Healthy Angel Food Cake
One bite of this Healthy Angel Food Cake and you’ll be convinced you’re eating a light, fluffy, and sweet, dessert-like cloud. It’s perfectly sweet, perfectly moist, and perfectly flavored with vanilla beans. You’d never ever guess that this recipe is totally guilt free, sugar free, fat free, low carb, gluten free, and dairy free too!
Angel Food Cake has been on my Recipe Wishlist (or, my “Desserts to Healthify” list) since I started blogging. And that was in 2011…
*makes shocked face*
Why did I wait so long to make this cake? Because Angel Food Cake is kind of like a crazy baker’s science experiment. It doesn’t contain the typical ingredients of typical cakes… no baking powder, no baking soda, no (whole) eggs…
The only “leavening agents” in Angel Food Cake consist of egg whites and cream of tartar. You need to whip the crap out of the two to make a super voluminous, egg white cloud. The structure of this cake is so delicate that you need to cool the cake upside down, otherwise it will sink in on itself and you will not be a very happy baker.
What? How do I know that? Oh, I don’t know… -_-
Angel Food Cake is often seen as a guilt-free treat because it’s naturally fat free… that’s right. This cake contains no egg yolks, no butter, and no oil. But fat free does not necessarily mean healthy. Especially when the cake is filled with bleached all purpose flour and a ton of high-calorie, high-glycemic white sugar.
Because the method of making this cake is pretty advanced, and because the few ingredients the recipe does call for would be difficult to replace with healthier ingredients, I waited a LONG time to make this Healthy Angel Food Cake.
I was honestly hoping that someone else would healthify the cake before I did so I wouldn’t have to encounter trial after trial of most likely guaranteed failures in my own kitchen. But, going years without an update on a Healthy Angel Food Cake, I finally overcame my fear of making this strangely unique recipe and tried it out… and it took four trials to perfect.
I found a recipe online and swapped the flour with a mixture of gluten-free oat flour and arrowroot starch, swapped the sugar with all-natural erythritol, and added some almond extract for a better-than-the-original flavor. If I overlooked the sad, sunken appearance and the absurdly crumbly texture, the cake was actually pretty good! It was perfectly sweet and had a great flavor, but obviously needed work.
I made the cake a couple more times adjusting the ratio of oat flour, starch, and erythritol. I also tried adding xanthan gum to try and fix the dry and crumbly texture. Nothing worked.
Because oat flour tends to absorb a lot of liquid, xanthan gum tends to thicken too much, and too much erythritol (or sugar) can dry out baked goods, I updated the recipe completely. I swapped the oat flour with sweet white sorghum flour, omitted the xanthan gum, used less erythritol and compensated for the missing sweetness with the addition of stevia extract. IT WORKED. IT WORKED GUYS!!
This Healthy Angel Food Cake is amazing — soft and moist, sweet and satisfying, and it didn’t crumble like sand between your fingers (a gluten free triumph right there). You would never guess that a HUGE slice has 95 calories. Yes, only 95 calories (opposed to 250 calories in typical Angel Food Cake)!
Healthy Angel Food Cake
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a small bowl, add the starch, sorghum flour, and salt.
- In a stand mixer bowl with whisk attachment, add the egg whites and cream of tartar. Whisk on high speed for 5 minutes -- it will increase in volume and look like fluffy clouds.
- Reduce speed to low and slowly add in the vanilla sugar. Once that's added, add the vanilla extract, stevia extract, and almond extract. Beat for a total of 3 minutes. Mixture should be stiff and slightly shiny.
- Take bowl off the mixer and sift in the dry ingredients. Fold together, being careful not to deflate the egg whites. Deflating some of it is inevitable, but just try to be as gentle as you can and fold as little as possible... you don't want to overmix this.
- Scoop the mixture into an UNGREASED angel food cake pan (I used a 9" nonstick angel food cake pan) and spread out the surface. Bake for ~40 minutes, or until surface is rounded, golden brown, and springs back when tapped. Let the cake cool upside down (so that it doesn’t deflate). Once completely cooled, use an offset spatula to loosen the cake from the pan. Slice and serve immediately.
A ⅛th slice of this cake has just 95 calories, 17g carbs, and 0g sugar! As a reference, a ⅛th slice of typical Angel Food Cake has 250 calories, 56g carbs, and 42g sugar.
Can you believe that difference?? Everyone thinks Angel Food Cake is healthy because it’s virtually fat free, but that is clearly not the case. Typical Angel Food Cake has around 42g of sugar in ONE slice. That’s gotta be a joke right? That’s nearly ¼ cup of sugar in a single serving! But not my Healthy Angel Food Cake, which is clearly the winner here. With 155 fewer calories, zero grams of sugar, and whole grain sorghum flour, you can’t go wrong with my cake. You can even have an extra slice (or two) now 😉
With love and good eats,