Chocolate Angel Food Cake Recipe

chocolate angel food cake with fluffy chocolate frosting

The Spruce Eats / Diana Rattray

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 40 mins
Standing/Cooling: 2 hrs
Total: 3 hrs
Servings: 12 servings
Yield: 1 cake
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
164 Calories
0g Fat
35g Carbs
5g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12
Amount per serving
Calories 164
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 139mg 6%
Total Carbohydrate 35g 13%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Total Sugars 25g
Protein 5g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 4mg 0%
Iron 1mg 8%
Potassium 125mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This classic light-as-air angel food cake gets chocolate flavor from unsweetened cocoa powder, which takes the place of some of the flour. The deeper color and subtle chocolate flavor make it a chocolate-lover's dream. Whether you dust the cake with confectioners' sugar or cocoa, frost it with the optional fluffy chocolate frosting, or leave it plain and serve it with berries or a drizzle of chocolate sauce, it will be a winning dessert.

The optional whipped frosting includes butter, making it soft, shiny, and celebration-worthy. Top it off with some shaved chocolate, and you'll have a cake fit for a holiday, birthday, or special event.


For Cake:

  • 1 1/2 cups (370 milliliters) egg whites, about 10 to 12 large eggs

  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, divided 

  • 1 cup (120 grams) cake flour

  • 1/4 cup (25 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder, natural or Dutch-process

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar

  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt

  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

For Optional Frosting:

  • 2/3 cup (113 grams) semisweet chocolate chips

  • 2/3 cup (113 grams) milk chocolate chips

  • 2/3 (158 milliliters) cup heavy cream

  • Dash fine salt

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

  • 1/2 cup (113 grams) butter, cut into pieces, room temperature

  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup shaved semisweet chocolate, optional, for garnish

Steps to Make It

Make the Cake

  1. Gather the cake ingredients.

  2. Place the egg whites in a mixing bowl and let them stand for about 45 minutes to bring to room temperature.

  3. Meanwhile, sift 1 cup of granulated sugar, cake flour, and cocoa into a separate bowl. Sift again and set aside. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 350 F.

  4. With an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the egg whites until they are frothy.

  5. Add the cream of tartar and beat on high speed, gradually adding the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar. Continue beating for 3 to 5 minutes, until stiff peaks form. Beat in 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract.

  6. Sift half of the flour and cocoa mixture over the beaten egg whites and gently fold it in with a spatula until blended but still streaky.

  7. Sift the remaining dry mixture over the egg whites and continue folding until thoroughly incorporated.

  8. Spoon the batter into a two-piece 9.5-inch tube pan. Run a butter knife or spatula through the batter to release any air bubbles.

  9. Bake the cake for about 38 to 42 minutes, or until a wooden skewer or cake tester inserted into the cake comes out clean.

  10. Invert the pan and cool the cake completely.

  11. Slide a knife or spatula around the pan and tube to loosen the cake. Grasp the center tube to remove the cake from the outer pan; use a knife or spatula to release the cake from the bottom of the pan.

  12. Place the cake on a cake plate or cake stand and dust with confectioners' sugar or frost with the optional fluffy chocolate frosting. If desired, garnish with shaved chocolate.

Make the Optional Frosting

  1. Gather the frosting ingredients.

  2. Put the semisweet and milk chocolate chips in a heat-safe bowl; set aside.

  3. Pour the cream into a saucepan and cook over medium heat until steaming hot. Do not let the cream boil.

  4. Pour the cream over the chocolate chips and let stand for 5 minutes. Stir until melted. If there are still lumps of chocolate, place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and stir until smooth.

  5. Let the chocolate mixture stand, stirring every 15 minutes, until cooled to room temperature, about 70 F to 75 F. Cooling will take about 1 to 2 hours.

  6. Add a dash of salt and 2 teaspoons of butter to the chocolate mixture. Beat with an electric mixer with whisk attachment on low speed, adding the butter a few pieces at a time.

  7. Increase the mixer speed to high and beat for about 4 to 5 minutes, scraping the bowl several times.


Take your time and fold the ingredients gently to avoid bursting the tiny bubbles beaten into the egg whites.

A tube cake pan with a removable bottom is the ideal pan for an angel food cake. If you are using a one-piece tube pan, line the bottom with parchment paper.

How to Store

  • The frosted or unfrosted chocolate angel food cake may be stored, covered or wrapped, at room temperature for 2 to 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
  • To freeze the cake, arrange slices on a baking sheet and freeze until solid. Wrap the individual pieces and put them in a resealable freezer bag. Freeze for up to 6 months.

Is devil's food cake chocolate angel food cake?

Devil's food cake is a light and airy chocolate cake made with added fat and leavening agents. A chocolate angel food cake is a light and delicate cake made with cocoa, no added fat, and it is leavened only with beaten egg whites.

Why does angel food cake have a hole in the middle?

Angel food cake is baked in a pan with a tube in the middle. The tube in the center helps the cake cook evenly and gives the delicate, airy batter more surface area to cling to as it rises in the oven.