For my daughter's 17th birthday she requested Angel Food Cake and Lasagna. I cannot remember having any angel food cake since going gluten free - eight years now! When I was a little girl, my grandma made me angel food cake every year for my birthday. She always served it on this special cake stand.
I was so happy to receive it when she passed away, and I was even more excited to serve my daughter her cake on the very same cake stand.
When you are thinking angel food cake, just think light and fluffy, light and fluffy, light and fluffy.
The eggs are light and fluffy, the gluten free flour I used is light and fluffy, and I handled everything very gingerly. It turned out beautifully. My daughter's non-gluten free friends were so impressed by the taste they went home asking their moms to make angel food cake!
Follow the directions exactly and don't skip any steps. Sometimes I am pretty haphazard about my measurements, but when baking something as delicate as this you have to take the time and do it right. It might be tempting, but don't skip the sifting either. Remember light and fluffy, light and fluffy.
I am going to include detailed instructions with photos, and at the end of the post I'll have a shorter recipe that you can print and add to your gluten free cookbook.
Recipe for Gluten Free Angel Food Cake
- ½ cup gluten free tapioca flour (I use Authentic Foods Tapioca Flour )
- ½ cup gluten free potato starch (I use Authentic Foods Potato Starch )
- ½ tsp xanthan gum
- 1-½ cups sifted granulated sugar (I use Organic Sugar )
- 12 egg whites, at room temperature
- 1 tsp cream of tartar
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1-½ tsp vanilla extract
- 1-½ tsp lemon juice
- ½ tsp almond extract
Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees F. Have ready an ungreased large tube pan. If the pan bottom is not removable, line it with parchment paper.
For the tube pan, I ran out and bought my cake pan at Target. It is a rounder short tube pan and so I ended up with a shorter cake. Next time I make it, I will buy a four inch high 2-Piece Angel Food Cake Pan with Feet. The two piece pan will make it easier to remove the cake from the pan at the end and the four inch sides will make a taller "more traditional" looking angel food cake.
Whisk together the tapioca flour, potato starch and xanthan gum. Sift and measure again. Don't skip the sifting part - remember light and fluffy!
Whisk the flour and ¾ cup of the sifted sugar in a small bowl. Place the remaining ¾ cup sifted sugar in another small bowl next to the mixer.
Beat the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer at low speed until just broken up and beginning to froth. Add the cream of tartar and salt and beat at medium speed until the whites form very soft, billowy mounds. With the mixer still at medium speed, beat in the remaining ¾ cup sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, until all the sugar is added and the whites are shiny and form soft peaks.
Here is a photo of the soft peaks:
Add the vanilla, lemon juice and almond
extract and beat until just blended.
Sift the flour-sugar mixture over the whites, about 3 tablespoons at a time, and gently fold in, using a large rubber spatula.
Gently scrape the batter into the pan, smooth the top with the spatula, and give the pan a couple of raps on the counter to release any air bubbles.
Bake until the cake is golden brown and the top springs back when pressed firmly, 50 to 60 minutes.
Here is a photo from about 30 minutes into the baking process:
If the cake pan has prongs around the rim for elevating the cake, invert the pan onto them. If the pan does not have prongs, invert the pan onto the neck of a bottle or funnel. Let the cake cool completely, 2 to 3 hours.
My cake pan did not have prongs, so I cooled it on a wine bottle. Yes, there really is a cake in there!
To un-mold, run a knife around the edges of the pan, being careful not to separate the golden crust from the cake. Slide the cake out of the pan and cut the same way around the removable bottom to release, or peel off the parchment paper, if using.
The finished but unfrosted cake:
Place the cake, bottom-side up, on a platter. Cut slices by sawing gently with a large, serrated knife.
I think angel food cakes are great topped with Whipped Cream and Strawberries. My daughter really wanted cream cheese frosting. I wondered about the taste of such a heavy frosting on such a delicate cake, but it was oh so delicious.
I went with a purple and black theme so here is the final set up:
And, of course, the whole reason I do this!
Click HERE for a printable version of this recipe.