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A slice of angel food cake topped with berries.

Angel Food Cake

Heather Smoke
Fluffy, light-as-a-cloud homemade angel food cake, delicious served with whipped cream and fruit.

All recipes on Curly Girl Kitchen are developed for high altitude at 5,280 feet.

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Cooling Time 2 hrs
Total Time 3 hrs
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12


  • Tube Pan with Removable Bottom
  • Stand Mixer with Whisk Attachment


  • 12 large egg whites (1 1/2 cups), room temperature
  • 1 ¼ tsp cream of tartar
  • ¾ tsp coarse Kosher salt (if using table salt, use half the amount)
  • 1 ⅓ cups super-fine sugar (see note)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1 ⅓ cups cake flour, spooned and leveled, then sifted
  • fruit and whipped cream, for serving


  • Preheat the oven to 325.
  • In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites, cream of tartar and salt on medium speed for several minutes until foamy.
  • With the mixer still running, gradually sprinkle in the sugar, and continue to whip until the meringue forms thick, soft, billowy peaks that still fall over, similar to softly whipped cream.  You should not whip the meringue to stiff peaks, or the structure of the cake will weaken, and could collapse while baking.  Once your meringue has reached soft peaks, add the extracts and whip briefly to combine.
  • Add the sifted cake flour, 1/3 cup at a time, gently folding the flour into the meringue with a spatula until no more flour streaks remain, until you’ve folded in all the flour.
  • Spoon the batter into your ungreased tube pan and smooth out the top.  Bake for about 40 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean.
  • Immediately invert the pan onto a wire rack and cool the cake upside down for several hours, until completely cooled.  Set the pan upright.  Run a sharp knife around the outside edge and around the tube in the middle to loosen the cake, then carefully turn the cake out of the pan (this step is much easier if your pan has a removable bottom).
  • Using a sharp serrated knife, cut the cake into slices using a back-and-forth sawing motion.  Serve with whipped cream and fresh fruit.


  • The cake should be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
  • You can also cool the cake, wrap it in several layers of plastic wrap, and freeze for 3-6 months.
  • For “super-fine” granulated sugar, you can grind regular granulated sugar in a food processor or Ninja for one minute to grind it up more finely, which helps it dissolve more easily into the egg whites.  Powdered sugar is not a suitable replacement, as it is too fine.
  • If you like, omit the almond extract and just use two teaspoons of vanilla extract instead.  Angel food cakes can also be flavored with orange, lemon or coconut extracts.
  • The cream of tartar is necessary to stabilize the whipped egg whites and provide structure to the cake.
  • You’ll need a 9-inch tube pan, ungreased, preferably one with a removable bottom.  The removable bottom is not a must (mine does not have this feature), but you do have to work a little harder to get the cake out without it.  The pan must be ungreased, because the meringue will not be able to rise if the sides of the pan are slippery.  This cake cannot be made in a bundt pan, because it would be impossible to remove cleanly.
  • Fresh or frozen egg whites can be used.  Some say that fresh yield the best results, however, I almost always find myself with excess egg whites that I freeze for later use, until I have enough for a white cake. I use those for my cakes, so I can say with confidence that frozen and thawed egg whites work excellently.
Keyword Angel Food Cake, High Altitude
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