Lemon Angel Food Cake Recipe

Lemon Angel Food Cake

The Spruce / Morgan Baker

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 40 mins
Cool: 3 hrs
Total: 4 hrs
Servings: 8 to 10 servings
Yield: 1 cake
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
383 Calories
8g Fat
72g Carbs
6g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8 to 10
Amount per serving
Calories 383
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 8g 11%
Saturated Fat 5g 25%
Cholesterol 22mg 7%
Sodium 336mg 15%
Total Carbohydrate 72g 26%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 57g
Protein 6g
Vitamin C 6mg 29%
Calcium 14mg 1%
Iron 1mg 8%
Potassium 215mg 5%
*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 cake is a classic angel food cake with a lemony twist. While traditional angel food cake acts as a great canvas for other flavors like strawberry, chocolate, or peach, this cake stands all on its own with the addition of lemon. The buttery lemon glaze on this cake pairs deliciously gives the cake a nice look and adds more flavor.

Angel food cake is a very technical cake that does require some attention, but don't let that intimidate you. The most important thing is to make sure you do not grease your pan. You want the cake to climb up the pan while baking, and leaving it ungreased allows this to happen.

Make sure to move slowly when working and read the directions and visual cues closely. This recipe contains all the information you need for a successful bake including what to look for when whipping the egg whites and how to carefully fold in the ingredients. Using cake flour is another way to ensure success because cake flour is a softer, finer flour than all-purpose, which will be reflected in your final cake's texture.

This is a great every day or celebration cake and you can easily customize it to your liking by leaving off the glaze. If you prefer, you could even add meringue to the top and torch it for a totally fun and inventive look.


For the Cake:

  • 1 1/4 cups cake flour

  • 3/4 cups powdered sugar

  • 12 large egg whites, room temperature

  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract

  • 1 lemon, zested

  • Fresh berries, for garnish

For the Glaze:

  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled

  • 1/4 cup lemon juice

  • 3 cups powdered sugar

  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream

Steps to Make It

Make the Angel Food Cake

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In a large bowl, sift together the cake flour and powdered sugar, making sure any clumps are gone. Set aside.

  3. To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, add the egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt. Whisk on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. At first, the whites should be very foamy, then begin to form peaks about 1 minute later.

  4. With the mixer still running, very slowly add the granulated sugar and continue whisking until you form glossy, stiff peaks. Beat in the lemon extract and lemon zest.

  5. Remove the bowl from the mixer and gently sift in the flour mixture in 3 additions, folding in each addition carefully using a rubber spatula just until no streak of flour remain. Don't overmix or you'll deflate the meringue.

  6. Pour the batter into an ungreased tube pan and use an offset or rubber spatula to spread the batter evenly.

  7. Bake until a cake tester comes out clean, rotating halfway through baking, about 40 minutes.

  8. Cool the cake in the tin turned upside down and set on a wire rack for about 3 hours.

Make the Glaze and Finish Cake

  1. Gather the glaze ingredients.

  2. In a medium bowl, add the melted butter and lemon juice.

  3. Mixing with a handheld mixer on medium speed, slowly add the powdered sugar, about 1/2 cup at a time, beating well after each addition until smooth.

  4. Add the heavy cream and beat again for about 30 seconds until completely smooth.

  5. Once cooled, run a knife around the edges of the pan, then gently tap onto a plate or serving dish and remove the cake from the pan. It should release easily from the pan.

  6. Top with the glaze and serve garnished with berries. 

How to Store

  • To store, make sure the cake is totally covered with foil or plastic wrap and leave out on the counter at room temperature (with or without the glaze on top) for up to four days.
  • The cake will dry slightly as the days go by, but you can cut a slice and pop it in the microwave for about 15 seconds to bring it back to life.
  • If you store without the glaze on top, be sure to add the glaze before you microwave.


  • The remaining egg yolks would make a delicious and decadent quiche, just add four whole eggs and a little milk and cheese.
  • You could also make lemon curd with the remaining yolks and serve it on the side with the cake.

What Does Cream of Tartar Do In Angel Food Cake?

Cream of tartar is a stabilizing agent, so this ingredient helps when whipping the egg whites. If you don't have cream of tartar you can use meringue powder instead.