1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons cake flour (spoon & leveled)
1/4 tsp. salt
12 large egg whites, at room temperature
1 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Adjust the oven rack to the lower middle position and preheat oven to 325 degrees.
In a food processor or blender, pulse the sugar until fine and powdery. Remove 1 cup and set aside; keep the rest inside the food processor. Add the cake flour and salt to the food processor. Pulse 5-10 times until sugar/flour/salt mixture is aerated and light.
In a large bowl using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip egg whites and cream of tartar together on medium-low until foamy, about 1 minute. Switch to medium-high and slowly add the 1 cup of sugar you set aside. Whip until soft peaks form, about 5-6 minutes. Add the vanilla extract, then beat just until incorporated.
In 3 additions, slowly sift the flour mixture into the egg white mixture using a fine mesh strainer, gently folding with a rubber spatula after each addition. To avoid deflating or a dense cake, do not add the flour mixture all at once. Sift and very slowly fold in several additions. This is important so take your time. Pour and spread batter into an ungreased 9 or 10 inch tube pan. Gently rotate the pan on the counter to smooth down the surface.
Bake the cake until a toothpick inserted comes out clean, about 40-45 minutes. Rotate the pan halfway through baking. The cake will rise-up very tall while baking. Remove from the oven, then cool the cake completely upside-down set on a wire rack, about 3 hours. (Upside-down so the bottom of the tube pan is right-side up). Once cooled, run a thin knife around the edges and gently tap the pan on the counter until the cake releases.
Recipe courtesy of: sallysbakingaddiction.com
- Use freshly separated egg whites.
- Pulse granulated sugar into superfine sugar.
- Whip egg whites into soft peaks, not stiff peaks.
- Sift and gently fold in dry ingredients.
- Do not grease the tube pan.
- Cool the cake upside-down on a wire rack.
- Use a serrated knife to slice.
Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Optional: confectioners’ sugar for dusting, whipped cream, and berries
Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: Prepare the angel food cake one day in advance, then cover tightly and store at room temperature overnight. Angel food cake can be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then bring to room temperature before serving.
Egg Whites: I strongly recommend using fresh real egg whites instead of egg white substitutes, previously frozen egg whites, or egg whites from a carton. Separate the eggs when they are cold, then bring the egg whites to room temperature. Fresh room temperature egg whites whip into the fluffiest volume. With the extra yolks, make lemon curd, sauces or breads.
Pan: An angel food cake pan (aka tube pan) is imperative. Do not use a Bundt pan. Angel food cake’s structure and stability requires the tube pan’s particular specifications. Some angel food cake pans come with little feet, which makes cooling the cake upside down easy. If your pan has feet, no need to use a wire rack. Whether your tube pan has feet or not, cool the cake upside down as directed.