Angel Food Cake

June 1, 2014

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes:

That crazy-airy, super-white cake that's so tender it melts in your mouth (especially when topped with tons of berries and whipped cream).

Erin McDowell

Makes: one 9-inch cake


  • 12 large egg whites
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 1/4 cups superfine sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest (about one large lemon)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup cake flour, sifted
  • Whipped cream and berries, for serving
In This Recipe


  1. Preheat the oven to 350º F. Clean the bowl and whip of an electric mixer or a large glass bowl and the beaters of a hand mixer with white vinegar and wipe dry.
  2. Place the egg whites and water in the prepared bowl and whip on low speed until foamy, 1 to 2 minutes. In a small bowl, whisk the sugar, salt, and cream of tartar to combine.
  3. Raise the speed to medium, and begin to add the sugar mixture gradually, whipping to medium peaks. With such a large amount of egg whites this may take longer than you think, 8 to 10 minutes. Do not over-whip -- the egg whites should look soft and smooth, not clumpy or dry.
  4. Add the lemon zest and vanilla extract and beat just until combined.
  5. Add about a third of the flour, and fold to combine. This fold can be slightly more vigorous, as you’re “tempering” the batter.
  6. Add the remaining flour in 2 to 3 additions, folding very gently to incorporate. Make sure there are no “pockets” of flour.
  7. Pour the batter into an ungreased tube pan and smooth gently with a small offset spatula (the batter will not even out on it’s own in the oven like many cake batters do).
  8. Bake until the top is golden brown and the structure is set (it will spring back lightly when touched), 35 to 40 minutes.
  9. Invert the cake onto a cooling rack and cool completely. When the cake has cooled, turn it back upright run a sharp knife gently around the cake to loosen it. Do the same for the tube in the center. Turn the cake over again and it should release onto the cooling rack.
  10. Serve with berries and lots of whipped cream.

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Reviews (3) Questions (1)

3 Reviews

Moema B. September 15, 2018
This was a spectacular Angel food cake and I will definitely be baking it again. The only real issue I had was taking it out of the tube cake pan I have. In the recipe it states to put the batter into an ungreased cake pan and I decided to go with my gut and butter it. It took a few times but we were able to get it out.
Cindy K. June 20, 2018
This is turning out to be THE cake that my friends and family are requesting. <br />It is truly a great tasting cake. It is a versatile cake, I have added different fruits and toppings. It's not just one cake, it's several.
CookingIsLikeLove June 26, 2014
angel food cake is my all time favourite! i can easily eat slice after slice (sounds so much better than "the whole cake" right?) just plain.