There's something undeniably heavenly about a light and fluffy slice of Angel Food Cake. With a handful of simple ingredients, you can create a culinary masterpiece that will have everyone reaching for seconds.
Angel food cake is best enjoyed on the day it's made or shortly after. Its delicate texture tends to dry out quickly, so it's important to savor it when it's fresh. If you have any leftovers, store them in an airtight container at room temperature for a day or two, or freeze individual slices for longer-term enjoyment.
Angel Food Cake
Angel food cake is a perfect addition to summer parties and gatherings. Its light and airy texture, coupled with fresh fruit toppings, make it a refreshing dessert option for warm weather events like picnics, barbecues, or pool parties.
If you're looking for a lighter alternative to traditional birthday cake, angel food cake fits the bill. Its delicate flavor allows the birthday celebrant's favorite fillings and toppings to shine through. You can layer it with whipped cream, fresh berries, or even a light fruit compote to create a customized birthday treat.
Whether you're hosting a summer soiree, celebrating a special occasion, or simply craving a light and heavenly dessert, angel food cake is a delightful choice that will surely impress and satisfy your taste buds.
- Egg whites
- Cream of tartar
- Vanilla extract
- Powdered sugar
- Cake flour
Keep scrolling to find a full, printable recipe with a detailed ingredient list.
- Preheat your oven set the rack at the lowest level.
- In a large bowl, beat a good amount of egg whites until they're nice and foamy.
- Sprinkle in some cream of tartar and keep beating the mixture. Gradually add sugar to the egg whites, keep beating until stiff peaks form.
- Add a dash of vanilla extract and a pinch of salt to the egg whites, and give it a quick beat to mix in the flavors.
- Sift together some powdered sugar and cake flour, then gently fold this into the egg whites. Carefully spoon the batter into an ungreased tube pan.
- Bake the cake until the top turns golden brown and the cake springs back when lightly touched.
- Immediately after baking, invert the pan onto a glass bottle or cans to cool. Once cooled, use a knife to gently release the cake from the pan.
Frequently Asked Questions
Cake flour is preferred for angel food cake because it has a lower protein content, resulting in a lighter texture. However, if you don't have cake flour on hand, you can make a DIY version by substituting some of the all-purpose flour with cornstarch. For every cup of all-purpose flour, remove 2 tablespoons and replace them with 2 tablespoons of cornstarch.
Inverting the pan allows the cake to cool upside down, which helps maintain its light and airy texture. By doing so, gravity helps prevent the cake from collapsing and compressing under its weight as it cools. This technique allows the cake to retain its height and fluffy structure.
Angel food cake is best enjoyed fresh, but if you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container at room temperature. Be sure to wrap the cake tightly to prevent it from drying out. It's recommended to consume the leftover cake within a day or two. Alternatively, you can freeze individual slices in airtight bags or containers for longer-term storage. Just thaw them in the refrigerator when you're ready to enjoy them.
Angel food cake pairs well with a variety of toppings and accompaniments. Traditional options include fresh berries like strawberries, blueberries, or raspberries. Whipped cream, fruit sauces, or lemon curd are also popular choices. You can get creative and experiment with chocolate ganache, toasted coconut, or a dusting of powdered sugar for added flavor and visual appeal.
Homemade Angel Food Cake
- 1 ½ cups egg whites approximately 12 large eggs
- 1 ½ teaspoons cream of tartar
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ½ tablespoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
- 1 cup cake flour
- Begin by preheating your oven to 325°F (165°C). Ensure the oven rack is positioned on the lowest level to allow room for the cake to rise.
- In a large, clean mixing bowl, add the 1 ½ cups of egg whites. Beat them with an electric mixer on medium speed until they become foamy. This process introduces air into the egg whites and forms the structure of your cake.
- Sprinkle the 1 ½ teaspoons of cream of tartar into the egg whites. This acid helps to stabilize the egg whites and maintains their structure. Continue beating the mixture.
- Gradually add the 1 cup of granulated sugar to the egg whites, a few tablespoons at a time. Continue beating until stiff peaks form. These peaks should hold their shape when the beaters are lifted from the bowl.
- Add the ½ tablespoon of vanilla extract and ¼ teaspoon of salt to the egg whites. Beat for another 30 seconds to incorporate these flavors.
- Sift together the 1 ½ cups of powdered sugar and 1 cup of cake flour onto a piece of parchment paper. This ensures that there are no lumps and that these dry ingredients will evenly distribute throughout the cake.
- Gradually fold the sifted flour mixture into the egg whites with a rubber spatula. Be gentle and take your time with this step to maintain the airiness of the egg whites.
- Once the dry ingredients are fully incorporated, gently spoon the batter into an ungreased tube pan. The ungreased surface allows the batter to climb the walls of the pan, giving the cake height.
- Bake the cake in your preheated oven for about 45 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the cake springs back when lightly touched.
- Immediately after removing the cake from the oven, invert the pan (flip it upside down) onto a glass bottle or onto cans. This helps to maintain the cake's height as it cools.
- Allow the cake to cool completely while inverted. Once it's cooled, run a knife along the edges of the pan to release the cake.
- Ensure your egg whites are at room temperature before you start. Cold egg whites won't whip up as well as room temperature ones.
- Make sure that your mixing bowl and beaters are completely clean and dry before adding your egg whites. Any greasy residue can prevent the egg whites from reaching their full volume.
- While folding the flour mixture into the egg whites, be very gentle and patient. Overmixing can deflate the egg whites and make your cake dense rather than light and fluffy.
- Inverting the cake to cool might seem strange, but it's a classic technique used in baking sponge cakes to keep them from collapsing while they cool.
- This cake is perfect for serving with fresh berries and whipped cream, or simply enjoy it on its own. It can also be used as a base for many other dessert recipes.
Whether you're celebrating a special event, hosting a summer gathering, or simply craving a light and satisfying treat, angel food cake fits the bill perfectly. With just a few basic ingredients, including egg whites, cream of tartar, sugar, vanilla extract, salt, powdered sugar, and cake flour, you can create a masterpiece that will impress your guests and leave them wanting more.