Sweet and sour come together in a perfect pairing with this Gluten Free Lemon Poppy Seed Angel Food Cake. Light and fluffy angel food cake is mixed with the tart flavor of lemon, nutty poppy seeds, and drizzled with a sweet lemon-sugar icing that takes this twist on the classic angel food cake over the top. You’ll never even know it’s gluten free!
If you’ve never made angel food cake from scratch before, let me be the first to assure you: It’s surprisingly easy to do. I’ve tried to simplify this recipe as much as possible, but the best advice I can give you about this one is to just jump in there and do it!
Especially if you’re starting with this one. Even if you’re a seasoned angel food cake veteran, you’re going to love this version. It’s sweet, it’s sour (in a really good way), and it’s so light and moist that you might even forget the best part: It’s gluten free!
Oh, man, this cake. Let me tell you, it’s just noms. NOMS! I say. So good, that I even had it for breakfast. Ok, so that’s not all that uncommon for me, but it’s still a really good cake.
The icing on this one kind of hardens once it cools down, so you get this amazingly flakey, sugary-sweet topping that just goes with a light cake like this one perfectly. And lemons. Don’t even get me started on the lemons. Let’s just say that I’m a big fan of any baked goods with lemons in it, and this is no exception.
I actually made this cake because I was looking for something lower in calories, while still being a great treat for the upcoming holidays. I know what you’re thinking, “But calories don’t exist on the holidays!“. And you’d be right. There is no such thing as a calorie on a holiday. It’s scientifically proven. The jury is still out on the day after a holiday, too, aka “National Leftovers Day”.
Unfortunately, calories do exist all of the other days leading up to the holidays, when I’ll be working like a mad-lady in my test kitchen getting recipes ready for the upcoming festivities. It’s kind of like a three-week-long Thanksgiving at my place. There will be cakes, pies, and crescent rolls.
And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
But tonight, I just needed something a bit lighter in my life. And Gluten Free Lemon Poppy Seed Angel Food Cake works perfectly.
I made mine in a bundt pan. You don’t have to, I just think it looks more decorative if you’re planning on making this for a holiday get together, and it stays a little more true to a traditional angel food cake.
Besides, everyone loves a good bundt, right? I think so.
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- 12 large egg whites room temperature
- 3/4 cup gluten free all-purpose flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tbsp poppy seeds
- 3 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp cream of tartar
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tsp lemon zest
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9-inch tube pan and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl add egg whites and cream of tartar. Using an electric egg beater, beat on medium-high speed until egg whites are frothy.
- While beating, reduce speed to just medium and add 1/2 cup sugar slowly. Continue to beat until eggs form soft peaks.
- Still beating on medium speed, add poppy seeds, vanilla extract, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Beat for an additional minute.
- In a separate bowl, mix together flour and 1/2 cup sugar.
- Add half of flour mixture to a sifter and slowly sift into egg mixture, folding ingredients together slowly with a spoon.
- When one half is done, sift in the remaining flour and sugar, still folding ingredients together slowly.
- Pour batter into tube pan. Use a butter knife to cut into batter all the way around to release any air pockets.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown and firm.
- Remove from oven and turn over bundt pan immediately to release cake.
- Allow to cool before adding glaze.
- Whisk together sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest until a thick paste forms. Drizzle on cake once cake is cooled.
I used one large lemon, and that covered the zest and juice for both the cake and the glaze.
I used Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Flour for this one, but you can use your favorite brand of gluten free all purpose flour.