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Chocolate quinoa cake

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chocolate quinoa cake recipe - gluten & dairy free - Making Her Mama
Chocolate quinoa cake

This chocolate quinoa cake is AMAZING! It will wow anyone – and it’s gluten and dairy free!!!

This cake has been a go to recipe for me for years now.  It is loved because it’s moist, rich, easy to make, and even those who aren’t gluten free LOVE it, instead of choking down a dry gf cake just to be supportive!

I stumbled across this recipe completely by accident while looking for wheat free alternatives for baking.  This was back before most of our household was gluten free.  I had just found out from a naturopath that I needed to be off wheat, dairy, onions and garlic.  Henceforth,  I was seriously craving something yummy and open to giving anything a try! (Even a chocolate cake made with quinoa!!!)

This cake was moist, delicious, and sweet!  It’s kept me coming back to this recipe again and again and I’ve had many a late nite rendezvous with it by the light of the refrigerator.   Since then, this cake and I have had many good memories together…

Once, I made this chocolate quinoa cake for Izzy’s birthday party.  As with every well prepared mother, it was midnight the night before his party and the cake was just coming out of the oven.  It smelled delicious as always and I was looking forward to eating a slice before lunch the next day (it was an early morning party).  While I let it cool in the pan for about 5 minutes, I tidied up the rest of the kitchen.  

As I transferred my beautiful masterpiece from the pan to the cooling rack, something happened, I’m still not entirely sure what!?  I watched helplessly as all my hard work slowly slipped onto the kitchen floor.  Because I was sure that I could save it, I dove down, only to find myself eating my beloved cake off the floor like a shameless toddler. And, I quickly discovered the slice of heaven that I had once come to love lacked some fundamental ingredients….possibly the sugar, if not more, and it was GOD AWFUL!

Recently, Izzy chose to bake a cake for a school project.  It was a SQUID cake!  I love telling people that because they automatically shudder.  No, it was not made of squid.  He baked this quinoa cake and made 2 layers.  A bottom layer for the ocean with a beautiful blue coconut-cream icing and a top layer cut out in the shape of the squid.  He decorated the top layer to display the external anatomy of the squid.  He had initially wanted to make a pull out layer to show all the internal workings of these cool creatures also, but we ran out of time.  The cake was a huge hit at school and he came home with only an empty plate – much to my disappointment 🙂

So, if even a class of elementary students will devour this chocolate quinoa cake, it is guaranteed to satisfy even the most vertically challenged food critics around your table! Also, I’ve included a printable version of the recipe below if you’re interested. Let me know how it goes! Give it your own topping twists. I’d love to see how you decorate your creations!  (If they last long enough to get a picture…)

Pieced Pastimes


Chocolate quinoa cake (gluten and dairy free)

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Time: 2hr
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A delicious gluten and dairy free chocolate cake that is sweet, moist, and satisfying.

Credit: Quinoa 365
  1. Ingredients

    • 2/3 cup white or golden quinoa (I’ve even used the red/white mix from Costco)
    • 1/3 cup water
    • 1/3 cup milk (we use unsweetened almond or cashew milk)
    • 4 large eggs
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 3/4 cup butter (we use becel or Earth Balance for dairy free)
    • 1 1/2 cups sugar
    • 1 cup cocoa powder
    • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp baking soda
    • 1/2 tsp salt


  1. Place quinoa and water in a pot and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat, leave covered for another 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and allow to cool.
  2. While quinoa is cooling, preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease an 8″ round pan
  3. (I use my 9″ round spring form pan because it’s pretty to look at). Line bottom of pan with parchment. (I have skipped this step when i’ve been out and it’s been fine.)
  4. Then, combine milk, eggs and vanilla in a blender or food processor.
  5. Add 3 cups of cooked quinoa and butter and continue to blend until smooth.
  6. Whisk together sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Add to blender and mix well. I generally just toss these ingredients in on top of everything in my vitamin, depends how good your mixer is.
  7. Pour batter into pans and bake in the centre of the oven for 40-45 minutes. I have also made cupcakes following this exact recipe, pouring into muffin tins and baking 30 minutes.
  8. Allow to cool in pan for 5 minutes before moving to cooling rack. Allow to cool completely.
  9. Decorate however you desire – goes well with coconut-cream frosting and strawberries!
  10. Enjoy!

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Nadine Best

I am a follower of Jesus, SAHM, THMer, and homeschooler to my 4 boys. I love to garden and am a wanna be homesteader. I also LOVE organizing.

  • #captainunderpants .... well, captain #easyups LOL. Mickey Blue was given a pack for his 3rd birthday and Little Lou approves 😝 my boys are such hams, they are always making me laugh! I 💕 #momlife !!! What funny or sweet things have your kids been up to?
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  • #captainunderpants .... well, captain #easyups LOL. Mickey Blue was given a pack for his 3rd birthday and Little Lou approves 😝 my boys are such hams, they are always making me laugh! I 💕 #momlife !!! What funny or sweet things have your kids been up to?
  • Isn't #lettuce cool the way that it grows up and out in a spiral fashion!?! This is our first time growing #iceberg lettuce - it's my hubby's favourite! We've had a weird year with growing lettuces, this one is enjoying the whole stretch of garden to itself because none of the other seeds have sprouted, even from the second seeding! I'm going to be potting some to start and transplant! I NEED LETTUCE (I ❤ salad). How's your lettuce doing this year? Got any #tips or #tricks for me?
  • One of the best things about #homeschooling is the chance for a deep and strong relationship between siblings that would otherwise have no contact with each other!! They're still siblings, they are great together most of the time but sometimes they drive each other crazy and push each other's buttons. But if they didn't have all the time together that they do I don't think I'd get near as many sweet moments like this, curled up on the couch together sharing a moment 💕 What heart melting moments have you had recently?
  • I had never seen a #potato flower before! Growing a garden is so much fun. I can't believe how much I've learned this year and how something can grow from almost nothing. Our #Russianblue potatoes are doing so well - I can't wait to dig them up at the end of the season and see if the beauty below the ground will be as rewarding as it's been above!  Anyone else got potatoes in the garden? What variety did you pick?
  • http://www.makinghermama.com/grow-garlic-feed-your-family-your-wallet/  #ad via @RiplApp
  • Our beautiful #paintedlady butterflies are emerging!!! We have 3 so far. This is our fourth year observing their amazing #metamorphosis and it never grows old. Izzy loves their emergence and the excitement of releasing them. This is the first year Mickey Blue has paid any attention to them. He is fascinated by their wings and flapping as they dry them. A few more days and they'll be heading out into the wide open skies (provided the rain ever stops.....)
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