This classic Angel food cake is light and fluffy, low-fat dessert! Effortlessly impressive, this crowd-pleaser is a perfect make-ahead cake for any occasion.
Why you’ll love this Angel food cake:
- This naturally low-fat cake is light and delicate, not overly sweet and tender.
- The addition of orange zest adds a hint of citrusy freshness and amazing aroma.
- It’s a perfect make-ahead cake for any occasion.
- Also simple enough for a weekend treat!
6 tips for success:
- Make sure the mixing bowl and a whisk is free of any fat/oil residue. And be extra careful when separating egg whites from yolks. You don’t want even smallest amount of yolk in your egg whites. I explained the reason for this in my Meringue 101 video.
- It’s easier to separate egg whites and yolks when eggs are cold. However, room temperature egg whites whip faster and reach better volume!
- Cream of tartar makes more stable meringue, which is the foundation of Angel food cake! If you don’t have it, you may omit it though.
- Use cake flour for nice and tender cake crumbs! You can make a homemade version as described below.
- Do NOT grease the pan, because the batter needs to stick to the walls and climb up higher for lighter, fluffier texture.
- Cool the cake upside down to keep the cake light and fluffy and prevent from collapsing. I like to set the pan on an inverted mug, so that air circulates all around for faster cool time.
How to make Angel food cake:
- Prep: Zest 1 orange and sift together flour and half of the sugar.
- Make meringue: Whisk egg whites in on medium low speed. When it’s nice and foamy, add cream of tartar. Then start adding sugar, one tablespoon at a time, while continuously whipping the meringue.
- When meringue reaches soft peaks, stir in vanilla extract and orange zest.
- Make batter: If needed, transfer the meringue into a bigger bowl.
- Add flour/sugar mixture and gently fold the batter until all the dry ingredients incorporated into the batter.
- Transfer the batter into Angel food cake pan. Level it and run a butter knife to remove any large air pockets.
- Bake for about 40 minutes, or until inserted wooden stick comes out clean.
- Cool the cake completely in the pan upside down to prevent the cake from collapsing.
- Finally, run a knife along the edges of the pan and release the cake.
Can I use bundt pan for Angel food cake?
Unfortunately, no. You do need special Angel food cake pan, aka tube pan. Or you won’t be able to remove the cake from a bundt pan.
I’ve baked a smaller portion of this recipe (matcha sponge cake) in a loaf pan with a great success. So if you don’t want to buy a tube pan, you may bake it in 2 loaf pans. (Note to reduce the bake time!)
DIY Cake Flour:
To make homemade cake flour, measure out 1 cup of all-purpose flour, remove 2 tablespoons of it and add 2 tablespoons of cornstarch. Sift and you have a DIY cake flour!
Angel food cake serving suggestions:
Angel food cake is such a perfect blank canvas for all kinds of toppings. Here’re my top favorites:
- Honey strawberry sauce (recipe is included)
- Homemade whipped cream
- Fresh berries
- Homemade lemon curd
- Chocolate ganache
Angel Food Cake Variations:
Bored of plain Angel food cake? Try these delicious variations:
Angel Food Cake with Strawberry Sauce
- 1 ½ cup caster sugar Note 1
- 1 cup cake flour Note 2
- 12 egg whites at room temperature, Note 3
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar Note 4
- ½ teaspoon coarse kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon orange zest freshly zested
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
For strawberry sauce:
- 1 cup strawberries frozen or fresh
- 1-2 tablespoons raw honey
To make Angel food cake:
- Preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C).
- Sift together half of the sugar and cake flour.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the egg whites until foamy on a low speed. Add cream of tartar and salt and continue to beat, gradually increasing the speed to medium high.
- When the egg whites turn white with denser foam, stir in remaining ¾ cup of sugar one tablespoon at a time. Continue to beat on medium high speed until soft peaks form.
- Stir in orange zest and pure vanilla extract.
- If needed, transfer the meringue into a larger mixing bowl.
- Add flour/sugar mixture into the meringue and carefully fold the batter until all the dry ingredients are mixed in. Be careful not to deflate the batter.
- Now, transfer the batter into ungreased angel food cake pan. Smooth out the surface and run a butter knife through the batter to remove any air pockets.
- Bake the cake for 40-45 minutes, or until inserted wooden stick comes out clean.
- Cool the cake completely in the pan upside down, about 2 hours. I prefer to balance the pan upside down on an inverted mug as pictured above. This will make sure the cake stays light and fluffy while cooling.
To make honey strawberry sauce:
- In a small saucepan, combine strawberries and honey and bring it to a boil over medium high heat.
- Then, simmer the mixture for about 5 minutes, mashing the berries with a fork.
- Transfer the sauce into a bowl and cool completely.
- Once the cake is completely cooled, run a thin knife around the edges of the pan and gently release the cake from the pan. Dust with powdered sugar, if desired, and serve with strawberry sauce, whipped cream and fresh berries.
- Store leftover cake, covered, in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Tips & Notes:
This post was originally published on March 3rd, 2014.