Recipe summary

Hands-on time:
15 mins. to 25 mins.
Baking time:
40 mins. to 50 mins.
Total time:
2 hrs 25 mins. to 3 hrs 15 mins.
Yield:
10" cake, 12 to 16 servings
This high-rising, flavorful cake is perfect topped with strawberries and whipped cream. It's so tender and light, no one will suspect it's gluten-free!
Volume Ounces Grams

  • 3/4 cup King Arthur Gluten-Free Multi-Purpose Flour or cup + 2 tablespoons brown rice flour blend*
  • 3/4 cup Baker's Special Sugar** or superfine sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 cups egg whites (10 to 11 large eggs, separated, yolks discarded or reserved for another use)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract or Fiori di Sicilia, optional
  • 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.

Directions

  1. 1) Preheat the oven to 350F and place the oven rack in its lowest position.
  2. 2) Whisk together and then sift the flour, cornstarch, and 3/4 cup sugar. Set aside.
  3. 3) In a large, clean (grease-free) mixing bowl, beat together the egg whites, salt, and cream of tartar until foamy.
  4. 4) Add the flavorings. Gradually increase the speed of the mixer and continue beating until the egg whites have increased in volume, and thickened.
  5. 5) Gradually beat in the 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar, a bit at a time, until the meringue holds soft peaks.
  6. 6) Gently fold in the sifted flour/sugar blend cup at a time, just until incorporated.
  7. 7) 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.
  8. 8) Bake the cake until it's a deep golden brown, and the top springs back when pressed lightly, about 45 minutes.
  9. 9) 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.
  10. 10) Remove the cake from the pan by running a thin spatula or knife around the edges of the pan, and turning the cake out onto a plate.
  11. 11) 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.
  12. 12) Serve with whipped cream and fruit. Wrap any leftovers airtight, and store at room temperature.
  13. Yield: one 10" cake, about 12 to 16 servings.
  14. *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).
  15. Daffodil Cake: Make the cake batter as directed above, reserving 5 of the egg yolks. In a separate bowl, beat the yolks until light yellow and thick, about 3 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons Baker's Special or superfine sugar, and beat for 2 minutes. Fold in 2 teaspoons lemon zest.

    Fold the yolk mixture into half the white batter. Spoon the white and yellow batters alternately into the pan. Gently pass a thin spatula or knife through the batter in the pan to create a marbled effect. Bake as directed above. Serve with lemon curd and whipped cream.

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.