Addictive Recipes from a Self-Taught Baker

Party Angel Food Cake

Rainbow sprinkles, crunchy hazelnuts, and smooth chocolate ganache makes this a PARTY angel food cake.

Rainbow sprinkles, crunchy hazelnuts, and smooth chocolate ganache makes this fluffy angel food cake a huge party!

SBA followers: I’ve got a new post up in my photography section today. 

Prepare your eyes! Your tastebuds! Your stomach!

I’ve been working on perfecting angel food cake for the past few months and to finally reveal my beloved recipe, I obviously had to add some flair.

Sally sprinkle style.

Rainbow sprinkles, crunchy hazelnuts, and smooth chocolate ganache makes this fluffy angel food cake a huge party!

Do you like angel food cake? I personally love it with strawberries and whipped cream. No more, no less. That’s how my mom always made it. When my friends at Diamond of California asked me to prepare a fun sprinkle-loaded cake, I combined my (1) determination to perfect angel food cake (2) monstrous craving for chocolate and (3) obsession with all things rainbow. PS: these sprinkles are from Sweetapolita!

You might be an angel food cake purist, but if you’re not. This recipe is for you! Today I’m sharing the fluffiest angel food cake. So fluffy that it’s like bouncing on clouds with a huge smile and a fork in hand. In a totally non-creepy way of course. To this light-as-air cake, I added rainbow sprinkles, rich chocolate ganache, and crunchy hazelnuts.

I didn’t know how else to describe this recipe other than the word PARTY.

Rainbow sprinkles, crunchy hazelnuts, and smooth chocolate ganache makes this fluffy angel food cake a huge party!

Angel food cake is nothing to take lightly. This cake is so particular! I don’t want to intimidate you, I simply want to encourage you to try something new and exciting. And I’m here to help guide you! Let me tell you a few things I’ve learned.

First, angel food cake is mostly all egg whites. Beaten egg whites, whipped to fluffy oblivion. Make sure there are no yolks whatsoever. None! There’s no baking powder or soda– rather, angel food cake depends on air and steam for leavening.

There’s also flour, salt, sugar, cream of tartar, and vanilla. That’s it. For an extraordinarily fluffy cake, I’ve learned that it’s important to use cake flour– the lightest of all flour varieties. Using all-purpose flour produced a dense, almost bread-like texture. Not good. Just… not.

I’ve also learned that it’s important to aerate the ingredients to obtain that soft sponge cake texture. By aerate, I mean fluff up the flour and sugar. You know, make it lighter. Process the sugar in a food processor until powdery, then process the flour and salt. Pulse it just a few times to incorporate air. The aerated ingredients will dissolve quicker in the whipped egg whites. Meaning– the egg whites won’t deflate and lose their shape.

Look at this fluffball batter!

Rainbow sprinkles, crunchy hazelnuts, and smooth chocolate ganache makes this fluffy angel food cake a huge party!

It’s like marshmallows, unicorns, and puffy pillows all in one.

Rainbow sprinkles, crunchy hazelnuts, and smooth chocolate ganache makes this fluffy angel food cake a huge party!

Rainbow sprinkles, crunchy hazelnuts, and smooth chocolate ganache makes this fluffy angel food cake a huge party!

It’s nearly impossible waiting for this cake to cool! Actually, one thing about cooling. Make sure you cool the cake upside down. Angel food cake is so light that it can be crushed by its own weight. Always cool it upside down.

Ok. Now the ganache! Unlike angel food cake, chocolate ganache requires little thought or work. It’s only 2 ingredients: chocolate and heavy cream (or heavy whipping cream/double cream). Use pure chocolate. With only two ingredients, it’s important to make sure they are quality. I use semi-sweet chocolate for a dark chocolate flavor; use milk chocolate for a sweeter ganache. But trust me– dark semi-sweet is ridiculously good with this light angel food cake!

Rainbow sprinkles, crunchy hazelnuts, and smooth chocolate ganache makes this fluffy angel food cake a huge party!

And finally, a garnish of sprinkles and hazelnuts are the final invitees to the angel food cake party. It’s never a party without some confetti right?? For added flavor, toast those hazelnuts.

This cake is a texture lover’s dream come true. Light cake, silky smooth dark chocolate ganache, crunchy hazelnuts, and sweet sprinkles. It’s a party like no other.

Follow me on Instagram and tag #sallysbakingaddiction so I can see all the SBA recipes you make! 

Party Angel Food Cake

Rainbow sprinkles, crunchy hazelnuts, and smooth chocolate ganache makes this fluffy angel food cake a huge party!

Ingredients:

Cake

  • 1 and 3/4 cups (350g) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup + 2 Tablespoons (130g) cake flour (measured correctly)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 12 large egg whites1
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup (127g) rainbow sprinkles2

Ganache +Topping

  • 8 ounces (226g) semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped3
  • 1 cup (240ml) heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup (75g) chopped hazelnuts, such as Diamond of California hazelnuts
  • rainbow sprinkles
Special Equipment

 

Directions:

  1. Adjust the oven rack to the lower middle position and preheat oven to 325°F (163°C).
  2. Make the cake: In a food processor or blender, pulse the sugar until fine and powdery. Remove 1 cup and set aside to use in step 3; keep the rest inside the food processor. Add the flour and salt to the food processor. Pulse 5-10 times until aerated and light.
  3. Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat 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.  Whip until soft peaks form, about 5-6 minutes (see photo above for visual). Add the vanilla and beat just until combined.
  4. Sift the flour mixture into the egg white mixture. Sift slowly in 3 additions, while gently folding it in with a rubber spatula. Then, very gently fold in the sprinkles. Scrape mixture into a 10-inch angel food cake pan. (Don't grease the pan!)
  5. Bake the cake until a toothpick inserted comes out clean, about 40-46 minutes. Make sure you rotate the pan halfway through baking. Cool the cake completely upside-down set on a wire rack, about 3 hours. Once cooled, run a thin knife around the edges and gently tap the pan on the counter until the cake releases.
  6. Make the ganache: Place chopped chocolate into a large bowl. Heat the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Once it begins to boil, immediately remove from heat then pour over the chocolate. Stir gently and slowly using a wooden spoon until the ganache is smooth. Allow it to cool for 15 minutes. During this time, it will slowly thicken. Then pour or spoon over the cake. Top with sprinkles and hazelnuts. There will likely be leftover ganache. It's great over ice cream!
  7. Cover leftover cake and keep at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
  8. Make ahead tip: Prepare the angel food cake one day in advance and cover tightly at room temperature overnight. The ganache can also be prepared in advance; cover and keep in the refrigerator overnight. Then, warm up before drizzling over cake. Angel food cake can be frozen up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.

Recipe Notes:

  1. Use real egg whites. No egg white substitutions or egg whites from a carton. For the extra yolks, you can make pudding (great recipe in my cookbook), hollandaise, batches of cookies, lemon curd, etc.
  2. Make sure you use rainbow jimmies (the long strand sprinkles) or quins (the flat circle/shaped sprinkles). I find both don't bleed their color nearly as quickly as nonpareils (the little balls). For this cake, I used these.
  3. Use high quality pure chocolate. Do not use cheap chocolate chips. You need the real thing here!
  4. An angel food cake pan (aka tube pan) is imperative. Do not use a bundt pan or a regular cake pan. Angel food cake's structure and stability needs the pan's particular specifications. Some angel food cake pans come with little feet, which makes cooling the cake upside down easy. Mine does not. I simply cool the cake upside down on a wire rack. No problems there.

Adapted from Cooks Illustrated

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© Sally’s Baking Addiction. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

This chocolate ganache. You’ll eat it straight from the bowl.

Bye bye current size pants.

How to make the BEST chocolate ganache to pour over cakes and other desserts. Only 2 ingredients!

I’m working with Diamond of California to bring you this recipe!

Rainbow sprinkles, crunchy hazelnuts, and smooth chocolate ganache makes this fluffy angel food cake a huge party!

75 comments

  1. Sally…I absolutely love your recipes & ALL the info you give…tried & true…thank you. Your photos & now “cooking school” is fantastic…never knew measuring soooo important…Mother & Grandmother taught me growing up…a little of this & a pinch of that!!! lol Could you do a lesson on heavy cream? I am a bit confused on even that definition….see it in recipes, but what is it & why important? Is it whipping cream, 1/2 & 1/2, or does it say heavy cream @ the store? Dr. Google has soooo many answers, I am more confused. Hugs girl & keep up the “great” work…..Lynne

    • Thanks Lynne! Heavy cream, heavy whipping cream, and double cream are all pretty much the same with the only difference being the slight variation of milk fat %. They can pretty much all be used interchangeably in recipes.

  2. Sally, I’m totally going to make this today!!  But I have two questions…
    I’m a little confused by step 4 in the directions. You mention sifting the flour in 3 additions twice. Was that step duplicated by accident or do I need to break up the sifting into 6 additions total?
    Also, it’s raining here in Florida today. I’ve heard that angel food cake doesn’t like humidity (which is everyday) and rainy days. Any thoughts on that? Should I wait to do this another day? Not sure I can hold myself back!!
    Thank you for another delicious recipe! Can’t wait to make it!

  3. Wow, this looks gorgeous! Love the sprinkles for added colour!

  4. Sorry to post twice. My first comment disappeared but now I see it again. 😉

  5. What a beautiful angel food cake from the Angel of Food and Cake herself 🙂
    I need to invest in an angel food cake tin. I don’t think they are too common here in Australia but I’m going to find one so I can make this gorgeous cake!

  6. Would you recommend using fresh egg whites, or would it be acceptable to use just whites from a carton or the powdered kind?
    I’m just struggling to figure out how to use 12 yolks haha.

  7. For people asking about how to use up egg yolks, this cake: http://www.cooks.com/recipe/4o2h33hm/marians-daffodil-cake-chiffon.html or these cookies: http://www.food.com/recipe/egg-yolk-cookies-63803 (I’ve only made the cookies but they were very good – the cake at least has a bunch of good reviews).

  8. Yay, angel food! That makes three of four family birthdays (angel food, lemon, and plain old yellow), don’t suppose you have a german chocolate cake/cupcake recipe tucked away somewhere to complete the collection? =D This looks amazing, can’t wait to make it.

  9. I LOVE ANGEL FOOD CAKE! and chocolate and hazelnuts?? YES how have I never combined the 3 before??!

  10. Made it and loved it! I did leave out the sprinkles inside the cake but I used them to decorate on top of the chocolate ganache!! Sally my family loved this homemade cake. It was very light and fluffy. I’ve never made homemade angel food cake before, so thank you for making the process easy and delicious. 

  11. Hi Sally,
    I made this recipe a couple of days ago, I followed everything you wrote step by step but my batter turned out to be little runny in the end. It was foamy and light but not whipped-cream-light as you picture shows it. Any Ideas of where I went wrong?

    • Did you enjoy how the cake tasted?

      It could be a few things, but what comes to mind first is that the egg whites were beaten too much. When you overheat angel food cake batter, the egg whites will deflate creating a foamy, runny batter.

      • Oh yes it did turn out good, it was gone in one setting! I saved two pieces for myself and my dad kept asking me about them for the next couple of days! And I think that’s where I went wrong, with the eggs. I was worried that I beat them too little so I beat them for an extra minute or two. I also used room temperature eggs, do you think that affects it at all?

  12. Hey Sally! I do not have a food processor at home (which is crazy for how much I bake), but I do have superfine sugar. Can I use that instead of regular sugar and skip the food processor part?

  13. Hey sally is it ok to use home made cake flour in this recipe??  (AP flour and corn starch) 

  14. Hi Sal, I have a question. I made this cake a few days ago and I followed your instructions to a T. Everything was going perfectly until the cooling part. The cake came out of the oven high and beautiful but when I left it to cool upside down and came back an hour later the cake had deflated? And the texture was very sticky as opposed to light and fluffy. When I was trying to make soft peaks out of the egg whites I did notice that the mixture was starting to look suspiciously like marshmallow fluff. Do you think that has anything to do with it? (I should also mention the cake sort of slipped out of the pan half an hour into cooling but that still doesn’t explain the texture) Help please!

  15. Hi Sally,

    Does this ganache harden or does it stay like a shiny glaze?

  16. Hi sally! Could I make cupcakes from this recipe? 🙂

  17. Hi Sally! Can I top this cake with your strawberry buttercream frosting instead of the chocolate? 

  18. Hi Sally, this looks really good but I would like to make angel food cupcakes just with whip cream and strawberries. Can I use this same recipe to do cupcakes? Any additional suggestions? And what cook time would I use? Should I use cupcake liners or grease the pan?

    Thanks!!

  19. Hey Sally!
    I am so excited to try this out for my niece’s birthday! I couldn’t by chance make these into cupcakes could I? 
    Thank!

  20. I beat and beat and beat the egg whites and cream of tartar and never got soft peaks. I even tried another mixer, to no avail. It was just always soupy (kind of a thicker soupy once I added the flour mix), so I eventually just baked it anyway (it’s in the oven now) but I’m pretty sure all of my sprinkles sank to the bottom, and it surely won’t be light and fluffy like it’s supposed to be. 🙁 Any suggestions? Thanks in advance.

  21. I’ve never made angel food cake before…not even from a box! I decided to tackle this one because it’s my brother-in-law’s favorite type of cake! Worked out PERFECTLY and I must say, WAY better than any boxed kind I’ve had! I’m making a trifle with it and I’m a little sad I’m going to cut this beauty up! Thanks again for an amazing recipe Sally!!!

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