A gluten free Angel Food Cake from scratch! That's the kind of culinary challenge I like so this is what I made in honour of Celiac Awareness Month.
For many years I made (and later bought) an Angel Food Cake for my friends annual piano soiree. It was a fun get together where we each performed a piano piece and then enjoyed champagne and dessert. My annual contribution was a beautiful Angel Food Cake filled with fruit and whipped cream then decorated with edible flowers.
When I could buy an Angel Food Cake at the store this was a pretty simple dessert; cut it in half, fill it and add the flowers. Finally I wanted to make a gluten free version from scratch.
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What Flowers Are Edible
Some occasions simply call for cake and for me, it's going to be homemade and it should have a gourmet presentation. Using edible flowers is a simple way to do that.
To learn more about what flowers I plant and how I use them check out this post, How To Use Edible Flowers in the Kitchen.
Get The Tools
Angel Food Cake is a light, airy sponge cake made with a dozen egg whites whipped full of air. Egg whites from real eggs are essential. Do not use egg whites from a carton which have been heated in processing.
For the classic look this cake should be cooked and cooled in an Angel Food Cake pan with tall sides. Modern versions include Angel Food Cake pans with a removable bottom, which would be nice to have but for a once-a-year cake I borrow my sisters pan. If you like the idea of making Angel Food Cake then purchase a good quality pan, and lend it to your sister if you have one.
Two essential steps for baking an Angel Food Cake are to bake the cake in an ungreased pan and cool it upside down. Yes, really. Not greasing the pan allows the cake to stick to the sides of the pan and climb up it as it bakes. Cooling it upside down helps maintain the light, airy texture. I remember my mom cooling her Angel Food Cake upside down balanced on an inverted drinking glass. I wonder if that is the pan my sister now calls hers.
Gluten Free Cake Flour Blend
Only when you start to cook gluten free do you realize the amazing properties of wheat flour. Purchased gluten free flour blends work for some recipes but not all. The more gluten free baking you do you start to notice all the different flour blends. There are blends for cookies and pancakes, pizza dough and bread, and the list goes on.
This is the reminder that no single gluten free flour can replace all the properties of wheat flour.
Gluten free bakers need a positive mindset in the kitchen. Follow my year-long blog post series on How To Use Gluten Free Flours if you're interested in learning more.
For this once-a-year cake I wanted it to be fabulous, not just okay. I knew I needed a light cake flour recipe rather than the blend I use for muffins. For this light, airy Angel Food Cake I needed to made a special flour blend.
I know that including a flour blend in a recipe suddenly makes the list long and appear complicated. The cake itself isn't complicated so my best tip is to consider a special flour blend as a special project. Make that flour blend in advance and get it in the cupboard before the day you bake.
Baking By Weight
Serious bakers bake by weight for accuracy and best results. I measure all my flour blends by weight using a digital scale yet most of my everyday recipes using cup measurements. For this recipe I wanted it to work the first time so I measured the flours by weight.
If you're interested in learning to bake using weight measurements check out this post called Baking By Weight.
Filling For Angel Food Cake
If you've ever made an Angel Food Cake then you've thought about what to make with the twelve egg yolks you have leftover. My mom always made this homemade lemon curd so that's what I make. Include it in the filling for this cake or make it the next day. I'm sure you'll have no trouble thinking of ways to enjoy it.
Thanks to Nicole over at Glutenfree On A Shoestring for her homemade cake flour blend recipes. She's a master in the kitchen and has lots of wisdom to share.
Let me know in the comments below if you made an Angel Food Cake and how it turned out.
More Gluten Free Cake Recipes
Use up this cake flour blend in any of these cake recipes.
Angel Food Cake
CAKE FLOUR BLEND
- 90g white rice flour
- 73g cornstarch
- 43g tapioca starch
- 40g brown rice flour
- 30g non fat dry milk powder (substitute soy milk powder for dairy free)
- 10g potato starch
- 5g xanthan gum
ANGEL FOOD CAKE
- ¾ cup icing sugar (first amount)
- 140 g cake flour blend (recipe above)
- ½ teaspoon xanthan gum
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 12 egg whites, room temperature
- ⅓ cup warm water
- 1½ teaspoon cream of tartar
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla
- ¾ cup icing sugar (second amount)
WHIPPED CREAM FILLING
- 2 cups whipping cream
- 2 tablespoon icing sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- fresh fruit and edible flowers
CAKE FLOUR BLEND
- Make cake flour blend in the bowl of a food processor. Process for one minute to finely grind the milk powder and evenly combine the ingredients. Store in an airtight container.
ANGEL FOOD CAKE
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. DO NOT grease the Angel Food Cake pan.
- Place a strainer over a bowl and add first amount of icing sugar, cake flour, xanthan gum and salt straining it into the bowl. Move the strainer over a second bowl and again sift the mixture into that bowl. Repeat sifting the mixture 4 times.
- In the large bowl of a stand mixer beat the egg whites, water, cream of tartar and vanilla on medium-high speed.
- Gradually add the second amount of icing sugar a few tablespoons at a time. Continue beating on medium-high speed until soft peaks form, 3-4 minutes. Increase speed to high and beat until peaks become stiff and glossy, 2-3 minutes.
- In stages sift the flour mixture onto the egg white mixture and gently folding it in. Pour the batter into the Angel food cake pan. Lightly tap the pan on the counter a few times to settle the batter.
- Bake in preheated oven 30-35 minutes or until a wooden skewer inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Cool the cake upside down on an inverted glass or bottle until completely cooled, about 2 hours.
- Whip the cream to soft peaks. Add the sugar and vanilla and continue beating until it forms stiff peaks.
- Remove cooked cake from the pan using a small plastic spatula to loosen the sides if needed. Using a serrated knife cut the cake in half horizontally. Place the bottom half on a serving tray.
- Top with half of the whipped cream and most of the fruit. Place the top piece of cake on top.
- Drop whipped cream onto the top of the cake by the spoonful pushing it close to the edges. Decorate with more fruit and/or fresh edible flowers. Refrigerate until serving.