gluten free / flour free / dairy free option
Easter was this past weekend and my mom always gets to choose the dessert. She observes Lent and gives up chocolate AND sugar EVERY YEAR!!! I know….crazy right?! So, I feel she above any of us should get to choose what her first dessert will be. I know, I definately don’t derserve to. In all the years (at least 35) she has observed Lent, I joined in…let’s say ten times and I was only cheat free once. My willpower when it comes to giving up my treats is next to none, or it is quite possibly even below that. As I said earlier; I’m a baked goods junkie! My mom thought about it for a few seconds and then stated her desire in two beautiful words; chocolate cake. And as soon as the words left her mouth, we both looked at each other, smiled and said “Oh! Chocolate Quinoa Cake!!” This cake is a family favorite and has been my son’s birthday cake for all of his 2 birthdays….and might I add that he devours it like a pack of starving people are chasing him. This cake rivals any “regular” chocolate cake I have ever had. It has a moist texture and the chocolate is so rich and decadent that everyone will want the recipe! I personally like the cake with a cream cheese frosting and will post it as such but you could do a buttercream as well. Because of the cake’s richness I think it is perfect with a a thick layer of frosting in the middle and on top while leaving the sides unfrosted. But….no one in my family agrees with me, so we continue to frost the whole cake!! Enjoy! nom nom
2/3 cup quinoa, well washed
1 1/3 cups water
1/3 cup almond milk
4 large eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup butter or vegan butter sticks, melted and cooled
1 1/2 cups coconut sugar (or natural cane)
1 cup (3 ounces) unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Cream Cheese Frosting (optional)
2 sticks of organic butter, softened
2 8oz boxes of cream cheese, softened
2 cups of organic powdered sugar, sifted
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
note: This is not the original cream cheese frosting recipe I grew up on with my grandma and mom. As my tastes have changed over the years the orginal version became overpoweringly sweet to me. So I fiddled with the ingredients until I came up with a frosting that was less sweet but didn’t taste like pure butter and cream cheese. This recipe has HALF the sugar of the original recipe and has a mellow sweetness to it that pairs perfectly with this cake, or any cake for that matter! But if you want the full frontal version (no judgements, it’s crazy good) just cut in half the amount of butter, cream cheese and vanilla. And use 1 pound of powdered sugar (appx 3 3/4 cups) instead of the two. You can also make this frosting vegan with non-dairy butter and cream cheese.
- In a medium saucepan, bring quinoa and water to boil; reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave covered saucepan on burner for another 10 minutes. Fluff with fork and allow to cool.
- Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease two 8 inch round cake pans (13×9 pan works too). Line bottoms with parchment paper
- In a blender or food processor, blend milk, eggs and vanilla. Add 2 cups of cooked quinoa and butter; blend until very smooth, scraping down sides as needed.
- In a medium bowl, combine sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add to quinoa mixture and mix well, scraping down as needed.
- Divide batter evenly between pans. Bake on center ovenr ack for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes. Turn cakes out of pans very gently, remove parchment paper from tops and allow to cool completely on wire rack.
- For frosting, beat butter and cream cheese in a stand mixer until combined. Add vanilla and mix. Add the powdered sugar and mix until throughly combined.