Ethereal Chocolate Angel Food Cake

After my post a while back about one of my favorite ways to dress up an angel food cake, I must have received a dozen comments both in email form and in person from friends saying they were shocked I don’t make my own homemade angel food cake.

I know, I know! I’ve tried, trust me, and the results were disastrous – which, combined with the fact that I wasted a dozen eggs convinced me I should stick with the boxed version.

However a few days after that post, my friends, Meg and Bruce, dropped off one of the most delicious cake I have ever eaten. A lighter-than-air chocolate angel food cake slathered in french cream frosting. Oh my. I must have eaten five pieces. And then I called and demanded the recipe.

And here it is.

A few of the merits: no cake flour! Yahoo. I never have that on hand but I’m always good for some all-purpose, and the baked cake still manages to be tender and silky and light. Also, the original recipe is for a basic angel food cake with a simple variation to make it deliciously chocolate. Try either lovely version!

I topped my confection with whipped cream and strawberries, but this cake would be delicious doused in ketchup, I swear it is that good. Most of all, I’m so proud I finally conquered a homemade angel food cake. Thanks, Meg and Bruce – this is definitely going in the Best Recipe section!

Ethereal Chocolate Angel Food Cake

One Year Ago: Sour Cream Banana Bread
Two Years Ago: Blueberry Crumb Muffins

Ethereal Chocolate Angel Food Cake

Ethereal Chocolate Angel Food Cake

Note: To make a chocolate version, substitute 1/4 cup cocoa powder for 1/4 cup of the flour.


    Dry ingredients:
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • For the egg white mixture:
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 12 large egg whites (make sure not to get any of the shell or egg yolk in with the whites or they won’t beat up properly)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ teaspoon cream of tartar


  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder (if using), sugar and salt and set aside. In another bowl place the egg whites and add the vanilla. With a hand mixer (or with a stand mixer), beat the egg whites and vanilla on medium-high until the mixture is just frothy, about one minute. Sprinkle the cream of tartar on the top of the foamy whites and continue beating on medium-high until soft peaks form, another 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add the sugar 1/4 cup at a time until fully incorporated. Continue beating until the whites are stiff and glossy (see the picture below). This may take several minutes, depending on the type of mixer you are using. With a whisk, gently fold the dry ingredients into the beaten egg whites. Pour the batter evenly into an ungreased angel food cake pan and smooth the top with a rubber spatula. Place the cake on a rack in the center of the oven and bake for 40-45 minutes, until the top of the cake is golden brown, the cake springs back when lightly touched and the cracks are dry to the touch. Place the cake upside down on cooking rack or bottle until cool (see picture below). Slide a knife around the edges of the pan and gently remove the cake.

Recipe Source: from Meg and Bruce M.

Here is what the egg whites should look like when beaten to stiff peaks.

A-1 is my bottle of choice for cooling this majestic cake.

43 Responses to Ethereal Chocolate Angel Food Cake

  1. I adore chocolate angel food cake. My grandma used to make it. I haven’t had it in years. So delicious!

  2. Alicia says:

    This looks great!!! I am trying it this sunday! I love your website. It is my go-to when planning my weekly menu. Everything I have made from here is great. Keep it up. THANK YOU

  3. Kim in MD says:

    I haven’t made angel food cake in years, but your photo makes me want to run out and buy a dozen eggs right this second (I checked-I only have 5 eggs in my fridge)! I may even have to break my “no oven this summer” rule (again) to make this cake this weekend! 🙂

  4. Yum, I love Chocolate Angel Food Cake. In fact, I just posted some chocolate angel food cupcakes right before reading this!

  5. Anytime I make a recipe and it flops, what upsets me most is wasting the ingredients. I just posted hand pies on my website, and I couldn’t begin to count the number of times the recipe failed. Trashing the dough is okay, but trashing expensive berries? No ok.
    I would really like to try this recipe someday! Thanks for sharing!

  6. Emily Heinhold says:

    This looks so good and I really want to try it. Could you bake it in a bundt pan instead of an angel food cake pan?

    • Mel says:

      Emily – the real answer is…I don’t have the answer. I want to say yes so that you don’t have to get a special pan but I’ve never tried it that way. From what I’ve read on the internet, it can be baked that way but basically you’ll have to spoon the cake out of the pan to serve it, instead of it coming out on it’s own and slicing nicely.

  7. Veronica M. says:

    It’s been almost a year since I made angel food cake. I will try this chocolate version next.

  8. Veronica M. says:

    P.S. What is French cream frosting and why is there no recipe for it?! 🙂

    • Mel says:

      Veronica – french cream frosting is absolutely delicious but I haven’t actually made it myself yet, which is why there isn’t a recipe. Plus it calls for raw egg yolks, which some get nervous about. But I guarantee when I make this cake with french cream frosting, I’ll post the recipe!

  9. Mindy says:

    That looks amazing! I have always been a fan of angel food cake, and I’ve often wondered why you don’t see it with a chocolate flare. Yours looks fantastic!

  10. Katherine says:

    Does there have to be so much sugar (I try to avoid such large amounts) ? Is there a way to reduce it or sub something for it?

    • Mel says:

      Katherine – angel food cake is notorious for it’s lack of fat and oil; however, it does have a fair amount of sugar to sweeten it up. I searched through many angel food cake recipes after reading your comment and I didn’t find a recipe that called for less than 1 1/2 cups of sugar – it sounds like that is the standard for this type of cake. You could always try to decrease it but I can’t guarantee the results will turn out. Let me know if you try it.

  11. Bruce in De Pere says:

    Meg and I are glad you liked it. Thanks for posting the recipe, it makes us feel a little famous.

  12. grace says:

    i made my first angel food cake a couple of weeks ago, and even though it was heinous to see, it tasted tremendous. i was hesitant to do the ol’ upside-down bottleneck trick, but everything worked out okay. 🙂
    also, ethereal is an awesome adjective. 🙂

  13. Deborah says:

    It’s been years since I’ve tried to make an angel food cake from scratch – I need to give this one a try!

  14. Nicole says:

    This looks great, I don’t have a pan to make it in, but when I get one, ooh boy! 🙂 Any ideas on what to do with all those egg yokes?

  15. Elisa says:

    I’m so excited to try this! I’ve never been a fan of store bought angel cake, but I do so love me a betty crocker box mix!! It is a family favorite. And now I’m very excited to try this from scratch!

  16. Sook says:

    Mel, this looks so delicious! I love fresh strawberries and homemade angel food cake sounds awesome!

  17. LinC says:

    For those worried about sugar — I’ve successfully made angel food cake by subsituting the pourable Splenda 1-for-1 for the sugar. The cake is a little chewier than the oh-so-fluffy full-sugar cake (about as chewy as box-mix angel food cake) but very satisfactory. Be sure to use the Splenda from the yellow box, not packets. The packets are much sweeter.

  18. Carlee says:

    I’ve never made an angel food cake before, but this one looked so delicious I just had to try. It came out absolutely perfect. Light and delicious with a perfect hint of chocolate!! My whole family loved it and my dad said it was the best cake he’d ever eaten. I will definitely be making it again. Thank you!

  19. AmyLeigh says:

    Finding a way to get a chocolate fix while dieting and fighting high cholesterol left me feeling more than a little cranky. This cake is a lifesaver!

  20. Lori Ann says:

    I was wondering if you can freeze this cake to save for a later time?

  21. bdubz says:

    Ok. I need to preface this by saying I’ve never made/eaten/seen/touched Angel Food Cake. It’s not something I’ve come across in NZ or the UK.

    Soooo, I think, how hard can it possibly be? I’ve made a lot of the recipes on this site, adjusting ingredients as I go, they’ve all, without exception, turned out perfectly. I’ll make it in my cute little 30 HOLE CAKELET pan. That’s right. I attempted to make AFC into THIRTY cakelet’s.

    And, yes (sigh), I did read the recipe without once thinking about the ingredients and what sort of texture they would produce.

    Anyhoo….long story short (which does involve eating them right out of the pan because they aren’t just gonna ‘plop’ out nicely), I had enough left over to make an actual cake, served it up with fresh raspberries and creme anglaise – delicious!

    To be made again, as a cake, ‘cos, y’know it’s called a cake not cakelets. Sheesh! 🙂

    • Mel says:

      bdubz – thanks for the laugh, although I feel badly laughing at your expense!! I can’t believe all the work that must have gone into making 30 mini angel food cakes but I’m glad you had enough left over for the real thing – and served with fresh raspberries and creme anglaise, it sounds positively dreamy!

  22. Erin says:

    I made this today, and it was so easy. I bought a carton of egg whites for simplicity, and made the chocolate version. Thanks so much for this!!

  23. Davis says:

    Maybe this obvious to someone who cooks more often, but will high altitude make my cake completely deflate on itself in the last minutes of baking? I was so excited and then myself deflated when it shrunk to 1/2 the size of the pan. 🙁

  24. Mel says:

    Davis – I’m so sorry that happened! Yes, high altitude could definitely be a factor although I don’t know all the ins and outs of it. I’ve never made this cake at a high altitude but I googled a high altitude baking article and this one gave some tips on how to adjust:

  25. Kimberly says:

    This looks delicious! I’ve loved every recipe of yours I’ve tried. You’ll have to try out Ina Garten’s Angel Food Cake. It’s to die for! And for egg yolks? Her Double Chocolate Pudding takes 6…mmm.

  26. Marilyn says:

    Hi Mel: new website is great, enjoyed jalapeño turkey burgers. Wondering: how much cocoa powder goes in this chocoangel food cake? Thanks

  27. Marilyn says:

    Clarity purposes: can I use the full amount of flour and still the same amount of cocoa.? I want the cake to be tall and am afraid if I reduce the flour the cake may fall. Cocoa has no rising properties does it? Help

    • Mel says:

      Hi Marilyn – I think if you use the full amount of flour AND add 1/4 cup cocoa, the cake will be dry. Neither flour nor cocoa has rising properties as far as I know, it’s due to the eggs and other chemical reactions that cause the cake to rise. I make it chocolate all the time by decreasing the flour by 1/4 cup and it works great. Keep in mind that this cake isn’t quite as tall as an angel food cake from a box mix.

  28. […] Ethereal Chocolate Angel Food Cake – Mel's Kitchen Cafe my post a while back about one of my favorite ways to dress up an angel food cake, I must have received a dozen comments both in email form and in. … And then I called and demanded the recipe. And here it is. A few of the merits: no cake flour! Yahoo. I never have that on hand but I'm always good for some …. It's been years since I've tried to make an angel food cake from scratch – I need to give this one a try! Nicole says: June 26, 2010 at 8:47 pm. This looks … […]

  29. […] Ethereal Chocolate Angel Food Cake | Mel's Kitchen Cafe few of the merits: no cake flour! Yahoo. I never have that on hand but I'm always good for some all-purpose, and the baked cake still manages to be tender and silky and light. Also, the original recipe is for a basic angel food … […]

  30. Jamie says:

    This was a-mazing. SO GOOD. That is all.

  31. Jamie says:

    This was ah-mazing. I can’t stop thinking about it. This is my new bake-to-impress dessert. So good.

  32. Marek says:

    Is it possible to substitute egg white powders in lieu of actual egg whites? I know, I know…I’m lazy.

    • Mel says:

      I’m not sure I would recommend that only because powdered egg whites have a different taste (a little artificial) and I think it would affect the overall flavor.

  33. Tracy says:

    I do not have an angel food cake pan – is there another pan I can use?

    Thanks 🙂

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