Chocolate Quinoa Cake! Gluten, Nut, Chocolate and Dairy free!

Chocolate Quinoa Cake

This is quite simply one of the best healthy chocolate cakes you will ever try. Mainly because it doesn't taste healthy at all, it tastes incredibly chocolatey. As soon as I tried one slice during a yoga retreat, I went back for another before beseeching Mr NQN to get a third piece for me. Here is the recipe for the best chocolate quinoa cake with rich, thick coconut frosting!

I was over at my friend JY's house one Saturday morning trying on her jewellery. She is a jewellery designer but also a food lover so the first hour didn't involve touching a single jewel. It involved food. Specifically eating cookies and drinking tea and talking about 50 different subjects at once.

She told me about how she follows some models on Instagram and how they were really into competitive baking.

"What do you mean competitive baking? They don' do they?" I asked, confused by the whole concept.

"They don't! They do all of this mad decorating and then they throw away the cake!" she explained. She showed me some pictures of their elaborate cakes and my eyes widened. They really did a nice job decorating but I couldn't believe that they would throw away any of it. But I guess models know models and even their friends wouldn't want to eat the cake. Sounded like a rather strange way to do things but then again nobody has ever mistaken me for a model...

While I don't throw things away, I do give things away just because there are just two of us at home and Mr NQN doesn't like cakes and biscuits, two things that I love to cook and eat. But this beauty? Well there was a huge queue of people wanting this cake...

Chocolate Quinoa Cake

I first tried it at Billabong Retreat made by their chef Toni. Chef Simon kindly wrote out her recipe for me and I took it home excitedly. While I knew that it was healthy I didn't expect that this gorgeously rich and moist chocolatey cake would actually have no chocolate in it along with being gluten free, nut free and packed with quinoa.

This is also the easiest cake you will make. Really, the hardest thing is cooking the quinoa (which isn't that hard, it's like cooking rice except it cooks for 40 minutes instead of 15). The rest is literally blitzed in the food processor together and then baked. The icing is made in a saucepan and then cooled and the whole cake has a wonderfully moistness to it and keeps that way for days.

I mean it when I saw that if you are after a healthier version of a chocolate cake that you should stop everything and make this cake. It is that good and curiously, it is also dense, moist and filling, probably from the quinoa and the chocolate frosting is silky heaven! It is quite simply an amazing chocolate cake that even Mr NQN wanted to hang onto. Except my trainer Nina wanted it as did another friend. Despite the fact that it has no chocolate, only cacao powder, it is intensely chocolatey. You could even make this dairy free if you replace the butter with a dairy free spread or more coconut oil. And really if it is filling, is it not perfect for models? ;)

So tell me Dear Reader, do you give away things that you bake? And are you curious about this cake? Have you ever had quinoa in a cake before? And I'm curious, how many of you like healthier recipes?

Chocolate Quinoa Cake

Gluten Free Rich Chocolate Quinoa Cake!

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Adapted from chef Toni at Billabong Retreat

Preparation time: 10 minutes (plus 40 minutes to cook quinoa if you are cooking it from scratch)

Baking time: 35 minutes

  • 2 cups cooked, cooled quinoa (any colour)
  • 1/3 cup almond milk (I used regular milk, use this or soy milk if you want it nut free)
  • 4 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup melted butter (sub with all coconut oil to make this dairy free)
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1 cup coconut sugar (I used regular sugar)
  • 1/2 cup raw cacao powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For rich chocolate frosting

  • 1.5 cups coconut cream (the thick part on top)
  • 1/2 cup cacao powder
  • 1/3 cup coconut sugar (I used regular caster or superfine sugar)
  • Cacao nib sprinkles (optional)

Step 1 - Preheat oven to 175C/347F and spray the inside of a bundt tin very well. You can also do this in a regular 20cm/8inch round or square tin, just line the sides and base with parchment.

Chocolate Quinoa Cake

Chocolate Quinoa Cake

Step 2 - Blitz the eggs, milk and vanilla together in a food processor. Add quinoa, butter and coconut oil and blitz again. Add sugar, cacao powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt and blitz briefly until combined. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 30-35 minutes until a skewer inserted comes out clean. If you are using a non bundt tin (a regular round 20cm/8inch tin) bake for about 1 hour. Allow to cool completely in tin (it is delicate while warm). You can store this in the fridge, covered with cling wrap until the next day.

Chocolate Quinoa Cake

Step 3 - Make the frosting by placing the coconut cream in a saucepan and heat on medium heat. Sieve in the cacao powder and add in the sugar and whisk to get rid of any lumps. Dollop it on the cake - you can make patterns in the icing too. Decorate with cacao nib sprinkles

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