Chocolate Quinoa Cake with Whipped Ganache Frosting

A decadent (flourless!) chocolate cake with creamy whipped chocolate ganache. You won’t believe this cake is made with quinoa!

A decadent (flourless!) chocolate cake with creamy whipped chocolate ganache. You won’t believe this cake is made with quinoa!

Variations of this Chocolate Quinoa Cake abound on Pinterest and around the web. It’s one of the first gluten free cake recipes we fell in love with after beginning our journey with food allergies because it is so easy to mix up and has simple ingredients that aren’t overwhelming to a beginner gluten free baker. 

I well remember the first year after gfHubs was diagnosed with food allergies (learn more about our story HERE). We spent a lot of time researching, finding recipes, browsing all our local grocery stores, and baking up a storm. Some baked goods turned out OK, some flat out failed and were tossed into the trash, and as time went on we figured things out and eventually gave away the last of our wheat flour because we realized we didn’t need the gluten to eat well anymore!

A decadent (flourless!) chocolate cake with creamy whipped chocolate ganache. You won’t believe this cake is made with quinoa!

If you’re looking for an easy recipe that will achieve great results and give you a boost of confidence in gluten free baking/eating, make this cake!

I frequently talk to a lot of people who live a gluten free lifestyle and hear so often that people really don’t believe gluten free can taste good. They’ve given up on eating their favorite foods, and some even lose interest in eating in general because they don’t think it can be enjoyable. I get it. We’ve been there. If this is you, please don’t give up!

A decadent (flourless!) chocolate cake with creamy whipped chocolate ganache. You won’t believe this cake is made with quinoa!

The gluten free market continues to improve and there are so many more options than there used to be. It’s not perfect, you need to stay informed to know what’s safe to eat. You need to be on the lookout for new brands and products. You need to browse grocery stores often to discover what new gluten free goods they’ve put on their shelves and request things you would like to have added. And please. PLEASE. Keep baking. Keep cooking. Be patient, try new recipes, and if 1 (or 6) don’t turn out, chalk it up as a learning experience and keep trying.

You’ll get there, I promise. Reach out, comment with questions or send me an e-mail ( and I’ll help as much as I can. I’m here to be your partner in gluten free living so you can really live again and enjoy all the foods you used to love!  Gluten free is good. REALLY good. Cue this Chocolate Quinoa Cake with Whipped Ganache Frosting.

Fellow Chocoholics, life just doesn’t get much better than this!

Chocolate Quinoa Cake

with Whipped Ganache Frosting

 *gluten-free *soy-free *oat-free *nut-free *flourless


  • To cook quinoa, purchase some that says it is pre-rinsed on the packaging, or rinse under running water in a strainer before cooking. Bring 2 cups water to boil in a medium saucepan, add 1 cup quinoa, cover, and simmer on low for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, let stand covered for 5 minutes, remove the lid and fluff with a fork. Let cool before using in the cake. This recipe will yield a little more than you will need for the cake, just refrigerate the leftovers.
  • The ganache frosting is very easy but takes several hours to complete, so plan accordingly. I did the first step of the ganache 3 hours before making the cake, set it in the fridge, and then finished it after the cake cooled.


  • 2 cups cooked, cooled quinoa (see notes)
  • 1/3 cup milk 
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 cup butter (salted), melted and cooled
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 1/2 T baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • Grated white chocolate, for garnish optional

Whipped Ganache Frosting ingredients:

  • 1 3/4 cup whipping cream
  • 1 cup chopped Hershey’s bars (about 3 of the regular size bars), OR milk chocolate OR semi-sweet chocolate chips


  1. Lightly grease bottoms of two 8″ round or square baking pans with oil or cooking spray. Trace bottoms of pans on parchment paper, cut out circles and place inside greased pans.
  2. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  3. Combine milk, eggs, and vanilla in a blender or food processor and pulse until combined. Add cooked/cooled quinoa and butter and blend until completely smooth.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and sea salt. Add liquid mixture from blender and stir or whisk to combine.
  5. Evenly divide batter between two pans and bake on middle rack for 20-25 minutes just until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  6. Remove and cool in the pans (on racks) for 10 minutes before inverting cakes onto a cooling rack. Cool completely.
  7. Make the Whipped Ganache Frosting:
    1. Measure chocolate into a medium bowl.
    2. Heat cream in a small saucepan over medium heat (stirring occasionally) just until it comes to a gentle simmer. Pour over chocolate and let sit for exactly 5 minutes without stirring.
    3. Whisk until smooth and glossy and refrigerate at least 2-3 hours until completely cooled.
    4. When it’s cooled completely, whip with the whisk attachment of your KitchenAid or use a handmixer to mix as you would to make whipped cream. When stiff peaks form, turn the mixer off. 
  8. This is a tender cake, so gently transfer one of your cooled cakes to a serving plate.
  9. Spread half the whipped ganache 1/4″ away from the edges.
  10. Gently transfer the other cake on top and lightly press down until ganache reaches the edges. Spread remaining ganache on top all the way to the edges and sprinkle with white chocolate if you want. Slice or dig right in 😉

***Please be sure all ingredients you use are gluten free.

This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase something through these links, I will receive compensation at no additional cost to you. As always, I only link to products that we use and love and therefore think you will love, too!

***This post is a part of Gluten Free Fridays

A decadent (flourless!) chocolate cake with creamy whipped chocolate ganache. You won’t believe this cake is made with quinoa!

You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    Keeley McGuire
    February 29, 2016 at 8:03 am

    This looks so decadent and sounds delicious!

  • Reply
    Strength and Sunshine
    February 29, 2016 at 8:30 am

    You know I’m all about the quinoa!

  • Reply
    February 29, 2016 at 12:56 pm

    WHAT the WHAT!??! This cake is astoundingly gorgeous – I can’t believe quinoa was the only “grain.” Brilliant!

    • Reply
      February 29, 2016 at 1:41 pm

      Wow thanks, Jules! Great compliment coming from you 🙂 It really is a beautiful and sinfully good cake.

  • Reply
    Dr. Jennifer Weinberg MD MPH | Simple Pure Whole Wellness
    February 29, 2016 at 2:54 pm

    That frosting looks decadent and quinoa 😉

    • Reply
      February 29, 2016 at 9:59 pm

      The quinoa is a great bonus, isn’t it? And the frosting? out of this world!

  • Reply
    March 1, 2016 at 4:53 am

    I’m so excited to make this!!

  • Reply
    Amanda | My Gluten-Free Miami
    March 1, 2016 at 2:14 pm

    Oh wow, I would never have thought of this! It looks so rich, but I can pretend it is healthy from the quinoa! Love it!

  • Reply
    Brianna H (@FlippinDelish)
    March 2, 2016 at 4:39 pm

    I have never thought to use quinoa in a cake before. Looks so indulgent! I never would have guess that quinoa was hidden inside.

    • Reply
      March 3, 2016 at 11:17 am

      That’s the magic of this cake Brianna, it really is a favorite of ours!

  • Reply
    March 7, 2016 at 9:54 am

    This looks and sounds delicious! I’ve never thought of baking a cake with quinoa…brilliant! I’m giving this one a try!

  • Reply
    Savoring Saturdays | Only Taste Matters
    March 11, 2016 at 6:01 pm

    […] Irish Whisky Cake from Elle Chocolate Quinoa Cake with Whipped Ganache Frosting from Celeste Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream from Emily Homemade Grapefruit Gummies from […]

  • Reply
    Leah @ Grain Changer
    March 15, 2016 at 6:59 am

    Can you believe I’ve never baked with cooked quinoa? I’ve used quinoa flakes million of times, but never the whole grain. That is going to have to change ASAP – can’t wait to try this recipe out. It looks insanely delicious and decadent!

    • Reply
      March 15, 2016 at 11:41 am

      Well, I haven’t cooked much with the quinoa flakes so maybe you can help me out there Leah 😉
      ps you’ll love the cake!

    Leave a Reply

    Never Miss A Recipe!

    Never Miss A Recipe!

    Join our mailing list to receive the latest recipes, info, and giveaways!

    You have Successfully Subscribed!