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This angel food cake is made with only 6 ingredients for the best classic dessert recipe! Each slice is fluffy, light and airy and goes perfectly with a dollop of whipped cream and fresh berries!

Other cake recipes we love that are better than a store-bought boxed mix include homemade vanilla cake, yellow cake and strawberry cake!

Angel food cake on a counter.
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Best Angel Food Cake

Learning to make a homemade angel food cake recipe is like a right of passage for all home bakers. It’s a classic cake, just like pineapple upside-down cake that looks as elegant as it tastes and is the perfect cake for all kinds of occasions.

The best angel food cake recipe is simple and light with a pillowy soft white crumb and light golden edges. It’s way better than store-bought, fluffy like a cloud and is perfect to use for classic strawberry shortcake!

Why This Recipe Works

  • The perfect texture. This angel food cake recipe is less about the ingredients and more about the process. Follow the steps carefully for a light and airy texture!
  • Simple ingredients. Made without egg yolks, butter or oil which makes this a low fat cake. Just like with meringue cookies, its egg whites give it a pure white color.
  • Better than a box cake mix. You can’t get the same height or texture from a box mix, homemade really is better!

Angel Food Cake Ingredients

Angel food cake ingredients on counter.

Find the full printable recipe with specific measurements below.

  • Granulated sugar: We ground the sugar into a powder almost like confectioner’s sugar but not quite as fine and without the cornstarch. If you already have super find sugar, that works, too!
  • Cake flour: Yields a softer, tender crumb which is what every good angel food cake should provide. All-purpose flour is a bit too heavy for this one as well as DIY cake flour.
  • Egg whites: You’ll need 12 egg whites. I like to separate them while still cold, but then bring the eggs to room temperature before starting. This helps to aerate the eggs as they are beaten. Do not use egg whites from a carton, fresh is best!
  • Cream of tartar: We’re not using any leavening agents such as baking powder or baking soda, so we need the egg whites to hold up our cake. The acid in cream of tartar helps to stabilize the whites which keeps the structure of the cake.
  • Fine sea salt: To enhance the overall taste of the cake.
  • Pure vanilla extract: To keep the cake pure white, try clear vanilla extract. For a flavor variation, try almond extract, lemon extract or orange extract. Check the label for any added oil which will prevent eggs from forming stiff peaks.
  • Optional toppings: Powdered sugar, whipped cream, fresh berries.

How to Make Angel Food Cake

It’s a straightforward process to make the best angel food cake recipe!

Showing how to make angel food cake in a 6 step collage.
  1. Make super fine sugar and add flour. Pulse the sugar in a food processor about 18-20 times until fine and powdery. Remove 1 cup and set it aside, then add the flour to the remaining sugar and pulse again another 8-10 times until combined and airy.
  2. Make whipped egg mixture. In the bowl of a stand mixer, use the whisk attachment to whisk the egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt on medium-high speed until pale and frothy. Add 1 Tablespoon at a time of the reserved sugar. At about 5 or 6 minutes, soft peaks will form, then add the vanilla and whip until combined.
  3. Fold flour and sugar into the egg mixture. Sift 1/4 cup of flour mixture into the whipped eggs. Then, use a rubber spatula to gently fold it in until you can no longer see any dry ingredients. Continue with remaining flour mixture 1/4 cup at a time.
  4. Pour batter and bake. Pour cake batter into an ungreased 10-inch tube pan, otherwise known as an angel food cake pan. Bake in a preheated 350°F oven on the lower middle rack for 30-35 minutes, rotating halfway through.
  5. Invert cake and cool. Once done, carefully invert the angel food cake pan unto a wire rack upside down. Cool for 1 hour but up to 3 hours. It’s best served at room temperature.
  6. Remove cake from the pan. Flip the cake pan right side up again and run a knife along the inner edge where the tube is and around the outer edge where the walls are. Gently tap on a counter until it releases. Use a serrated knife to gently cut the cake into slices, trying not to squish any pieces!

Cool Upside Down

This is so that the cake doesn’t deflate as it cools. Using an ungreased footed tube pan helps the batter adhere to the sides as it bakes so the edge of the cake acts as a brace holding up the walls as it expands.

There’s no leavening agent or yeast used in an angel food cake, so it’s the whipped eggs that make it so airy. Keeping it upside down as it cools is a surefire way to prevent it from collapsing.

Expert Tips

  • Measure flour correctly. The texture of this cake is what makes it a cut above the rest, so the best way to avoid the common mistake of adding too much flour is to use a scale. The next best thing would be the spoon and level method.
  • Do not overmix. Carefully fold in the flour mixture to avoid releasing too much of the trapped air.
  • Do not grease the pan. A tube pan has straight walls and little to no coating. This is so the batter sticks to the walls of the pan as it rises.
  • If possible, use a footed pan. When you flip it upside down the feet will help keep the pan elevated.
  • Unfooted pan? Flip the pan upside down onto the neck of a glass bottle.
  • Forget to bring your eggs to room temperature? Cover them in warm water for 5 minutes, then separate them.
Angel food cake on a counter.

Recipe FAQs

Can I use a regular cake pan?

No, not really. A traditional angel food cake relies on the cake batter being able to climb up the sides of a tall pan. A loaf pan may work, but you will need to line it with parchment paper and I can’t guarantee that it will be as fluffy and airy as with a tube pan since you can’t cool it upside down.

Why is may cake falling in the middle?

This can be very frustrating! Here are a few reasons why your cake may fall. Opening the oven door can cause heat fluctuations that leads the cake to rise and fall. If your oven is too hot, the exterior of the cake will bake faster than the interior and cause a collapse. Check with an oven thermometer to see if your oven runs hot!

Last, if you did not invert your pan to cool the cake it will not have a chance to expand and hold it’s shape while it cools. This is the most important step – cool it upside down!

Why is my angel food cake dense and tough?

A classic angel food cake should be light and airy and each slice fluffy in texture! The most likely your cake is tough is adding the flour into the egg whites with too much force. This will cause the egg whites to deflate and lead to a dense cake. Use a rubber spatula and just fold gently next time.

Is angel food cake healthier than cake?

Not exactly. It is low fat and high in protein, however the sugar content pretty much counteracts any health benefits. However, one might say although it’s not healthy, it’s healthier.

Toppings and Serving Suggestions

This easy angel food cake recipe doesn’t need much, I even love it plain with a dusting powdered sugar! Here are a few favorite angel food cake topping ideas:

It’s also what we use to make strawberry shortcake trifle, which I especially enjoy during the spring and summer!

Make Ahead

  • Make ahead: For maximum freshness, plan to eat your cake within a day. After it has cooled completely, remove from pan and cover with plastic wrap.
  • Store: Make sure to cover cake in an airtight container so it doesn’t dry out and then store at room temperature for up to 5 days.
  • Freeze: Wrap cake in plastic wrap then transfer it to a freezer-safe bag. Keep it frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight and then bring it to room temperature before serving.
Slice of angel food cake with whipped cream and strawberries.

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Angel food cake on a counter.

Angel Food Cake Recipe

5 from 9 votes
↑ Click stars to rate now!
Author: Jamielyn Nye
This angel food cake is made with only 6 ingredients for the best classic dessert recipe! Each slice is fluffy, light and airy and goes perfectly with a dollop of whipped cream and fresh berries!
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Cool Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 2 hours
Servings: 10



  • 1 10-inch tube pan


  • 1 ¾ cups (350 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (120 grams) cake flour
  • 2 cups egg whites , at room temperature (about 12 large eggs)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cream of tartar
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Optional topping: Powdered sugar, Whipped cream, Berries


    • Adjust the oven rack to the lower middle position. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Do not grease the tube pan.
    • In a food processor, pulse the sugar 18 to 20 times, or until fine and powdery. Remove 1 cup and set aside, leaving the rest in the processor. Add the flour. Pulse 8 to 10 times, or until combined and airy.
    • In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whisk the egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt on medium high until pale and frothy. With the mixer on, add 1 Tablespoon sugar at a time, waiting until combined, before adding the next Tablespoon. Whip a total of 5 to 6 minutes, or until medium peaks form. Add vanilla extract and whip just until combined. Remove bowl from mixer.
    • Sift 1/4 cup flour mixture over the top of the whipped eggs. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold (see notes) in until no dry ingredients can be seen. Repeat with remaining flour mixture, sifting 1/4 cup at a time.
    • Carefully pour mixture evenly into a 10-inch tube pan. Smooth the top and gently run a knife through the batter to remove any air pockets. Bake 30 to 35 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through, or until the top is lightly browned and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.
    • Place pan upside down on a wire rack and cool at least 1 hour and up to 3 hours. When completely cooled, run a knife along the inner and outer edge and gently tap on counter until the cake releases.
    • Using a serrated knife (a regular knife may squish the cake), gently cut into slices. Sprinkle with powdered sugar or top with whipped cream and berries to serve, if desired.


    Strawberry shortcake: Though I can eat this cake all on its own, I love to use it in strawberry shortcake. It is seriously the best!
    How to fold: The main purpose of folding is to gently incorporate dry ingredients into wet ingredients. To do this, use a rubber spatula to slice down the center of the batter, scraping up the side as you bring the spatula back up while turning the bowl slightly. Repeat until no dry ingredients remain.
    Tube pan: This pan is an absolute necessity for making this cake, as it won’t get the same rise and will probably get stuck in a Bundt pan or regular cake pan. I like the ones with the little feet that makes it easy to cool, but you can let it cool on a wire rack if your pan doesn’t have them.
    Sugar: Don’t skip the step of pulsing the granulated sugar to make superfine sugar. If you happen to have superfine or caster sugar, you can pulse 3/4 cup of it with the flour and use 1 cup in the egg whites. 
    Eggs: This cake really benefits from the room temperature egg whites, so don’t skip this step. I find it easiest to separate eggs while still cold. Save the egg yolks to make lemon curd. If you forgot to bring the egg whites to room temperature, covering them with warm water for 5 minutes before separating.
    Cream of tartar: If you don’t have cream of tartar, you can use an equal amount of white vinegar or lemon juice (will alter the flavor of the cake) to stabilize the eggs.
    Variations: This cake is easily adaptable. Try swapping all of the the vanilla extract with almond extract or adding lemon, orange, or lime juice and zest. 
    Storage: The cake will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. 
    Freeze: Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and store in freezer-safe bag in the freezer up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge and bring to room temperature before serving. 


    Calories: 276kcal | Carbohydrates: 59g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 0.1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.03g | Sodium: 140mg | Potassium: 180mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 42g | Vitamin A: 0.5IU | Calcium: 8mg | Iron: 0.3mg

    Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.

    Course: Dessert
    Cuisine: American

    Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!

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