Classic Angel Food Cake

Just waiting for fresh cream and berries

A tin with angel food cake on a table

Photo: Kelly Marshall

This cake has been in my dessert repertoire since high school. It is as spongy and fluffy as a cloud, and it’s fat-free. Serve it plain, simply dusted with confectioners’ sugar, or paired with berries and whipped cream. To ensure maximum lift, make sure your 10-inch tube pan is grease-free and your egg whites contain no trace of yolk. —Crystal Wilkinson, Praisesong for the Kitchen Ghosts: Stories and Recipes from Five Generations of Black Country Cooks

Read more about Wilkinson’s new book here.

Stay in Touch with G&G
Get The Skillet, our weekly food and drink newsletter.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.


  • ANGEL FOOD CAKE (YIELD: One 10-inch cake)

    • 1½ cups confectioners’ sugar

    • 1 cup cake flour

    • 12 large eggs, at room temperature

    • 1½ tsp. cream of tartar

    • 1 cup granulated sugar

    • ⅛ tsp. table salt

    • 1 tsp. vanilla extract


  1. Sift the confectioners’ sugar with the cake flour onto a sheet of wax or parchment paper. Repeat two more times.

  2. Move the center oven rack down one notch and preheat the oven to 325°F.

  3. To separate the egg whites from their yolks, crack the eggs one at a time into a small bowl. Lift out the yolk and place it in a separate container with a little water in it (see Tip), and pour the whites, one at a time, into a 2-cup measuring cup. You need a total of 1½ cups of totally yolk-free egg whites.

  4. Pour the egg whites into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment or a mixing bowl and use a handheld mixer. Beat on medium-low speed until frothy, then sprinkle in the cream of tartar. Beat on medium-high speed until glossy, soft peaks form.

  5. Sift or gradually spoon small amounts of the granulated sugar into the egg whites, beating at medium-high speed as you go and maintaining the beaten peaks. Add the salt and vanilla, beating to incorporate. Remove the bowl from the mixer.

  6. In three additions, use a flexible spatula to fold in the sifted confectioners’ sugar–cake flour mixture to create a soft batter. Do not overmix. Transfer to your tube pan, spreading the batter gently and evenly. Bake on the repositioned rack for 40–45 minutes, until the surface is lightly browned, with some wide cracks. Invert the cake, still in its pan, on a wire rack or with its center tube set on the long neck of a sturdy bottle to cool. Once it’s completely cooled (at least 1 hour), run a thin knife around the cake’s edges to dislodge it.

  7. Tip: Leftover yolks from this recipe can be refrigerated with a little water in an airtight container for up to 2 days. Use them to make mayonnaise, hollandaise sauce, lemon curd, ice cream, crème brûlée, and more.

Reprinted with permission from Praisesong for the Kitchen Ghosts: Stories and Recipes from Five Generations of Black Country Cooks by Crystal Wilkinson copyright © 2024. Photographs by Kelly Marshall copyright © 2024. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Penguin Random House.


Garden & Gun has an affiliate partnership with and may receive a portion of sales when a reader clicks to buy a book.