chocolate quinoa cake

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly in My Kitchen

So, I’ve never baked a cake before. It sounds crazy considering my love for desserts and the rest of my repertoire – big cookies, little cookies, scones, quick breads, etc.

It wasn’t long into my search for THE FIRST cake recipe when I came across chocolate quinoa cake. A deeper search revealed blogger after blogger raving about this stuff. Obviously, I had to give it a try.


Ordinarily, food bloggers’ sites are filled with beautiful photography of their kitchen creations, but I think it’s high time you see the good, the bad and the ugly in my kitchen. Because, truthfully there’s usually more scenes like this than there are the perfectly arranged ones. These pictures are more true to most of the kitchens out there.

I tried to save the face of my first cake by adding a little coconut. I thought it would hide some of the imperfections in the icing. I was wrong.


After one bite of this cake, I didn’t give a rat’s a** about what it looked like. It was so moist. Seriously. SO. MOIST. The quinoa gave the cake it’s own unique texture, unlike any other cake I’ve had before.

Despite the looks, James was endlessly raving about how this might be the best cake I’ve ever made ( I think the cake got to his head, and he forgot this is my first). Night after night, he cut himself a piece and went back for a few extra nibbles. When I requested that he save the very last piece for my dad – the ultimate dessert critic – I thought he might even cry like a two year old who doesn’t want to share his toys with the other daycare kids.

I don’t blame him. This cake was so good, it could be eaten for breakfast, in the afternoon with coffee, or like most prefer it, after dinner for dessert.

chocolate quinoa cake with vanilla frosting

Now a quick bit about the frosting – the original recipe called for a chocolate cream, the main ingredients being cocoa powder and heavy cream. Not having any heavy cream in my refrigerator, I went a little rogue and whipped something up using the ingredients I had on hand. I think the next time I make this, I’ll still opt for a vanilla buttercream frosting instead of the chocolate cream because the cake itself is already very, very chocolatey. It’s so sweet (and filling because of the quinoa) that you really only need a few bites to be satisfied. Unless, of course you live with James. Then a cake that might serve 12 will only serve 6 – 8.

Alright guys, get one last look at this mess of a cake, and then get in the kitchen to start your own. I promise you’ll want to try this. And, hey, if it doesn’t look pretty, you don’t have to worry about it because it will soon be in your belly. One forkful will turn into two large pieces of chocolate quinoa cake before you know it.

Chocolate Quinoa Cake

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Serving Size: 8-12

Chocolate Quinoa Cake

Originally posted by Barefeet in the Kitchen


  • 2 c cooked quinoa
  • 1/3 c milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 c butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 c white sugar
  • 1 c unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
  • 3 c powdered sugar
  • 1/3 c butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 T milk
  • coconut


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease two round cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper.
  3. Combine milk, eggs and vanilla in food processor and pulse a few times to mix.
  4. Add cooked quinoa and butter. Puree until smooth.
  5. Combine the dry ingredients - sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt - in a large bowl.
  6. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Stir to combine.
  7. Pour the batter evenly into the two cake pans, and place on a center oven rack. Bake 30 - 40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  8. Remove the cakes from the oven and let cool about 10 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack to cool longer.
  9. While the cakes are cooling, prepare the frosting.
  10. In a medium bowl, mix powdered sugar and butter with electric mixer.
  11. Stir in vanilla and 1 T milk.
  12. Gradually beat in the remaining milk until the frosting becomes smooth.
  13. Once the cakes have cooled, spread a layer of frosting on top of one of the rounds. Top with the second cake round.
  14. Spread the remaining icing around the rest of the cake starting with the top and working your way down.
  15. Sprinkle or pat coconut onto the frosting.

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