Chocolate Quinoa Cake {Adapted from Quinoa 365}

Posted on March 31st, 2014, by Vincci Tsui in Dessert, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free, Recipes, Soy-Free, Vegetarian. 1 Comment

Chocolate Quinoa Cake

This cake is so good, I made it twice while I was on vacation, then again when I got back.

I’ve been making this cake as part of the Start From Scratch curriculum for the past four semesters – which explains why I made the cake after coming back from vacation – but it is by far my favourite recipe in the curriculum. It’s easy, rich, moist, chocolatey, and gluten-free to boot! Just don’t try to turn them into cupcakes to “save time” because they will sink.

Chocolate Quinoa Cake

Of course, the recipe is not my own genius. It comes from Quinoa 365, a cookbook that I still lust for even though it was published four years ago and “The Quinoa Sisters”, as they’ve dubbed themselves, have published two more cookbooks since then.

The cake is flourless, and relies on cooked quinoa and eggs for structure, whirred in a blender or food processor with some other usual cake suspects (butter/oil, sugar, cocoa, vanilla, leaveners, etc.) for extra air and lift. The batter is so rich and chocolatey that my Start From Scratch students can be found eating it by the spoonful even after I freak out a little about the salmonella risk, and the resulting cake is moist and decadent without going into fudgey brownie territory.

The original recipe makes a layer cake, which I successfully made for my friend Chelsea’s birthday in Ottawa, iced with my friend Stephanie‘s basic buttercream formula. If a layer cake seems a little too ambitious, it’s totally OK to just throw it all in one pan and leave it in the oven for a little longer, as I did in Montreal and in my class.

You can also up the ante with your own additions – instant coffee makes the chocolate just that much richer, or throw in some cinnamon and/or chili pepper (cayenne, ancho or chipotle) to jump on that spicy Mexican chocolate trend. One of my students suggested to add nuts in it… except he’s allergic.

Whatever you do, definitely have a glass of milk nearby.

Chocolate Quinoa Cake
Chocolate Quinoa Cake
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 8-16
  • Serving size: 1/12 recipe
  • Calories: 290
  • Fat: 16 g
  • Saturated fat: 2 g
  • Trans fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 35 g
  • Sugar: 26 g
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Protein: 5 g
  • Cholesterol: 62 mg
Recipe type: Dessert
Adapted from Quinoa 365
  • ½ cup (125 mL) quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup (250 mL) water
  • ⅔ cup (170 mL) 1% milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla
  • ¾ cup (185 mL) canola oil
  • 1½ cups (375 mL) sugar
  • 1 cup (250 mL) cocoa powder
  • 1½ tsp (7 mL) baking powder
  • ½ tsp (2 mL) baking soda
  • ½ tsp (2 mL) salt
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) instant coffee powder (optional, note that some brands are not gluten-free)
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) cinnamon (optional)
  • ¼-½ tsp (1-2 mL) cayenne, ancho chili or chipotle pepper (optional)
  1. Bring the quinoa and water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Cover, reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave the covered saucepan on the burner for another 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and allow the quinoa to cool.
  2. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Lightly grease an 8-inch round or square cake pan and line with parchment paper. Combine milk, eggs and vanilla in a blender or food processor. Add cooked quinoa and canola oil and continue blending until smooth.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt and optional ingredients if using. Add the contents of blender and mix well. Pour into cake pan (or two, if making a layer cake) and bake on centre rack of oven for 40-45 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before serving. Store in a sealed container in refrigerator for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 1 month.

One thought on “Chocolate Quinoa Cake {Adapted from Quinoa 365}

  1. Pingback: 2-Minute Microwave Chocolate Quinoa Cake in a Mug {Guest Post} - Ceci n'est pas un food blog

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