Decadent Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake

This cake has taken over my mind and soul since I spied it on Sally’s blog. Sally promised me it would be lifechanging. That it is super moist and absolutely rich and decadent. The thing that intrigued me the very most about it, though, is that it is made with quinoa. No flour! Just quinoa and a bunch of other basic cake ingredients. Quinoa? In a cake? No flour? Huh?

Nothing against gluten-free cake recipes but usually they call for special flour mixes that I never have on hand and can’t access in my small town; I’ve never seen one with cooked quinoa as a base. but since this cake was calling to me and I always have quinoa in my pantry, I decided to do an experiment. I made this lovely cake one Saturday afternoon when Brian was entertaining the kids. None of them knew I was frolicking in the kitchen blending up quinoa and eggs for a cake of all things. Brian and the boys kept sneaking glances at the finished masterpiece (because, while rustic since I didn’t frost the sides, it was quite the impressive piece of chocolate decadence) begging for a taste. Shockingly it stayed safe for an entire night, and Sunday afternoon, I pulled out the beauty, divvied up the slices and we all dug in.

Decadent Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake

After a few bites (of which I was completely overwhelmed with utter chocolate cake bliss), I said to the crew, “So I’ll give you a second piece if you can guess the secret ingredient.” We play this game a lot so I wasn’t surprised to hear guesses like “coconut oil” and “spinach” and “black beans.” With a smug smile (mostly smug because I was going to get to claim the second piece as my own) I told them the cake was made with quinoa, and seriously, Brian almost fell of his chair. I should have had a video camera going. I could have won a lot of money on AFV for his reaction. I mean, the guy likes quinoa ok but not necessarily in a chocolate cake or so he thought.

You know how things taste “normal” until you find out there’s something unusual that you weren’t expecting in them and then you swear you can taste “it” whatever “it” is? I thought for sure that would be the case but I cross my heart and swear to die, we could not taste the quinoa. Not me who knew it was in there initially and not Brian and the kids who were licking their plates. It’s like a magical substitute for flour in baked goods. (And I apologize if I’m announcing to you something that has been, like, common knowledge for years; clearly I’m late to the quinoa-in-cakes party.)

This is definitely one of the most decadent, rich, moist cakes I’ve ever tasted. Of course it doesn’t hurt that the cake is slathered in fluffy billows of whipped chocolate cream. But in all honesty, I would have eaten this cake top to bottom if it was drenched in mud, it is that good. Ok, I take that back. Not mud. But I’d eat it plain for sure. A dusting of powdered sugar? No doubt.

Even if you haven’t converted over to quinoa for savory dishes and salads, I promise you that this cake will win you over. If it doesn’t, feel free to ship the leftovers to me. I’ll polish them off for you. But hang on to that frosting because holy moly, you’ll be eating it by the spoonful.

Decadent Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake

One Year Ago: Skillet Cilantro and Lime Fish Tacos
Two Years Ago: Grilled Steak Burgers
Three Years Ago: Savory Spiral Stuffed Rolls

Decadent Chocolate Cake with Whipped Chocolate Frosting

Yield: Serves 12

Decadent Chocolate Cake with Whipped Chocolate Frosting

You'll need about 1/2 cup (maybe a bit more) dry quinoa for 2 cups cooked. Make sure to measure the quinoa for the cake recipe after it is cooked and cooled. Also, make sure to cook the quinoa in water not broth.

Ingredients

    Cake:
  • 2 cups cooked and cooled quinoa (see note above)
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Frosting:
  • 2 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 1/4 cups semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips

Directions

  1. For the cake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease two 8-inch round cake pans. Line the bottoms of the pans with parchment paper.
  2. Combine the milk, eggs and vanilla in a blender or food processor. Process just until combined. Add the cooked quinoa and the butter. Blend well until smooth.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the contents from the blender and mix with a wooden spoon or whisk until combined.
  4. Divide the batter evenly between the two pans and bake on a rack in the middle position for 28-30 minutes or until a knife or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven and cool for 10 minutes. Invert the cakes onto cooling racks (remove the parchment paper stuck to the bottom of the cakes).
  5. For the frosting, place the chocolate chips in a medium bowl. Heat the whipping cream in a saucepan until it gently simmers. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate chips and let the mixture sit for five minutes. Whisk to combine until it is glossy and smooth. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate until completely chilled and cold (2-3 hours). You can speed up this process by placing the bottom of the bowl in an ice water bath and stirring until cool. When fully chilled, use an electric mixer (stand mixer or handheld) to whip the mixture to soft peaks.
  6. Place one cake layer upside down on a serving platter or plate. Top with a generous portion (about half) of the whipped frosting, spreading to within 1/2-inch of the edge of the cake (it will press to the edge when the top cake layer is put on).
  7. Gently put the other cake layer upside down on top of the frosted layer. Spread the remaining frosting over the top of the cake. You could definitely frost the sides, too, but I like the more rustic look for this cake - frosting just the middle and top.
  8. Chill the frosted cake in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before serving to let the frosting set up a bit.
http://www.melskitchencafe.com/decadent-chocolate-cake/
Recipe Source: cake from Good Dinner Mom (love Sally!) and frosting adapted from Sips and Spoonfuls

200 Responses to Decadent Chocolate Cake with Whipped Chocolate Frosting {Gluten-Free!}

  1. Ali says:

    I made this a while ago and it was awesome! The cake was rich, choclatey, moist, and you could hardly taste the quinoa. It was also great for my celiac friends and family members! (though the quinoa that you could taste left an almost nutty taste that made the cake so much better) And the frosting was indescribable! I didn’t quite have enough time to let it sit in the fridge for a few hours, so I just put it in the freezer and went to check on it every 20 min or so. Thank you for the great recipe!

  2. Ali says:

    I made this cake a while ago, and it was amazing! The cake was rich, smooth, and you couldn’t hardly taste the quinoa! (though the quinoa that you could taste left a nutty taste that went great with the flavor) My celiac friends and family loved it and were excited that there was something they could eat! The frosting was indescribable, I didnt have enough time to let the frosting sit in the fridge for a few hours so i ended up putting it in the fridge and mixing it every 20 min or so, and it turned out great! Thanks for the great recipe!

  3. Ali says:

    I made this cake the other day and it was fantastic! The cake itself was chocolatey, moist, and you could hardly taste the quinoa.(Though the quinoa that you could taste left an almost nutty taste, that added to the richness) The frosting was delightful! I didn’t have enough time to let the cake sit in the fridge for 2-3 hours so I just placed it in the freezer, and stirred it every 20 min. or so, and it turned out great! Thanks for the recipe!

  4. Richard Stewart says:

    Mel, I was pleased to have found this recipe. It gave me hope in my pursuit to find suitable desserts as a gluten sensitive individual. It has been 6 years since I have sought out desserts with respect to my diet. And yours was the first that I tried. Thank you for idea of using quinoa as a base ingredient. That was the “go to” moment for me. Furthermore, I would like to share with you and your followers my personal experience after following your instructions and making a couple of modifications. I also have created a spreadsheet of mine that includes all of the ingredients, amounts and dietary information. Please let me know if this is something that you and your followers might find helpful. I can send you the information for your approval via email if you see the benefit. Again, thank you for opening my eyes to the possibility of using quinoa as a base ingredient in which to build upon.

    • Mel says:

      Hi Richard – I’m very happy that you enjoyed this recipe! Is it possible to put your spreadsheet into a shareable Google doc format? Then that way you could share the link with everyone?

  5. Amanda says:

    Hi Mel, Thank you so much for this AMAZING recipe! I used my Vitamix for 2 minutes to blend and baking took exactly 33 minutes in my oven. For those of you having problems with separation or not getting it to whip, the heavy whipping cream must be SUPER cold. I had to leave it outside in 30 degree weather for about 30 minutes and then it finally whipped up. Took double the time to whip than usual.

    My daughter has a severe wheat allergy and is on a gluten-free diet. She’s never had cake before and her 1st birthday is coming up and I was looking for a gluten-free chocolate cake recipe and I came across your site. I was so excited to try and it and just made it today. OMG….I am in chocolate heaven and I cannot believe the secret ingredient is quinoa! I just took some over to a neighbor and will reveal the secret ingredient after they try it :) I will also be sure to post the recipe on my blog and credit you. Thank you again!

    • Mel says:

      As a quick update to anyone who wonders, I made this cake into cupcakes today and it worked beautifully! Made 24 and I baked them for about 15 minutes. They don’t have the pretty domed top like bakery cupcakes, but even though they are kind of flattish, they still taste incredible.

  6. Jennifer M says:

    I’ve been GF for a few years now and this is a new one on me also. I’m ready to try cupcakes with this recipe tomorrow. Anything I need to know about baking cups or baking times before I do?

  7. Maria says:

    I can’t wait to make this for my GF friend! However, she is also lactose intolerant. Any advice on replacements for the milk? Can I use almond, rice or soy milk with similar results? Thank you for sharing this awesome recipe! :)

    • Mel says:

      Hi Maria – if you read through the comment thread, there are a couple people that have successfully made adaptations for dairy-free. I’ll refer you to those comments since I haven’t tried it myself. Good luck!

  8. Auntiepatch says:

    Well. I. Never! I’m going to have to try this!

  9. Jen says:

    This was so amazing!! Thank you!!

  10. mary says:

    I made the cake yesterday hoping to serve it for our daughter’s birthday but had a big problem, the cake layers baked beautifully but after placing them on the cooling rack, i had a major problem in removing the layers from the rack. They either stuck to the rack or broke into pieces!! I had made the frosting so i just used it as a sort of glue. Definitely was not the elegant look that i was after. My guess is that the cake is super fragile. Next time, i will make cupcakes.

  11. Tiffany says:

    I had some leftover quinoa in the fridge and decided to make this cake. It was so good! The only problem was that it was a little too crumbly. The cake slightly crumbled apart when I cut into it. Is that normal? I did use coconut sugar instead of granulated white. Not sure if that was the problem. I’d love to make this again for a friend’s birthday, but I definitely need to figure out how to make it more stable.

    • Mel says:

      Tiffany – I haven’t had a crumbly issue (although others in the comment thread have) – did you use the quinoa chilled or at room temp? That might have something to do with it, also, I haven’t ever used coconut sugar so I don’t know if that would make a difference in texture.

  12. Tabetha says:

    I saw this yesterday and made it today and it was delicious. And not just because it’s been too long since I’ve had a decent chocolate cake. But it tastes like a wonderful non-gluten free cake. It’s moist, fluffy without any of the funny after taste that GF foods sometimes has. This is a keeper in my book. I’m not an expert cake maker, so my cake did fall a bit. I noticed I had better luck with mini cupcakes since even though they fell a small amount, it was easy to cover up with frosting.

  13. Anita Schurg says:

    I was test trying this recipe tonight before actually going “live” with it at my son’s birthday party. Holy cow!!! Who knew quinoa would actually turn out this way. I do admit I need to process it a bit more next time so there isn’t the quinoa texture but quite honestly this was probably better than any regular chocolate cake I’ve ever tried. I cannot wait to make this for my celiac family members. Thanks for a super easy super delicious recipe!!

  14. Marie says:

    Oh my goodness! Made these last night, as cupcakes, for a friend and our whole family was surprised! It’s our new favorite now! Thanks for sharing!

  15. Samantha says:

    I made this cake today for my father’s birthday and it was truely delicious! Easy simple ingredients that I already had made it perfect for me. It tastes more like a chewey chocolate browny cake, but nobody comlained about that! So yummy, I will definetly make it again!

  16. Jessica says:

    Hi Mel – I made this cake for my friend who is a celiac (she just had a baby and I was super excited to make dinner so I could make this cake). She and I LOVED it too!! I read the comments above and here are somethings I learned – First I used an 8×8 pan and used half the batter in each pan (I had to make one for my family too). Second, I blended the mixture in a Bosch blender for about 3 minutes. I would have done longer, but babies were sleeping and I didn’t want to mess with nap time. :) Third, I check on the cakes and pulled the oven rack out slightly to look at them and test them for doneness. I would say that they need 28 minutes BEFORE checking otherwise they will sink (like mine did) in the middle…Just my experience. I used a foil pan and it turned out great. The edges may be a bit crispy, but nothing bad. I really enjoyed it. I ran out of heavy cream before I could use it for the recipe, so I just made my own chocolate frosting for the top. It was delicious and I think I will go enjoy another slice. :)Thank you!!

  17. gretchen says:

    Wow–I was skeptical, but this is SO GOOD! I am new to the gluten free lifestyle, and I haven’t been too happy with the options for baked goods that I’ve found so far. But this cake is fabulous–worth making just because its so tasty, health-benefits aside. Its really moist and fudgy. My only complaint is that the layers baked up really thin, so I decided to do 2 batches, or 4 layers, so the cake (which will be a birthday cake) will have the necessary height. But its so quick and easy that it was no problem to whip up another batch. Thanks!

  18. Melanie S. says:

    DD made this cake today. It was fantastic! In reading the reviews, I think the success of the recipe might hinge on the kind of blender one has. Our Blendtec pulverized the quinoa into a very appetizing wallpaper paste. There were absolutely no signs of quinoa grains anywhere. I did modify the frosting recipe, using my friend Karen’s Chocolate Whipped Cream frosting recipe instead. (http://karenscookieblog.com/2011/02/09/valentine-cupcakes/) The recipe is similar but uses cocoa, and is simpler to make, in my opinion. Thank you, thank you for sharing such a terrific recipe!

  19. Kimberly says:

    So, I made this cake yesterday and I think I am still in shock of how good it is!!!!! Even my fiancé was loving it and he “thinks” he hates quinoa lol. The cake didn’t rise much so I was a little worried at first but when I tasted it, it tasted so rich and yummy! I used soy free earth balance sticks instead of butter maybe that effected the rising, I am not sure? I also used a can of coconut cream instead of heavy cream and it worked well. I like cold cake so its nice that the cake doesn’t get hard in the fridge! I will be making this again for sure. Do you think this base would make a good vanilla cake?

    • Mel says:

      Kimberly – interesting you should ask about the vanilla variation. I thought it should be pretty easy to convert this cake to a white/vanilla cake but my last two attempts have failed pretty miserably. Gooey, nasty texture. I’m still going to try though and will definitely update if/when I get a good vanilla variation!

  20. Andrea Galyn says:

    This. Is. Delicious!!!! Thank you for sharing it. I made this recipe as cupcakes, exactly following the directions as posted here. I had never cooked quinoa in my life! But it was great, and I discovered I like it. The cupcakes rose up beautifully like muffins and two minutes later- bang- they sunk in the middle. As one to rise up in the face of adversity (haha), I grabbed my trusty pastry bag of tricks and piped the ganache into the sunken middle. Then I whipped up some heavy cream with a little bit of confectioner’s sugar and piped the whipped cream on top. Voila! Looked like I meant for it to happen. I’m hoping this image URL works so that you can see them. Thank you again!
    https://scontent-b-lga.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-frc3/t1/p480x480/1620843_10202001199164560_1149479361_n.jpg

  21. p-- says:

    Wow! My cake didn’t hold together, but delicious? Yes!

  22. Leah says:

    Sorry if this has already come up, but I am wondering if I can use quinoa flour instead? I don’t have any quinoa, but I have plenty of that.

    • Mel says:

      Hi Leah – I just answered it for Amanda above but I don’t have any experience with quinoa flour so you’d have to experiment. I’m sure it should work I just don’t have any advice. Sorry! :)

  23. Amanda says:

    Could you substitute quinoa flour?

    • Mel says:

      Amanda – I’ve never used quinoa flour so I’m not sure of the substitution amount but you could definitely experiment. Good luck!

  24. Cheyenne says:

    Hi, so I tried this cake today and it’s definitely the best gf chocolate cake I’ve made/tried. I just have two questions. One is, it’s much too bitter for me, is there a way to cut down on that. Two; It’s a bit crunchy. Was yours? Did I just not leave the Quinoa mixture in the blender long enough? Feedback would be very helpful. And thanks for the overall wonderful cake recipe!

    • Mel says:

      Cheyenne – using Dutch-process cocoa might cut down on the bitterness since it has a milder flavor than natural, unsweetened cocoa powder. I’m not familiar with Ninja blenders but I use my Blendtec or food processor to grind up the quinoa mixture. Can you blend it a few minutes longer to see if that helps?

  25. Cheyenne says:

    Also, I have a Ninja blender. That should be able to grind the quinoa up enough, right?

  26. Toni says:

    This cake was totally delicious! Very moist and super chocolate taste! It is definitely a keeper!

  27. julia says:

    im very nervous. first time making this. is the batter supposed to be watery? I feel like I did something wrong.

    • Mel says:

      Julia – The batter might be a bit on the thin side but should not be overly watery. Did it bake up well? Let me know if you have any other questions. I hope it turned out!

  28. Amanda says:

    I needed to make this sugar-free so for the cake, I substituted Swerve for the sugar, one to one. For the frosting, I used a 90% cocoa bar broken up, added the hot cream, and then sweetened with packets of Splenda and Stevia (which I had on hand) to taste. It was a huge hit with my parents who normally can’t have desserts. My husband (who eats gluten and sugar) said it was very good, not too sweet, but rich and chocolaty. So there were 6 gms of sugar in the chocolate bar, but that was negligible for the whole entire cake.

  29. Amanda says:

    I would love to make this for my husband for Valentine’s day. However, he isn’t really a chocolate cake fan, he prefers coffee cake.
    Anyone tried making a flavor substitute? I can obviously substitute the cocoa powder for instant coffee, but I would not imagine using a whole cup. I can add to taste in the batter, but I wondered about the lost volume?
    I am also considering substituting stevia for 1/2 of the sugar, and halving the butter and making both up with applesauce. Anyone else tried this or similar?

    • Mel says:

      Hi Amanda – I haven’t made either of those changes so I can’t attest for results. I will say that I did try a vanilla version of this and it was an epic fail. The batter is quite delicate and I’m not sure how the instant coffee would sub for cocoa. Good luck!

  30. Amanda says:

    Hi Mel,

    I tried it and it came out amazing! Firm enough, but so moist. I used a 9 x 12 pan and cut into 12 rectangles, plus 2 cupcake ‘tasters’. This version comes in at 104 calories per piece, without frosting.

    2 cups cooked and cooled quinoa (I used Minsley organic cooked quinoa)
    1/3 cup milk (almond)
    4 large eggs
    1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    4 tbsp butter, melted and cooled
    1/2 cup granulated sugar
    8oz unsweetened applesauce
    4 tsp instant coffee dissolved in 1 tbsp hot water
    1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon salt

    I wish I knew how to upload a picture!

  31. Stephanie says:

    I am in love with this recipe. I made them for my father-in-law’s birthday (my husband and I are gluten free but his parents are not) and everyone thought they were fantastic. They crumb in a really awesome, rustic way. SO GOOD.

    I actually made them as cupcakes, and topped them with some cherry pie filling I cooked down with a little spiced rum, and them topped with the chocolate whipped cream. Sort of a cherry cordial cupcake — he loves cherry cordials.

    I’ve tried to make chocolate whipped cream before, and this is by far the easiest, most fool-proof method I’ve found. I’m thinking it’d be great with white chocolate too.

    I just made another batch for my OWN birthday, and both the people at work AND school thought they were incredible. I just iced them with chocolate and cream cheese frosting this time. Nobody even knows they aren’t normal cupcakes.

  32. MaryAnne Brockbank says:

    I made this last night and was very surprised at how wonderful this cake toasted. I used flaked Quinoa and I didn’t use a food processor just a stand mixer on high with the whisk. It turned out great. My son (13) came in after hockey practice and asked for a muffin I said sure. He was raving how good it was then I told him it was gluten free and I asked him to rate it 1-10 he gave it an 8. I’ve made several things with gluten free flour and never liked the after taste or texture. This one was awesome! It’s on my fav list for future cakes that I have to make.

  33. Jody says:

    This recipe is amazing. The quinoa cake is now a regular dessert in our household. It is a million times better than the boxed gluten free cake mixes. Love it! Thank you

  34. Leann says:

    Question: Planning on making this for niece’s birthday cake. Would this cake be good/stand up to buttercream frosting? Could it be used as a base cake for stacking into layers? Not sure what the texture/flavor is yet – would like to know in advance? Thanks for any guidance -

    • Mel says:

      Leann – I think this cake has a slightly more delicate (some might even say crumbly) texture than a sturdy chocolate cake. If your buttercream is whipped and light, I think you will be fine but because the structure of the cake is different (quinoa vs. flour), the texture and sturdiness is different than a normal cake, too. It might be worth doing a test run if you are wanting to make this for an event. Good luck!

  35. Leann says:

    Thanks for the prompt reply. I made it — it was AMAZINGLY tasty — and was good with buttercream. Thank you – so much – for posting this. I’m excited to make it into a beautiful princess cake for granddaughter (who hasn’t had a decorated cake for a few years now, due to allergies.) Every other recipe I’ve tried was grainy or had strange after-taste. Loved this one. Thanks again!

  36. Katie says:

    Made this cake today and was shocked at how great it turned out! Two things I would add – rinse and drain the quinoa a few times before cooking it and puree the quinoa/egg mixture in the food processor, not a blender. The flavor of the cake was fantastic – so chocolately you would have no idea the quinoa was even in there!! My only issue was that it fell apart a bit here and there, I think because it was a little too moist. I used a different thicker frosting so that helped it stay together much better. I will absolutely make this cake again – thanks so much for this recipe!!

  37. Brenda says:

    HI Mel
    I came across this recipe quite by accident. I was intrigued by the quinoa. I was diagnosed with Celiac 7 years ago. I have always loved to bake so I have not had the same struggle as others with good GF desserts. Some are successes and some aren’t!
    AS for this cake I always test my GF desserts out on my “normal’ friends/relatives. Such a hit!!! I have give the recipe away many times. My GF friends and family love it too! I followed the recipe exactly as it is— great. The blender works best. Smoother texture. As for the frosting, it has never separate. I always have Hershey’s Chipits semi-sweet chips in the house. The first 2 times I made it , it was more like a decadent frosting, not whipped. Last time I made it I used Chipits (Hershey’s) baking kisses. They are larger and I used 1 cup chocolate with 2 cups whipping cream! Delicious! As others have said, thanks for sharing and this possibly one the best and easiest GF recipes. BTW…love your site and love hearing about your family!

  38. Amy says:

    Mel,
    As if you didn’t know before you have a winner on your hands with this recipe! I had signed up for a cupcake contest and did not realize how strong my competitive streak was. I was determined to find the most delicious, allergen friendly recipe available. We have a handful of allergies in our home, dairy, soy, xanthan gum and gluten so finding a cake that tastes like cake (and a winner!) has been challenging. I tried your recipe a week ago and my picky 15 year old said too many chewy bits – note to self – blend more. Next batch, too runny (just had to bake longer) – note to self- blend less. Third batch was just right! I used unsweetened almond milk and earth balance butter for our purposes. Even though they were the only allergy friendly cupcakes at the event we won Mel! So thank you for your inspiration and award winning recipe. It is my new go-to recipe. With a few tweaks I made cornbread the other night but I won’t have Goldilocks over quite yet . . . By the way, my seventeen year old has requested this for his next birthday, which doesn’t seem like an odd request to most people except he does not eat cake! He has always had ice cream cakes or root beer floats. So again from the bottom of my heart Thank You!

  39. Mary Grace says:

    I just made this cake (minus the icing because I had some regular better cream icing in the frig I needed to use up) and it was a huge hit with my 23 month old son. I literally had to grab him off the counter to keep him from sticking his face in to it, even after her had two pieces. I should also mention that we do not have any food allergies in my home so my kids are not use to gluten free stuff, and EVERYONE loved this. My husband said it was great as well.

  40. Melony says:

    Can’t wait to try this – reviewer above “Kathy” What is your problem? Just because you didn’t like it and had one bad experience out of… how many positive reviews? You come on here telling the author to delete it? Get over yourself, it’s a cake recipe. Obviously you did something wrong – SHOCKING.

  41. Kate says:

    I’m pretty sure the proportion of the cream and the chocolate (for the whipped topping) is off. i’ve already had to throw away 2 batches. I checked other websites for a ganache whipped frosting, and the chocolate is usually about double the whipping cream.

  42. Alexis says:

    So glad you didn’t delete it as a previous commenter suggested! It was moist and delicious, a hit in this gluten free household. We’re also egg free and chia worked well as a replacement.

  43. […] Source: http://www.melskitchencafe.com/2013/08/decadent-chocolate-cake.html […]

  44. […] find so many good recipes on Mel’s Kitchen Cafe, and I was pleasantly surprised to see this one posted last year with a gluten free subtitle. Be […]

  45. Debra Laudone says:

    First, let me say I LOVE QUINOA, so YUM! Secondly, I assume it would be OK to use Almond Milk in place of regular milk, but can you suggest any substitutes for the white sugar? We are eating a modified low-carb/paleo diet. Thanks so much!

    • Mel says:

      Debra – I have not tried substituting almond milk or subbing out the sugar. Your best bet would be to read through the comment thread of the recipe to see the modifications that others have tried with success. Good luck!

  46. Fannie says:

    I just made this cake. Thank you for the recipe, it was fabulous. I made it in a bundt pan. I separated the whites and yokes and whipped the whites to stiff peaks, the last thing I did to the cake was fold in the whites.
    It was so rich and decadent, perfect with ice cream :)

  47. Laurie says:

    I have made this recipe many times. I make them into breakfast muffins and add a cup of mini chocolate chips. I have had issues with the quinoa being crunchy at times and have found that it works better if the quinoa is refrigerated. I also add more baking powder. Last night I made cupcakes and I added a little vinegar to the liquid to get them to rise a little more. That seemed to help. The vinegar reacts with the baking soda to lighten the batter. Personally, I think this recipe is the best cake, gluten free or not. Love your recipes, Mel!

  48. Karen says:

    Awesome cake, and I admit I’m no great baker. I can cook only because I can read! Has anyone tried it without the chocolate? If quinoa chocolate cake can be this good, there has to be a way to make a quinoa yellow cake. My quinoa is cooling right now so I came here looking for alterations to make it without chocolate but looks like I’ll be experimenting myself. Thanks for the great recipe.

    • Mel says:

      Karen – I’ve actually tried making this into a yellow cake. It was a complete disaster when I tried it. Admittedly, this is the only cake (the chocolate one) I’ve ever made with quinoa, so I am far from a quinoa-cake expert but I clearly need to do more experimenting. It needs much more structure when the cocoa is omitted and just increasing the quinoa didn’t work for me. Let me know if you come up with an awesome yellow quinoa cake.

  49. […] had my eye on a chocolate cake recipe that I stumbled across over at melskitchencafe.com a few weeks back. Mel boasted of a moist cake […]

  50. […] Chocolate Quinoa Cream Cake: This recipe from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe is made with a quinoa base and fluffy whipped cream, and is one of the richest cakes you’ll ever taste. […]

  51. Kathryn says:

    My mother made this cake for my birthday a few months ago and I was so taken by its moist chocolate-y-ness and the super frosting that I’m going to make it for myself today! I’m inviting friends for a cake party so I don’t eat it all myself. I also made just the frosting for my daughter’s vanilla birthday cake (gluten free…she has celiac, so all my baking is GF), and it came out perfectly and is now my favorite frosting! Thanks so much for developing this recipe!

  52. Rhandi says:

    Mel- this cake turned out absolutely amazing! The cake itself is moist, dense and just the right amount of richness without being too rich to enjoy a full slice. The light frosting balances everything out just right. I made the batter in my vitamix and it purees the quinoa to a very smooth, silky texture and you can’t tell that there is quinoa present by look, texture or taste. I mixed all the wet ingredients in the vitamix and then added the wet ingredients into the dry in a large bowl and mixed with a wooden spoon until combined. This technique will help with those who have struggled with over mixing. Also, I let my heavy cream/semi sweet chocolate mixture sit in the refrigerator over night before I whipped it up in my Kitchen aid stand mixer and it turned out perfect and it came together very quick. This fabulous cake was served to 4 adults and 6 kids and we all LOVED it. To the few people who left poor reviews, make sure you puree the quinoa really well and leave yourself enough time for the frosting mixture to cool in the refrigerator completely and it will turn out great. Definitely a new family favorite for us!

  53. Caysee says:

    I love this cake!!! I ve made it 3 times..Each time its been amazing…Today I m going to try and do Chia egg instead of eggs..Hope it works out since it s for my husbands birthday!!! Thanks so much for the recipe!! :)

  54. Katrinako says:

    Dear Mel!

    Thank you so much for the delightful recipe. I made this two days ago and it was absolutely delicious and my family devoured it in less than a day! I might have over baked the cake a little because it was a tad bit dry but the delicious frosting was light creamy and mousse-like and quite addicting. I did cut the sugar to one cup, so that could also be a reason for the lightness, but I was going for an extra-dark chocolate cake without a prominent sweetness to it, so it worked absolutely perfectly for me.

    I will definitely be making this again, but next time I want to double the cake recipe and triple the frosting recipe because I want a four layer cake completely slathered in this heavenly whipped chocolate frosting. <3

    I thank you! Even though my hips and thighs don't ;)

  55. Katrinako says:

    I did cut the sugar to one cup, so that could also be a reason for the DRYNESS****** <— I meant dryness

  56. Alissia says:

    I wish I had had the amazing experience with this recipe that so many others seemed to have had! I read lots of the comments before making this, but maybe I didn’t read all the right ones before trying it last night? I usually bake by weight, and a resource I found said 4oz of unsweetened cocoa per cup, and it may have been right, but I couldn’t quite tell since the burnt taste kind of overpowered everything haha

    My cake was extremely oily/greasy for some reason, and everyone I asked agreed that “clean” means no grease on the knife–especially since I’ve pulled other GF baked items out at that point and they were undercooked–so I let it bake a little longer. I started to get suspicioius after a while, but by that point the cake was way overcooked. (And still extremely greasy, so I guess that’s on purpose to make it moist?)

    Sadly, the frosting didn’t work either. Right after it started to thicken the mixture separated suddenly and turned into chocolate butter instead of chocolate whipped cream. So, I’m not nearly as excited about quinoa cake as I was before (and the kids wouldn’t touch it and they love both quinoa and cake), but I think it has potential, so maybe I’ll try it again some other time in the distant future.

  57. Judy M says:

    Just had the cake at our Easter Celebration.. and OMG!! Amazing. Looked just like your photos! Tastes fantastic. Never would have guessed it was cooked quinoa. Absolutely amazing.. Thanks to you and Sally for this one!

  58. Lisa says:

    Holy smoke-a-roney! What a fantastic cake! Made a dairy free version using almond milk, and coconut oil instead of butter. For icing I used melted chocolate and coconut oil. And between layers I used the icing plus some dairy free cream and mandarin slices. I rarely bake and as we don’t have an oven at the moment, I used our little stove top cooker and a 7 inch pan. And it still turned out great. Moist (even after 5 days), delicious. One of the yummiest cakes, whether you’re gluten free or not. And so easy. Thank you!! Really. The next time I need to “take a plate” I’ll be taking this!

  59. Susan says:

    I am eager to try this cake but I do not have a food processor or blender…..Has anyone tried using a hand mixer….would that work instead?

    • Mel says:

      Susan – Unfortunately a hand mixer won’t be able to do what a blender or food processor can – and that’s to really process the quinoa to a finer consistency. Maybe you could borrow a blender from a friend or neighbor to ensure it will turn out as wonderfully as possible!

      • Susan says:

        I borrowed a food processor and will be making the cake in a couple days…hope it turns out as delicious as it sounds!

  60. Jonalle says:

    Hello Mel,
    I made this cake and it turned out fantastic! my kids even knew it was GF and had still ate it like it was the real deal! I am the GF person of the house and I have to force the kids to try my things.. but not this one!! not a piece left by morning!
    I will say though, I did make it as a 9×13 one layer… DON’T do this! it took forever to bake and it was still very wet.. next time I make it I will do two layers! also I did not have everything to make the frosting, so I cheated and used a GF whipped frosting I had on hand..

  61. Maddie says:

    It sucked!!! Was nasty and dry!! Never making again!!!!

  62. Sheralyn says:

    this is the best gluten free cake I have EVER had. it was really moist. and the frosting was great thanks so much for the great recipe
    God Bless
    Sheralyn

  63. Holly says:

    this evening i plan to make this cake however before i do i was wondering instead of cocoa powder can i substitute melted chocolate chips and also if i was going to substitute coconut oil for the butter is the measurement the same (3/4 cup melted)?

    • Mel says:

      Holly – Others have responded in the comments about using coconut oil…I haven’t but I think they are subbing one for one. You will have to experiment with the cocoa sub as I haven’t tried that and don’t know if/how it will work. Good luck!

    • Maria says:

      Holly, I used coconut oil as a sub for butter and I used a 1:1 sub ratio. The cake turned out phenomenally! I also subbed organic raw coconut palm sugar for the sugar and organic coconut milk for the milk since my friend’s diet is both gluten & dairy-free. She and everyone else who tried the cake LOVED it and raved about it for days! Her husband, who never eats sweets and follows a Paleo diet, also loved the cake and she said she had to fight him for the last piece. Hope it works out for you! Enjoy :)

  64. Maria says:

    Holly, I used coconut oil as a sub for butter and I used a 1:1 sub ratio. The cake turned out phenomenally! I also subbed organic raw coconut palm sugar for the sugar and organic coconut milk for the milk since my friend’s diet is both gluten & dairy-free. She and everyone else who tried the cake LOVED it and raved about it for days! Her husband, who never eats sweets and follows a Paleo diet, also loved the cake and she said she had to fight him for the last piece. Hope it works out for you! Enjoy :)
    Maria

    • Holly says:

      wow thank you maria and mel for your responses. made the cake last night. i am SO GLAD the batter makes 2 cakes because the first cake turned out horribly (i only have 1 8″ pan). not sure what i did but even after being in the oven for 45 minutes it still was not done. i think the melted chocolate chips had something to do with it. instead of giving up and throwing out the rest of the batter i put it in the fridge. woke early this morning, decided to try again with the batter from the fridge. I did add a 1/4 cup of cocoa powder (all i had in the house) before putting the batter in the oven. maybe the cold batter was the trick when using both the coconut oil AND melted chocolate chips because the second cake came out beautifully! brought it to work so my coworkers could be my guinea pigs and THEY LOVE IT! it’s 9:30 AM EST and half the cake is gone. can’t wait to make this for saturday’s birthday party.

  65. Gloria Stanko says:

    I just made the chocolate cake and am very disappointed. The cake only rose 1/2 inch. Not suitable. I haven’t tasted it yet. But I have to move on to another kind of cake before tonight. Ugh. I followed the recipe to the T.

  66. Lana says:

    I made this cake last night after searching for a gluten free recipe that had great reviews. I am so happy I stumbled across this! Quinoa and other gluten free products are now making their to us in Trinidad and Tobago in a wider variety and I was and still am excited about being able to use it for a cake! I’ve been allergic to gluten from birth and I have a small baking business. Someone ordered gluten free cakes and this was the perfect to try for both them and me! I followed the directions provided and my batter was airy and almost the consistency of mousse rather than runny like I read in some comments. I baked mini cupcakes at 325F in a non stick pan for 20 minutes and regular cupcakes at the same temperature and pan for 30 minutes. They came out perfect slightly sunken in the middles which was a plus for me since I topped half of them with a puddle of chocolate ganache and chocolate shavings and the other half I topped with my own buttercream frosting. They are incredibly moist and not too sweet but sweet enough to eat unfrosted and still be delectable. Will definitely make these again very very soon! :) Thank you Mel!

  67. Susan says:

    Today is my son’s birthday. When I asked him what kind of cake he’d like me to make, he said he didn’t care as long as it’s chocolate. So, since my daughter is gluten sensitive, I decided to give this cake a try. The first cake we baked fell horribly in the middle. This might have happened for a number of reasons. 1. I realized after making it that my baking powder was expired. 2. I processed the quinoa prior to mixing with the other ingredients. 3. My daughter took the cakes out of the oven thinking they were done. I think they should have gone a little longer. I had enough quinoa left over, so decided to just go ahead and try it again right away. When mixing the wet ingredients in my food processor, I turned away for a moment and when I turned back it had gone from a nice cake batter consistency to a thick, congealed, curdled looking mess! I went ahead anyway and mixed it with the dry ingredients (adding a little more milk to get it to the right consistency) and baked it. It turned out great! I’m so happy to have a cake recipe that we can all enjoy together. I used to make a regular cake for the gluten tolerant and a different dessert that was gluten free for my daughter. Thanks for the great recipe.

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