Best-Ever Chocolate Quinoa Cake

I know I’m supposed to be baking Christmas cookies and peppermint bark but I couldn’t help myself with this one. I made it on Saturday morning and between the two of us, the entire thing is gone already. Actually, I was joyfully looking forward to last piece for dessert tonight but a certain someone got to it first. He’s lucky I love him.

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

Best-Ever Chocolate Quinoa Cake. You won't believe this is gluten-free

The base of this cake is made from quinoa. Not quinoa flour, but cooked quinoa.

I know it sounds complicated but it’s actually pretty easy. You mix the quinoa with eggs, milk {I used almond milk}, butter {I used a mixture of Earth Balance and coconut oil} and vanilla extract in a blender, add it to a bowl of unsweetened cocoa powder that’s sifted with a few basics like salt, sugar, baking soda, and baking powder, and then poof!

Best-Ever Chocolate Quinoa Cake

You’ve got yourself a decadent, mind-blowing chocolate cake. After you cook it, of course.

Best-Ever Chocolate Quinoa Cake. You won't believe this is gluten-free

I still can’t believe it’s made from quinoa.

But wait, then there’s the frosting…oh, the frosting. Two ingredients y’all. Coconut cream and chocolate. Yeah, you will want to smash your face into it.

Whipped Chocolate Coconut Cream Icing

It might even make for a good facial but I can’t quite guarantee that one.

If you use vegan chocolate then the cake and the frosting are completely dairy free {not vegan!}. If I could figure out how to make it without sugar, I’m sure I’d be rich. But it is dessert, after all, and one cup of sugar ain’t so bad. If you cut into sixteen pieces then it’s only 14 grams of sugar per slice. For as good as this cake tastes, it’s more than worth it.


The original recipe {from the book Quinoa 365} uses a little more sugar and 3/4 cup butter in the batter so if that’s your thing then feel free to replace the Earth Balance and coconut oil with buttah.

The icing, however, I recommend trying as is. Even if you aren’t a coconut fan, I bet you will love it. You can’t even taste the coconut! It’s smooth, creamy and chocolately, just like real dairy icing. I’m officially in love.

Best-Ever Chocolate Quinoa Cake {gluten-free}

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 16

Best-Ever Chocolate Quinoa Cake {gluten-free}


2 cups cooked quinoa*

1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk (or preferred milk)

4 whole eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup Earth Balance, melted (or butter)

1/4 cup melted coconut oil

1 cup organic evaporated cane juice/ or organic white sugar/ or coconut sugar

1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s Special Dark)

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 and 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

Whipped Chocolate Coconut Cream Frosting

1 (13.5 ounce) can of full fat coconut milk, refrigerated overnight

1 (10 ounce) bag chocolate chips


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and then line two round cake pans (or a 9x13” pan) with parchment paper.
  2. In a food processor or blender, combine the eggs, almond milk (or preferred milk) and vanilla extract then blend for ten seconds to combine.
  3. Add the cooked and cooled quinoa along with the melted and cooled Earth Balance and coconut oil (could also use all regular butter) then blend until completely smooth, about thirty seconds to one minute.
  4. Sift together the dry ingredients in a large bowl (cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and sea salt).
  5. Add the wet ingredients in the blender to the bowl with the dry and mix together until well-combined.
  6. Divide the batter between the two pans and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the cakes from the oven and allow to cool.
  7. To make the frosting you will need to refrigerate the coconut milk overnight (in the coldest part of your refrigerator) so that the cream separates.
  8. When you are ready to make it, melt the chocolate in a sauce pan over low-medium heat. Grab the coconut milk from the refrigerator but don’t shake the can or turn it upside down before opening. Open the can and scoop out the solid parts with a spoon, placing them into the pot with the chocolate. It’s okay if it the solid parts on completely separated, just try to get as much of the thicker portions as possible. Melt the coconut cream and chocolate together then transfer to a large bowl that you can later use to whip it in. (note: if the melted chocolate/coconut milk mixture still appears really dark you can add more coconut milk to lighten it up so that the end result isn't bitter)
  9. Allow to cool on the counter then cover and refrigerate for several hours, until thickened. Once it has thickened, remove from the refrigerator and beat on high for thirty seconds to one minute, until a fluffy icing has formed. (I made mine the night before baking the cake).
  10. Transfer the cakes to a surface for icing with the bottom side up. I recommend that you only transfer the cakes once as they are fragile and difficult to hold together once removed from the parchment paper.
  11. 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.


*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. Cover and cook for 10-12 minutes. Quinoa should be soft and fluffy, you don’t want any crunchy pieces in the cake!

note: using light coconut milk may result in undesirable results for the icing

(time does not include chilling coconut milk overnight or chilling the icing after it's made)

Cake adapted from the cookbook Quinoa 365: The Everyday Superfood by Patricia Green and Carolyn Hemming

Frosting from Oh She Glows

Best-Ever Chocolate Quinoa Cake. You won't believe this is gluten-free