The Best Angel Food Cake Pan—We’ve Tried a Bunch!

Ready to whip up a heavenly treat that will make taste buds dance with delight? To make a fluffy, perfect Angel Food Cake you need a great recipe—and the best angel food cake pan for the job! In this article, we delve into the essential criteria that make a superior angel food cake pan, from the significance of straight edges to the importance of a tightly fitting removable bottom. We’ll also share some common flaws you’ll find in poorly designed pans for Angel Food Cakes and how to troubleshoot them if you’ve already made the wrong investment.

Get ready to discover why choosing the right pan is the secret ingredient for flawless Angel Food cakes. Need a foolproof recipe? Try our meticulously tested Easy Angel Food Cake recipe that does not require hand folding the flour!

Easy Angel Food Cake Recipe – No Folding!
The most heavenly Angel Food Cake you'll ever taste and the easiest you'll ever make! Soft, fluffy, moist and with a divine taste. It's like eating a cloud.
Check out this recipe
Easy Angel Food Cake Recipe
You too can bake an Angel Food Cake like this with the the right pan!

Pan Criteria

Only Pans with a Hole Need Apply

You don’t need an Angel Food Cake pan per say to bake an Angel Food Cake. You do however need a pan that is….

  • ungreased—some non-stick designs can work however (keep reading!)
  • with a hole in the center (tube design)—this type of cake should be baked from outside in and inside out to prevent collapsing. The tube offer both the support and internal heat source your Angel Food Cake needs!
  • tall (4″- 5″ or around 10 cm)
  • with ‘feet’—or another way to elevate the cake upside down
  • relatively straight sides—there shouldn’t be a large difference in the diameter between the top and bottom of the pan

The Best Angel Food Cake Pan Has Straight Edges for Perfect Rise

When it comes to angel food cakes, straight sides are essential for achieving the perfect rise and uniform texture. Angel Food Cakes rely entirely on whipped eggs whites for the rise. Whipped egg whites need a tall surface to cling to in order to get that rise. The ideal angel food cake pans feature straight sides that allow the batter to cling and rise evenly, creating a towering masterpiece.

Angel Food Cakes Must Cool Upside Down

If you do not immediately turn the cake pan over to cool upside down, your Angel Food Cake will collapse. This is why can pans specifically made for Angel Food cakes have both a hole in the center and feet.

The ideal pan needs straight edges for one other important reason: Angel Food Cakes need to be flipped immediately after exiting the oven and cooled upside down. If you choose a cake pan with a top that is much larger than the bottom (angled rather than straight sides), there is a big risk that the cake will fall out of the pan as it cooling. This has happened to us!!! It is a disaster and the cake will be ruined.

Tightly Fitting Removable Bottom

A removable bottom is a game-changer when it comes to effortlessly releasing your angel food cake from the pan. The best pans are designed with this feature, ensuring a seamless release without damaging the delicate cake.

However, that removable bottom must be tightly-fitting. Why? Again, Angel Food Cakes must cool upside down. A poorly designed removable bottom can simply fall out of the pan when turned upside down :/ This has happened to us. We’ll explain to you how to hack pans with a loose-fitting removable bottom… so keep reading!

The Winner? Chicago Metallic!

Which Cake Pan should you choose for the ultimate Angel Food Cake? We recommend this one (affiliate link) from Chicago Metallic, which is very affordable and conveniently available on Amazon!

We used this cake pan for years and it produced perfect Angel Food Cakes every time! It ticks every box, including:

  • tube design
  • non-stick coating that whipped egg whites can still cling to
  • tight-fitting removable bottom
  • feet for supporting the pan upside down
  • straight sides for keeping the cake in the pan as it cools
  • ample size: can hold 16 cups
Cake Pan for the ultimate Angel Food Cake? We recommend this one (affiliate link), which is very affordable and conveniently available on Amazon!

The Perils of the Wrong Angel Food Cake Pan (and Troubleshooting)

Choosing the wrong cake pan to make your Angel Food Cake can lead to a series of cake catastrophes. Common problems include:

  1. Uneven Baking: Using a pan with non-uniform heat distribution may result in an unevenly baked cake. This can lead to a gooey center or an overcooked exterior. To troubleshoot, invest in a high-quality pan known for its even heat distribution or consider using a baking core or heating core for improved results.
  2. Collapsed Cake: A cake that collapses in the middle is often the result of inadequate support from the pan. This could occur if the pan lacks a properly fitted removable bottom or has weak sidewalls. Ensure your pan provides the necessary structural integrity to support the delicate angel food cake. If a collapse does occur, you can salvage the cake by transforming it into a delightful trifle or a delicious mess of cake crumbles and whipped cream.
  3. Sticking Disaster: Tearing apart a beautiful angel food cake that clings to the pan can be heart-wrenching. Choosing a pan without a tightly fitting removable bottom or using a non-stick pan can lead to this sticky situation. Prevent this mishap by investing in a pan with a reliable non-stick coating or opting for a traditional uncoated aluminum pan, which promotes better adherence for the batter.

So, what to do if you already invested in a pan with a poor design and don’t want to invest (yet) in another? Here are some hacks that we’ve invented to help us overcome poorly designed Angel Food Cake pans.

Our Story with a Poorly Designed Angel Food Cake Pan :/

For years, we used the Chicago Metallic pan we recommend above with great success. One year, we forgot to bring this trusted pan along to Italy where we planned to film a video recipe on how to make Angel Food Cake. No problem, we thought, we’ll just find a pan in Italy. We ordered and tried several pans described as ‘Angel Food Cake Pans’ in the marketing materials. Every single cake we made fell out of the pan when we turned it upside down.

Since we have many Italians who watch our cooking videos, we decided to find a way to help them troubleshoot these poorly designed pans which were being inappropriately marketed for Angel Food Cakes. Have you already invested in a tube pan that is failing the Angel Food Cake test? Here’s how to hack it to fix common problems that come with poorly designed pans.

No Feet or Feet Aren’t Tall Enough

Sometimes you get a really good rise on your Angel Food Cake! We don’t want the height (or lack) of feet on our pan to prevent our cake from cooling properly. Pop a sturdy (heavy) bottle with a narrow neck into the pan hole to support it upside down. We have a glass soy sauce bottle that we re-purpose for supporting our pan.

Pop a sturdy bottle in the hole of your pan to support it upside down!

Removable Bottom Doesn’t Fit Tightly (Cake is Falling Out of the Pan)

Removable bottoms are great, but not if they are so loose that the cake falls out of the pan when turned upside down. To fix this problem in our poorly-designed Angel Food Cake pan, we add some of the sticky cake batter between the bottom of the pan and the removable bottom. When baked, this batter acts as a glue and will hold the bottom in place when the cake is flipped to cool.

The bond will be tight—but still come loose easily enough when the cake is cool so that you can remove the cooled cake from the pan.

We have ‘glued’ down our loose-fitting removable bottom with some of our sticky cake batter. Works like a charm!

Sides Are Not Straight Enough (Cake is Falling Out of the Pan)

The poorly-designed pans marketed in Italy and elsewhere for Angel Food Cakes all had a strange flaw: the top of the pan was much larger than the bottom. With this angle, there is no way for the pan to counteract gravity and prevent the cake from falling out when turned upside down. Combined with a loose-fitting removable bottom? Disaster!

You can fix a pan with this problem by using both the batter glue method previously described AND combining it with the bottle support method. The bottle will hold the removable bottom in place so that the gravity cannot bring the cake down.

Batter glue + bottle support can help you troubleshoot a poor cake pan design!

When it comes to baking ethereal Angel Food Cakes, selecting the right angel food cake pan is paramount. The ideal pan boasts straight edges for an even rise and a tightly fitting removable bottom. By avoiding the perils of the wrong pan, you’ll ensure every Angel Food Cake emerges from the oven as a heavenly masterpiece.

Want to just buy the right pan for the job? It’s the Chicago Metallic pan, available also on Amazon (affiliate link)!

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About the author

Classic recipes from Italy and beyond. Traditional Italian Cooking and Mediterranean Diet recipes!

PIATTO™ Recipes bring traditional Italian food recipes to your table with our tested, step-by-step recipes and videos. You'll find the best Italian recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert. Always tested, always delicious.

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