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

sprinkle angel food cake with chocolate ganache and sprinkles

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.

slices of sprinkle angel food cake on pink and blue plates with forks

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.

sprinkle angel food cake

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, use cake flour, which is the lightest of all flour varieties. All-purpose flour produces a dense, almost bread-like texture. In a pinch, you can use this cake flour substitute.

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!

angel food cake batter in a metal stand mixer bowl

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

2 images of angel food cake batter in a bowl and angel food cake batter with sprinkles in a tube pan

sprinkle angel food cake in a tube pan after baking

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.

Onto the chocolate 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!

slice of sprinkle angel food cake with chocolate ganache on a pink plate

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. You could even add a dollop of whipped cream for good measure!

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.

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sprinkle angel food cake with chocolate ganache and sprinkles

Party Angel Food Cake

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 4 hours, 10 minutes
  • Yield: serves 1012 1x
  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

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


Ingredients

Scale

Cake

  • 1 and 3/4 cups (350g) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup + 2 Tablespoons (133g) cake flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 12 large egg whites (room temperature)*
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup (127g) rainbow sprinkles*

Ganache + Topping

  • 8 ounces (226g) semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped*
  • 1 cup (240ml) heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup (75g) chopped hazelnuts
  • rainbow sprinkles

Instructions

  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.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead Instructions: 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.
  2. Egg Whites: I strongly recommend using real egg whites instead of egg white substitutes or egg whites from a carton. For the extra yolks, you can make pudding (great recipe in my cookbook), hollandaise, batches of chewy chocolate chip cookies, lemon curd, or some of these recipes.
  3. Sprinkles: 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).
  4. Chocolate: Use high quality pure chocolate. Do not use cheap chocolate chips. You need the real thing here!
  5. Pan: 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.
  6. Adapted from Cooks Illustrated.

Keywords: confetti angel food cake, sprinkle angel food cake

Reader Questions and Reviews

    1. Hey Sally,
      This is my first time making Angel Food Cake and I came across it the other day when I was looking for a Chocolate Gnashe recipe. I followed the directions exactly & used fresh eggs from my flock of laying hens. I was extremely proud of myself because the cake came out of the oven just like the pictures you show in the recipe. The gnashe is also amazing….I am extremely nervous now because I was reading that despite looking fine after baking there is still a chance of deflating so I will be anxiously waiting for this thing to cool. How long after it is inverted and cooling would it fail?

  1. 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.

    1. I added two eggs to the yolks and some whipping cream and scrambled them up all light and fluffy and made my hubby an omelette for Sunday Brunch. He was in heaven. Served him the Cake for dessert. He said the cake was the best he has ever had in his whole life & if he died now he would die happy. 🙂 thanks Sally!

  2. 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. 

  3. 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?

      1. The amount of sugar is the same with both types of sugar, wouldn’t the super fine sugar make it too sweet? Is the same with powdered sugar?

      2. Hi Angie! Powdered sugar is not super fine sugar and they have very different baking properties. Super fine sugar is like granulated sugar, but with much smaller granules of sugar.

  4. 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!

    1. Hi Ruba! You could have over-whipped the egg whites. That would play into the whole deflating issue. That and it sounds like the cake was underbaked as well.

  5. 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!!!

  6. This recipe was absolutely perfect! I chose an angel food cake because it’s light, and practically everyone at the event was on a diet. I am not a big fan of angel food cake, and my husband told me that he absolutely hated it, but this recipe was like no angel food cake either of us had ever tasted. Who know how delicious angel food could be! I would make this again and again. While the sprinkles don’t add much in the way of taste, they are absolutely essential to the experience – they make the cake look so happy and festive. It’s just a delightful looking cake and a wonderful recipe! Thank you, Sally!

    1. Thank you so much, Ellen! I am THRILLED you gave angel food cake a second chance and am so happy you enjoyed this recipe! 🙂

  7. Made this for my daughters birthday (she doesn’t like regular cake). Followed the directions exactly and it was a home run!!

  8. Hi Sally!
    I was reading your other recipe for angel food cake (simply titled “Angel Food Cake” (Light & Fluffy)) and noticed that it recommended a particular Cuisinart pan that was 9-inches, while the one you link to for this “Party” version is a Calphalon 10-inch pan. The ingredients seem to be virtually the same for the cakes except for the sprinkles (same amount of flour, sugar, egg whites, etc.). Would the 9-inch Cuisinart 2-piece tube pan work for this recipe as well? Thanks!

    1. Hi Ethan, yes, that pan will work for this recipe as well. Happy baking!

  9. I’m having problems finding heavy cream. Which is the best ratio of milk and butter to do it my sefl, time to wipe it, and can it be made with almond milk? Always thankfull with your good work and easy explanations.

    1. Hi Angie, our heavy cream has about 36% fat. It may be called something else where you live (another reader commented it was called “thickened cream” where they live), but look for something with a similar percent of fat.

  10. Years ago when I first made this cake, I remember the recipe calling for cooking upside down on a wine bottle. It works like a charm!

  11. My granddaughter has requested this for her 1st Communion cake. I will have to bake and frost it 3 days before the event and then transport it via a 5 hour car trip. Can you recommend a frosting that will help keep the cake fresh without refrigeration on the drive?
    Thanks for sharing your recipes. I have shared your lavender scone recipes numerous times! Yum!

  12. Well, it looked great in the mixer, in the pan, in the oven but as soon as I took it out and turned it over to cool, I could tell it was coming out of the pan – and plop it did drop out within minutes –

    Can you give me any clues as to why this happened? I really want this to work as it is much lower sodium than the boxed version.

    Thanks! you are my go-to for baking recipes!

    1. Hi Marcia, we’re happy to help troubleshoot. Was your pan nonstick? For angel food cake, it’s best to not use a nonstick pan, or one with only very light nonstick coating like the one we link to in this post. Also, be sure your pan is ungreased. We want the cake to cling to the side of the pan and not fall out once inverted. Hope this helps!

  13. no non-stick, and no grease. Your thoughts on my “best guess” is maybe to whip eggwhites a bit more? Also, I have a KitchenAid stand mixer, but the smallest version – maybe I over folded the flour mix? And – I used Wilton color dot-thingys – maybe too heavy? One more thing – I tested with a pick, but do you have a temperature for baking – I like exacts I am not giving up! Will try again in a few weeks – we need this low sodium option!

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