Chocolate and Vanilla Angel Food Cake with “Dipped Cone” Icing

chocolate and vanilla angel food cake with dipped cone icing post 3b sq red

The icing tastes a lot like a dipped cone from the DQ. Really.

Except for a few attempts to win a blue ribbon in 4-H, I’ve always made angel food cakes from a mix. Seemed good enough most of the time. But homemade does taste better and I’m tired of throwing away egg whites 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 like Kilroy.

outta here red

Don't be scared.

Hey, come back here. If I can do it, you can too. Yes, you can bake an angel food cake from scratch. I’m not saying it’s easy but it’s not that hard either.

I started with a recipe from my good friend, Joan, and 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 much the same way Foodie Bride did, I folded cocoa into part of the batter and carefully poured it over the vanilla batter to make an irregular but pretty pattern.

Here’s where it gets good. Frost this cake with whipped cream icing, then drizzle with chocolate ganache. Perfection not required.

Try this for Easter dinner or any special celebration. What a grand finale for a glorious day!

new angel food storyboard_edited-1.jpg

Use a spoon to make a trough. Fill with chocolate batter and smooth over the top.

practicing on bowl

Practice making drips on inverted bowl. Also a good way to test consistency of the ganache.

Chocolate and Vanilla Angel Food Cake with "Dipped Cone" Icing
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 12
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Chocolate and vanilla angel food cake frosted with whipped cream icing and chocolate ganache that will remind you of a dipped cone from the DQ.
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1-1/2 cup sugar--divided (I like superfine)
  • 1-2/3 cup egg whites (10-11 large eggs)
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons Dutch chocolate, sifted
Chocolate Ganache:
  • ⅔ cup heavy cream
  • 4 oz. semi-sweet chocolate bar
Whipped Cream Icing:
  • 1-1/2 cup heavy cream, chilled
  • ⅓ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Sift together cake flour and ¾ cup sugar. Using stand mixer and wire attachment, begin mixing egg whites and cream of tartar on low for one minute. Add salt. Increase speed to medium-high and mix until egg whites are thick and billowy. With mixer running, pour the remaining ¾ cup of sugar in from the side--slowly. Continue beating egg whites until glossy and soft peaks gently tip over when you pull the wire beater up. Add extracts and turn the mixer on for a couple of seconds to incorporate.
  2. Use your largest rubber spatula to delicately and carefully fold sifted flour and sugar into whipped egg whites. I add only about ¼ cup of the flour and sugar mixture at a time. Slice with spatula perpendicular to whites down to bottom of bowl and turn spatula slightly to pull up batter from the bottom and lay over the top. Turn bowl ¼ turn and repeat slice with spatula until flour and egg whites are just mixed. The folding process should be done with patience and a light hand. Practice helps. If you overdo the mixing, your cake won't be as high as your hopes.
  3. Pour slightly more than half of cake batter into an ungreased angel food cake pan with a removable bottom. Use a spoon to draw a trough around the middle. Carefully fold sifted cocoa into remaining batter until completely mixed. (Do not skip the sifting or you will have little chunks of cocoa in your batter.) Fill trough with the chocolate batter and then smooth over the top.
  4. Bake for 50-55 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately turn over to cool for several hours. I recommend overnight. Use a firm hand and a skinny knife to loosen cake from edges of pan and invert cake onto cake plate.
Chocolate Ganache:
  1. Heat heavy cream in small glass bowl for 1 minute in microwave oven. Add chocolate bar broken in several pieces to hot cream and allow to sit and melt while you ice the cake.
  2. When chocolate is completely melted use small wire whisk or spoon to mix making small circles at first, then larger and finally, mixing chocolate and cream until smooth.
Whipped Cream Icing:
  1. Whip cream in chilled bowl with wire attachment. When thick with soft peaks, add powdered sugar and continue to whip until cream makes stiff peaks. Go too far and whipped cream will be dry looking or turn into butter. Watch it! Spread smoothly over angel food cake.
  1. Pour warm chocolate ganache into a small Ziplock bag. Snip one corner about ¼ inch. (Eyeball it.) 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 cool a while longer.
  2. Here is where it gets a little tricky. Run ganache along the upper/outer edge of cake and slowly squirt ganache from small hole in the corner of your Ziplock bag making "runs and drips" around the entire cake. Do the inner edge the same way. Squirt remainder of ganache over top of cake and use a spoon to quickly spread evenly. You have a small window to get it smooth 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 days.
1. No shame in using a mix if you prefer. Follow directions on the box, then proceed to Step 3 in the directions for the cake. 2. You don't have to use Dutch cocoa. Regular cocoa will work but the taste and color will be slightly different. 3. I think superfine (not powdered) sugar dissolves quicker in the cake batter. It's available at my local grocery but you can turn regular sugar into superfine with a blender. 4. I don't recommend substituting regular flour for the cake flour. It will taste fine but may not rise as much.


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{ 45 comments… read them below or add one }

Alexis February 6, 2014 at 3:44 pm

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


Patricia January 29, 2014 at 10:05 am

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!


natasha February 9, 2013 at 5:07 am

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.


Piper@GotItCookIt May 21, 2012 at 10:27 pm

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.


Janice April 1, 2012 at 6:19 pm

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


Angie @ Bigbearswife September 18, 2011 at 6:29 pm

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


Paula September 19, 2011 at 10:55 am

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.


Anna June 18, 2011 at 2:01 pm

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?


Paula June 18, 2011 at 2:55 pm

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.


Phyllis May 30, 2011 at 6:45 pm

Looks good!


Carol April 22, 2011 at 9:07 pm

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!


*Just Fran* April 19, 2011 at 1:37 pm

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


Amanda April 17, 2011 at 1:45 pm

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


Maria April 11, 2011 at 4:52 pm

love this cake!


Feast on the Cheap April 11, 2011 at 11:27 am

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


AnneStrawberry April 11, 2011 at 10:21 am

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!


Kathy - Panini Happy April 11, 2011 at 12:27 am

This is such a beautiful presentation!


Katrina April 11, 2011 at 12:01 am

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


Julie April 10, 2011 at 8:04 am

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.


Amira April 10, 2011 at 5:43 am

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


redmenace April 9, 2011 at 11:00 pm

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!


Morgan April 9, 2011 at 1:03 pm

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.


Megan April 9, 2011 at 10:26 am

This looks heavenly!


Sis April 9, 2011 at 9:33 am

The picture of Kent is priceless. Love it!


Joan April 8, 2011 at 8:54 am

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!


Paula April 8, 2011 at 10:39 am

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?


Suzanne April 8, 2011 at 1:54 am

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?


Paula April 8, 2011 at 10:36 am

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.


Jun April 7, 2011 at 10:44 pm

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


Lucy @ The Sweet Touch April 7, 2011 at 6:16 pm

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


Susie April 7, 2011 at 5:58 pm

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?


Paula April 7, 2011 at 7:22 pm

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


Shawnda April 7, 2011 at 4:41 pm

What gorgeous presentation!


Amanda April 7, 2011 at 3:24 pm

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!


Mimi April 7, 2011 at 11:00 am

Your grandson is adorable! Congrats on conquering Angle Food cake. It looks gorgeous.


Jennifer April 7, 2011 at 9:45 am

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.


Kirstin April 7, 2011 at 9:20 am

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


Paula April 7, 2011 at 7:33 pm

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.


Paula April 7, 2011 at 7:39 am

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.


Lorraine April 7, 2011 at 5:48 am

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 ( 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.


Nina April 6, 2011 at 11:15 pm

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”!


Betty @ scrambled hen fruit April 6, 2011 at 9:57 pm

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


Sandy April 6, 2011 at 9:55 pm

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.


Der April 6, 2011 at 9:48 pm

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!


Paula April 6, 2011 at 10:24 pm

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.


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