Does Angel Food Cake Have Peanuts? (Not usually, but . . .)

There’s hardly a celebration that doesn’t call for a cake, and angel food cakes, with their soft texture, are popular. But those with peanut allergies generally prefer home-baked cakes, so does angel food cake have peanuts?

I decided to check it out and learned that:

No. Most Angel food cakes do not have peanuts & most angel food cake recipes do not call for peanuts. Even if a recipe calls for peanuts, you don’t need them as they aren’t essential. Before eating a store-bought angel food cake, check the allergen warning as it could still be produced in a facility that uses peanuts.

However, there’s more to be cautious about.

After all, as I mentioned above, lots of products that don’t contain nuts (or gluten, dairy, etc) are produced in facilities that process those things. So people highly allergic still usually avoid them for that reason.

Also, we’ll explore if these cakes are safe for people with general nut allergies. 

As a bonus, I will also share a famous angel food cake recipe that’ll be safe for people with peanut allergies. 

Just keep reading to know more. 

Does store-bought angel food cake have nuts in it?

Generally speaking, angel food cake is NOT made with peanuts or nuts of any kind. On occasion, you may come across a premade cake or recipe that calls for almond extract, but it’s not necessary for the cake’s composition.

Now, if you have a peanut allergy, you may not know how almond extract might affect that, so let’s take a closer look.

Pure almond extract is made from something called “bitter almond oil”. That, in turn, gets mixed with ethyl alcohol. Ethyl alcohol, sometimes called Ethanol, is a chemical solvent used in everything from alcoholic beverages to a fuel additive for your car.

But it also gets used in most baking extracts, such as almond or vanilla.

Now, you notice I said “pure” above. Some almond oils are labeled “natural” and are instead made with cassia bark essence, which is basically Chinese cinnamon. Then we also have imitation almond extract which is made from artificial ingredients to simulate almond flavor. (source)

So in this case, “natural” or “imitation” almond extracts usually contain no almonds or nuts whatsoever and should be just fine to consume. But, of course, always read the label and check with your doctor first.

Angel food may not be everyone’s favorite; some may even consider it boring.

But it is a relatively safe cake to bake for anyone making it from scratch. And you can doctor it up in just about any way you wish to make it a tasty treat.

What are the ingredients in Angel food cake mix?

Most angel food cake mixes don’t have peanuts.

Here’s a list of ingredients in one of the most popular angel food cake mixes by Betty Crocker. Most cake mixes follow this general ingredient list:

  • Sugar
  • Wheat Flour Bleached
  • Egg White
  • Corn Starch
  • Baking Soda
  • Citric Acid
  • Enzyme Modified Soy Protein
  • Calcium Phosphate
  • Salt
  • Cellulose Gum
  • Artificial Flavor
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate

Most cake mix boxes will come with allergy information listed.

In Betty Crocker’s case, they also list the following allergen information: “Contains wheat, egg and soy; may contain milk ingredients.”

So this product should be completely acceptable for someone with a peanut allergy to make and consume. But, as I mentioned above, always check with your doctor to be sure.

Are store-bought cakes okay if you have a nut allergy?

Generally, no. While most store-bought cakes may not have any nuts in the ingredients list, most stores don’t have a dedicated nut-free production area. That means anything they make is subject to cross-contamination.

Cross-contamination simply means that ingredients or food residue can easily be transferred from one product to another even if that product isn’t on the ingredients list.

For those with severe allergies of any kind, cross-contamination is always a huge risk with store-bought foods.

Most places don’t have separate work stations for all of the types of baked goods they make. And we all are aware that there are plenty of baked goods that do have nuts in them.

So, putting the two together, it’s probably safe to say that nut-free items are made on the same surface as those made with nuts.

Some of the ingredients may also come into contact with nuts, and some nuts may even be mixed in without anyone even realizing it.

Now, if the person the cake is for only has a minor nut allergy, maybe one where they have to actually eat the nut to have a reaction, a store-bought cake may be mostly safe.

However, those with severe (contact) allergies should stay away from store-bought baked goods.

Can you have nutmeg if you have a nut allergy?

Yes. Nutmeg spice (ground or whole) is just fine for those with a nut allergy. Though there is “nut” in the name, nutmeg is actually a seed, not a nut.

Now, of course, if you have a seed allergy, you should stay away from it.

With nut allergies, you will sometimes need to consider other ingredients that may trigger a reaction, even if they aren’t an actual “nut.” Your body may similarly react to certain ingredients in the same way it would to nuts.

You may need to avoid some things that may trigger a reaction, especially if you have a severe allergy.

Some of these may not even be food items.

You will also need to ask about food preparations and ingredients in specific ethnic cuisines. African and Asian dishes – like Vietnamese, as described in a recent article – often contain some form of nuts.

Some things to avoid or be wary of include:

  • Fried food – a lot of restaurant chains use peanut oil for deep frying.
  • Curries – creamy curry, in particular, may use nuts to as part of the ingredients or the oil it is cooked in.
  • Alcohol – avoid amaretto, CharbayNostalgie, Frangelico, Kahana Royale, Nocello, and gin.
  • Soups, sauces, and dressings – particularly those with an Asian flavor or pesto.
  • Honey – some nuts are pollinated by bees (not peanuts, walnuts, or pecans).
  • Some vitamins, cosmetics, soaps, bird feed, bean bags, and pet food.

How to make angel food cake from scratch without nuts?

If you want a good angel food cake recipe without peanuts, why not go back to one of America’s best recipes from Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt herself.

The original recipe does call for almond extract, but you can simply substitute it with vanilla extract, or use “natural” or “imitation” almond extract as I mentioned above.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cake flour – sifted before measuring
  • 1 ¼ cups egg whites (10 or 12)
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cream of tartar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Baking Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Sift flour at least twice.
  3. Beat egg whites with hand beater (or electric mixer) until foamy
  4. Add cream of tartar and 1 cup of sugar carefully.
  5. Continue beating until the whites stand up in peaks.
  6. Add vanilla extract.
  7. Sift ½ cup sugar with salt and flour and very carefully fold in egg whites.
  8. Transfer to angel cake pan (Bundt pan) and bake for 30 to 35 minutes.

So did you get the answer to your query – Does Angel Food Cake have Peanuts?

I hope I covered just about everything you need to know about angel food cake having peanuts and also about nut allergies and store-bought baked goods.

It’s best to avoid store-bought goods if someone has a severe allergy.

You don’t want to risk any cross-contamination that may have happened in the kitchen. Instead, opt for something homemade, so you know exactly how it was handled and what went into it.

Jeff Campbell

Jeff was a leader for Whole Foods Market for over 2 decades and is now a recovering foodie. When he's not spending time in the kitchen, he can usually be found with his wife & 3 daughters, he can usually be found practicing martial arts, making music, or blogging on his other sites. Click to learn more about me

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