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This gluten free angel food cake has a light and delicate texture. Read through this step-by-step guide to show you how to make it easily, plus a few tips so it turns out perfect every time. We love it with whipped cream and fresh berries!

a slice of gluten free angel food cake with whipped cream and strawberry sauce
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Light and fluffy angel food cake is a blank slate when it comes to desserts. It can be topped with chocolate or served with fruit. Just like this strawberry cream cheese pie, it’s the perfect summer dessert. Strawberry compote, lemon curd, and/or a little whipped cream taste like heaven with this fluffy cake.

Why You’ll Love this Gluten-Free Angel Food Cake

Angel food cake is a staple during the spring and summer. It’s just sweet enough and it pairs perfectly with all the berries in season. This gluten-free version has the same light and airy texture. Skip to the bottom for step by step tips to make this with me!

Is angel food cake gluten free?

Traditional angel food cake is not gluten free because its traditionally made with cake flour or all purpose flour. Same goes for store bought angel food cake, unless it specifically indicates it is gluten free.

Grab These Ingredients

Here are the simple ingredients for this gluten-free angel food cake recipe. Most are pantry staples and easy (and affordable) to find at the grocery store. Jump down to the recipe card for exact measurements.

  • Sugar: we’re using traditional granulated sugar that we pulse in the food processor or blender to get extra fine. Super fine sugar has the optimal structure for angel food cake.
  • Gluten free flour blend: Gluten-free flour: make sure to use a 1:1 baking blend with xanthan gum. Our favorites are Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 baking flour or King Arthur’s Measure for Measure flour.
  • Cornstarch: traditional angel food cakes call for a cake flour, which is essentially flour and cornstarch. We’re doing a DIY take on this because gluten free cake flour is hard to find.
  • Egg whites: There is no baking powder or baking soda in this recipe, because all of the structure and height comes from whipped egg whites. This recipe calls for 12 eggs, so I recommend getting a larger carton, or 2 cartons, because you may need an extra if any of the egg yolks accidentally get into the whites.
  • Cream of tartar: this is an acid that helps stabilize the egg whites and without it the cake would collapse. You can find it in the baking aisle or with the spices!
  • Salt: this adds flavor and helps balance the sweetness from the sugar.
  • Extracts: these add extra flavor to the recipe. Don’t skip on the vanilla extract, but almond extract is optional.
gluten-free angel food cake ingredients

How to make gluten free angel food cake (step-by-step photos)

Pulse the dry ingredients

  1. Pulse the granulated sugar in a food processor or blender 5-10 times to create a finer texture then remove 1 cup sugar to a separate bowl to use later when we whip the egg whites.
  2. Add the gluten-free flour, cornstarch and salt to the food processor with the remaining sugar and pulse another 5-10 times to mix. Set aside.

Whip the egg whites

  1. Whip the egg whites and 1 1/2 teaspoons of cream of tartar together on medium speed until foamy, about 1 minute. 
  2. Switch to medium-high speed and slowly add the 1 cup of sugar you set aside. Whip until soft peaks form, about 5-6 minutes. Soft peaks wilt back into the mixture after a few seconds.  Stiff peaks, like in our meringue Christmas trees, will make the cake collapse.
  3. Add 2 teaspoons of vanilla and 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract and beat until just incorporated.

Fold in the dry ingredients

  1. Gently sift the reserved flour mixture into the egg whites in 3 additions, gently folding with a rubber spatula after each addition. The goal is to retain as much of the whipped volume as possible.

Bake

  1. Pour the batter into an ungreased 10-inch tube pan. It may see counter intuitive not to grease the cake pan, but angel food cake clings to the sides of the pan as it bakes to help it rise and greasing the pan causes the batter to slip down the sides. Use an offset spatula to smooth out the top of the cake.
  2. Adjust the oven rack to the lower third position and bake the cake for 35-40 minutes at 350°F, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. 
  3. Invert pan to cool the cake upside-down on a wire rack.

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Gluten-Free Angel Food Cake: FAQs

Is angel food cake gluten free?

Traditional angel food cake is not gluten free because it’s made with regular flour. However, this gluten free angel food cake is! By using a 1:1 gluten free baking flour, you get the same results without the gluten. So you and your gluten free friends can still enjoy it!

How do I know when my egg whites are ready?

You’ll know they’re done when you lift the beater out of the egg whites and the peaks wilt back down after a few seconds.

Should I grease the pan?

Do NOT grease an angel food cake pan. As the cake rises, the batter clings to the side of the pan and it helps it rise. If you grease the pan the cake won’t have anything to cling to and you won’t get the rise you want. Don’t worry, you’ll be able to get the cake out just fine!

How do you cool gluten free angel food cake?

You’ll want to cool your gluten free angel food cake upside down. Yep, you read that right! The egg whites are what gives the cake its structure and the egg whites aren’t completely set until they’re cool. If you don’t cool it upside down the cake could collapse.

gluten free angel food cake on parchment paper with fresh berries and cream

Expert Tips

  1. Separate the egg whites in a separate bowl.
  2. Pule the granulated sugar into super fine sugar.
  3. Whip the egg whites to soft peaks.
  4. Sift the dry ingredients.
  5. Don’t grease the pan.
  6. Bake the cake in the lowest position.
  7. Let the cake cool upside down.
  8. Cut the cake with a serrated knife.

Make-Ahead, Storage and Freezing

  • Make ahead: prepare the cake one day in advance, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and leave it on the counter for up to one day.
  • Storage: wrap the cake tightly with plastic wrap then store in the fridge for up to 4 days.
  • Freezer: wrap the cake tightly in plastic wrap then in foil or an air tight container and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge then bring it to room temperature before serving.
a slice of angel food cake being pulled out of the cake

More Gluten-Free Desserts

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4.50 from 10 votes

Gluten Free Angel Food Cake

Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 50 minutes
Total: 1 hour 5 minutes
This gluten-free angel food cake recipe is light and fluffy. This step-by-step guide shows you how to make this cake easily and a few tips so it turns out perfect every time. It's best with whipped cream and fresh berries!

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Servings: 12 slices

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup gluten-free flour blend (we like Bob's Red Mill or King Arthur's), spooned and leveled
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 12 large egg whites
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • Whipped cream and fresh strawberries to top

Instructions 

  • Adjust the oven rack to the lower third position and preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Add the granulated sugar to the bowl of a food processor or blender. Pulse for 10 to 20 seconds to create a super fine texture. Remove 1 cup of the sugar and set it aside to use later when we whip the egg whites.
  • Add the gluten free all purpose flour, cornstarch and salt to the remaining sugar and pulse 5-10 times until mixture is aerated and light and set aside.
  • Separate the eggs yolks from the egg whites if you haven't already. Don’t let a drop of egg yolk into the mixing bowl because any lingering fat could prevent the egg whites from forming peaks. I always crack the eggs individually over a separate small bowl then add the whites one-by-one into the mixing bowl.
  • Whisk the egg whites and cream of tartar in a large bowl with a hand mixer or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until foamy, about 1 minute. Switch to medium-high speed and slowly add the cup of sugar you set aside. Whip until soft peaks form, about 5-6 minutes. See video or step by step videos above for examples.
  • Add 2 teaspoons of vanilla and 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract and beat until just incorporated.
  • Gently sift the reserved flour and sugar mixture into the egg whites in 3 additions, folding with a rubber spatula after each addition. The goal is to retain as much of the whipped volume as possible.
  • Pour the angel food cake batter into a 9-10 inch un-greased tube pan. It’s important to use a tube pan because the angel food cake’s special structure requires the tube pan’s particular specifications.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool the cake upside-down on a wire rack for about 2 hours.
Last step! If you make this, please leave a review letting us know how it was!

Notes

Storage: store leftover angel food cake at room temperature for up 2 days or in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Gluten-free angel food cake freezes well for up to 4 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge and serve with your favorite toppings.
Strawberry compote: our recipe for strawberry compote is simple and delicious. Highly recommend!

Video

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 150kcal | Carbohydrates: 33.5g | Protein: 4.5g | Fat: 0.2g | Sodium: 84mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 25g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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6 Comments

  1. Giulia says:

    Do you think a Would a Bundt pan work?

    1. Molly Thompson says:

      Hey! I don’t recommend using a bundt cake for this recipe. It’s worth the investment in a springform pan!

  2. Renee says:

    Can you substitute arrowroot for the cornstarch?

  3. Amy says:

    Your pictures are so pretty. I love angel food cake. It really is light and perfect for summer.

  4. Nancy L S says:

    I have found when baking that the Brand of GF Flour matters greatly in a baking recipe…. what brand do you use?

    1. Molly Leonard says:

      Great question, Nancy! I tested this recipe with Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 flour and it turned out great!