It’s frustrating that most cakes available are made with either butter or eggs, especially when you’re on a vegan diet. That is why when angel food cake, a shortened version of a cake, was invented, most vegans became curious whether it can finally be their cake buddy.
Yet, another heartbreak. Angel food cake is not traditionally vegan. This is because even though it does not use butter in its preparation, it uses egg whites. Eggs are obviously a non-vegan item since they come from animals, such as chickens.
Read on to learn more about angel food cake and some vegan alternatives that you can try to satisfy your sweet tooth.
What Is Angel Food Cake?
Well, angel food cake is a shortened version of traditional cakes. The major difference is that angel food cake does not use any butter. It is made by combining flour, sugar, and egg whites. Basically, it is a sponge cake.
Aside from the mentioned ingredients, angel food cake also uses a whipping agent such as sodium lauryl sulfate or cream of tartar as additional ingredients. The egg whites help to form the airy and foamy texture of the cake.
The cake has a pristine white interior with a crumbly and chewy light brown exterior. It is also served in a smaller size than a regular cake and is mostly enjoyed with berries on top.
Nutritional Contents Of Angel Food Cake
The table below presents the nutritional contents of angel food cake. The labels can vary depending on how the cake is presented, the information is just a general guide for you. The recommended serving weight per serving is 59 g.
|Contents||Amount per serving|
|Total Carbs||38 g|
|Vitamin A||0 mcg|
|Vitamin D||0 mcg|
Why Is Egg White Included In Angel Food Cake?
Eggs are the only ingredient you have to watch out for in preparing angel food cake. Eggs are very popular in baking since they are affordable and useful in many ways. Eggs can level up food with their functions and properties.
In baking, eggs really do wonders. They function in different ways and can add more depth to the finished product. Some of its most useful functions are:
- Eggs add structure to the finished product.
- Eggs are a perfect leavening agent. It adds texture and fluffiness, especially to cakes like Angel Food Cake.
- Eggs make baked products more delicate.
- Egg proteins help in retaining food moisture.
- Eggs bring a shiny finish.
- Eggs are a good emulsifying agent. It makes it much easier to combine ingredients with different and opposite properties.
- Eggs contribute rich and fresh flavor.
- Eggs give bright color to foods.
- Eggs are very nutritious.
- Lastly, eggs are a good thickening agent.
These are just a few of what eggs can contribute to your baking. Let us discuss thoroughly some of its notable functions.
One of the best properties of eggs is their emulsifying abilities. It contains lecithin which can hold water on one side and fat molecules on the other side. This makes combining ingredients, especially those with different chemical and physical properties, much easier and better.
Eggs are also a good stabilizer and thickening agent.
Binding Of Ingredients
Eggs are rich in water and protein. This enables the eggs to be a perfect binder of ingredients. When cooking, the heat coagulates the protein and enables it to bind other elements on the surface.
Aeration Of Cake
Egg whites are beaten to produce a meringue mixture. This meringue will provide volume to the finished product because of the air compacted in the beating process. This is a crucial process to achieve a perfect sponge texture to the cake, a characteristic very popular among angel food cakes.
Are There Vegan Alternatives To Egg Whites In Baking?
While eggs definitely do wonders, there are still some vegan options that can be used as alternatives to them. Here are three vegan alternatives that you can use in baking your angel food cake.
This can be said to be one of the best vegan alternatives to eggs. It is basically the liquid coming off when legumes are cooked. Aquafaba is rich in nutrients such as protein, sugars, and fiber. The protein and soluble fiber in aquafaba allow it to form a meringue texture just like eggs.
It can also be very affordable since it comes free in a can of chickpeas.
Flax seeds can also be a very good alternative option to eggs as a binder. Unlike eggs and aquafaba, it can never form a meringue texture. However, it can be a good replacement to bind ingredients when baking.
To create the best result, it is recommended to ground the flax seeds first. Then, combine it with water and it will form a liquid that can easily bind ingredients just like what eggs do.
Just like flax seeds, chia seeds are best used when grounded. You will just be needing more water to create the viscous liquid from the seeds. When you have already extracted it, you can start whisking it to form the frothy texture you need for baking.
Are The Whipping Agents Used In Angel Food Cake Vegan?
As mentioned above, the preparation of angel food cake also involves a whipping agent that can either be a cream of tartar or sodium lauryl sulfate. And you might have wondered, are these also vegan?
Well, both are vegan. Cream of tartar is a plant-based ingredient that can naturally be obtained through tartaric acid. Tartaric acid can be derived from different plants such as grapes, tamarinds, bananas, and citrus fruits. So, it is indeed 100% vegan.
Sodium lauryl sulfate, on the other hand, is also a plant-based ingredient that is obtained from dodecyl alcohol. This can be derived from palm kernel or coconut oil. It is popular among household cleaning detergents such as shampoos, soaps, and toothpaste. So, it is also 100% guaranteed to be vegan-friendly.
Are There Commercially Available Vegan Cakes?
For vegan cake lovers devastated about angel food cake being off-limits, there’s no need to worry because there are still vegan cakes out there. And for some, they are readily available in stores everywhere. Here are some of the commercially available vegan cakes:
If you’re a fan of moist cakes, Just Desserts is definitely for you. It is served in different serving sizes for every occasion. It can be bought from Kroger, Albertsons, Costco, Target, Whole Foods, etc.
Rubicon is famous for its 4-inch sized cakes which can definitely arrive on any occasion you need it. Aside from this, they are also popular with their vegan chocolate cupcakes with vanilla cream and strawberries on top.
Whole Foods Market
A trip to Whole Foods Market can be exciting especially in their baking section. There you can find lots of vegan cake options which best suit your taste. The availability of these cakes also depends on your local store of course, but if you’re lucky enough, you can find some good carrot cakes on one of its shelves.
You can also have your cakes in single slices if you want to just try it through their grab-and-go section.
Vegan Tiramisu Market is a good place to find individually packaged single-serving slices of a cake. It is a perfect companion when eating alone or a gift to your family and friends, plus it’s vegan. Moreover, the store offers different flavors such as chocolate, banana, carrot, orange, and—you guessed it right, tiramisu.
Want some bite-size cakes? Well, Better Bites Bakery can definitely be your option. Their cakes also freeze well so you don’t have to worry about instantly pulling some cake in your freezer again. They are known for their rich and creamy chocolate-flavored cakes.
Is Angel Food Cake Gluten-Free?
Most versions of angel food cake are not really gluten-free because of the wheat present in cake flour. If you’re on a gluten-free diet, it is recommended to modify the ingredients used in the preparation to make it suitable for you.
Angel Food Cake Is Not Vegan
Now that you learned that angel food cake is not vegan, you might have wondered if you can create a vegan version of yours. Well, you rule the kitchen, so why not?
You can definitely use the alternatives to egg whites that we’ve given you earlier and combine them with the traditional angel food cake. Or, you can just try to search the Internet for some vegan angel food cake recipes.
Another option is to look up commercially available vegan cakes in your local stores. There are lots to choose from and they are definitely healthy and 100% vegan friendly.
So, the next time you crave some sweet slice of a cake, you definitely know what to do.