Angel Food Cake

Pillowy soft angel food cake is easy to make with the right ingredients and a few tricks. For a light and tender cake, you'll need bleached cake flour (our Test Kitchen recommends Swans Down brand) and a dozen egg whites. Separate the eggs carefully to prevent any yolks from getting into the batter. Beat the eggs with sugar and a little cream of tartar until they are white, glossy, and stiff. Once the cake has been baked, remove the pan from the oven, and let the cake cool upside down in the pan. This trick will help the cake pull away from the sides of the pan and remove cleanly without tearing. This homemade angel food cake will star at your next soiree.

Angel Food Cake
Photo: Photographer: Jennifer Causey Food Stylist: Ana Kelly Prop Stylist: Kay Clarke
Active Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 35 mins
1 (10-in.) cake


  • 12 large egg whites, at room temperature

  • 1 teaspoon water

  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar

  • Pinch of table salt

  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

  • 1 cup (about 3 3/4 oz.) bleached cake flour (such as Swans Down), sifted

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract


  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Beat egg whites in a large bowl with an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment on high speed until foamy, about 1 minute. Add water, cream of tartar, and salt; beat until soft peaks form, about 2 minutes. Add sugar 2 tablespoons at a time, beating until stiff peaks form, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle and gently fold flour into egg white mixture 1/4 cup at a time. Fold in vanilla and almond extracts.

  2. Pour batter into an ungreased 10-inch tube pan, spreading evenly with a spatula. Bake in preheated oven until cake springs back when lightly touched, about 45 minutes. Remove from oven, and turn pan upside down. Let cake cool, upside down in pan, 40 minutes. Remove cake from pan.


Pineapple Angel Food Cake: Prepare recipe as directed. Stir together 1 1/4 cups (about 5 oz.) powdered sugar (sifted), 2 Tbsp. pineapple juice, and 1 tsp. lemon zest in a bowl until smooth. Spoon glaze over cake.

Lemon Angel Food Cake: Prepare recipe as directed, substituting 1/2 tsp. lemon extract for almond extract.

Chocolate Angel Food Cake: Prepare recipe as directed, adding 1/4 cup sifted unsweetened cocoa to cake flour before folding into egg white mixture in Step 1. Do not glaze.

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