Gluten-Free Chocolate Angel Food Cake

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gluten free
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Hands-on time:
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Yield: one 10" cake

Recipe photo

This light, airy cake — a "devilish" variation on classic angel food cake — is perfect topped with whipped cream and fudge sauce. It has a moist, melt-in-your-mouth texture — surprising, but very welcome, for an angel food cake.

Gluten-Free Chocolate Angel Food Cake

star rating (1) rate this recipe »
gluten free
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: one 10" cake
Published: 04/27/2011


  • 2/3 cup King Arthur Gluten-Free Multi-Purpose Flour or 3/4 cup brown rice flour blend* (see end of directions below)
  • 1/3 cup Dutch-process cocoa or unsweetened baking cocoa
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 3/4 cup Baker's Special Sugar** or superfine sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon espresso powder or 1/4 teaspoon almond extract, optional
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cups egg whites (10 to 11 large eggs, separated, yolks discarded or reserved for another use)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons Baker's Special Sugar** or superfine sugar
  • **Can you substitute regular granulated sugar? Yes; it'll take much longer for the egg whites to attain their require volume, and the cake's texture won't be as fine. See tip at right for more information.

Tips from our bakers

  • 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.
  • Tips for success:
    •Be sure your mixing bowl is absolutely clean; also, separate your egg whites carefully. The tiniest bit of fat or speck of egg yolk will inhibit the egg whites from beating up thick and foamy.
    •Cold eggs are easiest to separate. Don't worry about warming your egg whites to room temperature; they'll warm slightly while you're getting your other ingredients ready.
    •Don't over-whip your 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 the air cells in the beaten whites to expand during baking without rupturing.
    •Directions call for you to both whisk and sift the dry ingredients. This might seem excessive in this time-challenged era, but each action 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.
    •Finally, to retain the egg whites' volume, use the whisk attachment from a stand mixer, or a balloon whisk, to gently “fold” the dry ingredients into the beaten egg whites.


1) Preheat the oven to 350°F and place the oven rack in its lowest position.

2) Whisk together and then sift the gluten-free multi-purpose blend, cocoa, cornstarch, 3/4 cup sugar, espresso powder or almond flavoring, and baking powder. Set aside.

3) In a large clean, grease free mixing bowl, beat the egg whites until foamy. Beat in the salt and cream of tartar.

4) Gradually increase the speed of the mixer, and beat until the egg whites have increased in volume and thickened significantly.

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

5) Gently fold in the sifted flour/sugar blend, ¼ cup at a time, just until mostly blended. The cocoa makes it hard to blend in completely evenly, so leaving a slightly marbled effect is perfect.

6) Spoon the batter into an ungreased, 10? round angel food pan.

7) Bake the cake until the top springs back when pressed lightly, about 45 minutes.

8) Remove the cake from the oven and invert the pan onto the neck of a heatproof bottle or funnel, to suspend the cake upside down as it sets and cools, about 2 hours.

9) Remove the cake from the pan by running a thin spatula or knife around the edges of the pan, turning it over, and gently shaking the cake loose onto a serving plate.

10) Serve with whipped cream and chocolate sauce, if desired. Wrap any leftovers airtight, and store at room temperature.

Yield: one 10" cake, about 12 to 16 servings.

*Make your own blend
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.

The following make-at-home blend, featuring stabilized brown rice flour, works pretty well when substituted; and it tastes better than a blend using regular brown rice flour.

Whisk together 6 cups (28 1/2 ounces) King Arthur stabilized brown rice flour; 2 cups (10 3/4 ounces) potato starch; and 1 cup (4 ounces) tapioca flour or tapioca starch. Store airtight at room temperature. Note: You can substitute white rice flour for the brown rice flour if you like; it'll make your baked goods grittier (unless you manage to find a finely ground version).


  • star rating 02/19/2012
  • cherylpierson from KAF Community
  • I loved this cake. My husband who is not gluten intolerant loved this cake as well. I made my own all purpose brown rice flour mixture, and simply followed the recipe. I found it easy to follow, and unlike some gluten free recipes, it didn't have 20 ingredients

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