My birthday is coming up in a few weeks (I’m not crying you’re crying) so I made us Gluten Free Angel Food Cake to celebrate!
OH YES. This sweet, gluten free treat is impossibly tall and fluffy, soft and springy, and looks and tastes JUST like the real thing. My boys call it simply “Angel Cake” because it tastes like it was sent from above. You would never in a million years guess it’s gluten free!
Here’s How to Make It!
Gluten Free Angel Food Cake
I grew up eating Angel Food Cake topped with whipped cream and fresh berries constantly in the summertime. Birthdays, BBQs, the 4th of July, a random Tuesday afternoon – you name it and Angel Food Cake was served. It’s hard to top, as far as summery desserts go.
Enjoying Angel Food Cake seemed like a lost tradition over these past 8 years since going gluten free until I realized its actually a super easy recipe to adapt. Summer is saved y’all, and all we need are 7 everyday ingredients!
- Egg whites: Angel Food Cake is egg white-based – no yolks allowed. Whipping them into a meringue with sugar creates a tall, light, and fluffy cake.
- Sugar: Granulated sugar sweetens the Angel Food Cake but before adding it into the batter, we blend or process it in the food processor to make super fine sugar, which dissolves into the cake batter more easily.
- Vanilla: I love how the addition of vanilla extract in the Angel Food Cake gives it a toasted marshmallow-flavor. SO GOOD.
- Gluten free flour blend: Be sure you’re using a GF flour blend WITH a binder like xanthan gum. I tested this recipe using Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 Baking Flour to achieve the results you see here.
- Cornstarch: Cornstarch helps give the Gluten-Free Angel Food Cake its light and chewy texture. Adding it to the gluten free flour blend lightens it up to mimic cake flour.
- Cream of tarter: Cream of tartar helps stabilize the whipped egg whites so they hold their fluffy shape, and don’t weep. It’s a must for tall and fluffy Angel Food Cake!
- Salt: A small amount of salt also helps the whipped egg whites hold their shape, and balances the sweetness of the cake.
Top Tips for a Gluten Free Angel Food Cake
I’ve tested this cake recipe a billion times (ok 4) over the past few weeks and have compiled a list of top tips to ensure your Gluten Free Angel Food Cake comes out exactly like mine.
- Be sure to use an Angel Food Cake pan (also called a tube pan) vs a bundt pan or other style of baking pan. I have this nonstick Wilton Angel Food Cake pan.
- Be sure there is ZERO FAT added to the cake batter by way of egg yolks sneaking into the egg whites, or from the pan or mixing bowl. Everything needs to be squeaky clean to ensure the Angel Food Cake turns out spongy and fluffy.
- Do not spray your Angel Food Cake pan with nonstick spray. The reason Angel Food Cake comes out so tall is because the batter sticks to the sides of the pan as it bakes and cools. It won’t setup properly if the batter can’t cling to the sides.
- It is better to slightly overbake this Gluten Free Angel Food Cake vs underbake it. If you underbake it, the weight of the uncooked egg whites can cause the cake to sink, sag, and fall out of the pan while it’s cooling upside down.
- That said, let the cake cool COMPLETELY before removing it from the pan, and yes — cool it upside down! Place the hot pan on top of a bottle neck right when it comes out of the oven and let the cake cool completely before turning it right side up and removing it from the pan.
Can I Freeze Gluten Free Angel Food Cake?
Yes yes! Simply wrap slices of room temperature cake in plastic wrap then foil and place in the freezer. Thaw in the refrigerator 24 hours prior to eating. I will say the cake is a little more dense once thawed vs fresh, but pretty much perfectly spot on.
The Perfect Gluten Free Treat
With that signature crackly top, toasted marshmallow flavor, and gorgeous, fluffy texture, I just know you are going to FLIP for this gluten free cake. It is so fun and satisfying when a gluten free version of a dessert, especially, turns out just as good as the real thing. Let me know when you give this one a try!!
How to Make Gluten Free Angel Food Cake
Start by adding egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or a large glass bowl if you’re using a hand mixer.
The egg whites DO NOT need to be at room temperature – cold is fine!
Beat on medium speed until the egg whites are frothy, 1 minute. Add vanilla extract then beat to combine.
Next, add granulated sugar to a blender or food processor then blend or process it briefly to create fine sugar. We’re not looking to make powdered sugar, but the finer sugar granules will dissolve faster and easier in the cake batter vs regular-size sugar granules.
Slowly but consistently sprinkle the sugar into the mixing bowl with the speed on low. Once all the sugar has been added, turn the speed up to medium-high then beat until the egg whites are glossy and medium peaks have formed.
Like this! You’ll know you’ve got the right texture when the tip of the batter slightly droops on itself. Stiff peaks would stick straight up, and soft peaks would totally droop. You want it right in between.
Next, whisk together a gluten free baking flour blend WITH added binder, plus corn starch in a small bowl. I tested this recipe using Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour and loved the results!
Add the flour mixture to the egg white mixture in three batches, mixing until just combined before adding the next batch.
Use a spatula to give the batter a few big stirs to ensure everything is well mixed then scoop into an UNGREASED nonstick Angel Food Cake Pan and smooth out the top with the back of a spoon or offset spatula.
Place the oven rack in the top and lowest position of your oven then bake the cake for 45-47 minutes at 350 degrees or until the top springs back slightly, is deep golden brown, and you don’t see any wet spots on the top or sides of the cake.
Like I said, you want to err on the side of slightly overbaking this cake vs underbaking because the cake can sag if it’s underbaked.
Last step is to invert the cake pan on a bottle and let it cool completely on the counter. COMPLETELY, ya hear?! The batter sticks to the sides of the pan during this time which ensures it stays tall and fluffy, vs sinking and condensing.
I usually use a wine bottle covered in foil – this is a Topo Chico bottle here in these photos. Use whatever you’ve got!
Once the cake is completely cool, turn it right-side up then run a knife along the inside and outside edges of the pan to release the cake. VOILA, GLUTEN FREE ANGEL FOOD CAKE!!!!
Slice the cake with a serrated knife then serve with lots of whipped cream and fresh berries. I am telling you, this Gluten-Free Angel Food Cake recipe is just HEAVENLY! I hope you love it as much as we do, enjoy!
More Gluten Free Dessert Recipes
- Gluten Free Strawberry Muffins
- Triple Berry Crumb Bars
- Gluten Free Lemon Bars
- Gluten Free Brownies
- Gluten Free Pumpkin Cupcakes
- Chocolate Peanut Better Lava Cakes
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Gluten Free Angel Food Cake
Gluten Free Angel Food Cake is impossibly light and fluffy, just like the original! This sweet and simple cake is perfection topped with whipped cream and berries.
- 3/4 cup gluten free flour baking blend WITH binder (see notes)
- 1/4 cup corn starch
- 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1-1/2 cups egg whites (10-11 large eggs)
- 1-1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- For serving:
- whipped cream
- fresh berries
- Adjust oven racks to the top and lower third positions then preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Add gluten free flour blend and cornstarch to a bowl then whisk to combine and set aside.
- Add granulated sugar to a blender or food processor then blend/pulse briefly to create super-fine sugar. We’re not looking to make powdered sugar, but a finer sugar texture will dissolve faster and easier in the cake batter than regular granulated sugar.
- Add egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt to the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or to a large glass bowl if using a hand held mixer, then beat on medium speed (6/10) until the egg whites are very foamy, 1 minute. Add vanilla then beat to combine.
- Set the speed to medium-low (4/10) while slowly but constantly sprinkling in the super-fine sugar. Once all the sugar has been added, turn the speed up to medium-high (8/10) and continue to beat until the egg whites are glossy and medium peaks have formed (meaning, when you lift the whisk attachment, the batter holds its shape but the tip droops slightly), 3-4 minutes total.
- Add flour and corn starch mixture in three additions, beating until just combined before adding the next addition.
- Use a spatula to give the cake batter a big stir to ensure all the ingredients are well mixed then scoop into an UNGREASED nonstick angel food cake pan. Smooth the top with the back of a spoon or an offset spatula then bake for 45-47 minutes or until the top is deep golden brown. It’s better to slightly overbake vs underbake this cake, as it can collapse if underbaked.
- Immediately invert the pan over a bottle — I use a wine bottle covered in foil. You could use an empty, clean soda bottle or vinegar bottle, etc. covered in foil. Some angel food cake pans have extended feet on the top of the pan so you can turn it over directly onto the countertop.
- Let cake cool completely. The cake can sag if released from the pan before it’s completely cool.
- Once cake has completely cooled, turn the pan right side up then run a knife around the inside and outside edges to release the cake. Slice into wedges with a serrated knife then serve with whipped cream and fresh berries.
- I tested this recipe using Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free 1 to 1 Baking Flour. Your results may vary if using a different GF flour blend.
- For this cake to be successful there needs to be ZERO FAT either from stray egg yolks or from the whisk, bowl, or pan. Make sure no egg yolks have made it into your egg whites, and that your whisk, bowl, and pan are very clean and free from grease!
This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.