This Chocolate Quinoa Cake is easy to make, light and fluffy, and very similar in taste to a traditional cake. It is sugar free and sweetened only with fruit. We love it with my (sweet potato) Healthy Chocolate Frosting.
This chocolate quinoa cake was a happy mistake. A very, very happy mistake.
A few years ago, Starbucks started carrying gluten free quinoa brownies. I loved the idea– but the reality was they were uber-sweet, and the ingredients were corn starch and sugar, with a little bit of quinoa in the mix.
I’ve been meaning to recreate those brownies with healthier ingredients and less sugar since I discovered them. I loved the little pops of quinoa– they were made with whole cooked quinoa, not flour.
I’ve made about 15 batches the past month trying to figure out how to make a brownie-textured dessert, and what I’ve ended up with are lots of dense brownie energy bars (awesome in their own way– we have been loving them smeared with sunflower butter), and cake. Light, fluffy, perfectly sweet, but not-too-sweet, cake.
Cake that inspired this amazing healthy chocolate frosting — a fudgey treat made with a base of sweet potatoes! Both recipes are gold mines. They are certainly ones that will be made over and over again in this house.
Just to be sure, I’ve tested these out on a few recipe testers who aren’t used to my lower sugar, healthier desserts, the the overwhelming verdict was that these “just taste like chocolate cake.” Thumbs up.
Tips for Chocolate Quinoa Cake
- This cake is meant to have some of the quinoa texture, so don’t worry if your batter still has pieces of quinoa– these give the cake an interesting texture, but really aren’t very noticeable.
- Make it Gluten Free: Quinoa, arrowroot, and cocoa powder are naturally gluten free, so this cake is a great option.
- Make it Ahead: This cake makes amazing, firm slices– nothing crumbly here! It freezes perfectly. Just wrap it up tightly in wrap or a freezer bag, and then defrost and store in the refrigerator when ready to use.
Chocolate Quinoa Cake
- 1 1/2 cups quinoa cooked (about 1/2 cup raw quinoa)
- 8 1/2 ounces dates*
- 1/3 cup coconut oil
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup arrowroot powder
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- Preheat oven to 350 degree F.
- Line an 8x8 pan with baking paper and set aside.
- Pit dates, and then pour boiling hot water over the dates and allow to sit for 1-2 minutes to soften.
- Drain dates well, and then add to a food processor with cooked quinoa.
- Process for 1-2 minutes until the dates are broken up.
- Add coconut oil, eggs, and vanilla, and process for another 1-2 minutes, until the dates are broken up, but there is still some texture to the quinoa. This can also be done in a high speed blender, but the goal isn't to have a completely smooth batter, so don't over process.
- Add cocoa powder, arrowroot, sea salt and baking soda, and then pulse to combine (use a spoon to stir in any dry ingredients after pulsing 5-6 times).
- Pour batter into prepared baking dish, and use a spoon to smooth over the top.
- Bake for 28-32 minutes.
- Allow to cool at least 15 minutes before cutting. I fully cool, frost, cut into bars, and keep in the refrigerator.
- Refrigerate for 4-5 days, or freeze for up to a couple of months in a well sealed container.
Other Sugar Free Treat Recipes:
- Healthy Snickers Pie, by Sprouted Routes
- Healthy 4-Ingredient Brownies, by Big Man’s World
- Blissful Blueberry Breakfast Bars, by Vitamin Sunshine
- Gluten Free Date Bars, by Vitamin Sunshine
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