Healthy Angel Food Cake


Angel Food Cake has been on my Recipe Wishlist (or “Desserts to Healthify” list) for over two years now, before I even started this blog!  Angel Food Cake is often seen as a guilt-free treat because it is naturally fat free…  that means no egg yolks, no butter, no oil.  But fat free does not necessarily mean healthy, especially when the cake is filled with bleached AP flour and white sugar.

Angel Food Cake is kind of like a crazy baker’s science experiment because it doesn’t contain the typical ingredients of any regular yellow cake or chocolate cake…  that means no buttermilk, no (whole) eggs, no baking powder or baking soda.  The leavening agents in Angel Food Cake are egg whites and cream of tartar (which you need to whip the crap out of to make the cake bake properly), and the structure is so delicate that you need to cool the cake upside down, otherwise it will sink in on itself and you will not have a very happy afternoon (What?  How do I know that?  Oh, I don’t know…)

I waited two years to bake this cake, hoping that someone else would healthify the recipe before I did so I wouldn’t have to encounter trial after trial of guaranteed failures in my own kitchen.  Going years without an update on a healthy angel food cake, I finally overcame my fear of making this strangely unique recipe and baked it.  I made the cake gluten free with oat flour and some arrowroot starch, used a healthier sweetener alternative and added some almond flavor and homemade vanilla extract for a better-than-the-original taste.  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.  The next week I gave the cake one more try, this time adding xanthan gum and a little more almond flavor.  The cake was amazing — soft and moist, sweet and satisfying, and it didn’t crumble like sand between your fingers (gluten-free triumph right there).  You would never guess that a large slice has only 90 calories (opposed to 250 calories, like the original recipe!)

Healthy Angel Food Cake (sugar free, gluten free)

Yield: one 10 inch cake


  • 90g (3/4 cup) Oat Flour
  • 32g (1/4 cup) Arrowroot Starch (other starches may work)
  • 1/2 tsp Xanthan Gum
  • 1+1/2 cups Egg Whites (fresh, not cartoned)
  • 1+1/2 tsp Cream of Tartar
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract (I used homemade)
  • 1 tsp Almond Flavor
  • 288g (1+1/2 cups) Granulated Erythritol (or dry sweetener of choice)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a small bowl, sift together the oat flour, arrowroot starch and xanthan gum. Set aside.
  3. In a stand mixer bowl with whisk attachment, add the egg whites, cream of tartar, salt and extracts. Whisk on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form (~5 minutes)
  4. Reduce speed to low and slowly add the erythritol.
  5. Take bowl off the mixer and slowly and gently fold in the sifted dry ingredients, one scoop at a time. Be super careful here, making sure not to deflate the egg whites. Do not overmix.
  6. Scoop the batter into the cake pan and flatten the surface. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until surface is golden brown and springs back when tapped. Cool cake upside down (so cake doesn't deflate). Once cool, use an offset spatula to loosen the cake from the sides and center, flip the cake then slice and serve!


This recipe is: sugar free, low fat, gluten free!

I wanted to compare my recipe with a typical Angel Food Cake recipe, so I made nutrition labels for Alton Brown’s recipe and my recipe.  Alton Brown’s recipe is on the left,  the DWB recipe is on the right:
Healthy Dessert Blog  Healthy Dessert Blog
Can you believe the difference?  Everyone thinks an Angel Food Cake is healthy because it’s fat free, but that is clearly not the case. 42g of sugar in ONE slice?!  That’s gotta be a joke right?  My healthified version is clearly the winner here, with 160 less calories, zero grams sugar and healthy whole grain oat flour.  You can’t go wrong with my cake…  you can even have an extra slice (or two) now  😉

17 comments on “Healthy Angel Food Cake

  1. Hi Jessica,
    I have been looking for a perfect low sugar angel food recipe for quite a long time too. But being sugar free I think somehow make the cake “to wilt” after cooling. However I did tried one recipe that contains guar gum and protein powder, which turned out nicely. The cake did not sink, maybe those 2 ingredients had some doing while I baked?
    Anyway, here it is. 🙂

  2. Hi!

    Could I use stevia instead of Erythritol for this? If so, how much would you suggest?

    Thanks so much!

  3. I followed this recipe today! Let me first say that the cake was absolutely delicious and I will certainly be making it again. The texture and taste – both wonderful, and did not betray the healthy ingredients.

    Actually, in your recipe, you don’t mention when/where to incorporate the sugar (erithrytol). I realized this after already beating the egg whites, so I combined it with the dry ingredients before folding it all together, but I’m not sure if this was what you intended.

    I’d say that the taste was nearly identical to typical angel food cake – maybe a little more eggy but hard to avoid that. Anyway, it was a big hit with my guests, and they didn’t guess that it was a healthy version. I really thank you for this recipe!

    • dessertswithbenefits

      Hi Shannon, I’m so glad you got to try out the recipe! Sorry for any confusion, you add the erythritol to the egg whites after beating them (instructions #5)
      I’m not an expert on Angel Food Cake, so I apologize for any egginess, but I guess that can be covered up by topping the angel food cake with some 100% fruit jam, honey/maple syrup, etc 🙂

  4. I have baked this cake with Jessica and it is so good! All of her desserts are so scrumptious and it really is hard to believe that everything is so healthy. And yes, the rumors about her are true, she eats chocolate and cupcakes for breakfast. 🙂

  5. How many actual egg whites doe 1 1/2 cups translate to?

    • dessertswithbenefits

      It should be about a dozen large. I’ve made this a few times, once I needed 10 egg whites and another 13… just depends on the size of your eggs 🙂

  6. Totally will be making this cake again. Moist and does not taste gluten free.

  7. Hmmm… sounded rather good until i read the ingredients. I wouldn’t eat anything that has a name I can hardly pronounce 😀

    • dessertswithbenefits

      Florina- You haven’t heard of oat flour, egg whites and vanilla? 😉 If you want, you can use corn starch instead of arrowroot starch. And like the recipe states, you can use any dry sweetener to replace the erythritol. It might help to know that all of the ingredients in this recipe are 100% NATURAL. Might sound strange, like chia seed, quinoa and kale, but that does not mean they are not bad for you.

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  12. Thanks for sharing your recipe. I do however disagree that erythritol is “all natural.” It is highly processed and most times is made from genetically modified ingredients such as corn. GMO’s can still be called “all natural.” I do understand that Donna Gates of Body Ecology fame sells a non-GMO erythritol. Even so, to call is all-natural is a stretch because again, it’s highly processed.

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