Best Angel Food Cake

Total Time

Prep: 15 min. + standing Bake: 35 min. + cooling


16 servings

Updated: Jan. 01, 2024
For our daughter's wedding, a friend made this lovely, angel food cake from a recipe she's used for decades. It really is one of the best angel food cake recipes I've found. Serve slices plain or dress them up with fresh fruit. —Marilyn Niemeyer, Doon, Iowa


  • 1-1/4 cups egg whites (about 9 large)
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar, divided
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Optional: whipped cream and fresh berries


  1. Place egg whites in a large bowl; let stand at room temperature 30 minutes. Sift 1/2 cup sugar and flour together twice; set aside.
  2. Place oven rack in the lowest position. Preheat oven to 350°. Add cream of tartar, extracts and salt to egg whites; beat on medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining sugar, about 2 tablespoons at a time, beating on high until stiff peaks form. Gradually fold in flour mixture, about 1/2 cup at a time.
  3. Gently spoon into an ungreased 10-in. tube pan. Cut through batter with a knife to remove air pockets. Bake until lightly browned and entire top appears dry, 35-40 minutes. Immediately invert pan; cool completely, about 1 hour.
  4. Run a knife around side and center tube of pan. Remove cake to a serving plate. If desired, serve with whipped cream and fresh berries.
Coconut Chip Angel Food Cake: Fold 1 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips and 1/2 cup flaked coconut into batter. Bake and cool as directed. If desired, frost cake with sweetened whipped cream and sprinkle with toasted coconut. Orange Dream Angel Food Cake: Prepare batter as directed. Gently spoon half of batter into an ungreased 10-in. tube pan. To remaining batter, stir in 1 teaspoon grated orange peel, 1 teaspoon orange extract and 6 drops red food coloring and 6 drops yellow food coloring if desired. Gently spoon orange batter over white batter. Cut through both layers with a knife to swirl the orange and remove air pockets. Bake and cool as directed. Brown Sugar Angel Food Cake Omit almond extract. Substitute packed brown sugar for the white sugar. Increase vanilla extract to 11/2 teaspoons. Mix cake as recipe directs. Bake 25-30 minutes. Frost cake with 1 carton (12 ounces) thawed frozen whipped topping. Sprinkle top with 1 cup finely chopped toffee. Store in the refrigerator.

Angel Food Cake Tips

Can you make angel food cake without a tube pan?

It’s recommended to always use a tube pan when making any angel food cake recipe. The delicate egg batter needs the tall sides of the pan to cling to or else it will collapse. Another way to keep your cake from collapsing is to slowly add the sugar to the egg whites. Going slowly allows a beautiful foam to build. Adding too much sugar at one time can deflate the air you've worked so hard to incorporate.

How do I know when angel food cake is done?

Angel food cake is done when the cake is golden brown and the top springs back when pressed firmly. If you leave an indentation on the cake, it needs to be baked for longer. Learn more about this cake doneness test.

Why is it called angel food cake?

Angel food cake likely got its name because of its light, white and fluffy texture. To make your angel food cake even more heavenly, stir in the seeds of a vanilla bean or a bit of vanilla bean paste.

Nutrition Facts

1 piece: 115 calories, 0 fat (0 saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 68mg sodium, 26g carbohydrate (19g sugars, 0 fiber), 3g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 1-1/2 starch.