Gluten Free Angel Food Cake Recipe

by Carol Kicinski on October 9, 2016

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If better health, renewed vim and vigor aren’t good enough reasons to stick to your gluten free diet, I have another one for you – better angel food cake.

Angel food cake has been a fixture in my family for generations. My great-grandmother was known for her angel food cakes, it was the favorite dessert of my grandfather (my grandmother made so many she could bake one in her sleep), and my father’s favorite. My Mom even made a killer angel food cake (well she used my great-grandmother’s recipe, so…). My son loves it and his daughter Milla considers angel food cake her specialty. And it was Milla, who doesn’t need to be gluten free, who discovered that angel food cake is actually better when made with gluten free flour. Well, that is if that gluten free flour is a good quality flour that contains starch, xanthan gum, and isn’t made out of beans.

While I haven’t made as many angel food cakes as my grandmother, I have made a lot using the recipe I got from my grandmother, who got it from her mother-in-law – with a few tweaks of my own here and there. Once I was out of cream of tartar so I used lemon juice instead – this tweak was definitely a keeper.

There are a few things you need to know to make a great angel food cake. Firstly, the mixing bowl, beaters, and cake pan need to be squeaky clean without a speck of grease. Secondly, your egg whites will beat better at room temperature. It is easier to separate eggs when they are cold, so I do the separating and then let them sit until they warm up. Speaking of eggs, since they are really the star of the show, I like to use organic, cage free eggs (such as Nature’s Yoke). My great-grandmother said you always should use 13 egg whites in angel food cake, so that’s what I do. I have in the past only had a dozen eggs and the cake was still really good, but I must say, we like it better with 13. Maybe we’ve just been brainwashed.

I like to use super-fine sugar in this recipe, it gives the cake a better texture. While the pan is important for a traditional angel food cake, I have even baked this cake in regular cake pans and made a layer cake out of the recipe. Delicious layered with berries and whipped cream! If you are making a traditional angel food cake and the pan doesn’t have those little feet on it to allow you to cool the cake upside down, stick the pan on a bottle – like my grandmother did. If you wonder why the extra 2 tablespoons of sugar – well, me too. But I’m not enough of a rebel to leave it out since my family has done it this way for 5 generations.

Our family loves angel food cake and I hope you love this recipe as much as we do.


Gluten Free Angel Food Cake Recipe


1 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour blend (with xanthan gum)
1½ cups plus 2 tablespoons superfine sugar, use divided
13 large cage-free egg whites, at room temperature
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
½ teaspoon kosher or fine sea salt
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine the flour with ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar and set aside.

Place the egg whites, lemon juice, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on high speed until foamy. Gradually beat in ¾ cup sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time, and beat until very stiff peaks form. Gradually beat in the flour mixture, then add the vanilla and beat.

Put the mixture into an ungreased angel food cake pan and run a dinner knife through the batter to break up any air pockets.

Bake for 30 – 40 minutes or until the cake has risen and is golden brown. Cool the cake in the pan upside down, making sure that air can flow under the cake. Run a knife around the edges of the pan and transfer the cake to a plate or platter.


A gluten free recipe that serves 6 – 8 (or 4 in my family)

Ready for dessert?

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