Unforgettable Chocolate Quinoa Cake

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This Chocolate Quinoa Cake has blown my mind. Just writing about it here makes me grin as I think about how perfectly moist, rich and chocolatey it is.

When I first saw this recipe, I did a double-take because I had never before run across anything quite like it. A flourless chocolate cake made with quinoa?

Unforgettable Chocolate Quinoa Cake recipe by Barefeet In The Kitchen

I make a Flourless Chocolate Cake at least a couple of times a year and it is one of my favorite recipes. The Chocolate Quinoa Cake on the other hand, has the texture of a traditional cake, yet with no special flours required.

All you need is a couple of scoops of cooked quinoa.

This cake wowed both my family and our dinner guests who are accustomed to eating traditional sweets. Even knowing that the cake was made from quinoa, I couldn’t detect an odd taste or texture.

(And you know just how fussy I am about GF desserts and any odds textures or smells – some of those gluten-free flours are pretty bad!)

This, my friends, is pure, sweet and tender chocolate cake. After eating a slice the next day for breakfast, I sent the rest of it to the office with my husband. This is a very dangerous cake.

 

Unforgettable Chocolate Quinoa Cake recipe by Barefeet In The Kitchen

Check out all of the Gluten Free Dessert Recipes on this website!

Kitchen Tip: I use this blender or this food processor to make this recipe.

Chocolate Quinoa Cake Recipe

  1. TO BAKE THE CAKE: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease two round cake pans (or a 9×13 pan) and then line the bottoms of the pans with parchment. (Do not skip the parchment if you want to be able to flip the cake out of the pan.)
  2. Combine the milk, eggs and vanilla in the blender or food processor and pulse a few times to combine. Add the cooked quinoa and the butter and puree until completely smooth. Stop the machine as needed to scrape the sides and make sure everything is well mixed. This will be a thick and creamy consistency once the quinoa is pureed. (You should not see any little beads of quinoa in the pureed mixture.) Whisk together the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and add the contents from the blender. Stir until well combined.
  3. Divide the batter evenly between the two cake pans and bake on a center oven rack for 28-30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove the cakes from the oven and let cool 10 minutes before inverting them onto a wire cooling rack. Peel off the parchment and let the cakes cool completely before frosting.
  4. TO MAKE THE FROSTING: Place the chocolate chips in a medium size glass bowl. Heat the cream in a medium saucepan until is gently simmers. Remove from the heat and pour over the chocolate. Let the mixture sit for 5 minutes or so and then whisk to combine until it is smooth and glossy. Refrigerate and let cool completely. (2-3 hours in the refrigerator or about an hour in the freezer.) When fully chilled. use a mixer to whip the chocolate cream into soft peaks.
  5. Place one cake layer upside down on a plate. Scoop half the frosting onto that layer and gently spread it across almost to the edge. Place the other layer on top of the frosting and top with the remaining frosting. You can frost the sides if you like, I chose to leave mine simple. Chill 2-3 hours before serving to allow the frosting to set.

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Unforgettable Chocolate Quinoa Cake

4.85 from 38 votes
Recipe adapted from and with thanks to Mel's Kitchen Cafe, originally from Quinoa 365
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Servings: 12 -16 servings, depending on size

Ingredients 

  • Cake Ingredients:
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa loosely packed
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 cup butter melted and slightly cooled
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • Frosting Ingredients:
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease two round cake pans (or a 9x13 pan) and then line the bottoms of the pans with parchment. (Do not skip the parchment if you want to be able to flip the cake out of the pan.)
  • Combine the milk, eggs and vanilla in the blender or food processor and pulse a few times to combine. Add the cooked quinoa and the butter and puree until completely smooth. Stop the machine as needed to scrape the sides and make sure everything is well mixed. This will be a thick and creamy consistency once the quinoa is pureed. (You should not see any little beads of quinoa in the pureed mixture.) Whisk together the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and add the contents from the blender. Stir until well combined.
  • Divide the batter evenly between the two cake pans and bake on a center oven rack for 28-30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove the cakes from the oven and let cool 10 minutes before inverting them onto a wire cooling rack. Peel off the parchment and let the cakes cool completely before frosting.
  • Place the chocolate chips in a medium size glass bowl. Heat the cream in a medium saucepan until is gently simmers. Remove from the heat and pour over the chocolate. Let the mixture sit for 5 minutes or so and then whisk to combine until it is smooth and glossy. Refrigerate and let cool completely. (2-3 hours in the refrigerator or about an hour in the freezer.) When fully chilled. use a mixer to whip the chocolate cream into soft peaks.
  • Place one cake layer upside down on a plate. Scoop half the frosting onto that layer and gently spread it across almost to the edge. Place the other layer on top of the frosting and top with the remaining frosting. You can frost the sides if you like, I chose to leave mine simple. Chill 2-3 hours before serving to allow the frosting to set. Enjoy!
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{originally published 8/28/13 – recipe notes updated 10/27/19}

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Mary Younkin

Mary Younkin

Hi, I’m Mary. I’m the author, cook, photographer, and travel lover behind the scenes here at Barefeet In The Kitchen. I'm also the author of three cookbooks dedicated to making cooking from scratch as simple as possible.

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  1. Anna says

    Best gluten free cake EVER! I have several friends who are gluten free. I googled ‘gluten free cake recipe with regular ingredients’ and stumbled upon this recipe. I am making it for the fourth time and am still WOWED with just how delicious this darn cake is a fourth time! Also. Have made it in a Bundt pan with no issues. Takes about 50-55 minutes. Thanks for providing me with this fantastic recipe for my gluten free friends, who assure me it is by far the best cake ever!5 stars

  2. Eliza Sprackett says

    What a fantastic recipe ! I like adding chopped pecans to it and sometimes a knob of beetroot to the egg mixture to make it like a red velvet ! Thank you for sharing this gem. It’s my GO TO.5 stars

  3. Natasha says

    My mother in law is gluten free and gave me this recipe a long time ago, it’s absolutely fantastic. I’ve used it for my sons first and second birthday, Christmas parties, Easter and so on. I’ve even made it into cake pops! Everyone always gobbles it up and comments on how moist and delicious it is! ❤️5 stars

  4. Mary-Ellen says

    How long do you need to blend to get rid of the little beads? I’m going on 5 mins in my kitchen aid food processor. About to give up and switch to my blender and hope for the best…

    • Mary-Ellen says

      Also, do you have a suggested cooking time for cupcakes? Also, I left some batter and I’m going to try it in my waffle press! Switching to my blender worked out. Good thing I just bought a blender a few weeks ago! The lumps were never getting blended in my food processor

  5. Heather Sabo says

    I love this recipe and have made it many times. I’m wondering if its possible to make for someone who is diabetic / sugarfree? Have you tried a xylitol or stevia substitute by chance?

    • Lorraine says

      I’ve made several things with sugar substitutes. I think you’ll have the best results using a xylitol blend like monk fruit or stevia with the sugar alcohol granules. You need something with the same structure as the regular sugar. Should be able to use the same measurements (1& 1/2 cup) for the sub. Let us know how it runs out!!

  6. britt says

    I made this cake the other day. Wow, it was very simple to make and SO delicious. I used brown sugar instead of white, this was my only substitution. The icing was delicious, I would suggest making the icing before starting the cake, so you can eat the cake sooner!! I will certainly be making this again.5 stars

  7. Jeanne Koshick says

    How long do you recommend blending the quinoa? I was afraid to go too long. Not sure how it will turn out. Going to throw it in the oven. still a few beads but small.

  8. Sara says

    So excited to try this recipe! Just wondering how much uncooked quinoa yields two cups cooked quinoa (since it puffs up significantly)? Thanks in advance!

    • Mary Younkin says

      Quinoa typically cooks up to about 4x it’s uncooked size. So, this would be approximately 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa. I typically make a little extra, just in case.

  9. Jacky says

    The cake is very thin – flavour is delicious but very thin even when combining all in one pan. The frosting did not fluff up or become the right consistency at all so I added some powdered sugar which helped. I’ve been baking for a while so this wasn’t my first time!3 stars

    • Mary Younkin says

      Hi Jackie, I’m not sure which part of the cake was thin for you. Was it a frosting issue? or a cake issue? I use 8-inch pans to make this, if I am making two layers.

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