Lovers Chocolate Raspberry Quinoa Cake

I’ve never done this much Valentine’s Day baking in my life. This easily surpasses what I did at Christmas.

Something you should know about me – I have a tendency to go overboard on everything, including themed events.

But I can now say with 100% confidence, this is the last new 2011 Valentine’s recipe I’ll be posting. I promise.

Now that all the baking is done and I’m prepped for our romantic homemade dinner for two on Monday, I’m going to take the weekend to shift my attention inward and do a bit of journal work.

I like documenting my inner reflections in a journal so I have the opportunity to go back to my entries months later to see where I was at, how I’ve changed, and to inspire myself to keep on keepin’ on.

So, without further adieu, here’s what I’m planning…


  • The love I have for the people in my life
  • The love I have for myself, and what; if anything, is in the way of me loving myself unconditionally
  • What I’m appreciative for
  • What aspects of my life would benefit from more gratitude

What a fun weekend I have ahead of me!

Lovers Chocolate Raspberry Quinoa Cake

Gluten free, Vegan, Dairy free

When’s the last time you had a slice of cake that was 1 full serving of protein? Switch things up by trying this delicious cooked quinoa cake, complete with pretty pink [naturally colored] frosting. Your first bite will surprise you with a mouse-like consistency, deep and rich chocolate flavor, with a slight taste of coconut. What’s more romantic than that? Sheesh!

Inspired by: Quinoa 365 and Elana’s Pantry



  • 1 1/2 cup full fat coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup agave nectar
  • 5 teaspoon arrowroot powder
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup raspberries [if frozen, make sure to defrost]


  • 2/3 cup red quinoa, uncooked
  • 1 2/3 cup water
  • 1/2 cup Almond Breeze Almond Milk – Original Unsweetened – or you can use another milk of your choice
  • 4 flax eggs – 4 tablespoon freshly ground flax mixed with 8 tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 cup sucanat sugar
  • 1 cup cacao powder or cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon Himalayan rock salt


  • 2 cups frozen raspberries, defrosted and mashed with a fork

Note: Instead of flax eggs, 4 real eggs can be used. [The recipe would not be vegan if this change was made]

Instead of sucanat sugar, regular brown sugar will do the trick


  1. In a medium size saucepan, combine coconut milk and agave. Cook on medium heat, whisking every-so-often until it comes to a boil.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix arrowroot powder and water. Add to saucepan.
  3. Continue to whisk icing until it thickens [about 1 minute]. Remove from heat and slowly add in coconut oil, whisking to combine.
  4. Place vanilla, icing mixture and raspberries in blender. Blend until smooth.
  5. Place icing in a glass container, leave on counter until cool, then place in fridge. Allow to cool in the fridge for 1.5-2hrs. Consistency should be that of icing. Once ready to ice the cake, whip up the icing with a hand blender.
  6. Now, to make the cake!
  7. In a medium saucepan, combine quinoa and water. Cover, bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer for 10 minutes.
  8. Remove from heat [keep covered!] and allow to sit for 10 minutes. Once complete, fluff with fork and set aside.
  9. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350F
  10. Lightly grease two 9 inch round pans. Line the bottoms with parchment paper [believe me, it's worth the effort. Just DO it!]. Set aside.
  11. Combine milk, flax eggs, and vanilla in blender. Blend until smooth.
  12. Add 2 1/4 cup of the cooked quinoa, and the coconut oil. Blend until smooth [may be challenging to do, just blend it as best you can]
  13. In a large bowl, whisk together sucanat, cacao powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the contents of the blender to the bowl and mix well with a hand mixer.
  14. Divide the batter evenly between the two pans and bake on the middle rack of your oven for 40-50 minutes [my cake was perfectly cooked at 48 minutes]. You can test to determine if the cake is done by inserting a toothpick in the middle.
  15. Allow cakes to  cool for a couple of hours before removing from the pans and topping with icing.
  16. Serve with raspberry sauce drizzled over top.

Makes a 9×9 double layered cake.

Can be stored in a sealed container in the freezer for 14 days, or in the fridge for 3 days.

Do you keep a journal?

If you could reach out to someone in your life to tell them how appreciative you are of them, who would it be? What would you say?

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Comments | Leave Your Comment

  1. Oh my gosh, quinoa in cake is such a great idea!! It looks so delicious I’m seriously drooling over here (at work of all places, haha)!

    Also, I absolutely love your goals to explore those parts of your life! I’m going to try to do the same! xoxo

    • The cake was so moist! I can’t get over how different it was. Plus… it’s vegan! I guess it’s better to drool at work than get bored staring at a computer screen all day. Thanks, Stef!

  2. I worked with someone who couldn’t have gluten so having birthday cake was always a challenge. I would make a gluten-free box cake mix most of the time but once I got a really bad one. This would be perfect! I am forwarding this to her!

  3. This cake looks gorgeous! I would have never thought to use quinoa, but that’s a great, healthy idea! Great photos, too!

  4. I’m always looking for new ways to make quinoa, i’m totally trying this!

  5. This looks so good. I especially love that it is using almond milk – my new favorite.

  6. I am such a huge fan of quinoa, and keep saying I will make a cake….but still haven’t:) Love this recipe, looks so fun, and full of flavor! My favorite way to enjoy quinoa is in quinoa cookies I created:)

    • quinoa cookies? OMG I love quinoa! I like that you added yogurt to the cookies, such a great idea!

  7. I stumbled across your website and specifically this recipe in pursuit of a birthday cake for my partner. I ended up making a cake from Elana’s Pantry using almond flour (I’m used to the way her recipes turn out) but tried your icing. Substituted the raspberries for sour cherries and oh my goodness, it was divine! He loved it!! Next time I will try the quinoa cake as well…just need to head to pick some up!

    • I’m glad you liked the icing! I’ll have to try it with cherries. I bet that combination would be fantastic! Let me know what you think about the cake. I loved the mousse like texture to it. It’s so dense and delicious!

  8. OH! This looks so so so so so so good! Do you think I could sub regular quinoa for the red? Other then that, i’ve got all the ingredients on hand..and want to make this this instant! You come up with the most AMAZING recipes!

    • Thanks Olivia! You could use red quinoa, no problem.

  9. Just made it for my husband’s birthday, but I cut down the coconut oil in both the icing and the batter. Still pretty darn moist!

  10. I just made the Moist Chocolate Cake from Quinoa 365… absolutely LOVE it! But I think I might even be more in love with your version.. looks fantastic…not sure if I can wait till next valentines to make it tho’!
    Thanks for the recipe!

  11. Hi there, anything I can substitute for the arrowroot powder?? Don’t have any!

    • You could try tapioca starch. Or, if you’re not sensitive to corn, you could try corn starch. Good luck!

      • Decided to run out and grab some. It’s in the oven now! The kids were licking the bowl and definitely didn’t tell them there was quinoa in it. I’m not going to tell anyone till after we eat it!

  12. This cake sounds delicious! Is it recommended to bake it the day you are going to eat it or a couple days before?

    • It’s good for about 3 days. I usually make it the day/night before a party or family get together and it works every time.

  13. Decadent! made this yesterday. Could not stop eating! had it for dinner last night and for lunch today. I can’t wait to make another one. Thank you for this awesome recipe.

  14. Hi Leanne- I can’t wait to try this, but would black or white quinoa work just as well? I’ve never known what the difference is, I just use different colors with different broths.

    • I’ve tried this cake with red and white, both worked out fine. I haven’t been able to find black quinoa, but I’m sure that would work also. Enjoy!

      • And one more question :) About the coconut oil – can I replace it with another oil? I hate coconut, and it’s been driving me crazy that all these fantastic recipes, yours and others, use coconut oil. I have hemp, canola, vegetable and olive oil. Thanks so much!

        • The coconut oil is essential for the icing. It helps harden the mixture. If you used another type of oil it would be more like a glaze. Instead, you could try using the frosting I used with this cake and replace the coconut flour with additional arrowroot, or tapioca. For the coconut butter, you could try another nut butter.
          For the oil in the cake – vegetable or canola would be best. You should never cook with hemp oil as it drastically harms the fats. That stuff is great for salad dressings though!

        • Hey Lynne, I might add that coconut oil does not taste or smell like coconut! It does have a faint taste of “fat”, but definitely not coconut! Maybe that might help you?!

  15. I’m legit gonna have to dedicate a weekend entirely to baking and cooking your recipes. This is getting ridiculous.

    • haha I’m happy you’re liking what you’re finding, Jessi! This cake is loved by many of my friends. If you’re going to make one thing, I’d say… make this one!!

  16. Made this yesterday for V-day. It was a total hit. The pink frosting looked amazing and it was incredibly moist.

    • I’m so happy that it worked out for you, Harley! It’s our go-to cake for any occasion.

    • Nope! It can be any type of quinoa that you have on hand. Enjoy!

  17. I made this cake yesterday for my partners B-day party…and WHAT A HIT!!! Loved by ALL!! Also made the Two-bite black bean brownies (sans-frosting) earlier in the week for a pre-party celebration and not one person in attendance left without your website link….<3 Thank-you so much for your dedication and time in figuring all this out Leanne! You have made, and continue to make a huge impact in my life and the lives of those I care about by making the foods we love healthy and eatable!!!

    • Wow Steven, thank you for your amazing comment. I’m so happy that you and your group of friends have been able to enjoy my recipes. Thanks for sharing the love and linking them up to Healthful Pursuit!

  18. OH my goodness. Made this cake, followed the recipie to a T… and it is quite possibily THEE best cake I have ever had. I realize that is a bold statement but it is the TRUTH! Delicious. Thank you for all of these fabulous recipes. My husband and I both are enjoying kitchen time together recreating these hits!

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