Meatless Mondays: Chocolate Quinoa Cake

When my husband and I went to Canada, my mother-in-law gave us a few gifts.  I received two books.  One of them talks about how to live off the land: farming, sewing, and tapping your own maple tree for syrup, for example.  The other is a book called Quinoa: The Everyday Superfood 365 by Patricia Green and Carolyn Hemming.  Until flipping through this cookbook, I was only acquainted with quinoa salad and knew that (somehow) quinoa could be used in pasta as a gluten-free substitute.  But now I have 170 recipes featuring this strange little grain.

My mother-in-law and husband, all smiles on Canadian Thanksgiving Day. This is the same woman who also gifted me a complete wool fleece to spin. I absolutely adore her!

Much to my surprise, you can even bake with it.  Most of the recipes call for quinoa flour, which is accessible at our local health food store, but for $10 a bag I was sort of wary.  I don’t know what would make quinoa flour better than any other gluten-free flour.  I’m still learning on that front.

Lucky for me, the first recipe in the dessert section is for Moist Chocolate Cake.  No flour necessary.  Instead, 2 cups of cooked quinoa.  Weird, right?

I wonder how anyone ever looked at this and thought, you know what would be awesome? Chocolate cake and quinoa. Well. They're right. It IS awesome.

Recipe: Chocolate Quinoa Cake


  • 2/3 cup white or golden quinoa
  • 1 1/3 cups water
  • 1/3 cup milk (I used soy.)
  • 4 large eggs (I used Ener-G Egg Replacer)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup butter, melted and cooled (I used Earth Balance)
  • 1 1/2 cups white or cane sugar
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt


  1. Cook the quinoa: Bring the quinoa and water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Cover and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes. At least, this is what the recipe says to do. I cooked about 4 cups of quinoa so I’d have more to eat this week and then just rationed out 2 cups for the cake. You can basically cook quinoa according to the instructions on your box/bag.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F). Lightly grease two 8-inch round or square cake pans. Line the bottom of the pans with parchment paper. (I’ll be honest, I did no lining. Nor did I use two cake pans. However, this is a cake that’s rather heavy with moisture, and it takes a long time to bake it in anything with any thickness, so I suggest doing it the book’s way. Instead of getting all crazy like I do and changing things.)
  3. Combine milk, eggs and vanilla in a blender or food processor. Add 2 cups of cooked quinoa and butter and blend until smooth.
  4. Whisk together the sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  5. Add the blender/food processor contents and mix well.
  6. Divide the batter evenly between the two pans and bake on the center oven rack for 40 to 45 minutes.
  7. Cool cake complete in the pan before serving. Frost if desired (I just used powdered sugar!).

Friday Feasts: Katie’s Birthday Cake

Last week was Katie’s belly button birthday.  We were teasing her today actually on how she displays not just her cards but, her gifts too on her fire place mantel until her husband’s birthday in September.  That’s a whole month she gets to stare at her presents!  I’d want to use them, touch them, play with them!  Katie and my husband are exactly one week apart and some of their character assets remind me of each other.  I don’t know if these traits are because of their birth sign or what, but here are some of things they both do:  Katie keeps almost everything and has a hard time parting with things from her past.  Jacob has a hard time parting too, with everything.  We have a garage full of comic books, records, old rock collections, coins and surf magazines he forgot he owned.  My theory, if you haven’t used it in six months toss it.  They are both gentle and kind.  Where as, I’m a little rough around the edges.  And they both like old fashion things.  I guess point being, opposites do attract?

A couple months ago I was going through foodgawker and saw a cake I thought Katie would love.  Since we work in the construction field we constantly have vendors and salespeople coming to the office and dropping by goodies and wanting to take us to lunch.  They all say they can give us the best deal in town.  And to be honest, the one that gives the most has the biggest impact on our decision making.  We’ve gotten things from bags of pretzels (don’t ask), to dozens of donuts, to fruit from Harry and David, to full spread lunches.  When donuts come Katie is hoping there’s always that old fashion cake style donut with pink icing and sprinkles.  She’ll walk by the box a few times, check it out, come back to our office, and maybe say a word or two about it.  It’s kind of an unspoken rule, that you save the pink iced donuts for Katie.  So – when I saw this cake I thought BINGO, Katie’s birthday treat.

I got the recipe here.  And ended up making this cake a double layer which wasn’t intended.  When it came out of the oven it was S-M-A-L-L!  I panicked!  Thank goodness I had enough ingredients to be able to make another layer!  What I’m getting to is – if you want to make a full bundt cake I would double this recipe.  The cake itself wasn’t very sweet, kind of like a cake donut isn’t.  It was the icing that gave it, its sweetness.  The sour cream made it extremely moist.  It could almost qualify for a morning coffee cake.  I bet it would be delicious with a cup of coffee!

Katie, I hope this year brings you lots of love, peace and happiness!  Happy Birthday!