Why Did My Angel Food Cake Fall?

The main reason an angel food cake falls is often due to improper whipping of the egg whites, but there’s more to it than meets the eye. In this post, “Why Did My Angel Food Cake Fall?”, I will explain the main reason as well as some others that might be the culprits of a fallen angel food cake. as well as practical tips to help you create the perfect, cloud-like dessert every time. Grab a drink, and let’s get started.

Why Did My Angel Food Cake Fall?

Oh dear, a fallen angel food cake can be disappointing! There are a few factors that might cause it to fall. Using the wrong pan, like a non-stick or flat-bottomed pan, won’t allow the cake to rise properly. Make sure to beat your egg whites until they reach stiff peaks, as this provides structure to your cake. Greasing the pan can also lead to a collapse, as the batter needs to cling to the sides while baking. Lastly, don’t forget to cool the cake upside-down to prevent it from sinking. Keep these tips in mind, and your angel food cake should stay heavenly. 

Not Beating The Egg Whites Properly

Not getting enough volume will cause your cake to fall. It is important to beat your egg whites to soft peaks and fold in the rest of your ingredients gently.  Do not over-whip your egg whites. Not only will this deflate the eggs, but will result in a cake that is chewy and dense.  Beating the rest of your ingredients into the egg whites will deflate the egg whites as well, and then you lose the volume.  The volume contributes to the cake being able to rise during baking.  In addition to improperly beating the egg whites, not folding in the dry ingredients gently will cause the egg whites to deflate, and the cake will not rise.

Don’t know how to fold your ingredients or even what it means?  Watch the video below

What Kind Of Pan Do I Use?

why did my angel food cake fall?

A tube pan is designed specifically so that the egg whites in the batter of an angel food cake cook evenly and rise high as they bake. An angel food cake can also be baked in a loaf pan, just make sure that you only fill the pan 2/3 full.  However, they should not be baked in a Bundt pan. The cake may not rise properly, and an airy angel food or chiffon cake will stick in the crevices of the pan, causing a mess.

Do I Need To Use Cream Of Tartar?

The acid in cream of tartar speeds up the formation of

air bubbles and helps to stabilize the egg whites, preventing them from deflating therefore, they are unlikely to collapse.

Cream of tartar also helps to give your angel food cake the light and fluffy texture that they are famous for. Without cream of tartar, your cake will most likely be dense and heavy.  

So don’t forget this ingredient.  In a pinch, you can substitute lemon juice or vinegar in place of the cream of tartar.  For every 1/8 teaspoon of cream of tartar, use 1/2 teaspoon of either lemon juice or vinegar. 

Do You Need to Grease Your Pan?

The answer is a big no.  Do not grease your pan prior to baking your angel food cake. You want your cake batter to cling and climb up the sides of the pan to get that light and fluffy texture. Grease that pan, and your cake will fall.  Why? Because the cake will not be able to grab those pan sides and rise during baking.

Think of it this way.  Grease a pole and then try to climb it.  Nope, nada, Not going to happen! The greasy pole prevents you from getting a good grasp, thereby preventing you from climbing up. 

Just don’t do it!

Under Baking Your Cake

You need to follow the directions for baking time.  If It states, 50 to 60 minutes, start checking the cake at 50 minutes.  The top of the cake should be golden and spring back when lightly touch.  If your cake pan doesn’t feel light when you lift it, then you need to let it bake a little longer.  

An underbaked angel food cake has not had enough time to set up, and the weight of the undercooked eggs will cause the cake to sag and sink.  In the worst-case scenario, you will have a mess when you turn it upside.  Because, most likely, that underbaked cake is going to fall out of the pan.  Been there and done that!

Use the toothpick method. Insert a toothpick into the center of the cake.  If it comes out clean, you are good to go.  Another way to check for doneness is to insert a digital thermometer. 206 degrees is what you are aiming for.  

Do You Have To Cool Angel Food Cake Upside Down?

why did my angel food cake fall?

Yes! An angel food cake will continue to set as it cools. If you do not turn it upside down, the cake may sink into the pan and collapse.  Immediately turn it onto a funnel or heatproof bottle and let it hang until completely cool.  This will be at least 2 hours.  

Make sure to check the bottle or funnel before filling your pan with the batter to make sure the hole in the center of the pan will fit. Many angel food cake pans have little “legs” on the pan. Mine does not, and I didn’t check my bottle.  Needless to say, my pan got “stuck” on the bottle. Not fun trying to get the darn thing off.  Now I have a certain bottle that I use every time I use that pan.

What Can I Do With An Angel Food Cake That Has Fallen?

If your angel food cake has fallen, no worry.  Here are some things you can do with a fallen angel food cake

  • You can make a trifle.  A layered dessert that includes cake, fruit, custard, and whipped cream.  The angel food cake would make a great base, as it will soak up the other flavors.
  • Cut the cake into chunks and serve it with fruit and whipped cream.
  • Use it in a layered dessert such as a parfait.

A fallen angel food cake may not be perfect for serving on its own there are other ways to turn it into a delicious dessert.

Making an angel food cake is not as hard as you might think. Why don’t you give it a try? Here is my favorite Angel food cake recipe from an Amish cookbook that I have in my collection of cookbooks.

Angel Food Cake

A light and fluffy cake.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American


  •  1 2/3  cups Egg whites, room temperature
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/4 cup Cake flour
  • 1 1/3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  •  Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form.
  •  Gradually add sugar and vanilla 
  • Mix together flour, powdered sugar, cream of tartar, and salt  
  •  Add to the egg whites a few tablespoons at a time, folding in thoroughly and carefully.
  • Pour the batter into an ungreased angel food tube pan and bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes or until done.
  • Invert the pan for two hours and then carefully loosen the sides of the cake to help release it from the pan.
  • Enjoy!
Keyword angel food cake

Final Thoughts

An angel food cake is a delicate dessert that needs some attention to prevent it from falling from whipping the egg whites properly to achieve that light, airy texture, not greasing the pan, which prevents the batter from climbing up the walls of the pan. Underbaking can result in the cake falling out of the pan during cooling time.  The need to cool the cake upside down to prevent it from sinking back into the pan.  Following these tips will have you baking that beautiful angel food cake, you will be proud to serve.  

Have you ever wondered why it is called an angel food cake?

Please leave me a comment below with your thoughts

An As Always

Keep On Baking!


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