Gluten-Free Angel Food Cake: simply divine.

GFangelfoodcake

Ah, angel food cake….

Long treasured for its ethereal texture, pure vanilla flavor, and snowy color, this delicious cake doesn’t have to disappear from your recipe repertoire, simply because you’re baking gluten-free.

With much of its structure coming from the protein in egg whites, rather than gluten, angel food cake is a prime candidate for a gluten-free makeover.

Which is just what our crack team of GF recipe developers – Andrea, Frank, and Sue – have done.

They tinkered and tweaked, tested and tasted, and finally came up with a gluten-free angel food cake recipe that earns a universal thumbs up from King Arthur’s chief crew of taste-testers: the customer service reps and bakers who answer your calls and emails and requests to live chat each day.

Our customer service area, fondly known as “CSR-land,” is the heart and soul of King Arthur Flour. It’s our front line – where we meet you, our customers, to share our mutual love of food and baking and all things flour-related.

And frankly, we learn just as much from you as you do from us. As we continue developing gluten-free recipes, we carefully consider your comments – on these blog posts, on Facebook, and accompanying the online recipes themselves.

You’ve alerted us to the benefits of sorghum flour; to the fact that oats aren’t necessarily gluten-free, and to the possibilities of guar gum, and chia seeds. Every day, in  one place or another, you take the time to let us know what you think.

And that, my friends, is invaluable information. Because what you want and need to fulfill your baking dreams is exactly what we want to offer you.

So, thanks for choosing to talk to us, in so many ways. We appreciate your presence here – and hope you enjoy this latest installment in our ever-growing cache of gluten-free recipes: Gluten-Free Angel Food Cake.

Preheat the oven to 350°F, with the oven rack in its lowest position.

Whisk together and the following:

3/4 cup King Arthur Gluten-Free Multi-Purpose Flour or ¾ cup + 2 tablespoons brown rice flour blend*
1/4 cup cornstarch
3/4 cup Baker’s Special Sugar or superfine sugar

Many of our gluten-free recipes use our King Arthur Gluten-Free Multi-Purpose Flour, which includes ingredients that reduce the grittiness sometimes found in gluten-free baked goods. Our flour also increases the shelf life of your treats, keeping them fresh longer.

*Brown rice flour blend, which you can make at home, works pretty well when substituted; and it tastes better than a blend using regular brown rice flour.

Can you substitute plain granulated sugar? Yes; it’ll take much longer for the egg whites to attain their required volume, and the cake’s texture won’t be as fine. If you don’t have Baker’s Special Sugar or superfine sugar, process regular granulated sugar in a food processor until finely ground. The result won’t be quite the same, but will be better than using plain granulated sugar.

Next, sift the flour, cornstarch and sugar. This might seem excessive in this time-challenged era, but each action – whisking, followed by sifting – performs a separate function: whisking makes sure the ingredients are evenly distributed; and sifting lightens them, removes any lumps, and allows the mixture to be mixed into the egg whites with little effort. So make that extra effort; you’ll be glad you did.

Next, crack 10 to 11 large eggs and measure the whites into a clean measuring cup; you need 1 1/2 cups egg whites. The eggs should be cold; they separate more easily that way, with less chance of getting any stray yolk into the cup.

So, what’s wrong with a bit of yolk? The tiniest bit of fat (or speck of egg yolk) will inhibit the egg whites from beating up thick and foamy.

Can you use different size eggs? Sure; you’ll use more or fewer of them to get 1 1/2 cups of whites, that’s all.

Pour the egg whites into a clean bowl (remember, we’re avoiding fat; so the bowl needs to be squeaky clean). Add 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1 ½ teaspoons cream of tartar. Beat until foamy.

Stir in 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, and 1/4 teaspoon almond extract or Fiori di Sicilia (optional, for depth of flavor).

See how foamy the whites are? They haven’t really started to expand when you add the vanilla, but they’ve definitely been whipped to a froth.

Gradually increase the speed of the mixer and continue beating until the egg whites have increased in volume, and thickened a bit.

Gradually beat in 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons superfine sugar a bit at a time, until the meringue holds soft peaks.

Don’t over-whip the egg whites! Many recipes tell you to whip the whites until they hold a stiff peak, but it’s better to whip only until the peaks are still soft enough to slump over at their peak. Under-beating slightly allows air cells in the beaten whites to expand during baking without rupturing.

Gently fold in the sifted flour/sugar blend ¼ cup at a time, just until incorporated.

Spoon the batter into an ungreased 10″ round angel food pan. Gently tap the pan on the counter to settle the batter and remove any large air bubbles.

Gently smooth the batter in the pan. It doesn’t need to look perfect; just get rid of some of the larger peaks and valleys.

Bake the cake for about 45 minutes.

It’ll rise very high…

…then settle as it continues to bake. When done, it’ll be a deep golden brown, and the top will spring back when pressed lightly.

Remove the cake from the oven and invert the pan. It’ll rest nicely on its feet, if it has them.

If the pan is footless, invert it onto the neck of a heatproof bottle or funnel, to suspend the cake upside down as it sets and cools, about 2 hours.

Remove the cake from the pan by running a thin spatula or knife around the edges of the pan, and removing the pan’s sidewalls.

Lift the remainder of the pan away from the cake, and set it on a serving plate.

If you’re using a one-piece pan, simply loosen the cake’s edges and turn it out onto a plate.

Allow the cake to cool completely before cutting and serving. Cut the cake with a serrated knife or angel food cake comb. If it’s difficult to cut, wet the knife and wipe it clean between slices.

Serve with whipped cream and fruit. Wrap any leftovers airtight, and store at room temperature.

Read, bake, and review (please) our recipe for Gluten-Free Angel Food Cake.

Print just the recipe.

PJ Hamel
About

PJ Hamel was born in Wisconsin, grew up in New England, and graduated from Brown University. She was a journalist in Massachusetts and Maine before joining the King Arthur Flour Company in 1990, where she's been ever since. Author or co-author of three King Arthur ...

comments

  1. pastan

    I made this cake–successfully!–over the weekend and it was delicious!

    Please check the blog recipe, though. It calls for 3/4 cup of egg whites instead of the 1 1/2 cups that the printed recipe says.

    Thanks for the great recipe!
    Thanks for catching that! We’ve updated it, and the 1 1/2 cups is correct. ~Jessica

    Reply
  2. mstokes13

    THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU……you’re gonna make me cry! Finally I can have some angel food cake!…. will this idea work for a Chiffon cake, too? Thanks for all your gluten-free help.

    mary ann
    Hi there,
    It’s a good question. Chiffon cakes have oil in them and that changes things up quite a bit. This recipe probably wouldn’t work with the added moisture and fat from the oil. I’ll see if the test kitchen has any plans for a chiffon cake GF recipe.
    ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  3. svanzutfen

    That looks so good!

    I’m glad that you clearly labeled this as having brown rice. As you know, there is brown rice flour and white rice flour. I know someone with an allergy to brown rice but does not react to white rice flour, so it is important to have that clearly labeled!

    Reply
  4. carolyn

    Does anyone know the total calories and carbohydrates this recipe contains? I loved angel food cake before I went gluten free.
    I am glad you will be able to enjoy one of your favorite cakes again. Unfortunately we don’t have this information available for all of our recipes, but you can calculate the information here . ~Amy

    Reply
  5. Linda Smith

    can you make this cake with dried egg whites?
    Thanks

    Haven’t tried it, Linda, so can’t answer that for sure… I’m thinking the volume would be affected, but I’m not sure. If you do this experiment, let us and your fellow readers know how it comes out, OK? Thanks. PJH

    Reply
  6. Steve

    This might be a stupid question, but can you make this with those containers of egg whites at the grocery store that you use for omelettes and things? I’ve never used egg whites before so I know nothing about them.
    Carton egg whites tend to deteriorate faster, so be sure that your carton is very fresh. Otherwise, it should be fine. ~Amy

    Reply
  7. wilson2b@yahoo.com

    It says to sift the flour, cornstarch and sugar but then says to add the sugar to the egg whites-which do I do?
    Sorry for any confusion. There are two measurements of sugar in the recipe, some goes in with the cornstarch, some goes in the egg whites. If you check the ingredient list, you’ll see sugar is listed twice, and two different amounts. Hope this helps. ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  8. Mike F

    Great recipe! Damn tasty angel food cake. Recipe was easy to follow and we used the king arthur flour gluten free mix. I could not tell the difference, it was soft and tasty, no grittiness whatsoever! Well done!

    Thanks, Mike – I’ll share your enthusiasm with our GF team! PJH

    Reply
  9. Rohini Arter

    Could you, please, post the nutritional information for the gluten free angel food cake? I made this recipe for my friend who is gluten intolerant – it was so delicious, I think I almost made her cry! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!!!

    Sorry, Rohini – I’m so glad your friend liked the cake, but we don’t have nutritional information for it… PJH

    Reply
  10. Christa

    Is there a substitution I can use for the cornstarch? Otherwise, I can have everything in this recipe and I do miss Angel Food Cake!
    I would be sure to have the cornstarch for this recipe. I cannot recommend a suitable replacement. ~Amy

    Reply
  11. Mary

    Christa asked about a replacement for cornstarch.

    Amy, wouldn’t arrowroot be a replacement for cornstarch?

    I am allergic to corn so I use arrowroot often. I too love angel

    food cake and am wondering why it wasn’t mentioned.
    For something like a cake, you can use a 1:1 replacement ratio with arrowroot and cornstarch. When using to thicken certain liquids, the arrowroot and cornstarch behave differently, so just be sure to check in with specific situations. ~Amy

    Reply
  12. Jan

    For high altitude (above 5000 feet) add 2 more tablespoons of GF flour and whip egg whites to stiff peaks. This was so good I have been making it twice a week for all my friends and family. AWESOME!!

    Reply
  13. sugar...?

    can you sub the sugar for stevia to make it low cal?
    Because sugar is an essential structure-building ingredient for an angel food cake, I would not advise using stevia. ~Amy

    Reply
  14. Jennifer

    This cake was INCREDIBLE!! The only problem – it was completely gone within 24 hours (at which point my son said I must make another)! Thank you so much.

    Well, Jennifer, nothing like a happy son, right? I think you’d best honor his request – and soon! :) PJH

    Reply
  15. Prncess12

    Hi,
    I’m about to make this but I live in high attitude, any recommendations?

    Last week I used the box of King Arthur browines and they didn’t have high attitude directions so I just made them accroding to the box and they didn’t turn out.

    I would recommend using our list of high-altitude baking changes for any of our recipes or mixes. The suggestions can be found here: http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipe/high-altitude-baking.html

    Reply
  16. shenno

    I seem to have difficulty making Angel Food Cake. I used to make them before my Celiac Diagnosis, but always from a box. Every time I turn over the Angel Food Cake pan the cake falls out. I thought maybe I was cooking it too long, however this time it did the same thing and it is undercooked. Any suggestions of what I might be doing incorrectly? I would assume it is the egg whites that I’m not getting correct, but I have tried several times doing them either stiffer or less and still not producing a cake that doesn’t fall out of the pan. I used the King Arthur GF all purpose flour, cornstarch, and bakers sugar. Thank You
    Are you greasing the pan by any chance? This could cause the cake to fall out prematurely, or even if the pan had ever been greased in the past. ~Amy

    Reply
  17. mjr

    Have been cooking GF for 6 years and made your angel food cakes many times. This last year I’m having trouble with the cake falling out of the pan within 10 min. of turning it over.It is done and has risen high in the oven. Taste is excellent just very heavy in texture as it has been squished. Have used refrigerated boxed egg whites and tried fresh whites. Same issue. No I have not greased the pan or utensils. Pan is usual aluminum tube pan. ?? Don’t live in a high altitude area. Suggestions please.

    It sounds like you are having a problem with the mixing. Angel food cakes are reliant on the way they whites are whipped: you may need to back down a little on how stiffly they come together as over-whipped whites will constrict greatly when baked and thus “collapse”, resulting in a dense, flat cake. Try whipped until you just get soft peaks (like shaving cream, creamy and fluffy not DRY) and be sure not to over-bake the angel food either: 40-45 minutes should do it! Kim@KAF

    Reply
  18. Heather

    is it possible to make this with egg replacer and have it still come out correct? my son cannot have eggs and i’m looking to try to make angel food cake for him for his birthday (his request). Thanks-Heather.

    Hi Heather! I did some searching as we do not have a vegan/eggless angel food cake recipe. I found this one entry that seems like it could work, just be sure to bake it until the center feels springy and no longer squishy. Also, you can use a GF flour in this, but be sure to add 1/2 tsp of xanthan gum to stabilize it if you do not use our GF Baking Mix: http://www.food.com/recipe/vanilla-sponge-cake-gluten-dairy-nut-and-egg-free-309848 Best, Kim@KAF

    Reply
  19. Tasha

    This was at least our third attempt to make a GF angel food cake and this is the first recipe we have ever gotten to work! We used powdered egg whites instead of fresh and it still turned out perfect! It didn’t fall out of the pan and the texture was perfect! Thank you so much! :)

    Reply
    1. Susan Reid

      We’ve done both with regular angelfood cake recipes, and the smaller pans can only help the structure of the gluten-free versions. It’s totally worth a try. Cut the baking time in half and from there you’ll have to watch closely; the internal temperature of the finished cakes should be at least 205°F before you take them out of the oven. Susan Reid

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