Chocolate Quinoa Cake

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 (except my non dessert eating husband) 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.

  1. 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.
  2. Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease two 8 inch round cake pans (13×9 pan works too). Line bottoms with parchment paper
  3. 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.
  4. In a medium bowl, combine sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add to quinoa mixture and mix well, scraping down as needed.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blueberry Breakfast Bundt Cake

gluten free / dairy free / vegan option / refined sugar free

Michigan blueberries in March. How you ask?? Well….they are frozen of course!! And believe me, they are as sweet and luscious as the day I got them from the local farmers market here in Milwaukee. When I pulled them out of the freezer the other day I was already jonesing for some sort of cake. (Side notes….I am a baked goods junky. Before you judge me too harshly let me say that I am a discerning sugar junky with impeccable taste. And while I’m on the confession train, I might as well apologize up front for my rambling writing style and general potty mouth. In terms of my rambling “habit”….what can I say…I have two young kids, two entreprenurial businesses , two passions without a paycheck and a hubby that travels. So, I never do just one thing at a time or at a nice easy pace.  And I tend to write like I talk… fast and with a mouth that would make any sailor proud, sorry mom!).

Where was I??? Oh yea….blueberries and cake. Before I had set my eyes on those Michigan blueberries I had been leaning heavily towards a redo of my mom’s amazing poppyseed bundt cake. Redo in the sense that I have recently discovered (within the last year that I am highly intolerant to gluten and (cue the sad song) most likely cow milk based dairy as well. I am currently debating whether or not to retest for Celiac’s and other auto immune diseases as I am one of many who got bad medical advice and did the blood panels after already pulling gluten out of my diet. But more on that topic later.

My mom’s poppyseed bundt cake, the same cake which was one of my favorite birthday cake options as a teenager is chock full of both gluten and dairy. The cake starts with a super moist yellow cake (the secret ingredient is vanilla pudding). Then is finished with a sweet almond glaze drizzled over the top. I mean…just describing it makes me want to jump off the wagon and run full speed to my bundt pan. I can still remember how sad I was a  year ago at the beginning of my gluten free journey when I thought this cake or any cake really would be lost to me forever. Even though I was already a lover of baking/cooking and a self proclaimed foodie I had ZERO idea how to make anything with gluten, without it. Fast forward to now and I squeal like a little pig at the thought of re-making a beloved dessert or family recipe. Armed with my newly rediscovered Michigan blueberries I took the essence of my mom’s poppyseed cake recipe and I decided to make what I now lovingly call the blueberry “breakfast” bundt cake.

This cake is a perfect choice for a Sunday brunch. It’s sweet without being overwhelmingly so and the burst of bright blueberries pairs exceptionally well with more savory brunch items. I honestly prefer this cake without the glaze. And love that wihout it the cake is also refined sugar free. However, if you are looking for a more sinful cake just add the vanilla/almond glaze and I promise your sweet tooth will be silent. Enjoy! nom nom

Blueberry “Breakfast” Bundt Cake

1 cup (2 sticks) room temperature organic butter or butter alternative, plus more to grease bundt pan

2 1/2 cups Gluten Free flour mix (see recipe below) or any GF all purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt; I prefer fleur de sel salt though it is more $$$

2 cups coconut palm sugar

3 large eggs or flax seed eggs

1 cup of greek or non-dairy yogurt; vanilla or plain both work

Zest of 1 lemon

1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries; thaw and pat dry blueberries if using frozen

Cake Glaze (optional) I prefer this cake without the glaze!

1 cup of powdered sugar; sifted

1/4- 1/2 tsp of pure vanilla extract. Start with 1/4 tsp, taste and go from there. You can also do pure almond extract for a different flavor profile.

2 TBS  milk or non dairy milk

Sift powdered sugar into a small bowl. Whisk in vanilla extract and milk until you have a smooth glaze. The glaze should lightly coat you spoon. Drizzle over cake once it is completely cool.

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease the bundt cake pan with butter or non stick spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking soda and salt together. Set aside.
  3. In a stand mixer or with an electric mixer beat together the butter and sugar at medium speed for appx 3 minutes, or until smooth and creamy.
  4. Turn the mixer to low speed and add one egg at a time. Make sure each egg is well incorporated before adding the next.
  5. Add the dry ingredients from step 2 and mix until combined.
  6. Add in the yogurt and lemon zest and mix. Once incorporated, turn the mixer to high and beat for 2 minutes.
  7. Fold in the blueberries. Make sure to really incorporate the blueberries into the mix. This way each bite of cake you take will have that burst of blueberries in it!
  8. Transfer mixture to bundt pan. Bake for 55-65 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Place bundt pan on wire rack, let cool for a 5 minutes. Remove cake from pan and let cool completely on wire rack.
  9. If you are using the vanilla glaze, You can make this while the cake cools. Just dip a spoon into the glaze and drizzle it over the cake. Best part is you can use as much or as little of the glaze as you would like.