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Vanilla Bean Angel Food Cake

Angel food cake is everyone’s favorite blank slate for making awesome desserts. Serve it with a simple glaze or pile on fresh fruit, chocolate sauce or nutty sprinkles. —Leah Rekau, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Total Time
    Prep: 30 min. Bake: 45 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    16 servings


  • 12 large egg whites (about 1-2/3 cups)
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar, divided
  • 1 vanilla bean (see Editor's Note) or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • GLAZE:
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons 2% milk


  • Place egg whites in a large bowl; let stand at room temperature 30 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 325°. In a small bowl, mix flour and 3/4 cup sugar until blended.
  • Add seeds from vanilla bean (or extract if using), cream of tartar and salt to egg whites. Beat on medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining 3/4 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating on high after each addition until sugar is dissolved. Continue beating until soft glossy peaks form. Gradually fold in flour mixture, about 1/2 cup at a time.
  • Gently transfer batter to an ungreased 10-in. tube pan. Cut through batter with a knife to remove air pockets. Bake on lowest oven rack 45-55 minutes or until top springs back when lightly touched. Immediately invert pan; cool completely in pan, about 1-1/2 hours.
  • Run a knife around sides and center tube of pan. Remove cake to a serving plate.
  • For glaze, in a small bowl, mix confectioners' sugar, seeds from vanilla bean (or extract if using) and enough milk to reach desired consistency. Spread glaze over cake, allowing some to drip down sides.
Editor's Note
To remove the seeds from a vanilla bean, cut bean lengthwise in half with a sharp knife; scrape out the dark, pulpy seeds.
Nutrition Facts
1 slice: 177 calories, 0 fat (0 saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 80mg sodium, 41g carbohydrate (34g sugars, 0 fiber), 3g protein.

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  • varnerladyj
    Aug 24, 2019

    I live at a high altitude, above 6000’. What adjustments should I make?

  • Kate
    Jan 9, 2019

    Question.... Planning to make this recipe for my husband’s birthday! Angel food cake is his favorite! I only have a clear glass tube pan. What adjustments should I make when using this glass pan? Temp? Baking time? Should I grease pan? Your help is appreciated! Thanks!

  • LittleM11
    Sep 8, 2016

    Best Recipe I have a ever made! Wow! Worked perfect and tasted wonderful.I'll make this again and [email protected] by chance did you accidentally grease your pan? if you did ,that would be why it only was 2 inches high. An angel food cake needs to be put in a pan that isn't greased, and the egg whites need to glossy and when you touch the egg white mixture, you need to make sure you don't feel the sugar (that can also effect the outcome of the cake). If you try it again it is totally worth it!!!

  • shot3
    Apr 8, 2015

    My wife and I made this last weekend for an Easter desert and it did not turn out as it was supposed to. It did not rise at all. After it was done, it was two inches high and had the texture of a sponge. I did try some of it and it tasted good, but it did not rise. My wife threw it in the garbage. Maybe it needed baking soda or baking powder? I don't know what happened.

  • havingfunwithmyfamily
    Mar 26, 2015

    This is a great recipe. I was on vacation when I made, so I did not have all of the proper equipment. I bundt pan, and it made a beautiful decorative cake. But, I can't wait to try it again back at home with the proper tube pan, and add a little sherbert tucked into the middle. The kids will love it! I used the lime glaze recipe, and it was really good. I added some lemon, and made it a lemon/lime glaze. The lemon and lime shavings looked beautiful in the icing. The cake is beautiful, moist, and tasty.