shared meal.

And so, I continue to bake this beloved recipe, honoring the past and creating new memories with each batch. For me, Angel Food Cake will always be more than just a dessert - it is a symbol of love, tradition, and the joy of sharing good food with those we hold dear.


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