Chocolate Quinoa Cupcakes

Long, long ago when I started Love & Flour, I asked my friends for recipe ideas, and my friend Niki sent me a link to a Chocolate Quinoa Cake. Given Niki sent me the recipe on June 1, and my first blog post appeared on May 31, she either a) didn’t like my writing, or b) really liked the idea of this cake.

Quinoa seems to be popping up in a lot of places lately. I do not keep up on food trends as much as I probably should given I write a blog primarily focused on food – I tend to bake what pleases me when it pleases me – so baking a chocolate cake that makes use of quinoa made me feel quite trendy.

Chocolate Quinoa Cupcakes

I thought the cake had a rich chocolate taste, and if in need of a gluten free dessert, chocolate quinoa cake will not leave you wanting for more. If the need to make a chocolate cake arises in the future, I will likely revert to a recipe with flour, but that’s solely based on my preference for a lighter crumb and has nothing to do with the taste of this cake. This cake’s dense crumb reminded me a little bit of a molten chocolate (also typically flourless) cake.

The recipe written below is how the original recipe appears, but I actually halved the recipe with success to yield 8 cupcakes. I also cooked the quinoa according to the package instructions rather than as listed in the recipe so I would have some to eat as leftovers.

I frosted the cupcakes with a standard confectioners’ sugar butter cream made with ½ cup (1 stick) of softened butter, 3 cups confectioners’ sugar, 1 tablespoon of milk, 1 teaspoon of vanilla, and a sprinkling of cocoa powder to taste. Then I garnished the plate with cherry blossoms simply because they are oh, so pretty this time of year.

Cherry Tree

Every March, I develop a crush on this cherry tree that sits in the courtyard of my community. It’s just so, so lovely.

Now, about Marchocolate. I used to live for a slice of cookies-and-cream pie when the Kewpee back home featured chocolate pies every March.  I realize we are over halfway through the month of March, but from here on out, I will do my best to honor my own little Marchocolate by posting little but chocolate dessert recipes.

Lastly, thank you all for entering March’s giveaway. A special congratulations goes to Kathy for winning the apron by Liking the blog post! Please be sure to visit next month to enter Love & Flour’s first sponsored giveaway. Until then, enjoy!

Chocolate Quinoa Cake

4.0 from 1 reviews
Marchocolate - Quinoa Chocolate Cake
Recipe type: Dessert
  • ⅔ cup white or golden quinoa
  • 1⅓ cup water
  • ⅓ cup milk
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup butter, melted and cooled
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  1. In a medium saucepan, bring the quinoa and the water to a boil.
  2. Cover, reduce to a simmer, and cook for 10 minutes.
  3. Remove from the heat and, leaving the saucepan covered on the burner for another 10 minutes, fluff the quinoa with a fork and allow to cool.
  4. Combine the milk, eggs, and vanilla in a blender or food processor.
  5. When cool, add 2 cups of cooked quinoa and the melted butter to the mixture in the blender and blend until smooth.
  6. Whisk together the sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl.
  7. Pour the contents of the blender into the bowl of dry ingredients and mix well.
  8. Divide the batter evenly between two 8-inch round cake pans that have been lightly greased and lined with parchment on the bottoms or fill cupcake tins lined with papers about ¾ of the way to the top.
  9. Bake the cakes at 350 degrees F for 40 to 45 minutes or bake the cupcakes at 20-25 minutes. A knife or toothpick inserted into the center of the cake should come out clean.
  10. Allow the cake to cool completely before frosting if desired.


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