Lemon Angel Food Cake

Lemon Angel Food Cake | www.motherthyme.com

I love angel food cake.  It is one of my favorite desserts, especially in the summer.  Topping it with fresh berries and a dollop of whip cream is a sweet dessert with less guilt.

Sure buying a box of angel food cake mix, adding water to it and giving it a quick mix is easy but making it from scratch is just as easy and nothing beats homemade.  
As much as I love using fresh lemons, and I always have lemons on hand, for this recipe I use lemon extract.  Lemon juice can be to watery so you don’t want to substitute lemon juice for extract.   Plus the lemon extract is much stronger and really helps with the true lemon flavor of this heavenly cake.  I do incorporate some lemon zest into the cake and glaze to give little flecks of fresh lemon in the mix.  

If you follow me on Facebook I mentioned last weekend that I was making this for a picnic.  What I also love to do if I am serving this to guests when entertaining is to soak berries in Limoncello.  How about that for a topping?  

For the Limoncello topping what you just need to do is cut up the berries you would like to use.  I typically use a mix of strawberries and blueberries.  Pour some limoncello over the fruit, as much or as little as you want and let the berries take a bath for the day.  The longer they soak, the more they will absorb the Limoncello.  If I am serving this for dessert I will typically make this in the morning for that evening.  It is so good!  

This angel food cake is light but it is bursting with fresh lemon flavor.  There is something about this version I simply love.  It is a refreshing dessert you can sit and enjoy while watching the sunset after a long day.  

Lemon Angel Food Cake | www.motherthyme.com

Lemon Angel Food Cake | www.motherthyme.com

Lemon Angel Food Cake | www.motherthyme.com

Lemon Angel Food Cake | www.motherthyme.com

Thank you readers for your comments and suggestions! This recipe has been updated 8/15 to reflect not to spray pan.

Lemon Angel Food Cake

  • Author: Jennifer
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 8


  • 1 1/2 cups egg whites (about 1012 eggs)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure lemon extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup cake flour

Lemon Glaze (optional):

  • 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
  • 12 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (use lemon that was used for zest. Be sure to zest first before juicing)
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Using a stand mixer or electric mixer with whisk attachment add to a large bowl egg white, lemon extract, cream of tartar, vanilla extract, salt and lemon zest. Stir on medium high speed until stiff peaks form, about 4-5 minutes.
  3. Reduce speed and gradually add in sugar until just combined.
  4. Gradually sprinkle in cake flour and by hand fold into mixture a little at a time. Don’t over mix.
  5. Pour batter into a 9 or 10 inch angel food tube pan and bake for 35- 40 minutes until top is golden brown and springs back when touched.
  6. Cool completely.

Lemon Glaze:

  1. In a small bowl combine confectioners sugar. Add a little lemon juice and stir until consistency is desired. Stir in lemon zest and drizzle over cooled angel food cake.


Note- For best results use fresh egg whites.

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  1. Oh my word does that look fabulous!!! I LOVE angel food cake (it’s my birthday cake every year) and can’t wait to try this version!

  2. Can you use the carton egg whites? The cake looks heavenly. I love a good angel food cake. Can’t wait to try it. Thanks

    1. I made this for my bowling league. It was FABULOUS! It did, however, take me two attempts. The first one, I baked for 40 minutes and when I flipped it over to cool, it fell. Part cake. Part soup. I washed all the dishes, ran to the store for more eggs and tried again. This time I baked it for 55 minutes and it was perfection. I do love my angel food cakes! ❤️

  3. I’ve always had a hard time making angel food cake from scratch – but it’s been years since I’ve tried. I totally want to try this recipe!

  4. I’ve never made angel food cake. I actually only had angel food cake once. But it was great, I really think I should make it sometime, yum!

  5. OH MY!! I adore angel food cake! It’s so fluffy, soft and delicious! I’m So glad you posted this Jennifer! Can’t wait to make this!

  6. I have a vision in my head of a lemon angel food cake with a bittersweet chocolate ganache glaze. I’ve been digging around the web for just the right angel food cake recipe and this looks like the one. Just reading it, it sounds as if it has enough lemon in it so that it won’t get lost under the chocolate.

  7. My cake seems delicious but stuck to my bunt pan. What did I do wrong? I didn’t see directions where it said to butter your pan. My 1st time making an angel food cake.

    1. Hi Kim, My apologizes. You are correct this recipe did not state to grease the pan. It was my mistake when I said it did before. I thought you were commenting on another angel food cake recipe I have which did state this. This one was missing it. I have updated the recipe to reflect the change. So sorry for the error.

    1. Hi Jean, So sorry. You are correct, the instructions did not include greasing the pan. The other angel food cake recipe does state to grease and in the previous comment I thought her comment was for that recipe. My apologizes, I have updated the recipe to reflect the change. Thanks so much!

  8. Hey Jennifer! The cake looks so delicious and airy! I just have a simple question to ask you. I don’t have lemon extract, so could I substitute it with Lemon juice? Because I think fresh lemons are, you know, better… Thank you!

  9. Hello! I am looking forward to trying this recipe, but wanted to ask if you think a bundt pan would work in place of a traditional tube pan normally used for Angel food cake? Thanks so much! Vee

  10. I just made this cake and it was the most delicious delicate cake I’ve ever made. Thank you. I do agree with the tube pan. I used the bundt pan and I think the presentation is better with the tube. How do you recommend storing this?

  11. We’ll see how my cake turns out, but I didn’t realize I needed to sift the flour into the egg white mixture. The picture shows it, but the instructions do not. I “sprinkled” by hand as suggested.

  12. The idea of lemon is great but too much zest in angel food is tricky. However the real issue with your recipe is the instruction to grease the pan. I dutifully followed this recipe only to have my beautiful cake collapse after hours of careful work. NEVER EVER GREASE YOUR PAN when making angel food. In fact I learned from my my aunt who is an experienced baker that the tiniest drop of grease anywhere on your pan is a disaster. Also I don’t give this recipe five stars but I can’t fix the star rating on your site.

  13. So the thing is….I knew it was wrong to grease the pan. I knew it from the beginning, however, since the recipe says to I did it. As the person above said. I should not have done it. The cake shrinks down to about 2/3 of its size. I couldn’t invert the pan (not that your recipe said I should but everyone knows you invert the cake once it is done) since the pan was greased and the cake would have fallen out. So the cake shrunk and I was unhappy. I am sure it will taste fine but that isn’t the point. It is not like have have the time, energy, and another dozen egg whites to make another. Never grease the pan for Angel Food Cake. It is as simple as that.

  14. I’m not sure what on earth happened but I just tried this recipe and I whipped the eggs whites a good 15 minutes and they didn’t change in airiness at all. There were air bubbles, but it remained liquidy until I finally decided it wasn’t going anywhere and added the sugar and flour. The state of the batter was not improved, and I ended up throwing the whole thing out. I’ve made angel food cake before with a different recipe and it’s turned out great, so I’d like to know what’s up, if it’s a problem on my end or not.

    1. Hi, Thanks so much for your comment. I’m so sorry to hear you had a problem with this recipe. Egg white generally will whip up to stiff peaks in about 5 minutes regardless of the recipe you are following so unfortunately I don’t know why your egg whites did not form stiff peaks. Whipping the eggs whips is pretty much standard in any angel food cake recipe and usually one of the first steps. Where you using the whisk attachment and was your mixture on a high enough speed to generate results? That would be my only conclusion on what possibly could have been wrong. I have made many variations of this recipe all following the similar steps and all with a high success rate. I apologize that it did not work for you.

      1. Egg whites should be room temperature before beating. If there is ANY yolk in them, they won’t whip properly. It is also necessary to have a completely clean bowl. Make sure there is no water on the beaters or bowl – Dry thoroughly if you have recently washed/rinsed them.

  15. I am excited to have found this recipe! I used a recipe recently with almost the same measurements, but different flavorings, so I know it is fine to use a Gluten Free flour blend (probably white rice flour and tapioca flour/starch based blend to be closest to cake flour plus xantham gum)!

    My question: is it okay to replace the sugar with Stevia baking blend (this would reduce quantity of “sugar” by half), OR Splenda baking blend (subbing same quantity Splenda as sugar being replaced)?

    I researched and found that the higher percentage of the recipe that is sugar, the riskier the replacement. I read that subbing sugar can affect texture, cause dryness (sugar helps maintain moisture), cause less browning, etc. Sugar is also a preservative. But there is an angel food cake recipe on the Splenda site, so I believe it must be doable?? I want this to be a success. Any recommendations re subbing Baking Stevia or Baking Splenda? Thanks!

  16. I’m looking forward to making this cake tomorrow, unfortunately I live in a small town and can’t find lemon extract anywhere! I read above you can substitute lemon juice for the extract. Do you have any advice of how much lemon juice to use?

  17. Made this today for my husband who loves Angel food cake. I was nervous never having made one before and never whipping up a Meringue before either but it turned out perfect and super delicious! I love watching cooking shows so I knew what to be careful of while making it not sure if that helped but so happy it turned out perfect. 10-12 eggs is a lot to waste if you mess up so I was sweating it!

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