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Best Angel Food Cake

Total Time

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


16 servings

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 large egg whites (about 9)
  • 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


  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.

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. Read our ultimate cake baking guide for more tips!

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 slice: 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.