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 recipe:
There many reasons to love this naturally low-fat cake. Just to name a few:
- Texture: you’ll love its light and delicate texture with tender and moist crumb.
- Flavor: the addition of orange zest adds a hint of citrusy freshness and amazing aroma.
- Make-ahead: it’s a perfect make-ahead cake for any occasion.
- Easy: it’s also simple enough for a weekend treat!
- Egg whites – I’ve made Angel food cake with both fresh egg whites and carton egg whites. And honestly I don’t see much difference. (See comparison image below.)
- Cake flour – Cake flour makes the most tender and light cake, thanks to its low protein content. See my DIY cake flour instructions below.
- Sugar – I recommend using caster sugar which is basically super fine granulated sugar. If you don’t have it, you may pulse regular granulated sugar in a food processor, or blender, until nice and fine. Fine sugar dissolves quicker in the meringue, creating nice and stable meringue. Powdered sugar (or confectioner’s sugar) won’t work here.
- Orange zest – While you may omit orange zest, it adds subtle aroma that makes this cake irresistible!
- Cream of tartar – Cream of tartar is a dry acid that stabilizes egg whites, making stronger and more stable meringue. While it’s highly recommended, it’s not crucial ingredient.
And if you’re using fresh eggs, here’re 6 ideas for leftover egg yolks.
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!
How to make this recipe:
It’s quite easy to make this Angel food cake recipe. In short:
- Make meringue: whisk egg whites with cream of tartar, salt and half of the sugar until soft peaks form.
- Sift flour and the remaining half of the sugar over the meringue. And gently mix dry ingredients into the meringue.
- Transfer the batter into a tube pan.
- Level the batter and run a knife to remove any trapped air bubbles.
- Bake for 45-55 minutes at 325°F.
- Cool the cake completely in the pan upside down before slicing.
Angel Food Cake Pan
This Angel food cake pan is a must!
How to prevent Angel food cake from collapsing:
It’s important to cool Angel food cake upside down in the pan so it doesn’t collapse on itself.
And balancing the pan on mug helps with better air circulation, preventing the cake to get soggy.
How to remove Angel food cake from the pan:
Be sure to cool the cake completely before removing Angel food cake from the tube pan.
- Insert a thin knife into the side of the pan until the tip of the knife hits the bottom of the pan. Holding the cake pan on its side, run the knife along the side all way around.
- Lift the cake out and now run the knife on the bottom of the cake, keeping the knife flush against the pan.
- Finally, run the knife along the inner tube.
- Then flip the cake over on a serving platter.
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! In a pinch, make homemade cake flour described above.
- Do NOT grease the cake pan. That way the batter needs to stick to the walls and climb up higher for lighter, fluffier texture.
- It’s important to cool the cake in the pan 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.
Unfortunately, no. 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!)
Yes, I’ve tested this recipe with both fresh egg whites and carton egg whites. And I don’t see significant difference. When buying carton egg whites, avoid the ones with a label u0022not for meringueu0022.
Classic Angel Food Cake
- 1 ½ cups (300g) caster sugar Note 1
- 1 cup (125g) 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 45-55 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.