A week or so ago, I shared an updated recipe for Biscuit-Style Strawberry Shortcake. But when I was growing up, we always made Strawberry Shortcake with Angel Food Cake. This might surprise you, but the standard, easy angel food cake recipe is naturally dairy-free. It uses loads of egg whites for all moisture, so no milk, sour cream, butter, or heavy cream is required! (If you confuse eggs with dairy, you’re not alone. See this post: Are Eggs Dairy?)
As a result, angel food cake is virtually fat free, and it’s incredibly versatile. It’s perfect for all types of gatherings, including the 4th of July, birthdays, picnics, and barbecues. So today giving this post a big update with a few new ideas. (I originally posted it back in 2013.)
Easy Angel Food Cake with Dairy-Free Custard, Blueberry Sauce or Vanilla Glaze
I have to admit, I was terrified the first time I entertained the idea of baking angel food cake in my own kitchen. So many egg whites, whipping to stiff peaks – was it a soufflé disaster waiting to happen? Fortunately, dairy-free angel food cake is not only easy to bake, but it’s pretty much foolproof – trust me. This is the recipe that I’ve been working from for years, and I’ve never had a bad turnout. Below are the different dairy-free topping recipes that we’ve enjoyed on this dairy-free angel food cake.
Creamy Dairy-Free Custard
This is a great way to use up some of the leftover egg yolks, and it works well as a filling or topping for the cake. In the top of a double broiler, whisk together 1/3 cup sugar, 1/4 cup non-GMO cornstarch, 2 egg yolks, and 1 cup original or vanilla dairy-free milk beverage. Cook over simmering water for 8 to 10 minutes or until thickened, whisking constantly. Remove the mixture from the heat, and whisk in 1 tablespoon dairy-free buttery spread and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Pour the custard into a bowl, and place plastic wrap directly on top of the custard to prevent a skin from forming. Chill for at least 2 hours before serving.
Quick Dairy-Free Vanilla Icing or Glaze
If you’re short on time, this speedy icing is a godsend. Melt 1 tablespoon dairy-free buttery spread in a medium bowl. Whisk in 1 tablespoon non-GMO corn syrup (can substitute agave nectar), 1 tablespoon original or vanilla dairy-free milk beverage, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract, and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Sift in 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar and whisk until smooth. Whisk in more milk beverage, if needed to reach your desired consistency. Pour the icing over the cake.
I haven’t tried it yet, but adding vanilla bean to both this icing and the cake would probably be delicious.
More Dairy-Free Toppings
I also like the Fruit Whip, Dulce de Coco, and Chocolate Ganache recipes in Go Dairy Free: The Ultimate Guide and Cookbook for topping this dairy-free angel food cake. Plus these recipes:
- Chunky Maple Blueberry Sauce – I gave this topping it’s own recipe page!
- Easy Dairy-Free Whipped Cream with Fresh Fruit – You can serve the cake with a bowl of fresh berries for people to scoop up and a bowl of dairy-free whipped cream (can be made ahead).
- Chocolate Whipped Cream – Step things up a notch with my beloved chocolate whip recipe.
- Caramel Sauce – This vegan recipe is a great way to add a touch of sweet richness.
Special Diet Notes: Easy Angel Food Cake
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free /non-dairy, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, and vegetarian.
For gluten-free angel food cake, you can try using your favorite gluten-free flour baking blend in place of the all-purpose. Or you can use this Gluten-Free Angel Food Cake, which is also refined sugar-free.
- 1½ cups egg whites (from about 12 medium eggs - less eggs if using large or extra-large)*
- 1¼ cups powdered sugar (organic if possible)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1½ teaspoons cream of tartar
- 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon almond extract (feel free to omit for nut-free)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- Dairy-free Toppings (see post above for recipes & ideas)
- Place the egg whites in a mixing bowl, and let them stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- Preheat your oven to 350ºF.
- Sift the powdered sugar and flour together three times into a large bowl. The sifting is very important for getting that light texture. If you don’t have a flour sifter, a fine mesh strainer works just as well (flour sifters always seem to break on me, so I stick to the strainer!).
- Add the cream of tartar, extracts, and salt to the egg whites, and beat the mixture on high speed. Gradually add the granulated sugar, beating until the sugar is dissolved and stiff peaks form.
- Gradually fold in the flour and powdered sugar mixture (about ¼ cup at a time).
- Spoon the batter into an ungreased 10-inch tube pan, and gently cut through batter with a knife to remove air pockets.
- Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until the cake springs back when lightly touched.
- Immediately invert pan, but cool completely before removing cake from pan.
- Slice and serve topped with your dairy-free toppings of choice.