A decadent (flourless!) chocolate cake with creamy whipped chocolate ganache. Quinoa cake is made by blending cooked quinoa into the batter instead of using flour, making this cake naturally gluten free.
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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.
If you aren’t familiar with quinoa, it is a pseudo grain related to beetroot, amaranth, and spinach. It can be cooked like rice (1 part quinoa to 2 parts water or broth) and used as a substitute for rice or couscous in recipes. Quinoa is a good source of fiber, folate, iron, zinc, and magnesium. It also contains a good amount of protein, especially as compared to white rice.
Because quinoa is not a grain, and is used in place of flour, this Quinoa Cake is not only gluten free but flourless and grain free as well.
I’m sure you’re curious as to how a cake can be made out of quinoa. Let me explain. Quinoa cake is made in your blender. The pureed quinoa and eggs combine to make a thick cake-like batter. Add all the extras like sugar, cocoa powder, and vanilla and VOILA! Chocolate cake.
If you’re looking for an easy recipe that will achieve great results, this Chocolate Quinoa Cake will quickly become a favorite! It is rich and decadent, but so simple to make. I usually make as a 2-tiered round cake, but feel free to use a 9X13″ as a single layer if you want.
A Few Notes About Quinoa Cake:
- Quinoa cake is soft and moist, but tender. Because of this, you’ll want to line your pans with parchment paper and grease well if you plan to remove the cake from the pans. Also, be careful when transferring the cake. Don’t let this scare you though, it really is an easy cake to make!
- 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 more than you will need for the cake, just refrigerate the leftovers to use later for a Quinoa Bowl or Quinoa Chili.
- 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.
Chocolate Quinoa Cake with Whipped Ganache Frosting
Yield 8 -10
- FOR THE CAKE:
- 1/3 cup milk
- 4 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 cups cooked, cooled (gluten free) quinoa (see notes)
- 3/4 cup butter (salted), melted and cooled
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 1 cup Unsweetened gluten free 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
- FOR THE WHIPPED GANACHE FROSTING:
- 1 3/4 cup whipping cream
- 1 cup chopped Hershey's bars (about 3 of the regular size bars), OR gluten free semi-sweet chocolate chips
- START WHIPPED GANACHE FROSTING:
- Measure chocolate into a medium bowl.
- 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.
- Whisk until smooth and glossy and refrigerate at least 2-3 hours until completely cooled.
- MAKE THE CAKE:
- 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.
- Preheat oven to 350° F.
- Combine milk, eggs, and vanilla in a blender or food processor and pulse until combined. Add cooked/cooled quinoa and melted butter and blend until completely smooth.
- It will be fairy thick but still pourable. Set aside.
- 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.
- Evenly divide batter between two pans (they will be about half full) and bake on middle rack for 20-25 minutes until cake springs back when tapped or toothpick inserted in the center comes out with fudgy crumbs.
- Remove and cool in the pans (on racks) for 10 minutes before inverting cakes onto a cooling rack.
- Cool completely.
- FINISH THE WHIPPED GANACHE FROSTING:
- When the ganache has cooled completely, whip with the whisk attachment of your KitchenAid or use a hand mixer to mix as you would to make whipped cream.
- When stiff peaks form, turn the mixer off. Use a stand mixer if you have one, it's a lot easier and quicker.
- This is a tender cake, so gently transfer one of your cooled cakes to a serving plate.
- Spread a thin layer of whipped ganache on the cake.
- Gently transfer the other cake on top and lightly press down.
- Spread remaining ganache on top and sides. You can swirl it with the edge of a knife to make it look pretty. Gently press white chocolate on the sides of the cake and serve.
- This cake tastes great the day after making as well, just store (covered) in the refrigerator.
Serving Size 8-10
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.