Vanilla Angel Food Cake

This vanilla angel food cake has all the delicate goodness of classic angel food cake but is made better with the addition of pure vanilla and a blizzard of confectioners’ sugar. But that’s not to say you can’t continue to improve on it with your favorite embellishment.

A vanilla angel food cake in Bundt form, with a slice on its side, all sprinkled with powdered sugar

Adapted from Donna Hay | Donna Hay Modern Baking | Harper Collins. 2018

Light, fluffy, and airy, this vanilla-scented cake makes for a elegant foundation for your favorite cake embellishments. For us personally, ice cream, whipped cream, and berries rank high on our musts lists. Although we’d love to hear what you do to embellish angel food cake. Kindly let us know in a comment below.–Angie Zoobkoff


This is an answer for those of us that can restrain ourselves. Obviously, some of us never have to worry about the good stuff going stale. However, if you’re not an all-or-nothing eater, then an average angel food cake will remain fresh and temptingly delicious for 4 to 5 days at room temperature. And about that—it’s best to store an angel food cake at room temperature with an airtight cover. Refrigerating any cake does extend its shelf life, but it also distorts the fresh texture and flavor of your cake. This makes it perfect for toasting or dipping in fondue though…just so you know.

Vanilla Angel Food Cake

A vanilla angel food cake in Bundt form, with a slice on its side, all sprinkled with powdered sugar
This vanilla angel food cake has all the delicate goodness of classic angel food cake but is made better with the addition of pure vanilla and a blizzard of confectioners' sugar. But that's not to say you can't continue to improve on it with your favorite embellishment.
Donna Hay

Prep 20 mins
Cook 40 mins
Total 2 hrs
12 servings
148 kcal
5 from 1 vote
Print RecipeBuy the Donna Hay Modern Baking cookbook

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  • 9-inch (23-cm) tube pan


  • 12 large egg whites at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 1/4 cups superfine sugar or just blitz granulated sugar in a blender until finely ground but not powdery
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • Confectioners’ sugar for dusting


  • Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the egg whites and cream of tartar and whisk on high speed until soft peaks form, 3 to 5 minutes. Gradually add 3/4 cup superfine sugar and vanilla and whisk until thick and glossy.
  • In a medium bowl sift together the flour and 1/2 cup superfine sugar. Sift for a second time over the egg white mixture and gently fold to combine.
  • Spoon the mixture into an unbuttered 9-inch (23-cm) tube pan and smooth the top. Bake until the cake comes away from the sides of the pan, 35 to 40 minutes. Invert the pan and set aside until cooled completely, about 1 hour.
  • Using a butter knife, carefully loosen the edge of the cake from the pan and gently release it onto a cake stand or serving plate. Dust with confectioners’ sugar to serve.
5 from 1 vote
Print RecipeBuy the Donna Hay Modern Baking cookbook

Want it? Click it.

Show Nutrition

Serving: 1sliceCalories: 148kcal (7%)Carbohydrates: 32g (11%)Protein: 5g (10%)Fat: 1g (2%)Saturated Fat: 1g (6%)Sodium: 55mg (2%)Potassium: 108mg (3%)Fiber: 1g (4%)Sugar: 24g (27%)Calcium: 4mgIron: 1mg (6%)

Recipe Testers' Reviews

This vanilla angel food cake is easy to prepare and calls for just 5 ingredients. It has a light and fluffy texture and it’s sweet without being cloying. In summer, it’s delicious with fresh berries and whipped cream, while in winter it’s perfect for dipping with chocolate fondue.

This is a classic, delicious angel food cake! A lovely dessert on its own or accompaniment to a host of options.

The recipe is simple but be careful to continue folding as I found many pockets of the sifted flour mixture even after I thought it all was incorporated. I'd also recommend a high quality vanilla, as it’s the featured flavor in the cake.

We enjoyed it with both ice cream and whipped cream but will definitely make it again to serve with seasonal fruit.

This is a really good vanilla angel food cake. The cake was very delicately airy with a light and spongy crumb and had a subtle sweetness from the sugar and vanilla. This is a great recipe for when you are looking for an impressively light pillowy cake to showcase ripe berries and some “spirited” freshly whipped cream. A perfect base for berries and Chambord-scented whipped cream!

I’ve never made an angel food cake before, so I didn’t realize what the volume would be for whipping up 12 egg whites. I don’t have a stand mixer so was attempting this with my large 3-quart mixing bowl and a hand mixer. After transferring the contents twice to larger bowls, and ultimately ending up in a 5-quart stainless steel mixing bowl, I had the space necessary for the final volume of these whipped egg whites. The whites held up very well while folding in the flour and sugar mixture, and the batter completely filled my bundt pan. I was a bit concerned that the cake would rise up and out of the pan, but it didn’t. At the 35-minute mark in the oven, the top was a beautiful golden brown and was coming away from the sides of the pan as the instructions advised.

It was a bit of a challenge, however, to get the cooled cake out of the bundt pan. I think using a tube pan would be easier for this cake. The fluted edges of the bundt pan held on to the cake, but after a bit of wrestling with the help of a rubber spatula, I got it out with only one tear that was easily camouflaged with confectioners’ sugar.

Now, I’m off to find a recipe to use up 12 egg yolks.

Originally published December 16, 2018


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    1. Absolutely, Ann. Thanks for pointing that out. We must have had pound cake on the brain when we added that note.

  1. I am puzzled at the inclusion of all-purpose flour. I have always made angel food cake with cake flour. Can you explain how this works, how the cake rises sufficiently, etc., with higher gluten flour? I would enjoy making this and want to make sure I get it right!

    Thank you very much.

    I just love your emails/website!

    1. Thanks, Ellen! We’re so pleased you’re enjoying the site. Angel food cakes are often made with cake flour, however, our testers found that this did indeed work using all-purpose flour. You want to make sure your egg whites are well-whipped, as this is what gives the cake its airy structure. You’ll notice that the instructions also have you sift the flour mixture twice which also helps to achieve that classic angel food cake texture. If you make it, do let us know how it turns out.

  2. My son and I are diabetic what can we switch some of the ingredients for so the cake is safe for those with diabetes?

    1. Tracey, because this concerns the health of both you and your son, I don’t suggest substitutions. I think the best thing is to find an similar cake recipe that is approved for diabetics. I hope you understand. And I wish you the best on your health!

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