Some folks liken it to cotton candy. Others to meringue or angel food cake. Part bread, part sweet treat, cloud bread has, well, soared in popularity over the last several weeks, hijacking social media feeds and giving homebound amateur cooks some serious whisklash (yeah, we’re coining that term) in the process.
To get the inside scoop on just what exactly this trendy recipe (which can also be made with a keto-friendly twist) is all about and the tools you’ll need to whip up your own batch, we checked in with Rachel Samson of Stick a Fork in Me and Valentina Mussi of Sweet Portfolio for their best cloud bread tips and tricks. (Hint: When it comes to fun add-ins, the, ahem, sky’s the limit.)
What is cloud bread?
Cloud bread, according to Samson, has actually been around in different forms for years. “I don’t know if it can technically be classified as bread, as its only ingredients are egg whites, corn starch and sugar,” she says. “I’ve seen variations made with Greek yogurt, cream cheese and even savory ‘cloud eggs.’ I would consider cloud bread something like a lighter form of angel food cake.”
Mussi agrees with the angel food cake description, noting that the fluffy concoction slightly resembles a round loaf of bread.
“I believe the appealing part of cloud bread has to do with its jiggly, fluffy texture,” she says. “When breaking it apart, it resembles a cloud. Additionally, you only need four basic ingredients to make it, making it the perfect quarantine treat.”
How to make cloud bread
“These trends, bred during these times, are fun because they are easy-to-make recipes with ingredients most people have on hand,” Samson says. “Because they are made of simple ingredients, creators have been able to give them their own twist and share them to our audiences.”
Samson gave her cloud bread an uber colorful twist.
“I can never resist rainbow food, so I knew that had to be my first try,” she says. “I used separate little bowls, which actually made it super easy to mix up a little cloud of each color.”
- 3 egg whites
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- Food coloring and toppings, optional
After preheating your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, Samson says to separate your egg whites, beating them until they just start to foam. “Add in flavoring, sugar and cornstarch, slowly, and beat until firm peaks appear,” she says. “At this point, I separated and gently folded food coloring in two separate bowls to form a rainbow. Using a spoon or spatula, dollop your mixture onto a baking sheet covered with parchment. Form into a cloud and bake for 20 minutes. Take out, tear and enjoy!”
Note: Samson says she found her bread deflated quickly after baking, which likely depends on whipping time, humidity and altitude. “So you need the perfect storm to get it right,” she says.
Mussi says her favorite cloud bread version so far is an orange one made with orange extract instead of vanilla extract. “I added sprinkles and dyed it orange using food coloring for an extra fun touch,” she says.
Pure Orange Extract ($8.50; amazon.com)
Watkins Assorted Food Coloring ($6.99; amazon.com)
Make your cloud bread unique (and so much fun!) by adding food coloring to the mixture. This four-pack comes with red, yellow, green and blue dyes made with no artificial colors.
Everything Bagel Seasoning Blend ($14.24; amazon.com)
Try making your cloud bread savory, Mussi recommends, by skipping the sugar and adding a bagel seasoning. This top seller contains sea salt, dried minced garlic and onion flakes.
If you want to change things up, Mussi adds, play around with your ingredients. “You can use almond essence and add sliced almonds on top, add a little bit of cocoa powder to make a chocolate version and perhaps drizzle with chocolate syrup when taken out of the oven,” she says.
Oxo Good Grips 3-in-1 Egg White Separator ($5.99; bedbathandbeyond.com)
Key to perfecting your cloud bread? Making sure there is no yolk in the whites, Mussi says. This handy egg separator takes the mess out of the chore and features a raised edge to nestle onto your bowl.
Reynolds Kitchens Nonstick Baking Parchment Paper Sheets ($3.06, originally $5.89; amazon.com)
There’s good reason these precut parchment paper sheets are so popular for baking. Cut to standard cookie sheet size, they’ll keep your cloud bread from sticking.
As far as cloud bread-making tips, Mussi offers the following:
- Make sure your oven is properly preheated; that way, your cloud bread will puff up.
- Use room-temperature eggs.
- Make sure to separate the egg whites properly; if any yolk is left, your cloud bread will not be as fluffy.
- Bake over parchment paper, not directly on a baking tray.
- Break apart almost immediately after taking it out of the oven; if you let it sit, it will deflate.
Best cloud bread keto recipe
Keto-friendly cloud bread is also having a moment. Debuting with the Atkins diet craze back in the ‘70s, this low-carb, gluten-free version skips the sugar and cornstarch and typically features eggs, baking powder, full-fat cream cheese and salt.
The tried-and-true original Atkins cloud bread recipe calls for:
- 3 eggs
- 3 tablespoons cream cheese
- 1 teaspoon stevia
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
To make it, preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit and carefully separate the eggs. In one bowl, mix the yolks, cream cheese and stevia. In the other bowl, beat the cream of tartar into the whites on high until they form nice peaks. Fold the yolk mixture into the egg whites until mixed and scoop the mixture into 10 rounds on a greased baking sheet. Bake 30 minutes until golden brown and cool for a breadlike consistency.
Pyure Organic Stevia Sweetener Blend ($6.98; amazon.com)
An Amazon bestseller with rave reviews, this organic 2:1 sugar replacement contains zero net carbs and zero calories, plus it’s sugar-free, making it a go-to for keto fans.
Making cloud bread is easy, but you do need a few kitchen tools to get you started. Here are some bestsellers to add to your repertoire if they’re not already in your cabinets and drawers.
Ouddy Stainless Steel Whisks, 3-Pack ($9.99, originally $11.99; amazon.com)
Feeling strong? Ready to work those arm muscles? If you choose to hand-whisk your egg whites, these durable stainless steel whisks will help carry some of the heavy lifting. The set includes an 8-inch, 10-inch and 12-inch whisk, all dishwasher-safe.
Mosaic Electric Hand Mixer ($23.94; amazon.com)
This hand mixer comes with three speed controls (low, medium and high), plus a turbo boost function to really get those egg white peaks to form. It also includes two dough hooks in addition to the beaters.
Aucma Stand Mixer (starting at $98.59, originally starting at $118.99; amazon.com)
If the classic KitchenAid mixer is out of your budget, give your arms a rest with this handy (and, in our opinion, must-have) kitchen appliance that features six optimized speeds, pulse function, a beater, wire whip and dough hook. Reviewers heap praise on its budget-friendly price, sturdiness and overall quality.
Pyrex 8-Piece Sculpted Mixing Bowl Set ($46.83; amazon.com)
Cloud bread requires two mixing bowls, and this top-rated set will have you covered. The set — which is dishwasher-, microwave- and freezer-safe — includes four glass bowls, from .75 quarts to 4.5 quarts, with colorful lids.
Salt Silicone Spatulas, 4-Pack ($4.99; bedbathandbeyond.com)
Use these high-rated silicone spatulas to scoop your cloud bread — and so much more. In four different colors, this set is stain-resistant and can take temps up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
Wilton Baker’s Best Cookie Sheets, 3-Pack ($9.99; bedbathandbeyond)
If your baking sheets have seen better days, now’s the time to invest in a new one. Wilton’s nonstick cookie sheets prevent sticking and include handles to make oven retrieval easier, and this set comes with three sizes.