Best-Ever Chocolate Quinoa Cake

Best-Ever Chocolate Quinoa Cake- super moist with the most incredible texture, this decadent chocolate cake is made easy in a blender. No one would ever guess it’s made from cooked quinoa. It’s seriously the best! (gluten-free and dairy-free)

Best-Ever Chocolate Quinoa Cake- super moist with the most incredible texture, this decadent chocolate cake is made easy in a blender. No one would ever guess it's made from cooked quinoa. It's seriously the best! (gluten-free and dairy-free)

This cake. It’s almost too good to be true. To start, it’s completely flourless, yet the texture is so soft and moist, you will swear it is made from good old whitey mcbleachy.

It’s also gluten-free without the help of starches or gums and oh, most importantly, it’s the most delicious and decadent chocolate cake you will ever have.

Best-Ever Chocolate Quinoa Cake- super moist with the most incredible texture, this decadent chocolate cake is made easy in a blender. No one would ever guess it's made from cooked quinoa. It's seriously the best! (gluten-free and dairy-free)

Best-Ever Chocolate Quinoa Cake Ingredients

  • Quinoa- The base of this cake is made from quinoa. Not quinoa flour, cooked quinoa. Some of you might be skeptical about this, especially if you’re a quinoa hater. But you have to trust me on this one. YOU CANNOT TASTE THE QUINOA. The chocolate and sugar masks it completely. I like to soak my quinoa prior to cooking it to increase digestibility but that step is totally optional!
  • Eggs- I tested this with flax eggs way back in the day and it was a blob of undercooked mush. The eggs are kind of a necessity. That said, I’ve had some readers mention they’ve had success without eggs in the comments. I’m not sure if their standards are different (ahem…lower) than mine but I personally have yet to land on an eggless version of this recipe. When I do you all will be the first to know!
  • Coconut Oil/Vegan Butter- I like to use a combo of both coconut oil and vegan butter because I find that coconut oil provides superior moisture but vegan butter gives it that classic buttery flavor. You could likely get away with using all of one or the other, if that’s what you prefer.
  • Milk- To keep this recipe dairy-free I use almond, soy or oat milk. If you only have dairy milk that should work the same.
  • Vanilla Extract- Definitely a must here so please don’t skip it!
  • Cocoa Powder- This is my go-to cocoa powder because it always yields good results and isn’t too bitter. I haven’t tested it with cacao powder (which is just unprocessed cocoa) as I find you often need more sugar to offset the bitterness.
  • Sugar- You can use any kind of sugar you like here. Cane sugar, brown sugar, coconut sugar…I personally like coconut sugar but that’s just me. Some readers have had success replacing it with erythritol or stevia. I’m clueless when it comes to that so you’ll have to experiment at your own risk.
  • Baking Soda, Baking Powder and Salt- Baking soda and powder provide leavening (I use both for extra lift since most of my recipes involve heavier ingredients). Salt offsets the sweetness and is essential in my opinion.
  • Coconut Milk- Full-fat coconut milk and chocolate chips are the only thing you’ll need to make the frosting. I used to separate the cream but I’ve found that using the entire can of coconut milk makes for a slighter lighter frosting but still tastes incredible. So feel free to just dump it right in without the hassle of separating the cream.
  • Dark Chocolate Chips- I’ve only tested this with Enjoy Life Dark Chocolate Chips because I think they are the best. I’m not sure how chocolate with dairy in it would work since it might not be as firm once combined with the coconut milk. In that case, you may want to separate the cream and only add it to the pot with the chocolate chips.

Best-Ever Chocolate Quinoa Cake- super moist with the most incredible texture, this decadent chocolate cake is made easy in a blender. No one would ever guess it's made from cooked quinoa. It's seriously the best! (gluten-free and dairy-free)

How to Make Chocolate Quinoa Cake

One of my favorite things about this cake is that you don’t have to deal with measuring out flour or using a mixer to make it. You just blend up the cooked quinoa with the liquid ingredients then pour it into the bowl with the dry ingredients. Fold that together and you have your cake batter!

Will any kind of blender work?

Yes, technically, any old blender will work. Using a regular blender will result in a cake that doesn’t hold together quite as well but it will still taste delicious. However, to achieve the texture you see in the photos, a high speed blender is ideal.

Best-Ever Chocolate Quinoa Cake- super moist with the most incredible texture, this decadent chocolate cake is made easy in a blender. No one would ever guess it's made from cooked quinoa. It's seriously the best! (gluten-free and dairy-free)

Best-Ever Chocolate Quinoa Cake- super moist with the most incredible texture, this decadent chocolate cake is made easy in a blender. No one would ever guess it's made from cooked quinoa. It's seriously the best! (gluten-free and dairy-free)

Best-Ever Chocolate Quinoa Cake- super moist with the most incredible texture, this decadent chocolate cake is made easy in a blender. No one would ever guess it's made from cooked quinoa. It's seriously the best! (gluten-free and dairy-free)

Tips for the Chocolate Frosting

If you’re not already blown away by the cake, just wait until you try the frosting. Two ingredients y’all. Coconut milk and chocolate. Yeah, you will want to smash your face into it. It might even make for a good facial but I can’t quite guarantee that one.

When I initially published the recipe, I used to separate the coconut cream and then add it to a saucepan with the chocolate chips. Then I tried pouring in the entire can of coconut milk and I liked that version even better.

You just melt them together, whisk until smooth and refrigerate until firm. Then use a hand mixer to beat it until a fluffy frosting forms. To make sure it has enough time to firm up I prefer to prepare the frosting the day before.

Best-Ever Chocolate Quinoa Cake- super moist with the most incredible texture, this decadent chocolate cake is made easy in a blender. No one would ever guess it's made from cooked quinoa. It's seriously the best! (gluten-free and dairy-free)

This cake is loved by so many and if you haven’t tried it yet, I’m sure you will love it too!

Looking for more nutritious desserts?

Best-Ever Chocolate Quinoa Cake- super moist with the most incredible texture, this decadent chocolate cake is made easy in a blender. No one would ever guess it's made from cooked quinoa. It's seriously the best! (gluten-free and dairy-free)

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4.98 from 304 votes

Best-Ever Chocolate Quinoa Cake

Best-Ever Chocolate Quinoa Cake- super moist with the most incredible texture, this decadent chocolate cake is made easy in a blender. No one would ever guess it's made from cooked quinoa. It's seriously the best! (gluten-free and dairy-free)
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time1 hr
Servings: 12 slices

Ingredients

For the Quinoa Cake

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa, see notes
  • cup almond milk, or milk of choice
  • 4 pasture-raised eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup melted and cooled vegan butter, Miyokos is my favorite
  • ¼ cup melted and cooled coconut oil
  • 1 cup coconut sugar, or cane sugar
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt

For the Whipped Chocolate Coconut Cream Frosting

Instructions

Prepare the Frosting

  • I recommend preparing the frosting the day before to assure it has enough time to firm up properly. In a saucepan, add the entire bag of dark chocolate chips and the full can of coconut milk. *If using dairy chocolate chips please see notes in the body of the post.* Warm the saucepan over medium-low heat, until the coconut milk and chocolate melt together. Be careful not to cook at too high of heat or your chocolate will burn! Whisk until smooth and transfer to a large bowl. Allow to cool to room temperature on the counter then cover and refrigerate until firm, usually at least 6-hours, ideally overnight.
  • Once it is firm, remove from the refrigerator and beat on high for thirty seconds to one minute, until a fluffy icing has formed. You can taste test to see if you would like to add a little vanilla extract or pure maple syrup for flavor. Be careful not to add too much or it will make the frosting runny.

Prepare the Quinoa Cake

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and then line two round cake pans (I used 6-inch but 8-inch pans will also work) with parchment paper. You can also make a single layer cake in a 9x13-inch pan.
  • In a large bowl, sift together the cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and sea salt. 
  • In a blender, combine the cooked (and cooled) quinoa, eggs, almond milk (or preferred milk), vanilla extract, melted and cooled butter and melted and cooled coconut oil. Blend on high until smooth, scraping down the sides and blending again, if necessary.
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry and fold together until well-combined. Divide the batter between the two pans and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the cakes from the oven and set aside to cool.
  • Carefully transfer the cakes to a surface for icing with the bottom side up. Depending on the type of blender and cake pan size you use, I recommend that you only transfer the cakes once as they can be fragile and difficult to hold together. If you made a 9x13-inch cake, I recommend frosting and serving it from the pan.
  • Frost the cake and refrigerate until ready to serve. The icing will melt in really warm conditions but should be fine for a few hours in cooler settings. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week, or freeze for up to 3 months.

Notes

Approximately 3/4 cup dry quinoa will yield 2 cups cooked quinoa. I like to soak it overnight, rinse and then cook it in 1.5 cup water by bringing the water to a boil, adding the quinoa and then reducing to a simmer. Cook for 10-12 minutes, or until most of the water is absorbed. Remove from heat and cover with a lid to allow the quinoa to steam a little longer. The quinoa should be soft and fluffy when cooked. You don't want any hard/crunchy pieces in your batter!
Nutrition Facts are for 1/12th of the recipe (or 1 slice, if you slice the cake into 12 pieces). Exact numbers will vary depending on the brands you use. This cake is meant to be enjoyed as a decadent dessert that offers more nutrients than a standard white flour cake (think protein, iron, potassium, etc.). It was not developed as a recipe for weight loss. 
Quinoa cake adapted from the cookbook Quinoa 365: The Everyday Superfood by Patricia Green and Carolyn Hemming
Frosting from Oh She Glows

Nutrition

Calories: 317kcal, Carbohydrates: 35g, Protein: 6g, Fat: 22g, Saturated Fat: 15g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 55mg, Sodium: 203mg, Potassium: 446mg, Fiber: 6g, Sugar: 16g, Vitamin A: 82IU, Calcium: 67mg, Iron: 5mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Did you try this recipe? Please let me know how it turned out by leaving a comment below or sharing a picture on Instagram with the hashtag #makingthymeforhealth. I love hearing your feedback!

This post was originally published on December 4th, 2013, and republished on January 28th, 2022