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 did not like my writing or 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 cake that is also typically flourless.

The recipe written below is how the original 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 leftovers to eat for lunch. That’s all you need to know to get started on a cake or cupcakes of your own. Enjoy!

Chocolate Quinoa Cake

4.0 from 1 reviews
Quinoa Chocolate Cupcakes
Serves: approximately 16 cupcakes
  • 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 two 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.
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.


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