Angel Food Cake Drizzled with Chocolate Ganache: Don’t Miss It!

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Sneak Preview: This beautiful Angel Food Cake Drizzled with Chocolate Ganache is a scratch angel food cake topped with sweetened whipped cream and a decadent chocolate ganache. The flavor experience will remind you of a chocolate-dipped cone from the DQ. This recipe is one of those desserts that everyone will love!

a slice of angel food cake with chocolate ganache  with the whole cake in the backgroundPin

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Except for a few attempts to win a blue ribbon in 4-H, I’ve always made angel food cakes from a cake mix. While it seems good enough most of the time, homemade angel food cake tastes better (especially the batter).

Besides, I’m tired of throwing away egg whites after harvesting the egg yolks. So I resolved to learn how to bake a light and fluffy cake that rises so high it peeks over the side of the pan. Follow me and let’s do it.

Hey, come back here. If I can do it, you can too.

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Don’t be scared!

Yes, you can bake an angel food cake from scratch. I’m not saying it’s easy, but it’s also not that hard. However, if you want to make this recipe for a birthday party or special occasion, I highly recommend you practice at least once ahead of time.

Angel food cake can be a little tricky, so experience makes all the difference. If at first, your cake doesn’t turn out perfect, check out this recipe for salvaging a low-rise angel food cake.

If you want an easier recipe that still makes a dramatic-looking cake, check out the Chocolate Almond Torte with Chocolate Ganache.


The basic recipe for this angel food cake comes from Betty Crocker. I combined it with an interesting idea I saw on Confections of a Foodie Bride (she’s a fellow Texan who seems to like Mexican food as much as I do). In the same way, Foodie Bride did, I folded powdered cocoa into part of the batter and carefully poured it over the vanilla batter to make an irregular but pretty pattern.

cake ready to be served with strawberries on the sidePin

Here’s where it gets good:

Frost this cake with whipped cream icing, then drizzle with chocolate ganache. While drizzling feels dangerous at first, imperfect drizzling adds charm, thankfully. So don’t sweat it.

Try this for Valentine’s or Easter or any time you want a grand finale to a meal.


I would love to make this cake (it was especially delicious when we had it at your house).

Beth P

slice of cake showing the chocolate in the middle with a strawberry on the side.Pin
Serve with fresh berries on the side–something like strawberries or raspberries to add color. Or be extravagant and garnish with chocolate-covered strawberries.

Ingredients and substitutions:

ingredients needed to make angel food cake with chocolate ganachePin
  • CAKE FLOUR: Cake flour contains less protein than all-purpose flour. If you must substitute, use 1 cup of all-purpose flour minus 2 tablespoons. Some people recommend replacing the 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour with 2 tablespoons of cornstarch. I have not tried that myself.

    “Cakes made with lower-protein cake flour will have a finer, more tender crumb than those made with all-purpose flour.”
    Nigella
  • POWDERED SUGAR OR CONFECTIONERS SUGAR: Powdered sugar dissolves easier when folding it into the whipped egg whites. I used to use superfine sugar but prefer powdered sugar because I always have it on hand.
  • SUGAR: Use granulated white sugar when whipping the egg whites. Superfine sugar is also acceptable, but not brown sugar or sugar substitutes.
  • EGG WHITES: Egg whites whip higher if the eggs come to room temperature before starting.

    Any speck of egg yolk will keep the egg whites from whipping. If you inadvertently drop some egg yolk into your egg white mixture, try scooping it out with part of the shell. It works much better than a spoon.
  • CREAM OF TARTER: Cream of tartar helps to stabilize your egg whites. Don’t leave it out.
  • SALT: Use table salt or sea salt. Add a pinch more if using Kosher salt.
  • ALMOND EXTRACT: This extract gives angel food cake its classic flavor.
  • POWDERED COCOA: Use dark chocolate or dutch-processed cocoa for maximum chocolate color and flavor. Regular cocoa powder can be substituted, but the color contrast with the white batter will be less. You can leave the chocolate out altogether for a simpler cake.

Layering the cake batter:

how to layer angel food cake batterPin

After folding in the granulated sugar and cake flour mixture (do this with a light hand–you don’t want to develop the gluten), place about two-thirds of the batter into the bottom of the angel food cake. Fold the sifted cocoa into the remaining third of the cake batter.

Use a spoon to draw a trough in the vanilla batter. Carefully spoon the chocolate batter into the trough. Try to level out the batter without mixing the chocolate and vanilla flavors.


How to master the chocolate ganache “drizzle” technique:

Practicing dripping icing on a bowlPin

Turn a soup bowl upside down and practice. It’s also a good way to check the consistency of the chocolate ganache to make sure the chocolate is not too runny or too thick.


Frequently Asked Questions about Angel Food Cake with Chocolate Ganache

Can I freeze this angel food cake?

This cake can be frozen before frosting but is not recommended after it is frosted with whipped cream and the ganache. Wrap an unfrosted cake in double layers for the best results.

Can I leave out the chocolate?

Yes. This cake will still be delicious without it. You can also leave off the chocolate ganache. Then it will be a delicious vanilla angel food cake. Try this Browned Butter Icing as a thin glaze if you don’t want to use whipping cream.

Can I make this cake without a stand mixer?

Yes. My grandma made many wonderful angel food cakes from scratch with an old-fashioned electric mixer. You can use a good portable mixer. Use the whisk attachment if you have one. However, dissolving the granulated sugar into the whites will take longer.

If I don’t have an angel food cake pan, can I use a different pan for baking my angel food cake?

Angel food cake rises better in a 10-inch tube pan than in a loaf pan or round cake pan. An angel food cake pan with a removable bottom is even better. I prefer not to use a non-stick pan. The grippy surface of an aluminum pan helps the cake to rise. However, wash your aluminum pan by hand for the best results.

On the same topic, I don’t recommend using a bundt pan. First, most of them have a non-stick finish which does not help the cake rise. Second, the more intricate designs will make it difficult to get the cake out of the pan in one piece.

How far ahead of time can I bake this cake?

I like to bake it the night before the party. Let the cake cool upside down all night when it comes out of the oven. The next day, frost with whipped cream and decorate with chocolate ganache. Keep the cake in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve it because of the whipped cream icing.


Parting thoughts: This cake is now the most-requested birthday cake in my family. Even the kids ask for it. Here are a couple more favorites with my grandkids: Kay’s Swiss Chocolate Cake Mix Recipe–A Crowd Favorite and Kid-Friendly Coffee Cake with Bisquick. If you need something more sophisticated, my mom’s favorite was this Carrot Cake without Pineapple.


If you have questions or suggestions, email me privately for a quick answer: Paula at saladinajar.com. Hope to see you again soon! 

a slice of angel food cake with chocolate ganache with the whole cake in the backgroundPin

Angel Food Cake Drizzled with Chocolate Ganache

Paula Rhodes
No decorating talent is required to make this showy angel food cake for your next birthday party. The whole flavor experience reminds me of a dipped cone from the DQ.
4.64 from 11 votes
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Total Time 1 hr 20 mins
Course Cakes and Icing
Cuisine American
Servings 16 slices
Calories 247 kcal

Ingredients
  

Cake:

  • cup confectioners sugar - 170 g
  • 1 cup cake flour - 120 g
  • cup egg whites - 360 g
  • teaspoon cream of tartar - 5 g
  • ¼ teaspoon salt - 1.5 g
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract - 1 g
  • teaspoon vanilla extract - 7 g
  • 1 cup granulated sugar - 198 g
  • 2 tablespoons powdered cocoa (dutch-process) - (sifted) 10 g

Chocolate Ganache:

  • cup heavy whipping cream - 151 g
  • 4 oz. semi-sweet chocolate bar - 113 g

Whipped Cream Icing:

  • 1-1/2 cup heavy whipping cream - (chilled) 340 g
  • cup confectioners sugar - 76 g
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract - 5 g

Instructions
 

Preheat oven to 325˚F.

    Cake:

    • Whisk 1 c cake flour and 1½ c confectioners sugar in a medium bowl.
    • Use a stand mixer with a large mixing bowl and the wire whip attachment. Add 1½ c egg whites, 1½ t cream of tartar, ¼ t salt, ¼ t almond extract, and 1½ t vanilla extract to the bowl and mix on LOW for one minute.
    • Turn the mixer up to HIGH speed and add 1 c of sugar in 1 tablespoon increments from the side. Allow 15 seconds between each tablespoon. Mix until the egg whites are thick and billowy and the peaks stand up without falling over.
    • Use a large rubber spatula to delicately and carefully fold the flour and sugar mixture into the whipped egg whites. Add about ½ cup of the flour mixture at a time. Use the spatula to slice perpendicular to the whites down to the bottom of the bowl and turn the spatula slightly to pull up the batter from the bottom and lay it over the top.
    • Turn the bowl 1/4 turn and repeat the slice-and-fold process until the flour and egg whites are just mixed. Do this with patience and a light hand. Practice helps. If you overdo the mixing, your cake won't be as high as your hopes.
    • Pour slightly more than half of the cake batter into a 10-inch ungreased tube pan with a removable bottom. Use a thin knife to gently "slice" through the batter to remove any large air bubbles. Use a spoon to draw a trough around the middle. (See the picture above.)
    • Carefully fold 2 T sifted powdered cocoa into the remaining batter until completely mixed. (Do not skip the sifting or you will have little chunks of cocoa in your batter.) Fill the trough with the chocolate batter and then smooth over the top.
    • Bake for 50-55 minutes at 325˚F. Remove from the oven and immediately turn the cake upside down to cool for two to three hours. (Don't use the legs on your pan when you turn it over. Better to use a pop bottle or funnel.) Use a firm hand and a skinny knife to loosen the cake from the edges of the pan. Turn the cake upside down onto the cake plate or cooling rack.

    Chocolate Ganache:

    • Heat 2/3 c heavy cream in a small glass bowl for 1 minute in a microwave oven. Add the 4 oz chocolate bar that has been broken into smaller pieces to the hot cream. Allow the chocolate to sit in the cream and melt for a few minutes.
    • When the chocolate is completely melted, use a small wire whisk or spatula to stir. Start by making small circles at first, then larger, and finally, mix the melted chocolate and cream until smooth.
    • Set the ganache aside to cool while you prepare the whipped cream icing.

    Whipped Cream Icing:

    • Whip 1½ c heavy whipping cream in a medium-sized chilled bowl with a wire attachment or a portable mixer. When the cream begins to thicken and has soft peaks, add ⅓ c confectioners sugar and 1 t vanilla extract. Go too far, and the whipped cream will be dry-looking or turn into butter. Spread the whipped cream smoothly over the angel food cake.

    Assembly:

    • Pour the warm chocolate ganache into a small zippered bag. Snip one corner about 1/4 inch. If this is your first time, turn over a cereal bowl and practice running chocolate along the edge till you get the effect you want. If it's too thick to make nice "runs", add a few drops of warm cream. If too thin, let the chocolate cool a while longer.
    • Slowly squirt ganache from the small hole in the corner of your zippered bag making "runs and drips" around the perimeter of the cake. Do the center of the cake the same way. Quickly squirt the remainder of the ganache over the top of the cake. Then, use a spoon, spatula, or offset flexible knife to spread the ganache evenly. You have a small window to smooth the ganache because the cold whip cream icing will harden the ganache on contact.
    • Chill at least one hour before serving. Best eaten within 24 hours but still amazingly good for a couple of days.

    Notes

    *You don’t have to use dutch-process cocoa. Regular powdered cocoa will work, but the taste and color will be slightly different.

    Nutrition

    Serving: 1 | Calories: 247kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 24mg | Sodium: 82mg | Potassium: 156mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 29g | Vitamin A: 259IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 1mg
    Keyword #angel food cake recipes, #chocolate angel food cake recipes, #chocolate ganache icing,#marble angel food cake,, angel food birthday cake
    Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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    Recipe Rating




    51 Comments

    1. I can’t wait to try this recipe! Do you think it will be hard to go back to the mix after I try it homemade?
      I can’t get over how pretty your icing looks! Mom taught me how to make this icing and it is my “go-to” icing for sure, but my icing jobs look nothing like yours:+)
      My kids and I are MAJOR angel food cake fans…I will bake a cake, and we just eat the whole thing straight from the pan still hot…you should try it sometime with Kent!

      1. Hey Der, you could make this cake with a mix–no problem. It’s the icing with the ganache that really puts this over the top.

    2. I LOVE this post!!! The cake pictures are awesome and the way you guide us through each step makes it look so easy. What would we do without you? I have to say the pictures of your precious grandson takes the “CAKE”. Pun intended.
      I have a friend at work and she is always making cakes and bringing them to work. It might just by my turn. Now I have the perfect recipe.Love ya lots.

    3. Betty @ scrambled hen fruit says:

      What a gorgeous cake! I do love angel food cake- it’s light and delicious. 🙂 That chocolate glaze looks amazing!

    4. Paula, this cake looks heavenly!! Wow, what a stunner. If the frosting tastes like that from DQ, then I need to make this soon…I have not made angel cake before! Fantastic post, and thanks for the tips on making “drips”!

    5. What an elegant and attractive cake! So pretty. Adorable expression on your little guy 🙂
      I have never made a two flavor Angel Food cake and the ganache really elevates it to perfect.

      I have made Ina Gartens Lemon Angel Food cake (http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/lemon-angel-food-cake-recipe/index.html) many times and it comes out lovely. Not too hard. I did have a friend that made it unsuccessfully and gave me all of her unused ingredients saying it wasn’t worth the effort. Maybe I will make another one and do a post.

      I was involved with 4-H as a kid. Once for knitting and once for Cooking. We had to make and present a complete meal. I got a VG ribbon instead of excellent. Why? I didn’t include a dessert!!! What was I thinking 🙂 But I have learned my lesson and will never forget dessert again! Your Cake gets an Excellent!

      PS I just recently tried the Angel Food Cakes from a mix as my daughter makes them. I was impressed. Not bad at all.

    6. Beautiful cake and not only that, you made a dual flavoured one. I’m really impressed and shamed to say I’ve never attempted angel food cake from scratch. Great tip about ganache testing too.

    7. That looks delicious. : ) It reminds me of Rebecca Rather’s Tuxedo Cake.

      1. Kirstin, now that you mention it, I have probably been subliminally influenced by that cake. I have looked at that picture many times. I’ve never actually made that cake though and this recipe is totally different but maybe I should try hers some time.

    8. This looks delicious! I also want to say thank you for your wonderful Monkey Bread recipe. I made it a couple of months ago. So yummy! My husband asked me yesterday if I could make it this weekend (: I am going to post it on my blog – with a link to you of course.

    9. Paula,
      Your grandson is adorable! Congrats on conquering Angle Food cake. It looks gorgeous.
      Mimi

    10. Oh my, that is a show-stopping cake! I’ve been wanting to make an angel food cake for a while… and this will definitely get me in the kitchen!

    11. What gorgeous presentation!

    12. looks good! but i’m sticking with a mix for now. only time i made from scratch like this was in food science class at harding. hey, my krups open master can opener broke. i’m on the hunt for another one, but they don’t make it anymore. what can opener do you use? thoughts?

      1. I have a Hamilton Beach. Love it because it cuts the lid off with no sharp edges and the lid fits back on.

    13. Lucy @ The Sweet Touch says:

      This cake is beautiful! I’ve never tried a homemade angel food cake, now it’s on my list to try!

    14. It’s so beautiful! I bet it tastes like heaven!

    15. What a pretty cake, you are a planner aren’t you? I can tell from your picture and everything else you have thought through it all. Wish I could be more that way, sometimes I get an idea of what I want to cook and post, I can’t wait to get it up (kinda like a little kid) that I leave the mess in my kitchen and start working on the photos and post, crazy huh?

      1. Suzanne, Well, yes. I’m a planner. But I would much rather work on my latest pictures than clean up the kitchen so I do the same as you in that department.

    16. The reason I like to make angel food from scratch is because the beaters taste so much better than licking the beaters from a box cake! The box batter tastes kinda like chemicals. Your cake looked beautiful and tasted good too! Thanks for the treats. We needed that this week….of course you always know what your friends need!

      1. Joan, your reason for making an angel food cake from scratch is just about the best one I’ve heard yet.

        Only 10 more days of craziness. Right?

    17. The picture of Kent is priceless. Love it!

    18. I’ve never made Angel Food Cake from scratch before, this looks fantastic. Perhaps even more appealing to me is the ganache, though. I’ve never been able to resist a good, heavy ganache, especially on top of fluffy cake.

    19. redmenace says:

      Can I just say wow?! This cake is GORGEOUS. Lovely! Thanks so much for the inspiration. I’ve also never made angle food from scratch. Must start now!

    20. wow this cake looks gorgeous! I love angel food cake, can’t wait too try this

    21. Hi, I saw your blog on BC and thought I would take a look. I love the look of this cake and it looks very festive. Your icing practice was also a good idea.

    22. That is gorgeous and looks delicious! My new angel food cake pan is awaiting!

    23. Kathy - Panini Happy says:

      This is such a beautiful presentation!

    24. AnneStrawberry says:

      Oh wow this cake is stunning! I love the colors and flavors and can’t wait to try doing the ganache like that. Thanks Paula!

    25. Feast on the Cheap says:

      Stunning cake, somehow it’s almost Tim Burton-esque

    26. I have NEVER seen a more beautiful angel food cake… ever!

    27. *Just Fran* says:

      Gorgeous cake. Can’t wait to try it this summer. Thanks for sharing.

    28. Was going to make from scratch…do I have cake flour at home? It’s Friday night, you’re tired, go to Betty Crocker…can’t wait to try for Easter dessert!

    29. This looks great. Your instructions #3 under cake are the same as #2 under assembly. I don’t want to mess this up. Is there a missing step under assembly?

      1. I fixed it. Thanks SO MUCH for asking/telling me. I just recently reformatted the recipe and I guess I messed it up. Hope it turns out great for you.

    30. Angie @ Bigbearswife says:

      I love that cake! I am so horrbile at the “drizzle” on the sides. I need to get more practice

      1. Angie, I’m not so good with the drizzle either. That’s why I practice with a cereal bowl. :-). Still tastes good even if it turns out ugly.

    31. 5 stars
      I made this cake for my daughter’s 30th birthday. The first time I made an angel food cake from scatch. It was easy to follow your directions. It was a huge hit. Thanks for sharing

    32. Piper@GotItCookIt says:

      5 stars
      How did I miss this cake? It looks fantastic!!! I have never made an angel food cake (gulp)… I need to just do it. I’ve had an angel food cake PAN for 20 years… now that is just crazy. This is the recipe to try first.

    33. Hi there I absolutely love this site .I am an amateur baker and love so far everything that I have seen….one question though could i replace the cake flour with all purpose flour.

    34. Thank you for this recipe. I was a first-timer in the angel food cake “department” and did this recipe as instructed. It turned out pretty good for my first time, I must admit. The Icing and Ganache are to die for and I will be using them on other cake recipes from here on out.

      Thank you so much!! I was scared but with your help, I made my first angel food cake!

    35. my cake won’t whip to soft peaks!! what did i do wrong???

    36. 5 stars
      I made this cake for my daughter’s 30th birthday. The first time I made an angel food cake from scatch. It was easy to follow your directions. It was a huge hit. Thanks for sharing

    37. Piper@GotItCookIt says:

      5 stars
      How did I miss this cake? It looks fantastic!!! I have never made an angel food cake (gulp)… I need to just do it. I’ve had an angel food cake PAN for 20 years… now that is just crazy. This is the recipe to try first.

    38. Randi Harrity says:

      Can you make this in a bundt cake pan?

      1. Hi Randi,
        Good question. When making angel food cake, using an ungreased pan with straight sides enables the batter to climb the side more successfully. Hopefully, this results in a light and fluffy cake. That might happen with a bundt cake pan, too. I haven’t tried it. However, there is the issue of getting the cake out of the pan without damaging it. The batter sticks to the sides like glue once baked because you haven’t greased the pan. With straight sides, it is easy to run a thin knife around the edge. When you separate the bottom from the sides (thanks to the way an angel food cake pan is made), again, it will be easy to separate the cake from the flat bottom. I’m thinking it will be most difficult to extract an angel food cake from a bundt pan without damaging it. If you try it, please send me a picture. I would love to know how it works.

        Tip: I was at a thrift store last week and saw several angel food cake pans on sale for pennies. You could try it for not many $$.

    39. Haven’t made this cake yet, but there’s a birthday coming up in a month, so I’m going to practice with this recipe. One question: instead of breaking open eggs, can I use egg whites from a store-bought container?

      1. Hi Stephen,
        I haven’t tried it, but in general, I’ve read that it’s not a good idea. I think you might lose some of the volume when whipping store-bought egg whites, and that’s really important with an angel food cake. You can make creme brulee or banana cream pie or pudding with all those egg yolks. 😊