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Cake flour is used in angel food cakes because it contains low protein, which means less gluten. This makes baking a gluten free angel food cake ideal! Because cake flour is a finer texture than regular wheat flour, it is extremely important that you use a superfine gluten free flour for this recipe. I used my Gluten Free All-Purpose Flour Blend, which is made up of superfine white rice flour. You’ll find the link below. I use it in most of my baking recipes. However, I did not use my Gluten Free Cake Flour Blend recipe in this cake, as it contains leaveners such as baking soda and baking powder, which you do not want to add to an angel food cake. Angel food cake uses egg whites as the leavener, and a bit of cream of tartar to stabilize the egg whites and prevent them from drying out. It contains no fat, making this an ideal dessert for waistline watchers!
Note: Look for recipes like this in my upcoming cookbook, Carla’s Best 125 Gluten-Free Recipes.
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (or almond, lemon or orange)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice or pineapple juice (optional)
Preheat oven to 350°F with the rack on the bottom.
If using regular sugar, in a food processor, grind together sugar and salt until fine in texture, about 2 minutes. Allow dust to settle before removing lid. Remove half of the sugar and set aside.
Whisk together the remaining sugar and flour blend; set aside.
In the bowl of your mixer, beat egg whites, cream of tartar, extract, and juice, if using, on medium speed until a bit foamy (prior to soft peaks forming) about 30 - 45 seconds. Add half of the sugar that you set aside (not the flour/sugar mixture). Beat until it reaches soft peaks.*
Sift one-fourth of the flour/sugar mixture on top of the egg whites. Fold in gently, using a rubber spatula, about 4 - 6 folds as you turn the bowl. Repeat with remaining flour mixture 3 more times.
Scoop mixture into an ungreased tube pan or angel food cake pan. Alternatively, you may use a 10-inch springform pan, but it will not turn out high. Briefly run a rubber spatula through the batter to remove any large air pockets. Smooth out the top and rinse off the spatula. While spatula is still damp, run it across the top of the batter again for a final smoothing.
Bake on the bottom rack of oven for 40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the middle of the cake turns out clean, and it springs back when touched.
Remove cake from oven.
If using a tube pan, turn upside down on top of a wine bottle, or similar heat-proof bottle. Allow to cool completely, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. (Angel food cake pans have legs that hold them upside down.) Once you see the cake starting to separate from the sides of the pan and about to fall, remove it from the pan.
If using a springform pan, loosen cake from sides of the pan using a dull knife; immediately remove the ring. Loosen cake from bottom of the pan and transfer to a cooling rack, right side up to cool completely, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
Once cool, cut the cake with a serrated knife and serve with your choice of topping. Some ideas include fruit, fruit along with pureed fruit, gluten-free pie filling, whipped cream, custard, and mousse, to name a few. Cover leftovers tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to a week.
*To test for soft peaks, touch the egg whites with a spoon and withdraw. The egg whites should become pointy and curl at the end.