Traditional Angel Food Cake Recipes

Thanks to Grandma's traditional Angel food cake recipes, you'll be able to make light and fluffy homemade dessert cakes with a truly divine taste. You'll love serving them to your appreciative guests.

North American cookbooks began to feature Angel cake in the 1880s, along with similar fluffy-textured dessert cakes that call for large quantities of egg whites.

It's thought by some food historians that these fluffy white cakes originated with thrifty Pennsylvania Dutch cooks as a practical means to use leftover egg whites.

Grandma's Traditional Angel Food Cake Recipes

Mom's Recipe Scrapbooks (c. 1920s)

Homemade Angel Food Cake Slice Served with FruitHomemade Angel Food Cake Slice with Fresh Fruit
(Source: ©bhofack2/Depositphotos.com)

Because of their fluffy lightness, traditional angel food cake recipes naturally call for more egg whites than other cakes.

Today, containers of pasteurized egg whites are sold in most food stores making it easier and cheaper than separating whole eggs solely for the whites.

7 Step Traditional Angel Food Cake Recipe

Vintage Angel Food Cake PhotoLight and Fluffy Homemade Angel Food Cake
(PD Source: Adapted by Don Bell)

Angel Cake Ingredients:

Whites of 6 eggs, 3/4 cup fruit sugar, 1/2 cup flour, 2-1/4 teaspoons cornstarch, 3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar, 1/6 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice.

  1. Sift the fruit sugar 5 times.
  2. Sift four, cream of tartar, cornstarch, and salt 5 times.
  3. Beat whites of eggs until foamy, add sugar slowly, continue beating.
  4. Add flavoring, then lightly fold in the flour, sifting it gradually over the mixture.
  5. Turn into non buttered angel food tube pan.
  6. Bake in slow oven 1/2 hour (275°F to 300°F). Place in center of oven. The oven door should not be opened during first 20 minutes.
  7. When done invert pan on cake-rack. Let cake hang in the pan until cold.

Traditional Angel Food Cake Recipe

Vintage Angel Food CakeServe Your Family Angel Food Cake Tonight
(Source: ©Don Bell)

11 eggs, whites only
1-1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Pinch of salt

Sift flour, cream of tartar, sugar, and salt together 4 or 5 times. Beat the egg whites in a large dish to a stiff froth. Add the sifted flour, etc., gradually, beating all the time.

Have angel food cake pan ready — do not let the cake stand a minute after it is mixed!

Bake about 45 minutes at 300°F, or just until done, and do NOT open the oven door to check until the cake has been in at least 15 minutes. Add 2 teaspoons rose water to batter, if desired.

Traditional Angel Food Cake Recipe With Almond Cream Filling

Slice of Angel Food CakeAngel Food Cake

Ingredients:

1-1/3 cups egg whites
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup sifted cake flour

Size of angel food cake pan required: Deep tube center pan, 10-inches across; or 2 cake pans 7-1/2 inches across by 3-1/2 inches deep.

Method:

  1. Beat egg whites with flat whip.
  2. Add salt and cream of tartar when egg whites are frothy.
  3. Continue beating until egg whites will stand in peaks when whip is pulled out.
  4. Gradually beat in 1 cup sugar that has been sifted twice.
  5. Fold in vanilla flavoring.
  6. Sift flour once before measuring.
  7. Fold in flour gradually which has been sifted 3 times with remaining 1/2 cup sugar.
  8. Pour into dry non greased pan. Cut through batter with a knife to break any large air bubbles in the batter.
  9. Bake and after removing from oven, invert pan over two or three tumblers until cake is entirely cold. Having cake suspended thus, it will cool at full stretch and not fall back on itself.

Baking time and temperature: 1 hour in 325°F slow moderate oven.

Split cake to make 2 layers. Place almond cream filling between layers and cover cake with white seven minute icing (see ecipes below).

Almond Cream Filling

4 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup rich milk, or table cream
4 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 pound blanched and toasted almonds, chopped.

Mix sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Add milk and cook 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Add slowly, slightly beaten egg yolks and cook in double boiler until thick and creamy, add nuts and vanilla and cool before spreading between layers of angel cake.

Seven Minute Icing

1 cup granulated sugar
2 egg whites
4 tablespoons cold water
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract

Place first 5 ingredients in saucepan, set in pan of hot water over low heat. Beat continuously for 7 minutes. Remove from heat, add flavoring and beat well. When cool spread generously over cake.

Mock Angel Food Cake

Are you short of eggs? This traditional angel food cake recipe calls for only 2 egg whites and although the mock angel cake isn't as fluffy and rich as its namesake, it is still delicious.

1 cup sugar
1-1/3 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup scalded milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
Whites 2 eggs

Mix and sift the first four ingredients four times. Add gradually, the scalded milk. Fold in whites of eggs, beaten until stiff, and add the vanilla.

Turn into a non buttered angel food cake pan and bake in a moderate oven (350°F) 45 minutes, or until done.

Frau Schmidt's Traditional Angel Food Cake Recipe

Mary at The Farm and Book of Recipes (1915)

Cover of Mary at the Farm and Book of RecipesMary at the Farm - 1915

Follow along as a Pennsylvania German housewife shares her traditional Angel Food Cake recipe while explaining step-by-step how she baked her light-as-a-feather cakes from scratch.

Feather Light Angel Food Cake

Baking Tip

Frau Schmidt measured the eggs in a cup instead of taking a certain number, as she thinks it more exact.

When making a traditional Angel Food Cake recipe from scratch, use one even cupful of the whites of egg (whites of either eight large or nine small eggs); a pinch of salt, if added when beating eggs, hastens the work. One and one-quarter cups granulated sugar, and 1 cup of Iglehart's Swansdown cake flour. Sift flour once, then measure and sift three times.

Beat whites of eggs about half, add 1/2 teaspoonful of cream of tartar then beat whites of eggs until they will stand of their own weight.

Add sugar, then flour, not by stirring, but by folding over and over, until thoroughly mixed. Flavor with 1/2 teaspoonful of vanilla or a few drops of almond extract.

How to Bake Angel Food Cake

As much care should be taken in baking an Angel cake as in mixing.

Bake in an ungreased patent pan (angel food pan). Place the cake in an oven that is just slightly warm until the batter has raised to the top of the cake pan, then increase the heat gradually until the cake is well browned over (350°F).

If by pressing the top of the cake with the finger it will spring back without leaving the impression of the finger, the cake is done through.

Great care should be taken that the oven is not too hot to begin with, as the cake will rise too fast and settle or fall in the baking. It should bake in from 35 to 40 minutes' time.

When done, invert the pan and let stand until cold before removing it. Should you see the cake browning before it rises to top of pan, throw your oven door open and let cold air rush in and cool your oven instantly. Be not afraid. The cold air will not hurt the cake. Two minutes will cool any oven.

Watch cake closely. Don't be afraid to open oven door every three or four minutes. This is the only way to properly bake this cake.

When cake has raised above top of pan, increase your heat, and finish baking rapidly. Baking too long dries out the moisture and makes it tough and dry.

When cake is done, it begins to shrink. Let it shrink back to level of pan. Watch carefully at this stage and take out of oven and invert immediately. Rest on center tube of pan. Let hang until perfectly cold, then take cake carefully from pan.

When baking Angel food cake always be sure the oven bakes good brown under bottom of cake. If cake does not crust under bottom, it will fall out when inverted and shrink in the fall.

Most times, I never invert my pans of Angel food cake on taking them from oven, as the cakes are liable to fall out even if the pan is not greased. I think it safer to allow the pans containing the cakes to stand on a rack and cool without inverting the pan.

How to Remove Angel Food Cake From Its Pan

Removing Angel Cake from PanEasily Removing Angel Food Cake from Its Pan
(Source: Don Bell)

Follow instructions in the traditional angel food cake recipe to bake your Angel Cake. After removing your baked cake from the hot oven, gently rest the rim of the inverted cake pan over two or three glasses, until the cake has fully cooled.

Suspending it upside-down while cooling will prevent it from falling back on itself.

Finally, carefully loosen the completely cooled cake with a knife as shown above, then invert the pan and sharply tap its rim on a hard surface to dislodge it from the pan. Your cake is ready for decorating.

Easy No Bake Angel Food Desserts

These are very easy desserts to make when you have some leftover Angel Food Cake. Delicious!

Strawberry Angel Food Dessert

1 package (3 ounces) strawberry flavored gelatin dessert
1-1/4 cups boiling water
10 ounces sliced frozen strawberries or canned strawberries
1 tablespoon white sugar
Pinch of salt
1/2 prebaked 10-inch angel food cake torn in pieces
1/2 pint whipping cream

Dissolve gelatin in 1-1/4 cups boiling water. Stir in thawed strawberries, sugar, and salt. Cool until it begins to thicken. Fold in the cream, whipped.

Cover bottom of 9-inch pan with half of the torn angel cake, pour over half of the strawberry and cream mixture, add another layer of cake and repeat strawberry and cream mixture.

Refrigerate 4 to 5 hours until firm before serving.

Angel Food Surprise

Vintage Angel Food Surprise IllustrationDelicious Angel Food Surprise Dessert
(Source: Don Bell)

Here's a wonderful old fashioned dessert idea. Imagine serving generous slices of angel food cake totally covered with rich butter icing containing crushed pineapple bits and topped with a glistening pineapple slice and a strawberry.

If you don't have any leftover angel cake then choose one of the traditional angel food cake recipes and bake one tonight. This dessert is absolutely delicious!

FAQ for Baking Perfect Angel Food Cakes Just Like Grandma's

What Makes Angel Food Cake Different?

Traditional angel food cake recipes don't call for butter. They're a type of sponge cake made with white flour, sugar, and egg whites, and their light airy texture comes from using well-whipped egg whites.

Is Sponge Cake the Same as Angel Food Cake?

Sponge cakes are richer than Angel food cakes because they contain both the egg yolks and the whites, yet angel cakes are lighter than chiffon cakes because they contain no butter or oil.

Why Are Angel Cakes Made in a Tube Pan?

The round tube pan with its inner tube ensures an even bake by giving more surface area for the light batter to cling to. Also, the center of the angel cake could collapse under its own weight without the tube helping to support it.

Can You Make Angel Food Cake in a Regular Cake Pan?

If you don't have a 9-inch tube pan, then use a standard 9x5-inch loaf pan while only filling it 2/3 full and allowing that the baking time might vary.

You can also use any round cake pan of suitable depth by substituting an empty soup tin for the missing center tube.

Disposable angel food cake pans made of aluminum foil are available for sale in stores and online.

If using a standard 9x13-inch cake pan, only fill 2/3 and bake about 40 minutes, until the top crust appears golden and slightly cracked.

Bundt pans are not recommended, since they make it very difficult to remove the baked cake in one piece.

How to Cool an Angel Food Cake

This light cake will collapse under its own weight if not cooled upside down for about 2 hours.

Rest edges of pan on tins of equal height or carefully balance the center tube on a glass bottle (see above).

Are Angel Food Cakes Healthy to Eat?

Traditional angel food cake recipes call for no egg yolks, butter or oil resulting in less fat and calories than other types of cake. Some might consider it a quilt-free dessert cake.

Can You Ice Angel Food Cakes?

Yes, you can ice with your favorite frosting once your cake has cooled completely. Lemon butter cream icing is delicious on angel cake.

These homemade dessert cakes are also delicious when served with whipped cream and fresh berries in season.

How to Cut an Angel Food Cake

Gently sawing with a serrated blade or bread knife can cut through the light-as-air cake without squishing and help to preserve its airy texture.

How Long Can Angel Food Sit Out?

Angel food cake kept covered in plastic wrap can last 1 to 2 days at normal room temperature or up to 1 week chilled in the refrigerator.

Can You Freeze Angel Food Cake?

Angle food cake that's not iced can be frozen for up to 6 months since traditional angel food cake recipes call for no butter and oil.

However, the cake will dry out quickly so freeze immediately by wrapping pieces in plastic wrap and then sealing them in a freezer bag. A plastic container can protect the pieces from being squashed. Thaw and eat right away.

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