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Classic Angel Food Cake

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The food of angels.  I’ve always thought this cake had a fitting name.  White as wool, light an airy as a cloud, and a deliciously delicate flavor –  it’s easy to see why this 19th century American creation has remained a favorite through the generations.


Originally called “Snow-drift Cake” in an 1871 cookbook called Mrs. Porter’s New Southern Cookery Book and Companion for Frugal and Economical (now that’s a mouthful!), a similar recipe called “Silver Cake” appeared ten years later in a cookbook with an equally long but slightly more down-to-earth title, What Mrs. Fisher Knows About Old Southern Cooking, Soups, Pickles, Preserves, Etc.  Its author, Abby Fisher, was a former slave from Mobile, Alabama who moved to San Francisco with her husband after the Civil War, and her book is considered to be the first cookbook published by an African American.  Three years later in 1884, The Original Boston Cooking School Cook Book had a similar recipe, this time called “Angel Cake.”  The 1896 updated version of this cookbook by Fannie Farmer titled it “Angel Food Cake” and that name has stuck ever since.

Angel Food Cake has remained pretty much the same over the generations though more recently some chefs have including such spice additions as cloves and mace.  Traditionally it’s eaten plain, with a sweet fruit sauce drizzled over it, or with a very simple glaze.  Angel food cake is also a popular choice for strawberry shortcake and torn into pieces for trifle.

I’ve spoken to so many people who love angel food cake but say they’ve always felt too intimated to try and make it. But the reality is it is so, so simple to make and the end result is absolutely spectacular!  If you like angel food cake but have never made it before, roll up your sleeves because your time has come!

Perfectly light and airy, delicately flavorful and aromatic, using just 3 main ingredients and prepared in just minutes, this will soon be yours!


Classic Angel Food Cake Recipe

Let’s get started!

Place the flour and 3/4 cup of sugar in a food processor and blend for a minute until very fine.  Set aside.


In a large mixing bowl, combine the egg whites, cream of tartar, salt, vanilla and almond extracts.


Using a beater, beat on high until soft peaks form then add the reserved half of the sugar gradually, a couple of tablespoons at a time, while continuing to beat the egg whites.


Beat until medium-stiff peaks form.  The mixture will be luxuriously glossy.


Gradually and very gently fold the flour-sugar mixture into the egg whites using a rubber spatula.



Spoon the batter into cake pan.  Do not grease the pan.


Use the rubber spatula to gently smooth and even out the batter.


In an oven preheated to 325 degrees F, place the cake pan on the middle oven rack and bake for 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean and the top is golden brown.  Immediately invert the pan over a wire rack and let the cake cool completely in the pan before removing it, two hours.


Gently run a knife along the sides of the pan to loosen the cake and remove it from the pan.


Your masterpiece is ready to eat!


Use a serrated knife to cut the cake.  Eat it plain, serve it with a fruit sauce, drizzle it with a simple glaze, or serve it as strawberry shortcake.



Classic Angel Food Cake

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Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Course Dessert
Servings 12 servings



  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Do not grease the cake pan.
  • Place the cake flour and sugar in a food processor and blend for a minute until very fine. Set aside.
    Place the egg whites, cream of tartar, salt, and extracts in a large mixing bowl and beat on high with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Gradually add the remaining 3/4 cup sugar, a couple of tablespoons at a time, while beating. Continue to beat until medium-stiff peaks form. Gradually and very gently fold the flour-sugar mixture into the egg whites with a rubber spatula. Spoon the batter into the cake pan and use the rubber spatula to smooth the top to even it out.
  • Bake the cake on the middle rack for 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and the top of the cake is golden brown. Immediately invert the pan onto a wire rack and let the cake cool completely inside the pan, upside down, for two hours.
Keyword Angel Food Cake
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Recipe adapted from Taste of Home



kimberly killebrew the daring gourmet

Hi, I’m Kimberly Killebrew and welcome to Daring Gourmet where you'll find delicious originals, revitalized classics, and simply downright good eats from around the world! Originally from Germany, later raised in England, world-traveled, and now living in the U.S., from my globally-influenced kitchen I invite you to tour the world through your taste buds!

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  1. Update : It doesn’t matter that I used half of the sugar. I beat it in slowly then folded in the flour. It is extremely light and delicate. I will definitely make it again 😉 Not bad for a first ever angel cake.

  2. I forgot to mix the first 3/4 cup sugar in the flour, I hope it will be OK. 😔

    It’s still baking.

  3. OH MAN… I would definitely try the Cinnamon sugar one.. Sounds great with coffee!!! Of course I think they all would be simply fantastic!!

  4. Cinnamon Sugar, as that is a family fav. Meantime, I have some fresh strawberries which will go nicely with this Angel Food cake recipe, thanks!