Chocolate Angel Food Cake is a decadent chocolate dessert made from a simple box cake mix. Take it over the top with easy dairy-free chocolate ganache and crunchy chocolate shavings.
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You’re going to love this
So simple. This delicious recipe for chocolate angel food cake, chocolate frosting, and chocolate shavings comes together with just 7 ingredients.
So chocolatey. Chocolate lovers will love this chocolate angel food cake. It has cocoa powder, chocolate almond milk, chocolate ganache, AND chocolate shavings. So. Much. Chocolate.
Dairy-free. As far as I can tell, Betty Crocker angel food cake mix is dairy-free, so I used almond milk and dairy-free chocolate to keep the entire recipe dairy-free.
Really easy dessert. Chocolate angel food cake is pretty much a dump-and-mix kind of recipe. Even the chocolate ganache is really easy -- you can make it in the microwave!
Ingredients and Notes
Angel Food Cake
Dark cocoa powder. Dark cocoa powder makes this cake intensely chocolatey. But you can use regular unsweetened cocoa powder instead.
Instant espresso powder. Espresso powder adds intensity to the chocolate flavor in the angel food cake — and doesn’t taste like coffee. As a substitution, you can use instant coffee crystals or coffee in place of all or some of the chocolate milk.
Chocolate almond milk. Chocolate almond milk, instead of the water called for on the cake mix box, amplifies the chocolatiness in this chocolate angel food cake. You can use any kind of chocolate milk.
Almond milk. You can substitute the unsweetened vanilla almond milk with chocolate almond milk.
You can also make the ganache with dairy milk, but you will likely need to add more chocolate, use less milk, or both. When I tried this substitution with 2% milk, I ended up using ⅓ cup milk and 1 ½ cups of chocolate chips.
Chocolate chips. I use Nestle allergen-free dark chocolate chips.
Heat oven to 350 and move the bottom oven rack to the lowest position so you have room for your angel food cake pan.
Add the angel food cake mix, cocoa powder, and espresso powder to a large bowl. If the cocoa powder has lumps in it, sift it in or whisk all the dry ingredients together. Add the chocolate almond milk.
Mix with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds, or until the dry ingredients have been moistened, then on medium speed for one minute.
The batter may not look as light and fluffy as you are used to with typical angel food cake batter. That’s okay.
Place the batter into an ungreased angel food cake pan, then run a knife through the batter to remove any air bubbles. This step will prevent air pockets in your baked cake.
Place the cake pan on the lowest oven rack and bake for 35-40 minutes or until the cracks on the top of the cake are dry and the top springs back when you lightly press on it. The internal temperature should be around 205.
Immediately invert pan to keep the cake from collapsing. If your angel food cake pan doesn't have feet, you can balance it on a glass bottle, funnel, or something that’s raised. It needs to stay upside down while it cools.
Let the cake cool completely in the pan, about two hours. Once the cake has cooled, remove it from the pan.
How to remove an angel food cake from an angel food cake pan
Don’t worry if you think the cake is stuck in the pan -- it's not. To remove the cake from the pan, start by running a thin knife around the sides of the pan, then separate the two pieces of the pan.
Run your knife around the bottom of the cake and around the center hole to loosen the cake from the removable bottom. Catch the cake in your hand as it releases from the pan, flip it over, and set it on a wire rack or serving plate.
Make the dairy-free ganache. Place 1 cup chocolate chips and ½ cup unsweetened almond milk in a microwave-safe dish. Warm in the microwave on high for one minute.
Let the milk and chocolate sit for about a minute, then stir vigorously until the chocolate and almond milk have incorporated into a smooth and creamy ganache.
When the ganache is warm, it will be too thin to drizzle, but it shouldn't be runny. If it's too watery, add more chocolate to thicken it. It will continue to thicken as it cools.
Once you have achieved your desired drizzling consistency, let the ganache cool to room temperature.
Make the chocolate shavings. Prepare a pan or plate with wax paper or parchment paper so you can catch and move the chocolate shavings.
Hold a bar of room temperature chocolate in one hand and a vegetable peeler in the other, then use the vegetable peeler to shave along the bar of chocolate.
If the chocolate is warm, you can achieve longer ribbons or curls. If the chocolate is cool or room temperature, you'll have small, splintered shavings.
Set the chocolate shavings in the refrigerator until you are ready to use them.
Once the ganache has cooled to room temperature, drizzle the chocolate ganache all over the top of your chocolate angel food cake, letting it drip down the sides.
This recipe makes a generous amount of ganache. You can use any leftovers on ice cream or fruit :).
Sprinkle the chocolate shavings over the top of the cake. Store any leftover chocolate shavings covered in the refrigerator or freezer.
Storage & Freezing
Store unfrosted chocolate angel food cake covered in plastic at room temperature. Angel food cakes frosted with ganache should be covered and stored in the refrigerator.
To freeze your angel food cake, I recommend freezing it before frosting it with the ganache.
If you have the freezer space, you can certainly freeze the whole cake. Just wrap it a couple of times in plastic wrap, then foil, and store it in the freezer for a couple of months.
You can also freeze individual slices of cake. Wrap them in plastic and place them in zip-top freezer bags.
To defrost your cake, let it sit at room temperature.
Taking your chocolate angel food cake to-go? This handy cake carrier is tall enough to cover even the loftiest angel food cakes.
To avoid lumps of cocoa powder in your chocolate angel food cake, sift in the cocoa powder or whisk it into the dry angel food cake mix.
After placing the angel food cake batter into the cake pan, run a knife through the batter to remove any air bubbles that could cause air pockets in the cake.
Always use an ungreased tube pan when making any kind of angel food cake.
Because angel food cake is so delicate, gently cut it with a serrated knife, using a sawing motion.
No, not at all! If you don’t have an angel food cake pan, you can still make angel food cake.
First the bad news: A bundt pan won’t work. They’re usually too small and all the dips and grooves can cause the cake to stick.
Here's what will work:
Loaf pans. You can divide your chocolate angel food cake mix into a couple of 9-inch loaf pans. One to keep, one to share!
Cupcake pan. Turn your chocolate angel food cake into cupcakes! Just be sure to leave room in the cupcake liners for them to rise. You can make 2-3 dozen cupcakes.
9x13 pan. You can totally make an angel food cake in a 9x13 cake pan. Just eyeball the batter to make sure you leave enough room for it to rise.
Sheet pan. You can even make angel food cake in a sheet pan and create an oh-so-fancy-looking but super-easy-to-make angel food cake roll like this Pumpkin Angel Food Cake Roll with Lemon Cream Filling.
You bet! After you remove it from the pan, just cover it in plastic and store it at room temperature. If it’s frosted with ganache, store it in the refrigerator.
I recommend freezing your angel food cake unfrosted. Thoroughly wrap the whole cake, or pieces of the cake, in plastic, then aluminum foil. Place pieces in zip-top freezer bags. Store your angel food cake in the freezer for a couple of months.
To defrost your cake, let it sit at room temperature until it is completely thawed.
One of the tests we rely on for plain angel food cake is the deep golden color. But we can’t lean on that with a chocolate cake. So look for dry cracks on the top of the cake.
Also, when you press lightly on the top of the cake, it should spring right back.
The toothpick test might not help you out because angel food cake is so porous. You might poke right into a hole so it comes out clean, even if it isn’t done baking yet. I like to use a thermometer to check the doneness of baked goods. For an angel food cake, it should read around 205 degrees.
Let the angel food cake cool completely in the pan before removing it. Otherwise, it could stick.
What to put on Chocolate Angel Food Cake
Wondering what else you can put on angel food cake?
- A dusting of confectioner's sugar
- Powdered sugar glaze. Just mix 1 cup powdered sugar and 2-3 tablespoons milk, water, or chocolate milk.
- Cream cheese glaze
- Whipped honey ricotta and fresh berries
- Yogurt and fresh fruit
- Bananas foster imposter. Melt butter and brown sugar in a pan, add bananas, and cook until the bananas are soft and the brown sugar mixture is bubbly. Top with ice cream.
- Strawberries and whipped cream
- Whipped cream with chocolate shavings
Want More Easy Angel Food Cake Recipes?
These easy angel food cake recipes all start with a simple box mix!
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Chocolate Angel Food Cake
Chocolate Angel Food Cake
- 1 box angel food cake mix
- ½ cup dark cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
- 1 ⅓ cup unsweetened chocolate almond milk
- 1 cup dark chocolate chips (dairy-free or regular)
- ½ cup unsweetened almond milk (vanilla or chocolate)
- 1 ounce dark chocolate from a dairy-free or regular chocolate bar
- Preheat the oven to 350 and move the oven racks apart so you have space for your angel food cake pan.
- Combine the angel food cake mix, cocoa powder and espresso powder together. If the cocoa powder has lumps in it, you can sift it in. Or remove the lumps by whisking all the dry ingredients together.
- Add the chocolate almond milk.
- With an electric mixer, mix on low for 30 seconds, or until the dry ingredients have been moistened, then on medium speed for one minute.
- The batter may not look as light and fluffy as you are used to with typical angel food cake batter. That’s okay.
- Place the batter into an ungreased angel food cake pan, then run a knife through the batter to remove any air bubbles. Place the cake pan on the lowest oven rack and bake for 35-40 minutes or until the cracks are dry and the top springs back when you lightly press on it. The internal temperature should be around 205.
- Immediately invert pan to keep the cake from collapsing. If your angel food cake pan doesn't have feet, you can balance it on a glass bottle, funnel, or something that’s raised. It needs to stay upside down while it cools to keep it from collapsing.
- Let the cake cool completely in the pan, about two hours.
- How to remove an angel food cake from an angel food cake pan. Run a thin knife around the sides of the pan so you can separate the two pieces of the pan. Run your knife around the bottom of the cake and around the center hole to loosen the cake from the removable bottom, then set it upright onto a serving plate.
Make the Chocolate Ganache with Almond Milk
- Place 1 cup chocolate chips and ½ cup unsweetened almond milk in a mason jar or microwave-safe dish.
- Warm in the microwave on high for one minute.
- Let the milk and chocolate sit for about a minute, then stir vigorously until the chocolate and almond milk have incorporated into a smooth and creamy ganache.
- Ganache thickens as it cools. So while it’s warm it will be too thin to drizzle over your cake, but it shouldn’t be runny. If the ganache seems too watery, just add more chocolate.
- Once your chocolate ganache has reached your desired consistency, let it cool to room temperature, either on the counter or in the refrigerator.
- Drizzle the chocolate ganache all over the top of your chocolate angel food cake, letting it drip down the sides.
Make Chocolate Shavings
- Holding a bar of room temperature chocolate in one hand and a vegetable peeler in the other, use the vegetable peeler to shave along the bar of chocolate, creating small ribbons or curls, if the chocolate is very warm, or shavings if it is room temperature or a bit cool.
- Sprinkle the chocolate shavings onto the ganache before it sets.
- Because angel food cake is so delicate, use a serrated knife to cut it.