Chocolate Quinoa Cake {Gluten Free}

chocolate quinoa cake

This is my favorite cake.

By a really long way.

About a year ago, I went on a Gluten Free diet for a while. I absolutely admire people who eat gluten free all the time. It was tough. But, it was also good. Although I don’t have the self control to do it all the time, it was a good learning experience. It was through that GF kick that I found this deliciousness.
Afar as quinoa baked good go, this cake is a little different. It uses cooked quinoa instead of quinoa flour. The cooked quinoa gives it a dense, rich texture. Paired with the right white frosting, it is absolutely irresistible. My mouth is drooling just thinking about it. And because it uses quinoa, this cake is kinda healthy! So, you can feel less guilty if you cut yourself a little bigger slice.

Here’s what you need:

chocolate quinoa cake ingredients

2/3 c quinoa – uncooked
1 1/3 cups of water
1/3 cup of milk
4 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 C of melted butter, cooled
1 1/2 cups of sugar
1 c cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda

First things first, cook your quinoa in the water. You can cook it on the stovetop, but I like to cook it this way.


Preheat your oven to 350.

After your quinoa is cooked and cooled. Add the eggs, milk and vanilla to a blender (or food processor) and mix. This is a job that is definitely for a heavy duty blender, otherwise everything might not smooth out and you’ll be left with crunchy cake. I use a Ninja Blender.
UPDATE: I had a reader email me wondering if it would make the quinoa smoother (and have less risk of quinoa crunch in the finished cake) if the quinoa were blended separately before adding the rest of the ingredients. I’m always up for a challenge and gave it a try. My thoughts: it does blend the quinoa better, but it also worked my blender pretty hard. My advice is to blend really well either way you do it.


Add the cooked qunioa and melted butter and mix some more.

Then, add all of the dry ingredients and mix even more. Make sure you mix it good enough that there aren’t any whole quinoas left.


Pour the batter into a greased 9×13 cake pan (or I used a 9” spring form pan) and bake for 45 minutes.
I always pair this cake with THIS frosting. (You can substitute the flour for rice flour in the frosting recipe if you’re going gluten free).

Now, go have yourself some (healthier) chocolate cake. You deserve it!

chocolate quinoa cake finished

There’s more to this post! Click to keep reading.


  1. says

    You always have such wonderful projects! I love reading your blog. I wanted to invite you to come link up at a party on my blog. It is a link party for OLD projects–so that we can hopefully get more traffic to our blogs using projects we’ve already posted. Come over and remind us of some of your favorite projects!
    The link-up is live now.
    Hope to see you there!

  2. says

    I’ve also never cooked with quinoa, but have seen lots of things that I’d like to try! This cake now included :) Good luck with your banquet, also, Shatzi! No doubt it will come off awesome :)

  3. says

    The cake looks yummy! Do you know the measurement of the cooked quinoa? I have some quinoa leftover from dinner and was thinking of making the cake. From what I have read uncooked quinoa ratio to cooked is 1:3. So I am thinking it would be two cups of cooked quinoa? If I did my math correctly. :)
    Thanks so much.

  4. says

    I accomplished absolutely NO Quinoa crunch when I made this cake by blending the heck out of it. Once I thought it was blended enough I blended it even longer. I just have a simple Toastmaster blender and it worked great. I just had to put in all of the wet ingredients together in the blender and scrape it down a few times.
    Also I added extra water to my rice cooker and the quinoa turned out really soft (I have the same rice cooker that you have and it tends to need extra water for rice too).
    The icing you suggest is absolutely wonderful I substituted brown rice flour for the regular flour and it turned out perfect. When substituting Brown Rice flour for wheat you just use a little less.
    I added one extra thing to this cake and it made it even more fabulous – if you believe that’s possible! I topped the iced cake with toasted coconut flakes…yeah it’s better than “better than whatever cake”

  5. Anonymous says

    I used this recipe with quinoa flour instead of cooked quinoa. I doubled this recipe except for the sugar and the eggs, and turned the oven down to 325 1/2 hr into it so the chocolate smell didn’t get burned…I also used the old fashioned frosting recipe, and found it too sweet so added 1/2 avocado, sour ceam and 1/2 squeezed lemon.

  6. Rachael says

    I love this recipe and have used it many, many times. My best success with it has been to cool the quinoa completely, usually overnight before making the batter, it blends up much smoother and with way less strain on my blender. Also, once I blended all of the liquid and quinoa I transferred it to a bowl to mix in the dry ingredients with a spatula which was easier on the blender and a little better to scrape the bowl out when it gets so thick after.

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