Easy Recipe for Gluten-Free Angel Food Cake. Follow this simple recipe for the best angel food cake you’ve ever made. Perfect served with berries and whipped cream.
If you’ve baked angel food cake before, this recipe asks you to forget almost everything you know about the process. And if you’ve never baked an angel food cake, you’re in luck. This version is ridiculously easy–and you don’t need to forget any prior techniques!
Why You’ll Love This Gluten-Free Angel Food Cake
- Easy to Make. You start by whipping together cold eggs and sugar. A sturdy stand mixer does all of the work.
- Light and Tender. This gluten-free angel food cake bakes up so light and tender.
- Perfect Served with Whipped Cream and Berries. This cake tastes great on its own but it’s also really tasty with a dollop of whipped cream and some fresh berries.
How to Make a Gluten-Free Angel Food Cake: The Important Steps
- Whip together the egg whites, cream of tartar and sugar. This isn’t a fussy recipe. Simply combine the egg white, cream of tartar, and salt and whip until thick and shiny. This takes about 10 minutes on a stand mixer. Don’t give up! Unlike some recipes for angel food cake, there’s no need to add the sugar a little at a time.
- Slowly add the gluten-free flour. Once the egg whites are thick and shiny, add the gluten-free flour. Go slow here. It’s important. You want to add about a quarter cup at a time. Be sure each addition of flour is incorporated before adding more.For the first few tests, I attempted to fold the flour into the whipped egg whites with a rubber spatula. This lead to some of the flour sinking to the bottom of the mixing bowl—causing the batter to deflated and bake with streaks of unhydrated flour throughout.
The solution to the problem was simple. I added the flour, in four additions, with the stand mixer running. As soon as the last bit of flour is incorporated, you’re done.
- Gently spread the batter into an ungreased angel food pan. It’s important that you don’t grease the pan when making angel food cake. You want the batter to climb the sides of the pan and stick.
- Bake until set. Bake until the internal temperature of the cake reaches 205 degrees F. or until the cake is golden brown. Underbaked gluten-free angel food cakes can collapse. So it’s important to bake it thoroughly.
- Cool upside down. Before baking, check out your pan. Does it have little feet sticking up on the edge? These are for cooling. You invert the pan onto the feet. Some pans have this feature and some don’t. If your pan doesn’t have cooling feet, find a glass bottle before baking. As soon as the angel food cake comes out of the oven, turn it over onto the neck of the bottle to cool.
Gluten-Free Angel Food Cake: The Ingredients
Cold Egg Whites: Angel food cakes requires a lot of egg whites. How many? A full dozen! And there’s no need to use room temperature eggs. Cold egg whites work great in this recipe.
Cream of Tartar: A little cream of tartar has a big impact. Just 1 1/2 teaspoons allows the egg whites to whip up thick and shiny.
Granulated Sugar: Angel food cakes are, simply put, a baked sweet meringue. This is why they taste a bit like cotton candy. Reducing the amount of sugar called for in the recipe doesn’t work. Sorry!
Salt: A little salt balances out the sugar and gives our angel food cake it’s delicate-sweet flavor.
Gluten-Free Flour: During testing, I used Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 Gluten-Free Baking Flour. If you use a different flour blend, the cake might turn out differently from mine and some blends can cause the cake to collapse as it cools. For the best results, I strongly recommend using this blend.
Vanilla Extract: Use vanilla extract to flavor the cake. Some flavorings, like peppermint, orange, and lemon, many contain oil and cause the cake to collapse. (see troubleshooting for more information on why to avoid oil in your angel food cake.)
Gluten-Free Angel Food Cake: The Pan
The pan is an important part of the success of angel food cake. Here’s the lowdown: you need a 10-inch uncoated pan.
As the cake bakes, it needs to cling to the sides of the pan. If it can’t stick to the pan, the cake will sink and turn out heavy.
If you need to buy an angel food pan, look for one with legs. The cake is cooled upside down. If your pan has feet, you simply flip it over. If the pan doesn’t have legs, you need to find something, like a bottle or stack of cans, to rest the pan on while it cools. While this isn’t hard, it’s a bit of a pain.
Troubleshooting Gluten-Free Angel Food Cake
De-grease the Bowl and Whisk. Angel food cake requires a grease-free mixing bowl and whisk. Even just a little bit of grease can prevent the egg whites whipping into a thick meringue. Before mixing, wash your bowl and whisk to remove any greasy film that might be clinging to it.
Keep Egg Yolks Out the Mix. When separating the egg whites from the yolks, it’s a good idea to separate the egg white into an individual bowl. Then pour the white into the mixing bowl. This way if a little bit of egg yolk gets into the white, you can easily remove it. (To remove a little yolk, use half an eggshell. The edge of the shell cuts through egg whites.)
Cool Upside Down Angel food cakes, like chiffon cakes, require an unusual step: you cool them upside down. As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, flip it over.
Many angel food cake pans have little legs on them, making it easy to flip the pan over and cool it on the legs. If your pan doesn’t have feet, carefully invert the pan onto the neck of a bottle or a stack of cans.
Why did my angel food cake fall out of the pan?
There are some common causes for this.
- The cake was underbaked. This is the most common problem. If the cake is underbaked, even just a little, the moisture remaining in the cake makes it heavy and the weight pulls it out of the pan. Bake the cake until the internal temperature reaches 205 degrees F. At this point, the cake will look golden brown.
- The pan was coated. Angel food cake needs to cling to the pan when cooling. If the pan was coated with a nonstick coating or if it was sprayed with oil before baking, it will slip from the pan.
- The Kitchen was cold. If your kitchen is 68 degrees for below, the cake can contact and fall from the pan before it sets. Stella Parks suggests this solution for cold kitchens: open the oven door and place the inverted cake on the stovetop, where drafts of warm air will stabilize its temperature.
Gluten-Free Angel Food Cake: Supplies
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10-inch Aluminium Uncoated Tube Pan
Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 Gluten-Free Baking Flour
Gluten-Free Angel Food Cake
Easy Gluten-Free Angel Food Cake. Light and Tender.
- 1 cup gluten-free baking flour (5 ounces; 142 grams)
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar (11 ounces; 312 grams)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 12 large egg whites (about 14 ounces; 396 grams)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Preheat Oven. Adjust oven rack to the middle position and remove the top rack. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Sift gluten-free flour and set aside.(This removes any lumps in the gluten-free flour.)
Whip the Egg Whites. Stir together granulated sugar, cream of tartar, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Add egg whites and vanilla extract. Whisk on low to combine, about 1 minute. Increase speed to medium-high (6-8 on a KitchenAid) and whip 6 minutes.
Increase speed to high (10 on a KitchenAid) and whip until the meringue is shiny, white, and thick. This takes between 2-4 minutes. The tines of the whisk should leave a pattern in the meringue. Stop the mixer and remove the whisk attachment from the bowl. The meringue clinging to the whisk should form a very soft peak. You want it to fall in a thick ribbon off the whisk. Replace the whisk and turn the mixer back on to high speed.
Slowly the Gluten-Free Flour. Add the flour, 1/4 cup at a time, and mix until incorporated. Allow each addition of flour to incorporate before adding the next.
Bake the Cake. Spoon batter into an ungreased 10-inch aluminum tube pan. Bake until the cake is golden brown and firm to the touch, about 50 minutes. (The internal temperature of the cake should be 206°F.)
Cool the Cake. Remove pan from the oven and immediately invert onto the legs of the pan. If the pan does not have legs, invert onto the neck of a wine bottle. Cool for at least 2 hours. If the kitchen is cold, place the pan on top of the oven to cool and prop the oven door open.
Remove the Cake from the Pan. Slide an offset spatula around the sides of the cake to loosen. Remove the insert, and slide a spatula under the bottom of the cake. Gently lift the cake off the insert and place onto a serving dish.
To serve, cut with a serrated knife. Store leftovers wrapped tightly in plastic for up to 1 week at room temperature.
Made this for our early Easter dinner. Came out so good. Thank you!!!!!!
Absolutely fantastic!!! Came out even better than the regular angel food cake I’ve been making for years. Excellent instructions. Everyone loved it! Thanks so much!
(one small thing–14 oz egg whites=396gm)
Ack! Thank you. I’ve updated the typo on the grams.
How do you measure the cake temperature? What do you use? I would be afraid to stick something in the cake for fear it may collapse.
Thank you so much for all of the information you provided.
I have used King Arthur GF 1:1 flour. Your thoughts on using that brand..
An instant-read thermometer works great. You take the temperature when the cake is set. So it won’t collapse. No worries there.
I haven’t worked much with King Arthur Flour. I know that a lot of my readers really like it. I don’t believe it contains any xanthan or guar gum; so I’d hesitate to use it in a cake recipe.
Natalie Duany says
I’m in the process of making this cake for the second time. I use King Arthur flour (Measure for Measure) and it does have zanthan gum in its ingredients.
Made this today for strawberry shortcake. Came out amazing. Looking forward to trying out more recipes from Elizabeth’s site.
Glad you enjoyed it!
Great recipe, The cake came out perfect!
Carol Schilling says
I baked mine for an hour and the temp only came up to just over 200°. We are at high altitude so I was wondering if I need to make any high altitude adjustment?
The finished temp should be around 206 degrees. So I’d think that a little over 200 degrees if just fine!
CAROL T SCHILLING says
I have tried this recipe twice now, 2nd time I did use Bob’s Red Mill 1-1 GF flour. It’s cooling now but both times I can’t seem to get the internal temperature up to 205 degrees. I have an instant read thermometer and ended up cooking the first one 10 additional minutes, checking the temp 3 times and finally took it out of the oven as I was worried that it would overcook. Color was light golden brown, seemed a little heavy after cooling but tasted great. This time only baked 5 additional minutes, still only shows 200 degrees and was a lighter golden brown. Any thoughts?
My guess is that one of two things are happening. It could be that your oven isn’t running at the correct temperature. So the cake is taking longer to bake than intended. To check it, get an oventhermometer . It could also be that your instant read thermometer is off. To check it, bring a pot of water to a boil. Carefully take the temperature. It should read 212 degrees.
Lastly, baking time is always a suggestion. It can vary based on your oven temp and altitude. I hope this helps!
CAROL T SCHILLING says
Thank you – it also occurs to me to ask if there are any high altitude adjustments you would recommend. The second cake came out absolutely delicious! I used the Bob’s flour as advised and added 1/4 tsp. almond extract along with Watkins clear vanilla – OMG I could have eaten the whole cake right then and there (well, not really but it was so good I almost cried)! I did check my oven with an oven thermometer and it was spot on – I will check the boil water trick to check my instant read thermometer. I do remember from candy making that I have to check the temperature that water boils on whatever day I’m making candy as that can change on any given day at our altitude and then adjust as needed. The second cake still didn’t rise any higher than the first but the flavor and texture was much better with the recommended flour. I used egg whites in a pourable carton both times and that seemed to work fine (wasn’t sure what I would do with a dozen egg yolks as it’s not Christmas Eggnog time yet). I did notice both times that when it was time to incorporate the flour that the whites seemed to deflate slightly. If I hand-whisked in the flour do you think it would stay loftier? I really am loving this recipe and can’t wait to make it again.
Michael Stlaurent says
I just made this and I flipped it over to cool after I took it out of the oven and it shrunk in the pan and fell onto the cookie sheet the pan was sitting on
Oh, bummer. This can be caused by two things: either the cake was underbaked or the pan had a nonstick coating.
Turned out wonderful!! Really appreciate this recipe. Thank you for sharing it!! Tastes way better then a gluten cake!!
Melissa Haddix says
Hoping you can help I have a 7″ pan. How much batter do I leave out to get good results? Can I use the rest as cupcakes?
Fill the pan about 2/3 full. You can bake the remaining batter in cupcakes. Depending on your pan, sometimes they fall a bit.
Hope this helps!
What happened? I was so excited to make this cake. Everything was going well, my egg whites were fluffy and looked like meringue. When I added the flour, slowly, 1/4 C at a time, my egg whites deflated! I used Bob’s Red Mill Baking Flour. My batter was runny, not at all fluffy. Liquid. I am baking it anyway, but I know it will not be an angel food cake, maybe a pancake.
I am so disappointed. Wasted a dozen egg whites. 🙁
Hmmm…that’s odd. Did you mix the egg whites with the sugar for about 10 minutes? It almost sounds like there was some oil present, which can cause egg whites to deflate. Slowly adding the flour should not have caused that.
And what type of mixer were you using?
Same thing happened to mine. I followed the directions and everything looked great, but when I started adding the flour the merengue deflated and became runny enough to pour. I baked it to see what would happen and it was completely dense, very heavy, and the center was like brownie consistency. So sad, I really wanted it for dessert tonight!
Susan Stapel says
Thank you for replying. I used a kitchen aid stand mixer. I wonder if I was supposed to mix the flour in on low. I think I had the mixer still on high, having misread the directions!. It actually tastes good, however not light and fluffy of course. so I think I can make a berry trifle. I will try again. Thanks!
Susan george says
This ostensibly third time I have made this a angel cake
I woke up craving it
So easy to make your instructions are perfect
Very disappointed. First time making Angel food cake, though I’ve baked a lot. I followed your directions, even though it went against my instincts. Like a couple of others above, I left the mixer on high and slowly added the flour – my egg whites immediately deflated. It’s baking now, but I doubt it will be an Angel food cake! Really disappointed to have wasted my ingredients!!
And THIS is why I don’t use recipes off the internet!