This 6-ingredient angel food cake recipe makes for the most tender, light, and downright bouncy cake. I especially love this cake topped with fresh raspberry swirled, soft whipped cream and a sprinkle of fresh berries. Angel Food is a classic cake but feels extra special for these early spring days around Easter. Let’s bake, babes!
For all of it’s perceived fuss, Angel Food Cake really is a simple cake. All we’ll need is six ingredients, an entire carton of eggs, and the confidence to whip eggs to stiff and glossy peaks. Okay the bit about the eggs makes this cake a bit of an investment these days, but just think about all the vanilla ice cream we can make from the yolks.
I find myself craving an Angel Food Cake (specifically with raspberry whipped cream), every spring as trees start to bloom and the weather warms. There’s this incredibly short time in a southern spring when we know dang well we’ll not be turning on our oven for the next few months so we get our few good cake bakes in and — this cake is a worthy celebration of those days.
If you’ve never made an Angel Food cake, it really is a darling cake. Let me try to talk you into it! The pictures alone – how can you not with that fluff!
Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make this angel food cake recipe:
• large eggs but just the egg whites, at room temperature
• granulated sugar
• cake flour or here’s how to make your own cake flour
• kosher salt
• cream of tartar
• vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
• heavy cream
• powdered sugar
• fresh raspberries
• if you want to add other extracts, consider a tiny splash of almond extract or lemon extract
This angel food cake recipe is really just a handful of ingredients, but it’s how those ingredients are handled that makes all the difference. Cake flour is best for this cake because it has a lower protein percentage than all-purpose flour — it gives the cake a tender crumb. Swan’s Down is a classic cake flour brand but I also love White Lily flour for this cake (and White Lily also makes the most tender biscuits so it’s a win-win!)
Cake flour can take on moisture and lump easily. No problem, we’ll sift it! In fact, we’ll sift the flour THREE times (with some of the recipe’s granulated sugar), to really lighten and aerate the dry ingredients. Transfer to a large bowl. And listen – I’ll avoid sifting flour any chance I can get, but it’s really important for this cake so don’t skip this step.
With the flour sifted, let’s work with the our eggs.
Pro Tip: Pay close attention when separating the eggs. Any hint of yolk or fat in the whites will keep the whites from fluffing and holding their shape. Be sure to scoop any rogue egg yolks out of the whites and beat the whites in a clean dry bowl.
Using a whisk attachment, beat the eggs to soft peaks with salt and cream of tartar (the acid that will help stabilize the whites). If you don’t have cream of tartar, lemon juice will do in a pinch.
Pictured on the left, above: soft peaks, just before slowly adding the sugar
Slowly incorporate granulated sugar into the whites as they whip, bringing the egg whites into glossy stiff peaks (pictured on the right).
The whites lend most of the structure and all of the leavening to this cake – it’s a wonder! Gently fold in the sifted flour mixture with remaining sugar – adding even more structure and creating a stiff, fluffy cloud batter.
Gently spoon the batter into an ungreased tube pan (also known as an angel food cake pan) and use an offset spatula to smooth the top
Pro Tip: a tube pan with a removable bottom and little feet to cool is elite and extra helpful for this cake.
Bake in the oven until the cake is tall and deeply golden. Once out of the oven, invert the cake on the counter (if the pan has feet) to cool and release from the pan. If the tube pan doesn’t have little cooling feet, invert the cake over a wine bottle, placing the center of the tube upside down over a bottle to cool.
Once the cake is thoroughly cooled, it’ll release from the pan. Either run a butterknife around the edges of the tube pan and give the cake a shimyshake out of the pan, or gently remove the sides of the removable bottom pan and pull the cake off the bottom of the pan. Place, bottom side up, on a plate or platter.
While the cake cools, we’ll make the softest whipped cream to top the cake. Lightly whip heavy cream with powdered sugar and vanilla. Mash raspberries and swirl into the whipped cream.
Swoop across the top of the cake with an offset spatula or a small knife. Sprinkle with a handful of fresh raspberries and dried rose petals if you’re extra fancy.
Slice gently with a serrated knife and marvel at the fluffy cloud that is this cake. The texture is soft and bouncy. It’s just the most tender little bite. Sweet, light, gentle, topped with creamy raspberries.
This is a delicate and classic cake. It’s one of my favorite bakes and I hope you love it as much as I do!
Leave any recipes questions in the comments below, and please rate and review this recipe below if you make it!
A classic, tender angel food cake topped with soft raspberry whipped cream.
For the Cake:
- 1 cup (120 grams) cake flour
- 1 2/3 cups (366 grams) granulated sugar (not organic – a finer grain granulated sugar is best. Pro-tip: Whirl sugar in a food processor to make it more fine)
- 1 3/4 cups (about 400 grams) large egg whites (from 12 or 13 eggs)
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
For the Whipped Cream:
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cups fresh raspberries
- To make the cake, place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
- Sift cake flour with 2/3 cup of sugar onto a piece of waxed or parchment paper – 3 times.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer using the whisk attachment, beat egg whites until frothy. Add the salt and cream of tartar and beat until the egg whites hold soft peaks. Beat in the remaining 1 cup of sugar, about 2 tablespoons at a time, until the egg whites are glossy and hold stiff peaks. Lastly, beat in the vanilla.
- Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in the flour and sugar mixture in four parts. Use a rubber spatula and be careful not to deflate the egg whites too much.
- Spoon the batter into an ungreased tube (angel food cake) pan and smooth the top. Rap pan on the counter to burst any air bubbles. Bake until cake is golden and springy on top. A skewer inserted into the center of the cake should come out clean – about 1 hour and 10-15 minutes.
- If the tube pan has feet, cool the cake inverted on the counter. If the cake pan doesn’t have feet, invert the cake pan over the top of a long-neck bottle to cool for 2 hours.
- To make the cream, whip together cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla into soft but firm peaks. Enough so that the cream holds its shape, but not so much that it becomes overly aerated. Barely smash the raspberries in a small bowl. Loosely fold the smashed berries into the whipped cream, leaving large streaks of berries.
- Just before serving, generously spoon and spread around the cake to coat or pipe onto the top of the cake in swirls.
Keywords: angel food cake, birthday cake, raspberry, fruit,