Gluten Free Quinoa Chocolate Cake


Gluten-Free Quinoa Chocolate CakeMy friend, Debbie, recently discovered that eating a gluten-free diet makes her feel so much better in so many ways. Debbie also loves chocolate, so when I saw this Gluten-Free Quinoa Chocolate Cake recipe in my Hollyhock: Garden to Table cookbook, I just knew I needed to try it out… for Debbie, of course.

I figured if it passed muster with a gluten-glutton like myself, then it would be worth sharing with my gluten-free friend.

The verdict: it was so good I decided to share it with everyone. 🙂

There are lots of flourless cake recipes out there. The secret to this one is the quinoa. Two full cups of cooked quinoa get blended into this cake, giving it a very moist consistency. And a cup of cocoa powder ensures a satisfyingly rich chocolate taste for serious chocolate lovers. Overall, I was very impressed with this recipe. It tastes like a rich devil’s food cake with the consistency of a moist, cakey brownie.

I simply dusted the cake with powdered sugar and served it with a bit of sweetened whipped cream, but it would also be wonderful frosted with butter cream or chocolate ganache.

Here is the nutritional breakdown based on 12 servings: 253 calories, 24 grams carb., 15 grams fat, 6 grams protein, 4 grams fiber, 13 grams sugar. Gluten-free.

Get tips on how to cook quinoa here.


– Mary

Gluten-Free Quinoa Chocolate Cake
Recipe Type: Gluten Free Dessert
Author: A Passionate Plate adapted from HollyHock Garden to Table Cookbook
Serves: 10-12
This moist chocolate cake tastes like an indulgently rich devil’s food cake. Quinoa is a surprise ingredient – making this dessert both gluten-free and higher in protein.
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted before measuring
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa, cooled
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup 2% milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line the bottom of a springform pan with parchment paper.*
  3. In a small bowl, combine the cocoa powder, baking powder baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  4. Combine sugar, melted butter, milk, oil and eggs in a blender and process for 30 seconds.
  5. Add the cooked quinoa and continue to blend on high for another minute.
  6. (You can also blend in a food processor, but the texture of the cake will not be quite as smooth. Increase the quinoa blend time to 2 minutes).
  7. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl.
  8. Gently stir the dry ingredients into the quinoa batter with a wooden spoon until there are no lumps.
  9. Pour the batter into the pan and bake until the cake springs back slightly and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
  10. * For a thinner cake, use a 10″ springform pan and bake approximately 30 minutes. For a thicker cake, use an 8″ springform pan and bake approximately 40 minutes.
  11. Allow cake to cool completely before serving.It tastes even better if wrapped and refrigerated overnight.
  12. Serve slices with a dollop of sweetened whipped cream.



  1. Fran McCollum says:

    I’m excitedly trying out this recipe! Could olive or coconut oil be substituted, to avoid the pro-inflammation veggie oils? If I were rich I’d use macademia oil actually!

  2. Helen says:

    I made it with a seasoned packet of quinoa and black bean and it was great. Changed out the 1 tsp. vanilla for 1/2 tsp. Mexican vanilla and 1/2 tsp. cinnamon. Topped it with a dollop of sour cream mixed with brown sugar and cinnamon.

  3. rry. Didn’t mean to repeat myself. Maybe I thought it sounded that good! lol

  4. I will pass this on to my friend, Liz, who just found out she has to be gluten free after all these years. It sounds great!
    I will pass this on to my friend, Liz, who just found out she has to be on a gluten free diet. It sounds so good!

  5. Jim Oswald says:

    I can’t wait for Helen to make this for me. It sounds great!

  6. Caroline Ellison says:

    I will, but not until we get back from China. 🙂 I’ll substitute soy milk for dairy.

  7. Caroline Ellison says:

    This sounds awesome! Will definitely try it.

    • MaryMiller says:

      Thanks, Caroline! I think you will love this recipe. Another variation if you are trying to avoid granulated sugar, is to substitute 3/4 cup maple syrup for the sugar and omit the milk. Let me know how it goes! – Mary

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