Naturally Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake

I have come to the realization that I am a terribly inconsistent blogger.  I get too easily distracted by the rest of the world!  But, I have a crazy backlog of recipes to share with all of you and I am excited to share!

2015-05-02 17.18.19

First up is this PERFECT gluten free chocolate cake.  It’s spectacular!  AND!  Hold the phone.  It doesn’t have ANY flour!   So even if you’re not a regular gluten free baker (and even if you are), you don’t have to worry about concocting a particular gluten free flour blend.

2015-05-02 17.17.39

I made this cake for my birthday and it was so easy (it’s made almost entirely in a blender) and was a huge hit.  I found the recipe here and was immediately attracted to it because of the no flour situation and because it is made with a secret ingredient!  Any guesses??



It’s quinoa!  And not quinoa flour or something that you have to grind to dust–just regular old cooked quinoa.  I make a lot of quinoa already so was excited to try making a cake with it!  It has almost a nutty flavor so I figured it would work well in a cake.  If the quinoa scares you, though, worry not!   You (pinky promise) cannot taste it.  I mean there is absolutely no way anyone would know there is quinoa in this cake unless you told them!

The cake turned out wonderfully, and, for the second year in a row, spent my birthday at Seattle’s Muddy Mutt Run!  This year it was at a new location complete with obstacles, mud pits, and a lake for the pups to swim in!

2015-05-02 11.19.03 2015-05-02 10.53.44 2015-05-02 10.52.49

If you’re in the Seattle area, they’re having another one in September that you should definitely consider going to!  Junior and Bear both had an absolute blast both times we’ve gone.  Dogs of all ages and sizes are welcome!

Anyway, back to the cake: I have a few notes about the recipe.  First off, I frosted it with the recommended chocolate whipped cream and it was a a perfect fluffy balance to the decadent chocolate cake.  But, I made this recipe into cupcakes a week or two later and frosted them with a vanilla buttercream and that was equally delicious, so pick your frosting of choice.  However, when I did make cupcakes out of this recipe, they sunk pretty dramatically in the middle!  It’s not a big deal to fix with some filling or frosting, but be warned that the cake might not translate to cupcakes without a few alterations.

2015-05-02 17.17.27

Gluten Free Chocolate Cake
makes 2 8-inch rounds 

2 cups cooked and cooled quinoa (about a heaping 1/2 cup dry quinoa)
1/3 cup milk (I used whole)
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

If you haven’t cooked quinoa before, first rinse the dry quinoa in a few rounds of water.  Place the quinoa in water (a 1:2 quinoa: water ratio) and place over high heat to bring to a simmer.  Then, turn heat to low and simmer for 15 – 20 minutes until all the water is absorbed.

To make the cake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line two 8 inch round cake pans with parchment paper and lightly spray them with cooking spray.

In a high powered blender or food processor, add the milk, eggs, and vanilla, and blend until combined.  Next, add the quinoa, butter, and espresso powder.  Blend well until smooth.

In another bowl, whisk together the sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Pour the quinoa mixture into the sugar mixture (it’ll be pretty thick) and whisk until everything is combined.  Divide the batter between the two cake pans and bake for 28-30 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.  Let the cakes cool in the pans for about 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.  I recommend keeping the cakes upright on the parchment paper until ready to frost (the wire rack can sink into the cake otherwise).  Frost as desired (or with the whipped cream frosting below!)

Chocolate Whipped Cream Frosting 
makes enough to frost two layers 

2 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream
1 1/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips
Pinch of salt

Add the chocolate chips to the bowl of a stand mixer.  Heat the whipping cream in a small pot gently over low heat until it simmers.  Pour the hot cream over the chocolate chips and let it sit for about five minutes.  After five minutes, stir the chocolate and cream until combined.  Cover the bowl with plastic and chill until very cold (about 3 hours in the fridge, less if you use an ice bath).  You need the mixture to be very cold to whip properly!  Once chilled, add a pinch of salt and, using the whisk attachment, whip the chocolate cream to soft peaks.  Use the frosting immediately or refrigerate until ready to use.

2015-05-02 17.18.07


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s