Tasty Gluten-Free Quinoa Chocolate Cake & Frosting

After one of our good friends was diagnosed with Celiac disease, I had to reform my dessert-making when he comes over for dinner (which is often).  Most gluten-free flour is admittedly not great.  You can’t just use it in place of regular all-purpose.  I have made some fairly dry and crumbly cakes, cookies, and loaves.  Luckily I came across this recipe for gluten-free cake which uses quinoa in place of flour.  That means it’s healthy, right? If it wasn’t for the 3/4 cup of butter I could get away with making the claim.  At any rate, quinoa is really good for you (full of fibre and protein) but its good-for-you qualities are somewhat offset by the saturated fat of the butter.  Oh well, it is dessert after all!  This cake is a zip to make because most of it is done in the food processor.  The recipe for the cake is from the Quinoa 365 cookbook.  The frosting is one I have been making for a long time and I have no idea where I first got it.


Set the oven for 350 degrees.  Grease 2 round or square pans (either 8 inch or 9 inch works).  I have never tried this recipe in one big pan: if you do let me know how it works!

Step One:
2/3 cup quinoa & 1 1/3 cup of water – bring to a boil in a saucepan, cover and simmer for 10 mins.  Turn off heat and leave saucepan on burner for another 10 minutes.  Fluff and cool.

Step Two:
Combine: 1/3 cup milk, 4 large eggs, and 1 tsp vanilla extract in a food processor or blender.  Add: the quinoa from the saucepan (should equal about 2 cups) and 3/4 cup of butter (make sure it is not straight from the fridge and is softened a bit).  Blend until smooth (10-15 seconds-ish) but don’t blend too long or the batter starts to go a bit funny.

Step Three:
Whisk together in a large bowl: 1 1/2 cups sugar, 1 cup cocoa powder*, 1 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp salt.  Add contents of the blender to this dry mix and stir until combined.

Divide the batter between the two pans and bake for 40-45 minutes.  Use a knife to test if the cake is done.  To put together I like to put frosting between the two layers and then frosting on the top too.  I like frosting.

* I’m really picky about my cocoa powder.  The Camino and Frey’s brand are too light for me.  Try to find a nice dark, rich cocoa powder.  If it says Dutch processed that is a good sign.  My favourite at the moment is the Green & Black’s Organic.  It’s expensive but really worth it.


2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp corn syrup
4 ounces chocolate (bittersweet, semi-sweet, milk – your preference)
1 tbsp butter

Combine the sugar, corn syrup and 1/4 cup water in a saucepan and bring to a boil.  Remove from heat and add the chocolate.  Add butter when chocolate melts.

I like to chill this icing a little before using it.  It is very runny at first!


One thought on “Tasty Gluten-Free Quinoa Chocolate Cake & Frosting

  1. gracieandthemooch says:

    If this is the cake you made us at Manning, it is the most delicious thing on the planet! It actually had a texture that was at the same time crunchy, chewy and ‘wettish’ (the best synonym I could come up with for the m-word) – YUM!


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