Angel Food Cake

Angel Food Cake
Recipe type: Cake
Standard angel food cake. If by "standard" you mean ethereally light and fluffy.
What You Need
  • 1¾ cups sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup cake flour, sifted
  • 12 egg whites (the closer to room temperature the better)
  • ⅓ cup warm water (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon orange extract, or extract of your choice
  • 1½ teaspoons cream of tartar
What To Do
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a the workbowl of a food processor spin sugar about 2 minutes until it is superfine.
  3. Sift half of the sugar with the salt the cake flour, setting the remaining sugar aside.
  4. In a large bowl, use a balloon whisk to thoroughly combine egg whites, water, orange extract, and cream of tartar. After 2 minutes, switch to a hand mixer. (You can also do this with your stand mixer).
  5. Slowly sift the reserved sugar, beating continuously at medium speed. Once you have achieved medium peaks, sift enough of the flour mixture in to dust the top of the foam.
  6. Using a spatula fold in gently.
  7. Continue until all of the flour mixture is incorporated--about three additions.
  8. Carefully spoon mixture into an ungreased tube pan.
  9. Gently cut down through the batter with a knife to get rid of any large air pockets.
  10. Bake for 35 minutes before checking for doneness with a wooden skewer. (When inserted halfway between the inner and outer wall, the skewer should come out dry).
  11. Cool upside down on cooling rack for at least an hour before removing from pan. Cooling the cake upside down helps ensure that the delicate structure won't collapse as it cools.
Other Stuff to Know
Since they're easier to separate, use the freshest eggs you can get. Separate them when cold and then let the whites come up to room temperature before whipping.




  1. sianli says

    Hi Chef Jenni. I tried to make angel food cake before and it was a big fail. The cake turned out as dumb and unhappy as I was.
    If I’m going to try this recipe, what am I going to do with those 12 yolks? 😛
    oooooh… wait… I know…. Have a good weekend Chef Jenni..


  2. MaggieToo says

    Jenni, I have a technical question for you that I couldn’t find addressed anywhere on the InterTubes.

    My cake-addict main client got a bad cholesterol report and asked me to dial things back a bit, so I’ve been researching angel food cakes. And this occurred to me:

    If we butter souffle molds (and usually coat them with bread or cheese crumbs) to encourage climbing up the pan, why do we NOT grease or coat angel food cake pans when we want that very same pan rise?

    • says

      I think because angel food pans come in two pieces, letting it climb up the “naked” pan achieves the same result as butter/bread crumbs or Parm crumbs give with fewer steps.

      That’s not the most technical answer ever, but I think it’s probably true anyway. Let the cake climb the walls, cool upside down, saw the cake out of its pan. Oh, and souffles always fall and are meant to be served hot, so maybe it needs just enough texture on the sides of the pan to climb but also the butter so it’s easy to scoop out. If you buttered/crumbed an angel food pan and then turned the cake upside down to cool, it *might* fall out since the hot butter would act as a lubricant.

      And that’s all I’ve got. lol Hopefully my stream-of-consciousness answer helps some!

  3. MaggieToo says

    Hmmm, I guess that makes sense.

    So do you think that if we baked a souffle in a naked pan, and then cooled it upside down, that it would retain the its height the way an angel cake does?

    Or maybe it couldn’t do that, with the yolks and bechamel it contains.

    I think I feel an experiment coming on.

    • says

      I don’t know, but my question is “Why would you want to?” I mean, part of the glory of a souffle is its wiggly-when-hot ethereal texture (can wiggly be ethereal? yes! lol).

      Far be it from me to dissuade experimentation, though. That is part of the fun of cooking and baking!

  4. MaggieToo says

    Wholly agree about the glory of souffles — but it might be fun to have a savory version of an angel food cake. Kinda like a baked quenelle? But OTOH, it might just come out like a frittata!

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