This homemade Angel Food Cake recipe is made with just a few simple ingredients, making is such an easy summer dessert! When topped with whipped cream and fresh berries, this easy Angel Food Cake is a summer dessert showstopper.
This is the best angel food cake recipe and it tastes so much better than angel food cake mix! Trust me. You’re going to love this!
Can you believe we’re already well into June and July is just around the corner?
The past few years, Cali has been giving us crazy hot temps beginning in winter months (it’s seriously the WORST), like, 100+ degree temps in February.
This year, however, Cali has been gracing us with the most mild temperatures ever. We had the coldest and wettest winter we’ve had in years and so far, we’ve had what feels like an eternal spring.
I’m 100% not mad about it at all.
(But if the summer is just delayed and we have a blazing hot Thanksgiving, mother nature is going to get a serious piece of my mind. Starbucks knows just how biting my words can be. 😉)
While the cooler temps have got me feeling like it’s still May, July is knocking on the door, and with it, one of my favorite festive holidays, the 4th of July! Who doesn’t love a good festive dessert?? (Like these Red Velvet Cupcakes and these Red Velvet Cookies!)
The perfect holiday for some festive red, white and blue Homemade Angel Food Cake with whipped cream and alllll the fresh berries.
Have you ever made Angel Food Cake from scratch?
I’ve always found homemade angel food cake to be kind of intimidating, mainly because anything that requires you having to cool it upside-down just sounds too fragile. And that kind of dainty daisy dessert is sure to be a disaster and I don’t need that negativity in my life.
Wrong. In theory it sounds right, but in actuality angel food cake is shockingly simple to make.
Like, so simple, I don’t really know why I spent the last 10 years psyching myself over absolutely nothing.
Words of wisdom, friends: Don’t let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game. (Yes, that is from A Cinderella Story and no, I am not embarrassed to admit that I knew that by heart.)
How to Make Perfect Angel Food Cake every single time:
Let’s start with the egg whites. How do I separate eggs for angel food cake?
- You need 1 1/2 cups of egg whites, which is about 10-12 egg whites (depending upon the size of your eggs).
- Separate your eggs while they are still cold. The yolks will separate much easier from the whites when cold.
- I use a 3 bowl method to separate eggs, mainly because egg whites will not whip properly if even the smallest amount of yolk mixes with the whites. If I were to get some yolk mixed in with the whites at the final egg? Ugh, that’s a lot of wasted egg whites. So, I have a yolk bowl, an egg white bowl and the bowl I separate the white from the yolk with. Once separated, the yolk goes in the yolk bowl and the egg white gets poured into the egg white bowl.
- Lastly, the egg whites need to be at room temperature to whip properly. Once you have separated the eggs, let the egg whites sit for about 30 minutes before you whip them.
How Do I Whip Egg Whites?
- Use a big bowl. Egg whites will increase quite a bit in volume.
- Your bowl must be clean and dry, otherwise the egg whites will not stiffen properly.
- Use a standing mixer or a hand mixer (while you can whip egg whites by hand, it will take a long, long time).
- Whip the egg whites on med-low speed with the cream of tartar, salt and extracts until the reach soft peaks (the tips curl over and are foamy).
- Next, on medium-high speed, gradually add in granulated sugar, about 2 Tbsp at a time, and beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form (the tip stays straight out and does not curl over; like the picture above.) You only want to add the sugar a little bit at a time, because adding too much at once can deflate the egg whites.
Do I have to use cream of tartar?
Yes. The cream of tartar is imperative to helping the egg whites reach their full volume, and cream of tartar also helps stabilize the egg whites.
Can I Make Angel Food Cake Without Cake Flour? Can’t I Make Angel Food Cake with All Purpose Flour?
- Yes! 100% yes. Cake flour yields a lighter more tender crumb texture, which is why many recipes call for cake flour.
- However, you can easily substitute all purpose flour for cake flour by adding in a little bit of cornstarch.
- 1 cup of cake flour is equivalent to 3/4 cup all purpose flour + 2 Tbsp all purpose flour + 2 Tbsp cornstarch. Make sure you have sifted the cornstarch and all purpose flour together 2-3 times.
Some final tips for making this Homemade Angel Food Cake recipe (and making it the best angel food cake recipe evahhh!)
- You need to sift the dry ingredients 4-5 times. I know this seems like a lot, but it’s very important because the dry ingredients need to be as light as possible as to not deflate the egg whites.
- This recipe calls for a mix of granulated sugar and powdered sugar. The granulated sugar is for the egg whites and the powdered sugar is for the dry ingredients. The powdered sugar is very light and when sifted (4-5 times 😉) with the flour, it helps make this a very airy and light angel food cake.
- You need a tube pan. I would avoid using a decorative bundt cake pan because all of the nooks and crannies can make it very difficult to get your angel food cake out of the pan.
- Do not grease your tube pan. Do not! I know this seems counter-intuitive, but the cake needs to ‘climb’ up the pan as it bakes. Any type of grease will keep the cake from reaching its full height/volume.
- Before baking, run a knife through the batter. This will prevent any air pockets.
Easy Angel Food Cake Tips & Tricks cont.
- Once the cake is baked, invert the pan immediately. Angel food cake needs to cool upside-down otherwise the cake will deflate.
- Tube pans have a hole in the center, and you can rest your cake on a heat safe bottle (provided the bottle neck fits in the tube pan hole—test this before you bake the cake; don’t ask me how I know this 😉).
- Additionally, a lot of tube pans have handles or even have “feet” (prongs on the side), thus you can cool upside-down a lot easier. My pan did not, so a bottle of avocado oil did the trick.
- Lastly, once the angel food cake is cool (about an hour or so), flip it over and run a knife around the edges of the cake to loosen it from the pan. Over a plate or cake platter, flip the pan over and remove the cake. The cake might need a few gently taps and shakes to get the cake to release.
Ready to make this perfect Angel Food Cake? I know there seems like a lot of steps, but it really is an easy recipe for Angel Food Cake. The steps are just to help you be successful every single time!
- 1 1/2 cups egg whites (about 10-12)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp almond extract, optional
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup cake flour (or 3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp all purpose flour and 2 Tbsp cornstarch, sifted together)
- 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
- Homemade Whipped Cream (recipe linked below)
- fresh berries
- powdered sugar
Separate eggs while cold, and allow egg whites to come to room temperature, about 30 minutes (separating eggs is easier when the eggs are cold; but the egg whites need to be at room temperature to whip properly).
While the egg whites are coming to room temperature, in a large bowl, sift flour (either cake flour or all purpose flour + cornstarch) and powdered sugar together, 5 times.* Set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
With a hand mixer or standing mixer on medium speed, whip egg whites, vanilla extract, almond extract (if using), salt and cream of tartar until soft peaks form.
Gradually add granulated sugar, about 2 Tbsp at a time, beating on high, until stiff peaks form (see picture above for stiff peaks).
Gently fold flour mixture, about 1/2 cup at a time, into the egg white mixture, until combined.
Spoon batter into an un-greased 10 inch tube pan gently (the pan must be un-greased).
Cut through the batter with a knife, as this removes any air pockets.
Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the top of the cake is lightly golden brown and any of the cracks in the top of the cake look dry.
Immediately invert the pan upside-down, allowing it to cool for about 1 hour. (I inverted mine and rested it on a heat proof bottle.) Once cooled, use a knife to loosen the sides of the cake and invert cake onto a plate/serving dish (it might take a couple gentle shakes and taps to get the cake to come out of the pan).
Cut cake and serve with whipped cream and fresh berries.
Cake can be stored at room temperature for a couple of days; any longer and the cake should be stored in the fridge.
*While this might seem like overkill, sifting the ingredients is imperative to making sure the angel food cake is light and airy. In my testing, I found that sifting the ingredients together 5 times yielded the lightest cake.
**Adapted from Taste of Home.
If you love this homemade angel food cake, here are some other recipes you might love: