Angel food cake is light, airy, and tastes like you’ve taken a bite out of a sweet cloud. Normally, it’s my go-to dessert when I need to satisfy my sweet tooth without weighing me down, but that doesn’t work on the paleo diet. While egg whites are totally paleo-approved, the other two major ingredients–flour and sugar–are definitely not allowed. That’s why we created this Paleo Angel Food Cake recipe. By making a few ingredient swaps, we’ve made a paleo friendly dessert that tastes almost exactly like the original!
I haven’t been this excited about a recipe in a long time. As I said, I’ve often turned to angel food cake as a sweet tooth suppressor, so I’ve been missing it! Desserts are an important part of any diet plan because they can prevent you from feeling suppressed. A sweet treat every now and again is a powerful way to stay happy, and therefore stay on your diet plan.
Bundt Pan versus Angel Food Cake Pan
Okay, let’s chat pans for a moment. You can use a regular bundt pan for this recipe, but we’d recommend investing in an angel food cake pan if you’re planning to make this recipe on the regular. These two types of pans are very similar to each other. They both have a tube in the middle that allows air to pass through the entire cake, but they’re subtly different in every other way. The angel food cake pans are typically two pieces, which makes it super easy to release the cake to let it cool. These pans are typically larger than bundt pans, too.
The major difference between the two pans–and the reason we suggest the angel food cake pan–is the color of the finished cake. A bundt pan will create a darker exterior than an angel food cake pan. That’s great when you’re making a pineapple upside down cake and want a caramelized look, but it’s not so great for angel food cake. You want the outsides to be light to create the airiest, fluffiest cake possible.
Why This Recipe Works
Now that we got the pans out of the way, let’s talk about why our Paleo Angel Food Cake recipe works. It’s all about creating an airy dough, which will bake up to create a cloud-like cake. It all starts with whipping those egg whites with cream of tartar, an acidic ingredient. You definitely want to start with room temperature egg whites to get the maximum foaminess, incorporating the most air possible into the batter.
Then, after whipping the eggs into stiff peaks, we gently fold in the sugar and flour. We’ll talk about the flour in just a second, but the gentle part is really important here. If you’re too rough with it (or, you bounce the pan around after pouring the batter), you’ll disturb those air bubbles. We worked so hard to get them, so we don’t want to disperse them.
When the cake bakes, those air bubbles create little pockets in the cake. You’ll notice them from the first bite, and they are what make this cake so crave-worthy. Give it a try and tell us we’re wrong!
The arrowroot flour (which might also be called arrowroot powder or arrowroot starch) is a starchy flour similar to tapioca or potato starch. It’s completely grain-free and it’s perfect for making light and fluffy baked goods. It also gives the dough a slightly chewy characteristic, which is why it’s so perfect for this Paleo Angel Food Cake recipe.
Yield: 12 Servings | Serving Size: 1 slice | Calories: 105 | Total Fat: 0 g | Saturated Fat: 0 g | Carbohydrates: 22g | Fiber: 0 g | Sugar: 12 g | Protein: 4 g | Cholesterol: 0 mg | Sodium: 51 mg | SmartPoints (Freestyle): 4
- 12 large egg whites, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 3 teaspoons almond extract
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 3/4 cup coconut sugar
- 1 cup arrowroot flour
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an angel food or bunt cake pan with nonstick spray and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, whip together the egg whites and cream of tartar on high speed until foamy. Add the almond extract, lemon juice, and lemon zest and mix on high until the egg whites form stiff peaks.
- Reduce the mixer speed to medium high and gradually add 1/2 cup of the sugar. Mix just until combined. Mix together the remaining sugar and flour in a separate bowl and sift. Reduce the mixer speed to medium and gradually add the flour. Once the flour is incorporated, turn off the mixture and very carefully pour the batter into the pan. Take care not to bump or jostle the pan too much.
- Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the cake is golden and it springs back when gently tapped on the top. Or, insert a toothpick and it will come out clean if done.
- Invert and cool upside down on a cooling rack for 1 hour or until completely cooled, before removing the pan.
- Top the cake with a dusting of confectioners sugar, fresh berries, and/or whipped coconut cream.