Angel Food Cake

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Angel Food Cake | The Gluten-Free Homemaker

When I was recently talking to a woman who does a lot of regular baking, she asked how I make a gluten-free angel food cake.  “Well, um, I don’t.”  I tried it a couple of times over the years and was not pleased with the results, and I never got back to trying it again.

However, that question got my mind rolling, and I knew I had to give it another try.  I think the problem was that I didn’t know enough about making angel food cake.  It was a dessert I enjoyed before I went gluten free, but I don’t think I ever made one of the cakes myself.

I looked at numerous recipes online and in cookbooks and determined that the ingredients were almost identical in every recipe.  And those ingredients only included  one cup of flour, so how hard could it be to convert the recipe to gluten free?

There were a few variations in how the ingredients were combined.  I went with what made sense to me.

You need a tube pan (not a bundt pan) to make angel food cake.  One with “legs” sticking out the top of the pan is nice because the cake cools inverted in the pan.  If it doesn’t have legs, you can invert the pan onto a bottle.  The pan should not be non stick.  If it is, the cake may fall out when you turn it over to cool.

It’s also nice to have a two-piece pan where the metal tube and pan bottom fit into the round part of the pan.  Because the cake sticks to the pan, this allows you to loosen the sides after it cools, remove the tube part, then run a knife along the bottom to loosen that.

I completely expected that I would not be perfectly happy with the results of my first trial.  Boy was I pleasantly surprised!  The cake rose beautifully, and the taste and texture were just as they should be.  I think this is going to be my new favorite dessert for serving to company.

My husband was wishing for some lemon curd to put on his cake, so I made another cake for Father’s Day and served it with berries and lemon curd. I didn’t get a picture of that cake, but it turned out just as nice.  My husband loved it, so I’m submitting this recipe for this month’s Go Ahead Honey, It’s Gluten Free carnival which is being hosted by Aubree at Living Free.  Her theme is “You love him, so spoil him.”

Angel Food Cake Slice - The Gluten-Free Homemaker

4.8 from 5 reviews
Angel Food Cake
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
 
Ingredients
  • 1⅓ cup powdered sugar
  • ½ cup potato starch
  • ¼ cup tapioca starch or flour
  • ¼ cup millet flour
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 12 large egg whites (1½ cup), room temperature
  • 1½ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (or 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1 teaspoon almond extract)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
Instructions
  1. Separate the eggs and let the whites sit in your mixing bowl (glass or metal, not plastic) for about 30 minutes so they come to room temperature.
  2. Be sure your bowl is very clean and there is absolutely no yolk in the whites. It is best to separate each egg into a small bowl, then add it to the rest of the whites. That way if a bit of yolk gets in with the white, you can save the egg for another purpose and not ruin the whole batch.
  3. Preheat oven to 350°
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, potato starch, tapioca starch, millet flour, xanthan gum, and salt.
  5. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the egg whites, cream of tartar, and vanilla extract until foamy. I used my KitchenAid whisk attachment.
  6. Slowly add the granulated sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time, beating until stiff peaks form. Do not over beat.
  7. Fold in the flour mixture about one fourth at a time, making sure you scrape the bottom of the bowl when you fold. Do not mix, just gently fold until all the flour mixture is moistened.
  8. Spoon the mixture into an ungreased tube pan (one without a non stick coating) and smooth the top.
  9. Remove air pockets by gently cutting through the center of the batter with a thin metal spatula (icing spreader) or knife.
  10. Bake for 35 minutes, then check for doneness. A wooden skewer inserted in the center should come out dry. Also, the cracks in the top of the cake should be dry and the top should spring back when touched. Mine took 45 minutes.
  11. Turn the cake upside down and cool for at least an hour in the pan. Most tube pans have legs to keep the top of the cake off the counter. If yours does not, invert onto a bottle inserted into the tube.
  12. When cool, run your metal spatula or a knife around the sides to loosen. Remove the outer part of the pan. Run your spatula under the cake to loosen it from the bottom and remove to a cake plate.

 

Spunky Holiday July

This recipe is submitted to Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays and Our Spunky Holiday at The Spunky Coconut.

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Comments

  1. The cake looks gorgeous! I bet it tasted great. I’m going to have to try this soon.

  2. That looks so good! We love angel food cake and have missed it since going gluten free. I was afraid to try it for a long time, but recently adapted a chocolate angel food cake that I have made many times before to be gluten free and it worked great. So, I agree if you follow the basic techniques for angel food cake they turn out great gluten free.

  3. Your angel food cake looks delicious! I’ve wondered about whether or not this cake would work with gluten free flours – great job.

  4. I made one a few years ago that tasted nice, but fell.

    We live at nearly 7,000 ft above sea level and baking here can be a challenge. My cake rose so beautifully, but a bit too much i guess. I still ate it with berries. Have always meant to try again but haven’t gotten around to it. Will have to bookmark your recipe. Thank you.

    • Kathryn, it’s important to turn the cake upside down to cool to keep it from falling. If you didn’t do that before, be sure to give it a try.

  5. Wow, Linda, that cake is sheer perfection! Love how you topped it here and the lemon curd sounds great, too. Way to make dad happy! ;-) I’ve never made angel food cake (even before gf), so I appreciate all your tips very much. :-)

    Oh, BTW, I think you should enter this beauty into Iris’ Birthday Cake Challenge, too. I know many who request angel food cake for their birthday.

    Shirley

  6. I always requested Angel Food cake for my birthday cake when I was a kid. It was perfect with strawberries and a strawberry whipped cream frosting. I have never tried making one before so I am eager to try your recipe. Your cake looks beautiful!

  7. I didn’t realize how much I miss angel food until I saw your post and beautiful photo! I must try this SOON! Thanks so much!

  8. Yum! Angel food cake with berries is my ultimate favorite dessert.

  9. Susan W. says:

    I would love to make this but I don’t have millet flour. What can I use instead? I was thinking white rice or amaranth. What would be better?

    • Susan, I was afraid someone was going to ask me that. I haven’t tried the recipe with any other flours so I can’t say for sure. I’ve not used amaranth before. I would give white rice flour a try. Let me know how it works whatever you use.

      • Susan W. says:

        Linda, I made the angel food cake with white rice flour and it looks beautiful!!! I’ve tried several other angel food cake recipes and they’re good but this looks just like the homemade ones my mom used to make! I’m such a happy girl right now!!! Oh, and I made my own sugar free powdered “sugar” to cut down on the sugar a bit. I’m going to try decreasing the sugar and increasing the substitute as much as I can without changing the taste, texture or look. I plan to make this for a family cookout with a cousin whose diabetes is hard to control who loves angel food cake. Thanks so much for such a yummy recipe!!

        • Oh yay!! I’m glad it worked, and thanks for sharing that here so others know. Actually, I think I will add the option of rice flour in the recipe. What did you use as a sugar substitute?

          • Susan W. says:

            I used Xylitol but I’m thinking of trying Stevia in the Raw, erythritol, beet sugar and palm sugar. No matter what, this cake wil be made many times.

  10. Linda this cake looks just perfect! Great job making it gluten-free! I hope you are enjoying the start of summer!

  11. fantastic! this cake looks delightful… and yes, one i’ve missed! thanks for sharing.

  12. Margaret says:

    I used to freeze the egg whites, when eggs were cheap in the Spring, until I wanted to make Angel Food. Then I made a 12 egg-yoke sponge cake. It freezes well. Now there is no excuse to not try it again. Thanks, ~ Margaret

  13. When I saw the pic, I RAN to read the ingredient list. WOW WOW. this cake looks like the real deal. Love it! Need to get ingredients and check this out. thanks for sharing!

  14. With all the fresh berries in season right now, this is the perfect dessert to serve to my family tomorrow night. Thanks for the recipe!

  15. It looks absolutely amazing. What a beautiful cake!

  16. This is beautiful!!! Thank you so much for this. I will be trying this very soon!

  17. it looks beautiful… i too, have tried gluten free angel food cake and they always caved in for me.

    thanks for sharing the secret :)

  18. Looks awesome, especially since its gluten free – but alas not for me – I’m allergic to eggs also :( bummer…

    • Thanks for the comment. I’ve always thought I would be lost if I ever became allergic to eggs. You have my sympathy. BUT, all those delicious berries in the photos are gluten and egg free!

    • Leslie says:

      Hey Lori! You wrote that over 2 years ago! I hope you get this! I’m allergic to wheat, & rye. So just follow gluten free. I also am allergic to eggs. :( No eggs for 5 years now. But this year, I discovered that duck eggs are wonderful and I don’t get a reaction! Wow! So, I just made this gluten free angel food cake! Yummy! And wow! Ever thought about trying other bird eggs? :)

  19. Shannon says:

    I am sugar free as well as gluten free, what can I use to substitute the 2 different sugars?

    • Shannon, I’m sorry I don’t have a lot of experience with sugar substitutes and don’t know what to suggest for this recipe. Try simplysugarandglutenfree.com.

  20. Was wondering if there was a way to make this egg free? I have heard of soy isolate merigues…but they don’t use flour….any help here???

    thanks

    • Hi Ronni. Sorry, but I have absolutely no idea. Angel Food Cake is so dependent on the egg whites. I think that anything without eggs would not be angel food cake.

  21. i JUST WANT TO TELL THIS IS THE BEST ANGEL FOOD CAKE I HAVE FOUND, MY GRAND DAUGHTER HAS CELIAC AND I MAKE IT FOR WHEN WE VISITED HE AFTER HER GALL BLADDER SURGERY. WHEN I GAVE IT TO HER SHE HAD A BIG SMILE AND SHE LOVED IT,SO YOU KNOW I WILL MAKE IT MOR OFFEN FOR HER. WE ALL TRYED IT AND WE ALSO LIKED IT. WHAT A GOOD JOB KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK. MAYBE YOU COULD GET WITH BETTY CROCKER AND THEY CLOUD BOX IT FOR EVERYONE. GOOD IDEA.

    • Thanks for letting me know how much you like it. I’m glad your granddaughter enjoyed it!

    • Barbara says:

      I always want to hear from people that have already tried the recipe. Going to try this. Looks great! I have been searching for the ‘best’ recipe for white gluten free bread. I’ve tried 3 recipes, and I didn’t like the bread. Does anyone have a favorite that is wonderful for anything, especially sandwiches? I’ve asked a few people that have sites about gluten free, and they never answered me. I haven’t tried this recipe for Angel, so I won’t rate it yet. Love your site.
      thanks if any of you can help

  22. Karen, WA state says:

    what is a tube pan?

    • Search for “tube pan” on Amazon and you’ll see what it is. It is similar to a bundt pan, but the sides and bottom are flat.

  23. We love angel food cake with chocolate pudding on it. Make the pudding with cornstarch. YUM.

  24. I made it: gluten free & chocolate.
    I had all ingredients except potato flour. So, I opted out for the all King’s gf flour. Be it a dare, I exchanged 1/3 powder sugar for 1/3 dry cocoa. I raised the temp to 355, but still the cake still needed 45 minutes. “She” (because anything made with chocolate is female for me) is cooling upside down while I pick my strawberries to dress her up. ty & what a blessing for my son this dessert will be tonight. ~ joy

  25. I made your Angel Food Cake on Memorial Day and it was FANTASTIC!!! Thank YOU! I was leary because of some of the other things I have tried to make Gluten Free just don’t come out the same as the real thing. This was not the case. You cannot tell this is GF at ALL! Thank you again. Now if I could find a bread recipe that makes me feel like I am eating real bread again. A girl can dream…

    • Sheree says:

      I found 2 bread recipes that are AWESOME!! One is the Amish White Bread that is the better batter recipe site. The other is the Bread for the People on the hip girls guide to homemaking site. You’ll have to google for the web addy but both breads are just like real bread and work beautifully for sandwiches.

  26. Such a phenomenal cake, Linda! Now that I’ve enjoyed it firsthand, I’ll be making it for family events. Son absolutely loved it and I know that everyone else will, too. :-) Thanks so much for sharing it with us this weekend!

    Shirley

  27. I am so happy I got to taste this cake, it’s my new favorite! I’m a bit of an Angel Food snob, it was my birthday cake every year growing up. This one is even better than any gluten-full version I’ve had. Just heavenly! ;)

  28. Shannon says:

    Linda,
    I can’t use anything with potato (including the starch). What could I substitute for the potato starch? THanks! Can’t wait to give this a try!

  29. Christy L says:

    Oooh! Sounds delish- can’t wait to try it! THANK YOU!!!

  30. the cake looked wonderful when I took it out of the oven. I turned it upside down on a bottle to cool. It fell out of the pan. Ruined!!! What happened. I used a teflon tube pan that I’ve used before and did not grease it.

    • Gail, I’m sorry it didn’t work! I bet you could still use the cake in a trifle. I think the problem is with your teflon pan. Teflon is non stick. You need to use a pan that does not have a non stick surface. That way the cake will stick to the pan until you loosen it. I’m going to add a note about that to this recipe.

  31. Thank you Linda for this recipe. I have truly missed Angel Food cake since going on the GF journey. Even my husband and my whole family love this cake recipe. None of them could tell it was GF which made me sooooo very happy. Keep up the fantastic work.
    I have linked you to my page so anyone reading my blog will get the recipe from your site. I hope others find it as delicous as I did. I have made the cake several times now and it never disappointed.
    Thank you!

    • Sheila, you’re very welcome! I’m glad you and your family have enjoyed it. My family loves it too. You’re right, you really can’t tell that it’s gf! Thanks for the link. :)

  32. Cathryn says:

    I made this for my daughter’s first birthday, we had fresh cut strawberries and dairy-free whipped cream on top. Everyone, even the gluten eating individuals in our family, said it was the best angel food cake they had ever had!! Mind you, some of us have been forced to endure 10 years without our favorite dessert, but this was better then I remembered it being!! I gave everyone your website address, and this cake is now a staple in our holiday menus once again!!

    • Cathryn, I’m glad everyone enjoyed it! I have had the same experience with even gluten eaters loving this cake. Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment.

  33. This is certainly a fantastic dessert, and would be amazing with the Lemon curd and blueberries- yummo!

  34. June Einoff says:

    Enjoyed the cake it’s my second gluten free recipe, this is new for me and I have two question about the cake.
    1 – the tapioca that I added didn’t soften when cooked so it was a bit crunchy after it was cooked. Is there anyway to change this?
    2.- the cake was heavier than the mixes are, is this because of folding in the dry ingredients too long or did I beat the egg whites too long?
    Any suggestions would be appreciated as I want to make this again.

    • Did you use tapioca starch/flour or instant tapioca? Tapioca starch/flour looks like corn starch. There is nothing crunchy about it. That is probably why the cake was heavy.

  35. Suzi, NZ says:

    Tastes wonderful, but…
    Fell out of the tube pan when I went to put it on the bottle. First time I’ve made a GF Angel Food cake, but I’ve never had a standard Angel Food cake do that before. Any ideas??

    btw – the trifle fans in the household are very happy! :-)

    • Suzi, I’ve never had that happen. I wonder if it has to do with the pan. It shouldn’t be greased or have a non-stick coating on it. I don’t think the fact that it’s gluten-free would affect the stickiness. Mine definitely has to be loosened before it will come out of that pan. I’m sorry I can’t be more help!

  36. Hi Linda…the first thing on my list today was to write to you and let you know your Angel Food Cake recipe is AMAZING! I’ve been meaning to make it for quite a while and saw it again on All Gluten Free Desserts so I finally made it yesterday. It turned out absolutely beautiful and reminded me how much I love Angel Food Cake. I had never made one from scratch before, not even prior gf life, (always bought pre-made), and now I’ll be adding this to my favorites! It was fun to make too with the fluffy-cloud like-batter!

    What a great recipe, thank you for bringing it back!
    Mary

  37. Diane S. says:

    I’ve been baking angel food cakes for years and my best friend was just diagnosed with celiac so i am SO happy to have found a great homemade GF version. Within 5 min of inverting to cool, it fell out of the pan. I use an old-school tube pan, not tephlon, not greased, always worked for my regular angel food cakes. Thought maybe I didn’t bake it long enough (45 min) so I made another (55min) and it too fell out soon after inverting. Any ideas?

    • You are the second person to have this problem, and I have no idea why, given that your pan is not coated or greased. My cake always has to be loosened before it will come out, and many people have had good results with the recipe. My second guess would be that the cake is underdone, but you already tried baking it longer. I really wish I could help, but I don’t know what to say. Please let me know if you do figure it out.

  38. Diane S. says:

    The GF recipe rises much higher and is a little more dense than my regular angel food recipes. It’s almost like the weight of the cake it what’s pulling it out. I’ll keep working on it, thanks!

    • I wonder if it has to do with differences in the brand of gf flours used. You did use potato starch and not potato flour, right?

      • Diane S. says:

        I bought all my flours last week so they are fresh. All Bob’s Red Mill brand: potato starch (unmodified), tapioca flour, and white rice flour. I could not find millet flour. My friend gave me the xanthan gum so I don’t know the brand. Does that expire or lose it’s activity over time like baking powder?

        • I don’t think xanthan gum is the problem. It might be the rice flour. I’m sure I tried the recipe with rice flour before I posted it, but I usually use millet flour. Rice flour is heavier and can vary in how finely it is ground. I mill my own rice flour, so it might be different enough from what you bought to cause the problem. Give it a try with millet flour, or if you use rice flour again, use only 1 ounce or 3 Tablespoons.

  39. I made this cake for Easter dinner and everyone raved! My daughter who “hates” anything gluten free (I am the one with the allergies) has begged me to make it again as soon as possible! Just one thing…the cake was delicious but wasn’t as “pretty” as yours. In fact, it had a very definite meringue crust on it…which my daughter loved. Is it supposed to?

  40. Heather says:

    I’ve been making a lot of GF desserts with almond flour, do you think it would work in this recipe in place of the starches, flour, and xanthan gum???

    • Heather, I’m afraid that almond flour really isn’t angel food cake material. I can’t say that it wouldn’t work at all, but I’m sure it wouldn’t turn out as light and airy.

  41. This cake looks delicious. My sister recently found out she is gluten intolerant so I was going to make this for my mom’s upcoming birthday so everyone can enjoy it. Two questions please: Can these be made into cupcakes, and do you think it’s light airyness would hold up to heavier toppings like fondant? Thanks!

    • Jen, I don’t know about cupcakes. I’ve never tried it, but I’m sure it would require less baking time. I would be very hesitant to try fondant with an angel food cake. I really think it’s best served with fruit and whipped cream. I have also had it with chocolate fondue, which was delicious.

  42. Staci Roe says:

    Do you think egg white substitute would work in this recipe?

  43. this looks awesome! I have Candida so I am going to powder some xyloitol in the vita mix in place of the powered sugar – will come come back & let you know how it turns out

  44. Denise says:

    This was so yummy!!! We made 3 of them this week, 2 were for my MNL’s birthday party. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!

  45. sherry webb says:

    oh my, heaven on a plate! Finally an recipe that doesn’t use a pre made GF flour or one that isn’t rice flour…never thought of using millet. Thanks!

  46. This is such a great looking recipe. I cannot wait to try it. My husband’s family has this dessert where you tear up angel food cake and mix it into chocolate mousse. Now I can make this for him since he has been gluten free for two years. Thank you!

  47. So many comments – Angel cake is more popular than most would think. It seems that rice flour would make a lighter and tastier cake than made with white wheat flour. I am anxious to try this – looks delicious! The only thing with me is that since the cake is so light, I coulc eat the whole thing and that is a lot of sugar! I used to make them with chocolate butter cream frosting back when I made non-GF, and they were delicious – berries would be healthier. . ..

  48. Ashley says:

    What is the difference between a tube pan and a bundt pan?

  49. Will love trying this recipe.

  50. Lucia Loureiro says:

    Dear Linda. I woud like to make this cake, but I didn’t understand very well how do put it upside down to cool, without it fall from the pan. And how to put in a bottle? Would you can do show the steps with pictures? And show the type of pan? Thanks for your attention. Lúcia (From Brazil)

  51. Janice says:

    Can you freeze this?

  52. Ronalyn Hurley says:

    I used your angel food cake recipe for our Easter gathering at my daughter’s home. Everyone raved about it and were surprised when I told them it was gluten-free. Topped with my fresh strawberry sauce and whipped cream, each angelic slice was eaten followed by “yuuummms”. Thank you!!

  53. I made this for Easter. It was the best angel food cake I’ve ever made, and I’ve made plenty. SUPER FLUFFY! All my curmudgeony relatives made compliments, which really means something. I used a nonstick pan cuz that’s all I had, and it didn’t fall out. Made this again recently using coconut sugar for the granulated sugar and I always use a bit less sugar than called for. It was less fluffy, but still AS fluffy as a regular angel food. I would rate it a 10 if I could.

  54. Can’t wait to try, I absolutely love angel food cake, especially in the summer with fresh strawberries. Thank you.

  55. Kaylee Nizza says:

    Does all the recipes have xanthan gum? I don’t like xanthan gum and will not use it plys it is not good for you.

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