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Chocolate Angel Food Cake

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5 from 1 vote
This chocolate angel food cake recipe uses 3 ingredients a classic angel food cake box mix, cocoa powder and espresso. Top with powdered sugar or whipped cream!

Love angel food cake? Then you’ve got to try this 3 ingredient chocolate version! If you thought angel food cake was only about light, fluffy vanilla flavor, prepare to be pleasantly surprised by this Chocolate Angel Food Cake. This recipe is so easy and brings a twist to a classic favorite, with just three key ingredients – a box of angel food cake mix, special dark cocoa powder, and a bit of espresso powder – you’ve got no excuse but to make this dessert! It is my little rebellion against the usual vanilla. It’s for those days when you want to mix up the routine without diving into a complex recipe.

When I first experimented with this Chocolate Angel Food Cake, it was a bit of a baking experiment – a ‘what if’ moment in my kitchen. Turns out, adding a twist of special dark cocoa and a whisper of espresso to a classic angel food cake box mix creates something unexpectedly wonderful. Let me tell you, the first bite of this cake is a revelation.

It’s as airy and light as the angel food cakes we all know, but with a rich, chocolaty depth that’s just indulgent enough. The espresso powder is the magic touch here, subtly enhancing the chocolate without stealing the show.

It’s so easy to make and the kind of cake that makes my family raise their eyebrows in surprise and then reach for a second slice. And if you’re feeling fancy, a dusting of powdered sugar turns this chocolate angel food cake into a showstopper.

Chocolate Angel Food Cake Overview

  • Cuisine Inspiration: American
  • Number of Ingredients: 3 (4 if including optional powdered sugar)
  • Total Cook Time: About 80 minutes (40 minutes baking, 40 minutes cooling)
  • Primary Cooking Method: Baking
  • Dietary Info: Vegetarian
  • Key Flavor: Rich chocolate with a hint of espresso
  • Skill Level: Beginner

Notable mentions

  • Just Three Ingredients (Well, Four if You Count Water, I don’t): Keeping it real here – this cake is my lazy day favorite. You only need a handful of ingredients: angel food cake mix, special dark cocoa powder, and a little espresso powder. It’s like the universe’s gift to us chocolate lovers who also love a shortcut.
  • One Bowl, No Fuss: I’m all about recipes that don’t leave my kitchen looking like a flour bomb went off. Everything for this cake gets mixed in one bowl. Less cleanup, more time to enjoy your creation (or, let’s be honest, kick back on the couch).
  • Powdered Sugar – Optional, but Oh-So-Pretty: I sometimes sprinkle powdered sugar on top because why not? It’s like a little snowfall on a chocolate mountain. But hey, it’s your call.
  • That Espresso Kick: Adding espresso powder is my secret weapon. It’s not about making it taste like coffee; it’s about giving the chocolate an extra oomph. Trust me, it’s so good.
  • A Chocolate Lover’s Dream Lightened Up: This is for those moments when you want your chocolate fix without the heaviness of a traditional cake. It’s airy, it’s chocolatey, it’s like having your cake and eating it too (literally).

Ingredients to make a Chocolate Angel Food Cake

  • Angel Food Cake Mix: This mix is the MVP of our kitchen shortcut. It’s like having a baking assistant doing half the work for you. You get that perfect fluffy texture every time, and the best part? No measuring multiple ingredients.
  • Special Dark Cocoa Powder (Sifted): This is where the ‘chocolate’ in Chocolate Angel Food Cake gets real. The dark cocoa powder is all about bringing in that rich, indulgent flavor. Just give it a good sift to avoid cocoa clumps – we’re going for smooth and chocolatey here.
  • Espresso Powder: Don’t worry. It won’t turn your cake into a mocha. It’s the secret ingredient that whispers ‘richness’ into the chocolate. A little bit, and you’re elevating your chocolate game big time. Note – Espresso powder is not the same as instant coffee.
  • Water: Good ol’ water. It binds everything together, and gets the consistency just right. It’s like the glue, but in a delicious way.
  • Powdered Sugar (Optional): If you’re feeling fancy, sprinkle some powdered sugar on top. It’s like the cake is getting dressed up for a special occasion. Totally optional, but it adds a little ‘chef’s kiss’ to the presentation.

How to make chocolate angel food cake with 3 ingredients

Let’s dive into making this cake. Trust me, it’s easier than you might think, and the end result is totally worth it. Be sure to check the recipe card below for the full instructions and measurements.


  • Get Your Oven Ready: First things first, preheat your oven. You want it nice and ready for when your batter is all set to go. Oh, and adjust that oven rack to the lower bottom – it’s the sweet spot for baking this cake.
  • Mix It Up: Grab your bowl and toss in the angel food cake mix, sifted dark cocoa powder (no lumps, please!), and that little hint of espresso powder. Give it a good whisk to combine everything. This is where the chocolate magic starts.


  • Add Water and Whisk: Now, pour in the water and start your mixer on low. Beat it for about a minute, then crank it up to medium for another 30 seconds. You’re looking for a smooth, well-mixed batter, but don’t overdo it – angel food cake likes a gentle touch.
  • Bake It: Pour that lovely chocolate batter into a non-stick tube pan. No greasing needed – angel food cake needs to cling to the sides to rise properly. Pop it in the oven and let it bake.


  • Cooling Time: Once it’s done, the real trick is in the cooling. Flip the tube pan over onto a glass bottle and let it cool upside down. This is the secret to keeping that cake nice and fluffy.
  • Finishing Touches: After it’s cooled, run a knife around the cake to release it from the pan. If you’re going for the grand finale, dust it with powdered sugar. It’s like a little snowfall on your chocolate mountain.
  • Switch Up the Cocoa: If you’re out of dark cocoa or just feeling adventurous, any cocoa powder you’ve got will do the trick. It’s like choosing your own chocolate adventure.
  • Instant Coffee Can Jump In: No espresso powder? No sweat. A little instant coffee can also give that deep, rich chocolate flavor a nudge. It’s all about making do with what you have.
  • A Splash of Vanilla: Sometimes, I like to add a bit of vanilla extract. It kind of smooths everything out and adds that classic, cozy vibe.
  • Fruit on Top? Why Not: I love throwing on some fresh berries, like strawberries or raspberries. They add a pop of color and a burst of freshness that cuts through the chocolate.
  • Chocolate Chips for Fun: If I’m feeling a bit extra, I’ll toss in some chocolate chips. They melt into these little pockets of joy inside the cake.
  • Whipped Cream with Personality: Serving this with whipped cream? Try adding a little orange zest or almond extract to it. It’s like putting a fancy hat on an already stylish cake.

Tips for Making the Best Chocolate Angel Food Cake

  1. Sift That Cocoa Powder: Don’t skip the sifting. Lumpy cocoa powder can make your batter uneven. A quick sift ensures that rich chocolate flavor spreads through every bite of the cake.
  2. Espresso Powder – The Secret Weapon: The espresso powder won’t make your cake taste like coffee, but it will deepen the chocolate flavor. It’s like adding a dash of magic to make the chocolate sing.
  3. Gentle Mixing is Key: Overbeating the batter can knock out the air and make your cake denser than we want. Mix until just combined for that perfect, airy texture.
  4. Tube Pan Tactics: Angel food cake loves to climb up the sides of an ungreased tube pan. It’s how it gets that signature height. So resist the urge to grease the pan!
  5. Cool It Upside Down: Sounds quirky, I know, but cooling the cake upside down is the trick to keeping it light and tall. Just balance the tube pan on a bottle and let gravity do its thing.
  6. The Right Slice: Use a serrated knife for slicing. A clean, sawing motion means you won’t squish that airy texture we worked so hard to achieve.

How to store Chocolate Angel Food Cake

Keep any leftovers of your Chocolate Angel Food Cake in an airtight container. It’s best to store it at room temperature as the fridge can dry it out. If your kitchen’s not too warm, it’ll stay perfectly happy on your counter for 3-5 days.

How long will Angel food cake last in the fridge?

If you’ve gone the extra mile and added a topping that needs refrigeration, then into the fridge it goes. Wrapped up or in a container, your cake should stay good for about 3 to 4 days. Just remember, the fridge might make it less fluffy over time.

Can i freeze?

Absolutely! If you need to store it longer, freezing is a great option. Wrap the cake tightly in plastic wrap and then foil. It can hang out in the freezer for up to a month. When you’re ready to eat it, just let it thaw at room temperature or overnight in the fridge. Just a heads-up, freeze it plain – any toppings are best added after thawing.

What to Serve with Chocolate Angel Food Cake

  • Fresh Whipped Cream: A dollop of freshly whipped cream on top of each slice adds a creamy contrast to the light and airy cake. It’s like a cloud on top of a cloud!
  • Berry Compote: If you’re up for a little extra effort, a berry compote can be amazing. The tartness of the berries against the sweet, chocolatey cake? Chef’s kiss.
  • Vanilla Ice Cream: Sometimes, I just go for a scoop of good ol’ vanilla ice cream on the side. It’s a classic for a reason – the rich creaminess pairs perfectly with the airy cake.
  • Coffee or Espresso: Serving this cake with a hot cup of coffee or a shot of espresso can really bring out its chocolate and espresso flavors. It’s a grown-up twist that turns your dessert into a café experience.
  • Orange Segments or Zest: For a zesty, fresh note, try adding some orange segments or a sprinkle of orange zest. The citrus can really brighten up the deep chocolate flavors.
  • Nutty Crunch: Sometimes, I like a bit of texture contrast, so I’ll scatter some toasted, chopped nuts over the cake or on the side. Almonds or hazelnuts work great for this.

Frequently asked questions

Can I use regular cocoa powder instead of special dark cocoa powder?

Yes, you can use regular cocoa powder. The cake will have a lighter chocolate flavor compared to using special dark cocoa powder, but it will still be delicious.

Do I have to use espresso powder?

The espresso powder is optional, but it really enhances the chocolate flavor. If you don’t have it or prefer not to use it, you can leave it out.

Why do I need to cool the cake upside down?

Cooling the cake upside down helps maintain its height and fluffy texture. Angel food cakes are delicate, and this method prevents them from collapsing as they cool.

How do I prevent the cake from sticking to the pan?

Angel food cake pans are designed to allow the cake to cling as it rises. Therefore, you should not grease the pan. Using a non-stick tube pan and running a knife around the edges after cooling should help release the cake.

Is it possible to make this cake without a stand mixer?

Yes, you can use a hand mixer or even whisk by hand, though it might require more effort to get the egg whites to the right consistency.

And that’s the scoop on the Chocolate Angel Food Cake! Honestly, it’s like a little baking adventure that ends with a big chocolate payoff. It’s for those moments when you want something sweet, but you also want to keep things light and easy. This cake is a reminder that sometimes, the simplest recipes can bring the most joy. Whether it’s for a casual get-together or just a treat for yourself, this cake is all about making life a bit sweeter, one chocolatey slice at a time. Here’s to enjoying every fluffy, chocolate-infused bite!

More easy angel food cake recipes:

I want to hear from you! If you try this easy 3 Ingredient Angel Food Cake recipe or any other of my easy recipes on Dinner in 5, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave a comment below! I read all the comments and respond!

chocolate angel food cake on a wooden cake stand

Chocolate Angel Food Cake

This chocolate angel food cake recipe uses 3 ingredients a classic angel food cake box mix, cocoa powder and espresso. Top with powdered sugar or whipped cream!
5 from 1 vote
Author Jackie
Servings 8 servings
Course Dessert
Calories 231
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cooling Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 37 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 27 minutes


  • 1 box angel food cake mix
  • cup special dark coco powder sifted
  • 2 teaspoon espresso powder
  • 1 ⅓ cup water
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar optional, for topping


  • Preheat the oven to 325F and move the rack to the lower bottom.
  • Add the box mix, cocoa powder, and espresso to the bowl of a stand mixer. Use a whisk to combine fully. Add water and beat for about 1 minute on low and then increase to medium and beat another 30 seconds.
  • Pour batter into a non-stick tube pan.
  • Bake cake for 40 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and immediately flip the tube pan over on a glass bottle and allow to cool upside down for 40 minutes.
  • Remove from the pan and dust with powdered sugar before serving (optional).


  • Sift the cocoa: It clumps easily and should be sifted and whisked into the dry batter before adding the water.
  • Run a knife around the cake to release it from the pan: After it cools, you’ll still need to release it from the sides and bottom of the tube pan.
Nutrition information includes the powder sugar topping. 


Serving: 1slice, Calories: 231kcal, Carbohydrates: 55g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 0.3g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 0.2g, Sodium: 468mg, Potassium: 115mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 38g, Calcium: 93mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.

Cuisine American

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