Foolproof Angel Food Cake Recipe

In the world of cakes, angel food cake is one of the most popular and delicious types you can make. Unlike traditional cakes, angel food cakes don't typically have frosting; instead, you add fresh toppings like whipped cream and berries, making it even more light and refreshing. Recipe developer Cecilia Ryu is the brains behind this foolproof cake, and she explains why it's so simple to make. "This recipe is foolproof because it's very easy to make. Whipping the egg whites to the right consistency is the most important step," Ryu shares. "With that, the addition of cream of tartar speeds up the egg white whipping process and contributes to a stable and glossy meringue, perfect for this recipe."

In addition, Ryu highlights what she likes best about this recipe, and we think she hits the nail on the head. "What I most love about this recipe is that it doesn't require you to process the granulated sugar to make superfine sugar," Ryu notes. "Most Angel Food Cake recipes require you to either use superfine sugar or make superfine sugar using the food processor. This recipe saves you that step, and the outcome is equally delicious." Keep reading to find out how to make this fantastic dessert.

Gather the ingredients for this foolproof angel food cake

This recipe requires just a handful of ingredients. All you will need is granulated sugar, cake flour, salt, egg whites, cream of tartar, and vanilla bean paste. This recipe also includes a few optional ingredients like whipped cream, fresh fruit, and berries for the topping.

Preheat the oven and mix the cake flour, salt, and sugar

Since you will need an oven to bake this cake, set the temperature to 325 F. Grab a medium-sized bowl and add the cake flour, salt, and ¼ cup of sugar. Stir well to combine.

Then, you will need a stand mixer or a large bowl with a hand mixer. Make sure that it has a whisking attachment. Toss the egg whites and cream of tartar into a bowl and turn the speed to medium-low. Continue mixing until foamy, which should take about a minute or so.

Add the vanilla bean paste

Switch the heat to medium-high and slowly add in 1 ¼ cups of sugar. Continue whisking for 4 to 5 minutes, until stiff peaks form. Then, add the vanilla bean paste and beat to incorporate. "My secret ingredient is the vanilla bean paste. Vanilla bean paste has a thicker consistency and includes vanilla bean seeds," Ryu shares. "If you do not have vanilla bean paste on hand, you can substitute with an equal amount of vanilla extract, but vanilla bean paste has a slightly more intense flavor than vanilla extract."

Sift in flour and spoon the batter into the pan

Divide the flour into three sections and slowly sift it into the egg-white mixture using a fine mesh strainer. Use a rubber spatula to fold in after each addition gently. To avoid the mixture deflating, do not add all the flour at once.

Spoon the batter into an ungreased 9-inch tube pan and use a spatula to smooth out the top.

Bake the cake and let it cool

Pop the angel food cake into the oven and bake for about 35 to 40 minutes. About halfway through, rotate the pan. When the timer goes off, you can test to make sure the cake is done by inserting a toothpick in the center and seeing if it comes out clean.

Remove the cake from the oven and let the cake cool upside-down on a wire rack. You will need to allow 1 to 2 hours for the cake to cool. Once cooled, run a knife along the edges and gently tap the pan on the counter until the cake releases.

Cut the cake and serve

Use a serrated knife to cut the cake and serve with optional whipped cream or fresh fruit and berries. Ryu also provides a few additional serving suggestions. "It's perfect paired with a cup of coffee or tea," Ryu shares. "The biggest 'problem' with this cake is that it's so light and airy that it's hard not to eat the whole thing in one sitting!"

If you have leftovers, don't fret. "You can store the Angel Food Cake by wrapping it in plastic wrap or in a container/Ziplock bag for up to 2-3 days at room temperature," Ryu notes. "Any longer should be kept in the refrigerator for up to a week. You can also freeze Angel Food Cake wrapped and stored in a freezer bag for up to 3-4 months."

Foolproof Angel Food Cake Recipe
5 from 31 ratings
This foolproof angel food cake is light, fluffy, and easier to make from scratch than you may think.
Prep Time
Cook Time
foolproof angel food cake on plate
Total time: 55 minutes
  • 1 cup cake flour (spooned & leveled)
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 12 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
Optional Ingredients
  • whipped cream, for serving
  • fresh fruit, for serving
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 F.
  2. In a bowl, combine the cake flour, salt, and ¼ cup of sugar.
  3. In a large bowl using a hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip egg whites and cream of tartar together on medium low until foamy, about 1 minute. Switch to medium-high speed and slowly add 1¼ cups of sugar. Whisk until soft peaks form, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the vanilla and beat until just incorporated.
  4. In 3 additions, slowly sift the flour mixture into the egg white mixture using a fine mesh strainer, gently folding with a rubber spatula after each addition. To avoid deflating, do not add flour mixture all at once.
  5. Spoon the batter into an ungreased 9-inch tube pan and smooth the top with a spatula.
  6. Bake the cake until a toothpick inserted comes out clean, about 35 to 40 minutes. Rotate the pan halfway through baking. Remove from the oven, then cool the cake completely, upside-down set on a wire rack, at least 1 to 2 hours. Once cooled, run a thin knife around the edges and gently tap the pan on the counter until the cake releases. Cut the cake with a serrated knife and serve with optional whipped cream and/or fresh fruit.
Calories per Serving 235
Total Fat 0.3 g
Saturated Fat 0.0 g
Trans Fat 0.0
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 51.6 g
Dietary Fiber 0.3 g
Total Sugars 37.9 g
Sodium 146.1 mg
Protein 6.9 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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