A Cake Made for Angels

There’s a reason why this cake was named the food of the angels. Light as air and subtly sweet, it makes a perfect threesome with seasonal fresh fruit and whipped cream. Angel food cake is my #1 birthday cake of choice. It rekindles memories of my mom baking it when I was a little girl. Also, it is mostly egg whites, so how bad can it be for me? There has to be something good about having that much protein for dessert.

I made one significant change to the traditional recipe—I use honey instead of superfine sugar. With its more-intense flavour profile, I was able to cut the amount of sugar usually required in half. This cake has only six ingredients and is very easy to make. For a perfect angel food cake you just have to remember two things: sift the flour three times, and fold gently.

Food Waste Tip: Wondering what do do with any egg yolks leftover from getting all those egg whites? Why not make my Vanilla Pudding or 5-Minute Lemon Curd to go along with those puffy white slices of Angel Food Cake.

Angel Food Cake

Christine Tizzard
The cake for the angels.
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Course Dessert
Servings 8


  • flour sifter or fine mesh sieve
  • stand mixer with whisk attachment or handheld mixer
  • tube cake pan


  • 1 cup cake and pastry flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 12 egg whites large
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  • 3/4 cup sugar, honey, or maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract


  • Preheat oven 350°F (175°C).
  • In a large bowl, beat egg whites on medium-high with the whisk attachment until foamy, about 1 minute.
    Add cream of tartar and beat again on medium-high soft peaks form, 2–3 minutes. While gradually drizzling in the honey, continue to beat until stiff peaks form, 3–4 minutes. Beat in vanilla.
  • Transfer to the widest bowl you have. Sift flour for the third time over the egg whites, in 2 additions, folding gently with a spatula after each addition until just combined. Don’t overmix and deflate the airy goodness.
  • Gently spoon batter into an ungreased pan. Using a knife or barbecue skewer, cut through the batter to release any unwanted air bubbles.
  • Bake until golden and cake springs back when lightly pressed with fingers, 35–40 minutes.
  • Run a knife around the sides and bottom of the pan to help release the cake. Turn the pan upside-down onto a cooling rack for 1 hour, so the cake does not collapse onto itself.
  • Once cooled, wrap cake securely and store at room temperature for up to 2 days, or up to a week in the fridge.


For an extra fluffy angel food cake use superfine sugar since it does not weigh down the egg whites as much. 
This cake is best cut by a serrated knife.
Don’t grease the pan. It is harder to climb up a ladder if it is wet or greasy, and we want this cake to climb.
Use leftover yolks to make a custard or pudding to go along with cake. See my recipe for Vanilla Pudding. 
• For a Chocolate Orange Angel Food Cake, replace 1/4 cup(60 mL) flour with 1/4 cup (60 mL) cocoa powder and substitute the vanilla with 1 Tbsp (15 mL) orange flower water.
• To make the cake gluten-free, use $ cup + 4 tsp(205 mL) Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour (see p. 24)instead of the cake and pastry flour, then add 3 Tbsp(45 mL) cornstarch; this will create a lighter-weight gluten-free cake and pastry flour. Cake will not rise as high as with regular cake and pastry flour, but it tastes just as good.
Keyword angel food cake, egg whites, eggs, trifle

Photo by Reena Newman, Props by Laura Branson

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