Unforgettable Chocolate Quinoa Cake

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The Chocolate Quinoa Cake has the texture of a traditional cake, yet no special flours are required. This is pure, sweet Chocolate Cake.

This 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.

Quinoa Chocolate Cake with Fluffy Whipped Chocolate Frosting

Quinoa Chocolate Cake

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?

I first heard about a Quinoa Chocolate Cake over at Mel’s Kitchen Cafe almost 10 years ago. The recipe is originally from Quinoa 365 and even if you think you hate quinoa, my friends, this cake is going to change your mind. I say that without any doubt at all.

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. While I was initially very skeptical, I assure you that you absolutely positively can NOT taste the quinoa in this recipe.

Chocolate Quinoa Cake

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!)

You don’t have to take my word for it either. There are dozens of 5 star reviews of this recipe at the bottom of this post.

This Quinoa Chocolate Cake has become a go-to dessert for many people who don’t normally cook or bake gluten-free, but enjoy being able to surprise friends with a gluten-free option without having to keep specialty flours and starches on hand.

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.

Chocolate Quinoa Cake with Whipped Frosting

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

Quinoa Chocolate Cake Recipe

Cake Instructions

  1. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Frosting Instructions

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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. Chill 2-3 hours before serving to allow the frosting to set. Enjoy!
Chocolate Quinoa Cake

This recipe has been so popular as a gluten-free option that requires no special ingredients. I’ve gathered up a collection of 15 easy, inexpensive Gluten-Free Dessert Recipes that Require No Special Ingredients.

Fudge is the original gluten-free dessert that everyone loves. These easy fudge recipes are favorites that we make year-round.

Check out the full collection of Gluten Free Baking Recipes on this website!

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Chocolate Quinoa Cake

Unforgettable Chocolate Quinoa Cake

4.85 from 40 votes
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.
Pin Print Review
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 40 mins
Servings: 16

Ingredients 

Cake Ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa loosely packed
  • cup milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¾ cup butter melted and slightly cooled
  • cups white sugar
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt

Frosting Ingredients

  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips

Instructions

Cake Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. 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.)
  • 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.

Frosting Instructions

  • 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. Chill 2-3 hours before serving to allow the frosting to set. Enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 375kcal · Carbohydrates: 34g · Protein: 5g · Fat: 26g · Saturated Fat: 16g · Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g · Monounsaturated Fat: 7g · Trans Fat: 1g · Cholesterol: 99mg · Sodium: 205mg · Potassium: 278mg · Fiber: 4g · Sugar: 24g · Vitamin A: 778IU · Vitamin C: 1mg · Calcium: 69mg · Iron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @barefeetkitchen or tag #barefeetkitchen!

{originally published 8/28/13 – recipe notes updated 8/4/22}

This Quinoa Chocolate Cake is going to blow your mind!

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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. Trish says

    I made this chocolate cake to take to a meeting. Several members are coeliac however most are not. The whole cake was eaten and everyone raved about how tasty it was. Thank you for some great gluten free recipes5 stars

  2. Amanda says

    Is the batter meant to be really thick? I tried to make this today and it didn’t turn out quite right. Just trying to figure out what I did wrong.

    • Tonya says

      I have been making this cake for years and everyone just loves it and often requests the recipe. I now just normally make it in an 8 x 13 glass pan. I found it the batter too thick, but now add about 1 cup of milk and it turns out beautifully. I also bake it for about 35 minutes. It does drop a bit, but no one sees it as it has the topping on top. I was even asked about the topping yesterday as it suits the cake so well. You won’t be able to make this cake just once!!5 stars

  3. Natalie Auci says

    Hello! Could I use quinoa flour instead of cookie quinoa?
    Thank you! My roommate loves this cake and i wanted to see if i could use the flour this time around.

  4. Taylor says

    This recipe is amazing. I have tried many gluten free cake recipes and this is by far the best! It is rich and has just the right amount of sweetness. There is no funny taste and you’d never know it was GF or made with quinoa. Every time I make this somebody asks for the recipe.5 stars

  5. Cheryl says

    I made this for myself and a friend for my birthday…. Soooooo good… Better than a wheat flour cake in my opinion… I am in love with the frosting too… It is not to sweet and overpowering like buttercream and sugar frosting can be!!5 stars

  6. Hilary Lockyer says

    My daughter loves this cake and we are having a bbq this weekend. I would love to make it in 2 9×11 pans to serve it to a crowd a bit easier. Do you recommend doubling the recipe ? How long should it bake for if I do this? Thank you for your help!

    • Mary Younkin says

      I’d double the recipe for (2) 9×13 or 9×11 pans, Hilary. I’d test for doneness around 30 minutes, but my “guess” is that it will take longer than that. I can’t say for certain how much longer, but likely 40-50 minutes.

  7. Suzan says

    Thanks for this gluten free recipe. Can you suggest sources for how to bake with less sugar or alternatives to sugar?
    Thank you

    • Mary Younkin says

      It should work fine with an egg replacement, Linda. If you scroll through some of the comments, I’m pretty sure that others have tried that and it worked out. Happy baking!

  8. donna friedman says

    I just made this for a gathering and 3 people want the recipe! It’s the BEST chocolate cake and the only frosting I EVER will want. Thanks soooo much5 stars

  9. Kristin says

    Hi! I have made this cake a couple of times, and it is delicious. Thank you so much! (My daughter and husband both have gluten allergies.) Have you ever tried making cupcakes with this recipe? Wondering about baking time…
    Thank you!

  10. Ora says

    I am baking this cake now. The batter seems too liquid for a cake, so I added 1/2 of almond flour. Will see how it turns out. Did not find anyone else complain about it though. Maybe I did something wrong?