Rich Chocolate Quinoa Cake with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

After my race on Saturday, we rushed home so I could make a birthday cake for my dad. One of my infamous dairy-free recipes that wins the hearts of everyone who tastes it. For real.

I had originally planned to make Angela’s no bake version of her Chilled Double Chocolate Torte, but the avocados I bought last Tuesday were still not ripe enough.

So, I decided last minute that I’d whip up a chocolate quinoa cake similar to this one, minus the Valentine’s Day theme.

It may have been a bad idea to embark on a 2 hour cake baking session after running a 10k, but I wanted to make my dad something fantastic! After all, birthdays only come once a year and fathers day is right around the corner. So I felt it was justified.

Rich Chocolate Quinoa Cake with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

Gluten free, Dairy free, Sugar free, Yeast free, Corn free

Rich, velvety gluten-free chocolate cake made with cooked red or white quinoa, topped with a sweet, thick frosting. Can be made vegan, too!

Frosting

  • 3/4 cup coconut butter
  • 1 1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk, refrigerated overnight – see note
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoon vanilla
  • 3/4 cup coconut flour, sifted
  • 3/4 cup arrowroot

Cake

  • 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 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1 cup coconut/coconut 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

Directions

Frosting

  1. Mix all ingredients with a hand mixer or food processor.
  2. note: I used 2 cans of organic coconut milk, chilled overnight. Pierced a hole in the bottom of each can and drained out the coconut water. Allowed the coconut cream to soften on the counter for an hour before I began the recipe.
  3. note2: recipe could be made vegan if agave nectar is used instead of unpasteurized honey.
  4. note3: if the frosting is too soft to spread on the cake, place in the fridge for 20 minutes and retry.

Cake

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine quinoa and water. Cover, bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer for 10 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat [keep covered!] and allow to sit for 10 minutes. Once complete, fluff with fork and set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350F
  4. 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.
  5. Combine milk, eggs, and vanilla in blender. Blend until smooth.
  6. 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]
  7. In a large bowl, whisk together coconut sugar, cacao powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the contents of the blender to the bowl and mix well with a hand mixer.
  8. 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.
  9. Allow cakes to cool for a couple of hours before removing from the pans and topping with icing.

Guess how old my dad is turning?

58!

It’s hard to believe, really. It feels like just yesterday that I was sitting on the kitchen floor with a paper banner stretched across the room writing in the biggest letters imaginable “Happy 40th Birthday, Daddy. I love you!” We later pinned the banner over a bridge on the highway so he’d see it on his way home. That was 18 years ago? What. the. hay?!

I used unsweetened dried bing cherries for the numbers. They’re so much healthier than sprinkles, and they actually have taste to them!

The cake in action at my parents house…

Everyone really enjoyed it, especially my dad!

Thankfully, they gave us two pieces to take home so I could take pictures of them for you all to see.

And for me to eat, of course!

I may or may not have had a slice for breakfast before going to the gym on Sunday.

It may look and taste like cake, but underneath it’s just quinoa, cacao, eggs, a little bit of low glycemic sugars, high fiber coconut flour, and honey! Sounds like a good breakfast to me :D

Have you ever made a cake from scratch for someone on their birthday? This was my first time!

What’s your favorite cake flavor? As a kid I loved the vanilla with colored sprinkled! Now, it’s definitely chocolate.

How was your weekend?

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