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Vanilla Bean Angel Food Cake Recipe

Angel food cake, a light and airy delight, is a dessert that always impresses. Its delicate texture, achieved by using a dozen egg whites, is complemented by the subtle flavor of real vanilla beans. Baking this cake is a labour of love, but one bite will convince you it’s worth the effort.

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Photos of Vanilla Bean Angel Food Cake Recipe

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Most ingredients for this cake are standard pantry items, but you may need to seek out a couple of items. Vanilla beans, which are the star of this dessert, may need to be purchased at a specialty grocery store or ordered online if your regular supermarket doesn't carry them. Cake flour is another ingredient that you might not regularly keep on hand. It's a low-protein flour that creates the light, airy texture in the cake. Make sure to pick up a box when you're out shopping.

Ingredients for Vanilla Bean Angel Food Cake

Granulated sugar: A sweetener that's a kitchen staple, it is processed to super fine consistency to help it dissolve more easily.

Salt: A flavor enhancer that brings out the sweetness of the sugar.

Cake flour: A low-protein flour that helps to give the cake its light, tender texture.

Egg whites: The main leavening agent in this cake; they create its light, airy structure.

Water: Helps to stabilize the egg whites during whipping.

Vanilla beans: Gives the cake a rich, complex flavor that's far superior to vanilla extract.

Vanilla extract: Amplifies the flavor of the vanilla beans.

Cream of tartar: A stabilizer that helps to maintain the volume and texture of the beaten egg whites.

Whipped cream: A traditional topping for angel food cake, providing a creamy contrast to the light cake.

Strawberries: Adds a fresh, fruity counterpoint to the sweetness of the cake.

One reader, Keely Schwarz says:

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This vanilla bean angel food cake recipe is a game-changer! The cake turned out light, fluffy, and full of vanilla flavor. The use of real vanilla beans made a huge difference. It was a hit with my family and friends. I'll definitely be making this again!

Keely Schwarz

Techniques for Perfect Vanilla Bean Angel Food Cake

How to prepare the angel food cake pan: Gently spoon the batter into an ungreased angel food cake pan, ensuring not to grease the pan.

How to check for doneness: After baking for 35 minutes, insert a wooden chopstick or skewer halfway down through the cake to check for doneness. It should come out clean when the cake is ready.

How to cool the cake: Once removed from the oven, cool the cake upside down on a wire rack for at least 1 hour before removing it from the pan.

How To Make Vanilla Bean Angel Food Cake

Whip up a heavenly dessert with this angel food cake recipe flavored with rich vanilla bean. Serve up decadent slices of these for your next dinner party!

Preparation: 30 minutes
Cooking: 40 minutes
Cool Time: 1 hour
Total: 2 hours 10 minutes



  • cupsgranulated sugar
  • ¼tspsalt
  • 1cupcake flour,sifted
  • 12large egg whites,room temperature
  • cupwater,warm
  • 2vanilla beans,seeded, or another 1 tsp vanilla
  • ½tspvanilla extract
  • tspcream of tartar
  • whipped cream,sweetened, for serving
  • strawberries,sliced or macerated, for serving


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

  2. In a food processor, pulse the sugar for 2 minutes until super fine.

  3. In a mixing bowl, sift together half of the sugar, the cake flour, and the salt.

  4. In a separate large mixing bowl, whisk together the egg whites, water, vanilla beans, vanilla extract, and cream of tartar for 2 minutes until well combined.

  5. Switch to a hand mixer, then whip mixture on medium speed while slowly adding the remaining sugar to the mixture, until medium peaks form.

  6. Sift just enough of the flour mixture to evenly dust the top of the egg white mixture, then using a spatula, gently fold the flour layer into the egg white mixture.

  7. Continue this process until all of the flour mixture has been incorporated, adding small amounts of flour at a time. Work gently to keep the batter from deflating.

  8. Gently spoon the batter evenly into an ungreased angel food cake pan. Do not grease the pan.

  9. Bake in the oven for 35 minutes, then check for doneness by inserting a wooden chopstick or skewer halfway down through the cake; it should come out clean.

  10. Remove the cake from oven, then cool the cake upside down on a wire rack.

  11. Cool for at least 1 hour before removing from the pan.

  12. Cut into slices, then serve with whipped cream and strawberries amd enjoy!


  • Calories: 175.23kcal
  • Fat: 0.15g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.01g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 0.01g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.04g
  • Carbohydrates: 38.67g
  • Fiber: 0.19g
  • Sugar: 29.51g
  • Protein: 4.53g
  • Sodium: 104.30mg
  • Calcium: 4.57mg
  • Potassium: 129.74mg
  • Iron: 0.89mg

Crucial Technique Tip for Vanilla Bean Angel Food Cake Success

When incorporating the flour mixture into the egg white mixture, it's crucial to fold it in gently and gradually. This helps maintain the airiness of the egg whites, which is key to achieving a light, fluffy angel food cake. Overmixing can deflate the egg whites, resulting in a dense and heavy cake. So, take your time and be gentle with your folding technique.

Time-Saving Tips for Making This Recipe

Preparation: Gather all ingredients and equipment before starting to save time and ensure a smooth cooking process.

Organization: Organize your workspace and lay out all the necessary tools and ingredients to minimize the time spent searching for items.

Room temperature: Bring ingredients such as eggs and butter to room temperature beforehand to expedite the mixing process and ensure a smoother batter.

Efficient mixing: Use a stand mixer or hand mixer to efficiently mix the batter, saving time and effort compared to hand mixing.

Pre-measure: Pre-measure all ingredients before starting to streamline the cooking process and reduce the risk of errors.

Clean as you go: Clean up spills and wash dishes while the cake is baking to minimize post-cooking cleanup time.

Timer: Use a timer to keep track of baking and cooling times, allowing you to multitask without worrying about overcooking.

Practice: With practice, you'll become more efficient in executing the recipe, saving time with each subsequent attempt.

Substitute Ingredients For Vanilla Bean Angel Food Cake Recipe

  • granulated sugar - Substitute with coconut sugar: Coconut sugar can be used as a natural alternative to granulated sugar, providing a slightly caramel-like flavor and a lower glycemic index.

  • cake flour - Substitute with all-purpose flour: All-purpose flour can be used as a substitute for cake flour by adding a small amount of cornstarch to mimic the lower protein content of cake flour.

  • vanilla beans - Substitute with vanilla extract: Vanilla extract can be used as a substitute for vanilla beans, with 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract replacing the seeds from one vanilla bean.

  • cream of tartar - Substitute with lemon juice: Lemon juice can be used as a substitute for cream of tartar to stabilize egg whites and help achieve the desired texture in angel food cake.

Presenting Your Vanilla Bean Angel Food Cake

  1. Elevate the cake on a pedestal: Present the angel food cake on a beautiful cake stand to showcase its light and airy texture, and to give it a sense of grandeur.

  2. Garnish with vanilla bean specks: Sprinkle the top of the cake with the scraped vanilla beans to add a touch of elegance and to highlight the use of real vanilla in the recipe.

  3. Accompany with a dollop of whipped cream: Serve a small quenelle of freshly whipped cream on the side of the cake to provide a creamy and luxurious element to each bite.

  4. Adorn with fresh strawberries: Artfully place fresh, ripe strawberries around the base of the cake to add a pop of color and a burst of fruity flavor to the presentation.

  5. Use a fine mesh sifter for powdered sugar: Lightly dust the top of the cake with powdered sugar using a fine mesh sifter to create a delicate and professional finishing touch.

  6. Serve on fine china: Present the cake on a delicate, intricately designed china plate to enhance the overall visual appeal and elevate the dining experience.

  7. Accompany with a vanilla bean sauce: Drizzle a small amount of vanilla bean-infused sauce on the plate to add a subtle hint of sweetness and a decorative element to the presentation.

Essential Tools for Making Angel Food Cake

  • Food processor: A food processor is a versatile kitchen appliance that can be used for pulsing sugar to make it super fine, as well as for various other food preparation tasks such as chopping, pureeing, and mixing.

  • Mixing bowl: A mixing bowl is essential for combining and sifting the dry ingredients, as well as for whisking and folding the egg white mixture. It provides a spacious and convenient vessel for mixing the cake batter.

Storing and Freezing Your Vanilla Bean Angel Food Cake

  • Allow the angel food cake to cool completely before storing. This is important to prevent moisture from forming and making the cake soggy.

  • Once cooled, wrap the cake tightly in plastic wrap or place it in an airtight container. This will help maintain its freshness and prevent it from drying out.

  • Store the wrapped or containerized angel food cake at room temperature for up to 3 days. Avoid refrigerating the cake, as this can cause it to become dry and stale.

  • If you want to keep the cake for a longer period, you can freeze it:

    • Wrap the cooled cake tightly in plastic wrap, making sure to remove as much air as possible.
    • Follow up by wrapping the cake in a layer of aluminum foil for extra protection against freezer burn.
    • Place the wrapped cake in a freezer-safe container or freezer bag, labeling it with the date.
    • Freeze the angel food cake for up to 4-6 months.
  • To thaw a frozen angel food cake:

    • Remove the cake from the freezer and let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
    • Once thawed, unwrap the cake and let it come to room temperature before serving.
    • If desired, you can refresh the cake by placing it in a 325°F (165°C) oven for 5-10 minutes before serving.
  • If you have leftover slices of angel food cake, wrap each slice individually in plastic wrap and store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days, or in the freezer for up to 2 months.

How To Reheat Leftover Vanilla Bean Angel Food Cake

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Place the leftover angel food cake on a baking sheet and cover it loosely with aluminum foil. Bake for about 10-15 minutes, or until the cake is heated through. This method will help restore some of the cake's original texture and fluffiness.

  • If you prefer a softer, more moist texture, you can reheat the angel food cake in the microwave. Place a slice of the cake on a microwave-safe plate and heat it on high for about 15-20 seconds. Be careful not to overheat the cake, as it can quickly become rubbery.

  • For a crispy exterior and a soft interior, try reheating the angel food cake in an air fryer. Preheat the air fryer to 350°F (175°C) and place a slice of the cake in the basket. Cook for about 2-3 minutes, or until the cake is heated through and slightly crispy on the outside.

  • If you want to add some extra flavor and moisture to your leftover angel food cake, try making a simple strawberry compote. In a saucepan, combine sliced strawberries, sugar, and a splash of water. Cook over medium heat until the strawberries break down and the mixture thickens. Spoon the warm compote over the reheated cake for a delicious treat.

  • For a quick and easy dessert, cut the leftover angel food cake into bite-sized pieces and layer them with whipped cream and fresh berries in individual serving glasses. This no-bake parfait is a perfect way to repurpose your leftover cake and create a new, delightful dessert.

Interesting Fact About Vanilla Bean Angel Food Cake

The vanilla bean angel food cake is a classic dessert that originated in the United States. It is a type of sponge cake made with whipped egg whites, flour, and sugar, but it does not contain any butter or oil. The cake is known for its light and airy texture, making it a popular choice for those looking for a lighter dessert option. It is often served with whipped cream and fresh berries, adding a delightful touch of sweetness and freshness to the dish.

Is Making Vanilla Bean Angel Food Cake at Home Cost-Effective?

This vanilla bean angel food cake recipe is quite cost-effective for a household. The main ingredients, such as sugar, egg whites, and cake flour, are relatively inexpensive and readily available. The use of vanilla beans adds a touch of luxury without breaking the bank. The approximate cost for a household of 4 people is around $10-$15, making it a budget-friendly dessert option. Overall, I would rate this recipe a solid 9 for its affordability and delightful flavor.

Is Vanilla Bean Angel Food Cake Healthy or Unhealthy?

The vanilla bean angel food cake recipe is relatively healthy compared to other cake recipes. Here's why:

  • It uses a minimal amount of flour and no added fats like butter or oil, which reduces the calorie and fat content.
  • The main ingredients are egg whites, which are a good source of protein and are low in calories.
  • The recipe calls for a moderate amount of sugar, which is less than many other cake recipes.

However, there are a few aspects that could be improved to make it even healthier:

  • Reduce the sugar content further by using a sugar substitute or reducing the amount of sugar used.
  • Use whole wheat pastry flour instead of cake flour to increase the fiber content and nutritional value.
  • Top the cake with fresh fruits instead of whipped cream to reduce the calorie and fat content while adding more vitamins and minerals.
  • Use a sugar-free whipped cream alternative or make your own whipped cream using low-fat milk and a sugar substitute.
  • Experiment with using a combination of whole eggs and egg whites to add more nutrients and healthy fats to the recipe.
  • Add a pinch of nutmeg or cinnamon to the batter for extra flavor and potential health benefits.

Editor's Opinion on Vanilla Bean Angel Food Cake

The vanilla bean angel food cake recipe is a classic and elegant dessert choice. The use of vanilla beans and vanilla extract adds a rich and aromatic flavor to the light and airy cake. The step-by-step instructions are clear and easy to follow, ensuring a successful outcome. Serving the cake with whipped cream and fresh strawberries is a delightful combination that enhances the overall experience. This recipe is a wonderful choice for a special occasion or a simple yet sophisticated dessert option.

Enhance Your Vanilla Bean Angel Food Cake Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Grilled Asparagus: Toss the asparagus in olive oil, salt, and pepper, then grill until tender and slightly charred for a delicious and healthy side dish.
Balsamic Glazed Carrots: Roast the carrots in the oven until tender, then drizzle with a balsamic glaze for a sweet and tangy side dish that pairs perfectly with the light and airy angel food cake.
Mango Salsa: Combine diced mango, red onion, jalapeno, cilantro, and lime juice for a refreshing and tropical salsa that adds a burst of flavor to each bite of the vanilla bean angel food cake.

Similar Recipes to Try

Creamy Tomato Basil Soup: This creamy tomato basil soup is the perfect comfort food for a cozy night in. It's rich, flavorful, and easy to make.
Grilled Lemon Herb Chicken: This grilled lemon herb chicken is a delicious and healthy option for a summer barbecue. The zesty lemon and fresh herbs add a burst of flavor to the tender chicken.
Mixed Berry Cobbler: This mixed berry cobbler is a delightful dessert that showcases the sweetness of fresh berries. The buttery, crumbly topping pairs perfectly with the juicy, tart berries.

Appetizers and Main Dishes to Serve with This Recipe

Stuffed Mushrooms: Savory and flavorful, these stuffed mushrooms are the perfect bite-sized appetizer to kick off any meal. Filled with a delicious mixture of cheese, herbs, and breadcrumbs, they are sure to impress your guests.
Caprese Skewers: These caprese skewers are a fresh and vibrant appetizer that is both easy to make and delicious to eat. With the perfect combination of juicy tomatoes, creamy mozzarella, and fragrant basil, they are a great way to start any gathering.
Main Courses:
Chicken Alfredo: Indulge in a creamy and rich pasta dish that combines tender chicken with a velvety Alfredo sauce. The flavors meld together perfectly, creating a comforting and satisfying meal that is sure to please any pasta lover.
Beef Stroganoff: Treat your taste buds to a hearty and flavorful dish featuring tender strips of beef in a luscious sour cream sauce. The savory beef pairs perfectly with the creamy sauce, creating a dish that is both comforting and delicious.

Why trust this Vanilla Bean Angel Food Cake Recipe:

This angel food cake recipe is a trusted classic, perfected over time. The use of vanilla beans and vanilla extract ensures a rich, aromatic flavor. The precise instructions and careful mixing technique result in a light, airy texture. The addition of whipped cream and strawberries complements the cake beautifully, adding a delightful touch of freshness. With the perfect balance of sweetness and lightness, this recipe promises a delightful dessert experience.

Share your thoughts on the Vanilla Bean Angel Food Cake recipe in the Baking and Desserts forum and let us know how your cake turned out!
How can I ensure my angel food cake turns out light and fluffy?
To achieve a light and fluffy angel food cake, it's essential to properly whip the egg whites. Make sure to whip them until medium peaks form, and gently fold in the dry ingredients to maintain the airy texture.
Can I substitute vanilla extract for the vanilla beans?
Yes, you can substitute 1 vanilla bean with 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract. However, using vanilla beans will provide a more intense and aromatic vanilla flavor.
Why do I need to cool the angel food cake upside down?
Cooling the angel food cake upside down helps prevent it from collapsing. This technique allows the cake to maintain its height and airy texture as it cools.
Can I use a different type of pan for baking the angel food cake?
It's best to use an ungreased angel food cake pan for this recipe. The batter needs to cling to the sides of the pan as it bakes to help the cake rise properly. Using a different type of pan may affect the cake's texture and rise.
How should I store the leftover angel food cake?
Store the leftover angel food cake in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. To maintain its texture, avoid refrigerating the cake as it can cause it to become dense.

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