A decadent gluten free chocolate cake with creamy whipped chocolate ganache. This cake is flourless thanks to a secret ingredient!
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Variations of this Quinoa Chocolate 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.
What Makes this Chocolate Cake so Special?
This quinoa cake is probably different than any other recipe you’ve tried. The secret ingredient might surprise you, but just sit down and read through before you decide I’m crazy!
The reason this cake is so easy is that it calls for cooked quinoa instead of the flour. Don’t worry, you’ll blend the quinoa into the batter so there won’t be a funky texture, and we promise you won’t even notice the quinoa!
Something magical happens when you blend the quinoa with the rest of the ingredients in this gluten free quinoa cake. It makes the most tender, chocolatey and delicious cake with so little effort. Top it with our whipped ganache frosting and bring it to your next party and we pretty much guarantee you’ll be everyone’s new best friend.
What is Quinoa?
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 gluten free chocolate cake is not only gluten free but flourless and grain free as well (yay!)
Did You Say Quinoa CAKE???
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! The BEST gluten free chocolate cake you’ve ever eaten.
If you’re looking for an easy gluten free cake recipe that will achieve great results, this quinoa chocolate 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.
How to Make Quinoa Chocolate Cake:
Step 1: Start the ganache frosting.
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. All you’ll need to do is heat cream, pour it over chocolate, let sit, then stir. It just needs a little time to cool before you whip it and frost the cake.
Step 2: Cook the Quinoa.
Be sure to purchase some that says it is pre-rinsed on the packaging, or rinse thoroughly 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.
Step 3: Blend
This quinoa cake is so easy to make because you’ll be blending all the ingredients. A high quality blender such as Blendtec works especially well, but any old blender should do. You’ll blend the wet ingredients first, then add the dry ingredients to blend them all together.
Step 4: Bake, Cool, and Frost!
You can bake this cake in 2 round pans or a 9×13. We have done both multiple times and it turns out great either way! If you’re using round pans, be sure to line with parchment to avoid sticking. Be sure the cake is completely cool before frosting, and store any leftovers in the fridge.
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- 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 the Whipped Ganache:
- 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.
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!
Nutrition Information:Yield: 20 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 292Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 82mgSodium: 185mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 1gSugar: 21gProtein: 4g