Lemon Meringue Angel Food Cake: Light and lovely with a twist

Lemons are yellow, but color me green with envy right now.

Despite the several inches of snow we still have in our yard here in Vermont, I know there are parts of the country where folks are already starting to harvest fresh fruits and veggies. Boy oh boy, what I wouldn’t give to see even a few green buds at this point.

I’m not going to let myself succumb to the green-eyed monster, though. In fact, I’m going to give him a makeover and turn him into a golden-eyed angel, in the form of light and lovely angel food cake. To take it one step further, he’ll get a new hairdo of lofty meringue, too, and become the envy of the heavenly choir.

Let’s make Lemon Meringue Angel Food Cake.

First, preheat your oven to 325°F.

IMG_4640Place 12 eggs whites – or substitute 3/4 cup (12 tablespoons) dried egg whites + 1 1/4 cups cold water – in the bowl of your mixer. Use the whisk attachment to beat on low speed until a frothy foam develops.

Anyone else seeing bubble bath here?


Once the base of foam is well established, you can start to gradually add 1 cup granulated sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Increase the speed to high and whip until the batter is thick and stiff.

Now we’re talking shaving cream instead of bubble bath.

2-DSCN1435Remove the bowl from the mixer and use the whisk by hand to mix in 2 tablespoons freshly grated lemon zest. Be sure to use fresh zest for this recipe; dried zest isn’t going to give you the same depth of flavor.

IMG_4676Grab a large spatula. Place 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar and 1 cup (4 1/4 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour in a sieve. Sift this over the cake batter in three portions, folding the dry ingredients into the whipped whites each time just until no dry streaks remain.
Spread the batter in an ungreased angel food pan, either round or rectangular (like that shown in the photo at the top).

Bake the cake for 40 to 45 minutes.

Don’t be surprised if the cake rises quite high in the oven, then sinks a bit towards the end of baking. This is normal for angel food cakes.

Cool the cake upside down, according to your pan’s directions (if you still have any directions). I like the pans with the little feet built right in; it saves me from looking for a bottle to balance it on.

When the cake is completely cool, remove it from the pan and place it on your serving plate while you make the meringue. Remember, once that meringue is added, you won’t be able to move the cake without encountering a very sticky situation!


For the meringue, you’ll follow the same steps of whipping the whites, then adding the sugar and cream of tartar as described previously. Bubble bath to shaving cream, but in a small version:

3 large egg whites
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar (this adds stability to the whites)
1/4 teaspoon salt (for flavor)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Spread the meringue in a nice, thick layer all over the cake, and break out the torch! If you don’t have a torch, place the cake carefully on an oven-proof platter or baking sheet and toast the meringue under the broiler.  The sides will not get as browned, but that’s perfectly all right.


A dessert you’ll be proud to serve no matter what the season. Gabriel, cue the horns and take it away!

Please make, rate, and review our recipe for Lemon Meringue Angel Food Cake.

Print just the recipe.

MaryJane Robbins

MaryJane Robbins grew up in Massachusetts and moved to Vermont 20 years ago. After teaching young children for 15 years, she changed careers and joined King Arthur Flour in 2005. MaryJane began working on King Arthur Flour's baker’s hotline in 2006, and the blog team ...


  1. Nancy

    I just ordered a Wilton Angel Food Loaf pan from Wall mart. Will be picking it up there. Anxious to try this recipe.

    Thank you for all your wonderful recipes.

  2. grandma4five

    I always thought an angel food cake would be so hard, but you make it look so easy. I am a scratch cooker, always loved cooking. This is now in my recipe box and will try it for sure. I must get a torch to do this properly.

    Thank you for sharing!

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      I’d go for the torch with the best reviews. We’ve had our torches for quite a while, so not sure if they are still available. Jon@KAF

  3. Robin Mitnick

    I read the recipe and got excited about making it. It’s looks delicious and so pretty. Then, I realized about the discrepancy between the round cake in the recipe and the loaf space in the photo. I think it would be hard to ice a round angel food cake with the meringue and also to brown it properly. In one response, KAF recommended a loaf pan but then went on to say you don’t carry it. This is very disappointing. How can I make the cake properly in a loaf shape?

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      A half batch of the recipe should fit in a standard loaf pan. Please choose one that does not have a non-stick finish.~Jaydl@KAF

    1. MaryJane Robbins, post author

      Hi Gerry,
      I’ve never added cake enhancer to an angel food cake, I think the fatty acids may actually weigh it down. ~ MJ

    1. MaryJane Robbins, post author

      Hi Carla,
      Unfortunately, those paper pans have a silicone non-stick coating that won’t let the batter cling and rise so I don’t think they are a good option for angel food. Sorry. ~ MJ

  4. Cassy McGuinness

    Can I use liquid pasturized egg whites in the cake recipe? We are making this cake for Easter dinner and will try the lemon curd layers as well as some strawberries on the side.

  5. hulagaga

    Made this ‘cake’ today, using the ChefMaster meringue powder substitute as cited in the “tips” section of the recipe. Too late for your April Fool’s Day pictures! What a disaster. When I turned the pan upside down to cool, it was like a mudslide onto the rack. The cake rose as expected,
    was nicely browned, but that’s where it ends. I tried tasting the done part that was in the pan, and it in no way tasted like angelfood cake. More like a yucky aftertaste. It’s the first time I used the powdered egg whites in a recipe, and it definitely will be the last. What a waste of my time and all those ingredients!

  6. HRN

    I’ve made angel food cakes (not this particular recipe, but also a 12 egg white recipe) in my KAF Pullman loaf pan, they’ve always come out great. I line the bottom with parchment and do not grease the sides, the batter climbs up nicely. Invert onto four glasses, since the pan doesn’t have feet. I’m a little surprised at the amount of sugar in this recipe. Even for an angel food cake, which is generally quite sweet, that seems like a very large amount. I love the meringue coating idea.


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