Angel food cake is a sponge cake that originated in the United States around the turn of the twentieth century. Due to its light, fluffy texture, it was dubbed “food of the angels.” Angel food cake uses a lot of egg whites — this recipe required 12 — whipped continuously until they stiffen. Instead of traditional flour, I used a combination of arrowroot and coconut flours. Honey provides the sweetness in this light, spongy, heavenly cake. — Lea Hendry Valle, Sweet Paleo
- 12 large egg whites (about 1½ cups)
- 1 Cup arrowroot flour
- ¼ Cup coconut flour
- 1 Teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ Teaspoon finely ground sea salt
- 1½ Tablespoon cream of tartar
- ½ Cup honey
- 2 Tablespoons pure vanilla extract
- ½ Teaspoon almond extract (optional)
Separate the egg whites into a large nonreactive metal or glass mixing bowl and let rest until they come to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Have ready an ungreased 10-inch-diameter, 4-inch-deep tube pan with a removable bottom.
Sift the flours together with the baking soda and salt into a medium mixing bowl; set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer or using a hand mixer, beat together the egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form.
Slowly add the honey, then the vanilla and almond extract, if using, beating until stiff peaks form. Do not overbeat.
Transfer the meringue to a very large, wide bowl.
Sift the flour mixture over the meringue, adding about a fourth at a time and gently folding it in while making sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl, until all the flour mixture is moistened. Do not overmix.
Spoon the mixture into the pan and smooth the top. Remove any air pockets by gently cutting through the center of the batter with a thin metal spatula or knife.
Bake until a wooden skewer inserted into the center comes out dry and the cake springs back when touched, 30 to 35 minutes.
Turn the cake upside down and cool for at least an hour in the pan. Most tube pans have legs to keep the top of the cake off the counter. If yours does not, invert onto a bottle inserted into the tube.
When cool, run your metal spatula or a knife around the sides to loosen. Remove the outer part of the pan. Run your spatula under the cake to loosen it from the bottom and transfer to a cake plate.