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Delicious Homemade Angel Food Cake Recipe

Homemade Angel Food Cake is fluffy, spongy, and full of flavor. Made with super fine sugar, powdery cake flour, egg whites, and cream of tarter; this sponge is light and airy with fantastic height and a stable structure.

Flavored with fresh lemon juice, vanilla and almond extract; the flavors are light but also deep and complex which elevates this simple cake and adds refreshing brightness. You can enjoy this cake alone or topped with delicious fruits and cream. It also makes a fantastic sponge for trifles, ice cream cakes, or mini shortbread cakes.

This is one of those desserts that does take some prep time, and the instructions require attention to detail and assembly; but, overall it is a simple sponge that comes together beautifully and can be enjoyed in so many ways.

Angel Food Cake

Can you use parchment paper?

To achieve the best volume and rise in this cake, you need the cake to stick to the bottom of the pan. Greasing the pan or using parchment paper can prevent your cake from sticking and hamper the rising process.

What makes this cake spongy?

Sponge cake gets its light and spongy texture from whipped egg whites and sugar. Whipping the egg whites to the perfect texture and soft peaks is crucial in achieving that spongy texture. Most recipes use 10-12 egg whites, that’s a whole lot of leavening power. Cream of tartar can also help bring the texture and sponge of the cake together. The lack of butter in this recipe helps keep the texture light and airy.

Angel Food Cake
Cooled and ready to enjoy

Why cool the cake upside down?

The cake is cooled upside down so its delicate structure does not collapse on itself. That light and airy texture that angel food cake is famous for can easily fall down. This cake can condense into a thick cake if it is cooled like a regular cake. Always cool your sponge cake upside down to avoid compromising it’s structure.

Strawberry Angel Food Cake

Why is cake flour preferred when making sponge cakes?

Cake flour is the preferred flour when making Angel Food Cake because it is lower protein and made from softer wheat. Lower protein flours have less gluten. Gluten is responsible for building too much structure and making cake or breads tough. Substituting all purpose flour into the sponge will result in a very dense cake. Cake flour is essential for achieving that classic light and airy structure that this cake is famous for.

What can go wrong?

While this cake is an achievable cake for most amateur bakers to make, there are a few pitfalls you need to be aware of.

  1. Correctly whip the egg whites: If the egg whites are whipped incorrectly, the angel food cake can fall or fail to properly rise.
  2. Don’t stir the batter: Always gently fold the egg whites, stirring will break down the whipped air pockets and result in a dense cake.
  3. Never grease your pan: Greasing the cake pan will result in a flat sponge cake. This cake needs to be able stick to the pan sides as it rises.
  4. Always use fresh egg whites: The liquid in the egg whites is essential in creating volume in the cake. The liquid evaporates during the cooking process and lifts the cake structure.
  5. Oven temperature too hot: If the oven temperature is too hot, or the cake is overcooked this can result in a hard and thick bottom crust.
  6. Oven temperature too cool: If the oven is too cool, or opened too soon it can cause the cake to be undercooked. An undercooked sponge cake will fall out of the pan.
  7. Cool your cake upside down: Always cool your cake upside down, this will help set the crumb and lock in that light and airy texture.
  8. Use the correct pan: Do not use a non stick tube pan, or other baking pan that has a greased texture. Angel Food Cake pans are specifically designed to support the rise and structure of the cake.
  9. Don’t substitute ingredients: Achieving the perfect sponge cake is a delicate science. Use the proper ingredients and don’t try to substitute. This is especially true for cake flour and fresh eggs.
Whipping A Meringue
meringue is an essential part of a sponge cake

Why make Angel Food Cake homemade?

  • This is a great make ahead dessert. Angel cake tastes even better the day after it’s made.
  • This cake is a durable traveler for potlucks and parties.
  • Angel cake freezes well. Make more than one at a time and wrap tightly in plastic wrap and freeze the extra for a fast dessert.
  • Angel cake will sit out at room temperature covered on a cake plate for several days and retain its freshness.
  • Try it in trifle, layered ice cream cakes, and other fresh desserts.

How to make Angel Food Cake

Warm the egg whites, separate eggs and allow the egg whites to reach room temperature. This helps the egg whites make a lighter meringue.

To make homemade cake flour: The recipe is one cup of all purpose flour minus 2 Tablespoons. Now, add 2 Tablespoons of cornstarch to the flour and sift at least four times.

To make homemade super fine sugar:  To make superfine sugar pour granulated sugar into a food processor and pulse to almost a powder.

Cutting The Angel Cake Out Of The Pan.
Cut around both the outside and inside edges to release the sponge

Can you freeze Angel Food cake?

Yes! A fully cooled, undecorated Angel Food cake can easily be wrapped and frozen for future use. Take care to very securely wrap the sponge to prevent freezer burn of the delicate cake.

  • Be sure to completely cool the cake before wrapping for the freezer.
  • Once cooled wrap the cake tightly in plastic wrap.
  • Label with date.
  • Freeze up to two months.

Let the frozen cake sit on your counter unwrapped to warm and defrost. This cake does not need to be heated before eating as it is usually paired with chilled whipped creams, fresh fruits, or ice creams.

Your Printable Recipe Card

The extra egg yolks make fantastic homemade ice creams and custard dessert recipes.

You will need a 10 inch tube pan with a removable bottom. Your cake pan needs a removable or push up bottom so you can get the baked cake out of the pan.

Angel Food Cake
Yield: 16 slices

Angel Food Cake Recipe

Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Invert cake time: 1 hour
Total Time: 2 hours 35 minutes

Homemade angel food cake is a classic, well loved dessert that is light and fluffy. Perfect for a vibrant spring dessert when topped with fresh berries and cream. Made with lemon juice, vanilla and almond extract; the flavors are complex and vibrant; while the sponge is soft and satisfying.


  • 1 Cup superfine Sugar
  • 1 Cup sifted Cake Flour
  • 1 2/3 Cup egg whites ( about 12 egg whites)
  • 1 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. almond flavoring


Prepare your ingredients:


  1. Separate eggs and allow the eggs white to reach room temperature (about an hour)Separating Eggs
  2. Prepare the cake flour if you make your own this way: The recipe is one cup of all purpose flour Minus 2 Tablespoons. Now add 2 Tablespoons of cornstarch to the flour and sift at least four times.
  3. If necessary blend your sugar to superfine texture or used store bought.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees


  1. Sift 3/4 Cup sugar and the cake flour together 4 times. SET SIDE
  2. Beat egg whites, cream of tartar,lemon juice until foamy.Foamy Egg Whites
  3. Add remaining sugar and flavorings, a little at a time, beating it in with your electric mixer.(Beat until the meringue is glossy and forms soft peaks but is NOT drySoft Peak Egg Whites
  4. Sift one third of the the flour over the meringue. Fold it in gently. Repeat until flour is all folded in.Folding In Dry Ingredients-Angel Food Cake
  5. Pour into a large UNGREASED 10 inch tube pan.
  6. Cut through the batter vertically, in concentric circles, with a kitchen knife to remove the large air bubbles. The top will settle down into a fine swirl pattern if you cut the bubbles in this way.Cutting Through Angel Cake Batter.


  1. Set in oven and bake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake top comes out clean. The top will be golden brown and cracked.Baked Angel Food Cake
  2. Remove from oven and invert pan for 1 hour.Invert The Baked Angel Food Cake To Cool
  3. To remove the cake from the tube pan cut down the sides and around the tube center with a sharp knife. Cutting The Angel Cake Out Of The Pan.
  4. Remove from the bottom plate the same way. Invert onto a cake plate.
  5. Serve plain with toppings or Frost if desired.


Serve plain with toppings or Frost if desired.

Freezing Instructions:

  1. Cut cooled cake from the pan.
  2. Tightly wrap the cake in plastic wrap. Label and freeze up to two months.

To Thaw:

  1. Remove the cake from freezer and unwrap it.
  2. Let is sit at room temperature until completely thawed.

Cake Flour:

Cake flour is suggested for best results. It will produce a lighter softer spongier angel cake than an all purpose flour can. It's in most grocery stores. If you don't have it make your own.

To MAKE homemade cake flour: The recipe is one cup of all purpose flour Minus 2 Tablespoons. Now add 2 Tablespoons of cornstarch to the flour and sift at least four times.

Superfine Sugar

Superfine sugar dissolves better in the batter so you don't have a gritty textured cake. powdered icing sugar will also work.

To MAKE homemade Superfine sugar:  To make superfine sugar pour granulated sugar into a food processor (here's mine) about a minute and pulse it till it's almost a powder.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 109Total Fat 0gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 0gCholesterol 0mgSodium 85mgCarbohydrates 20gFiber 0gSugar 13gProtein 6g

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The Best Angel Food Cake Recipe-Pin Image

Bev Chandler

Monday 23rd of May 2016

I wish I could try your angel food cake recipe. Unfortunately, I was just told I am both gluten and lactose intolerant. I love to cook and always have. I am finding many wonderful sites that include recipes I can eat. Your angel food recipe makes me wish I could still eat gluten. Is there any chance you may continue your experimentation to make this usable by folks like me? I know I am asking a lot, but if you do update this recipe, would you please let me know. Your latest fan, Bev


Monday 23rd of May 2016

Hi Bev, I'm so sorry you have been limited so severely in your diet!

I found this Gluten free Angel food cake recipe for you on another blog. Let me know how it works! Fortunately angel cake is already dairy free! This recipe looks pretty easy. And the cake looks light and beautiful!

All of our recipes here at homemade food Junkie come with a nutritional app that will tell you if the recipe is gluten free or dairy free. Many recipes can be adjusted easily. I have several recipes that are easily adapted just by switching out the ingredients. I hope you'll look around our blog for recipes that may suit you.

I realize you will have a lot to learn about your diet. I know bloggers that will teach you how to develop and adapt recipes you love. One of those bloggers is my friend Tina over at Gluten free Food Smith Tina offers recipe developement for gluten free cooks and has many excellent recipes already adapted for you. Another blog you may enjoy is Fearless Dining Sandi Gartner is an excellent gluten free cook as well.

Thank you so much for commenting and expressing your appreciation for our blog. If I make a gluten free Angel Cake I will contact you! I wish you All the best Bev!

Bam's Kitchen

Saturday 14th of May 2016

Angel food cake is my moms favorite cake and she turns 90 in June. Love how light and fluffy and topped with strawberries and whipped topping are one of my favorite guilty pleasures. Sharing!


Saturday 14th of May 2016

Hi Bam, Tell your mom Happy birthday for us! That is a huge mile stone! This recipe is perfect for her! Thanks so much for sharing!

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