Today I saw a post on Epicurious about daffodil cake and I had to smile because I’ve been making this cake for decades. I try to eat less sugar, but homemade dessert is my joy and sometimes it is about using the ingredients you have and the people who will enjoy it. I had egg whites in the freezer and wanted to use them up. Defrost and I have everything else in the fridge or pantry: go daffodil cake. Looks like an angel food cake on the surface but it is an old-fashioned confection – a daffodil cake. The insides have some white and some yellow cake. I found the recipe in my old 1970s Betty Crocker, a great standard cookbook I would never want to be without. I was making it for many years before my diagnosis with celiac so once I got comfy baking gf I figured I could make it gf and it is perhaps even better than it was with gluten-based flour.
I made it for my mom who was a big fan of said cake. She was not sure I was making it gf because it was so tasty…. She has been gone a bit over two years and I so miss her. Yes, it is totally gf and is totally delicious.
So, all you gluten-free disbelievers, this cake will change your mind. It is tender, moist and delicately flavored, not to mention very pretty and perfect in spring for Easter. It is after all, a daffodil cake and spring is the only time in the year they bloom. Make some now folks! It also makes a wonderful birthday or party cake; you could put a thin vanilla powdered sugar glaze on top to make it fancy for such an occasion.
Notes: I save egg whites; in a Tupperware container in the freezer, until I have a cup of them. Then I am ready to put this beauty together. Or just use enough eggs to make a cup of whites. If you don’t have guar gum you can use xanthan gum.
A few words on separating eggs: this can be tricky and I have learned from bad experiences not to separate directly into the measuring cup full of whites; do it into a small bowl and dump. You can NOT get ANY egg yolk in the whites or they won’t beat properly. Best to set any egg that breaks or becomes contaminated with even a speck of yolk aside and make an omelet for supper! I crack each egg on the edge of my counter, split its shell in half and dump it over one cupped hand. The white flows through into the bowl underneath and I drop the yolk into the mixing bowl. Be gentle so the yolk does not break Don’t use old tired eggs or the yolks are more likely to break; fresh is best but they need to come to room temperature before cracking so the whites beat to a high volume. FYI: When baking gf all ingredients should be room temperature unless the recipe tells you otherwise.
Put the yolks in the medium mixing bowl and add those six whites in with the other cup of whites: 1 ½ cup total egg whites. I know, a crazy lot of eggs in this but remember, no fat what-so-ever! Angel food cake is a good choice for your diabetic friends, or so they say. I just think those folks love a good angel food cake. This cake is even better, a masterpiece of delicate melt in your mouth cakey delight.
Angie’s GF Daffodil Cake
1 cup egg whites (room temp)
6 whole large eggs (room temp) separated
1 ¼ cup powdered sugar
1 cup brown rice flour blend (recipe below) aka King Arthur’s Basic GF Blend
½ tsp guar gum
1 ½ tsp. cream of tarter
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
½ tsp. almond extract
1 cup granulated sugar
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Put baking rack on second slot from the bottom. You need a ten inch tube pan with removable bottom, do not spray.
Mix and sift the powdered sugar, flour, guar gum in a bowl at least once or twice.
Pour the egg whites (should add up to 1 ½ cups) into a stand mixer bowl, add cream of tarter and salt. Start at medium speed. Beat until foamy, increase speed until high, wait for soft peaks and add cup of granulated sugar a tbsp or two at a time as it beats. No bowl scraping or stopping. Beat at highest speed until you have stiff peaks. Beat briefly after adding the two flavoring extracts. Set aside.
In small bowl beat the 6 egg yolks about 4 minutes until thick and lemon yellow colored.
Fold the flour mixture into the egg whites, I do about a quarter cup at a time sprinkled all over the top and I fold it with a spatula or spoonula. Be gentle and smooth; don’t worry if it isn’t perfectly smoothly mixed. Put about half of the mixture into a separate large mixing bowl. Add the beaten egg yolks; gently fold until it is pretty well blended.
Put big glops of the plain mixture into the baking tube pan; I like 3 big ones. Put three big glops of the yellow blended mix between them. Top with more glops of the mixes, using it all up. Gently stir through the pan with your spoonula to swirl it a bit and smooth the top with the spoonula.
Put into preheated oven, bake 35 minutes, until when you press gently on the top it springs back.
Remove from oven, turn it over and hang on an empty wine bottle neck or a big funnel. Let cool totally in this upside down state before cutting it out of the pan. I use a sharp serrated bread knife, cut around the outside edge and the center tube. Lift it out and then slice under the cake all around. Place a cake plate over the top and gently flip it.
I store it in a plastic cake saver or just in the microwave away from breezes and hungry folks. You could wrap it in plastic wrap too. It is best eaten within 3 days. It generally doesn’t last that long around here.
Brown Rice Flour Mix base mix
(This mix is the same as King Arthur’s basic gf blend)
2 c brown rice flour
2/3 c potato starch
1/3 c tapioca flour
This recipe is my variation on the angel food cake you will find in Annalise Roberts’ Gluten-Free Baking Classics cookbook. This post was first published in April 2016.