Tag Archives: dessert

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.

Chocolate Zucchini Bread Fiasco

This ones for you my fellow zucchini lovers.

I’ve used zucchini twice already in my cooking this week- both for a savory and a sweet dish. It seriously amazes me how versatile this veggie is.

First, I spiralized two zucchinis (Spiralizers are amazing by the way. If you don’t have one, you should run to the store right now). We topped our zucchini noodles with a meaty tomato sauce, complete with mushrooms, onions and grated Fontinella cheese.

zucchini noodles

Then, I grated up one more to bake into a chocolate zucchini bread recipe I’d been waiting all week to make.

zucchini bread

I’d had the tab open on my computer for this chocolate zucchini bread recipe for almost a week, so when I finally had a free hour to make it, I was stoked. I couldn’t wait to have freshly baked chocolate bread warm out of the oven. I couldn’t wait to start every morning with a slice of this most, sweet bread.

Halfway through baking, I scrolled down to the comments section to see if anyone had the same question I did: Could I swap the vanilla powder for vanilla extract? As I scrolled down my eyes became wider, my jaw dropped and I might of even cursed. The comments were absolutely terrible, ranging from grumbles about wasted ingredients to disappointment over dry and tasteless breads! Ahh!

Well I wasn’t about to join the ranks of people who chucked all those ingredients in the trash. So I stepped up, I took on the challenge and I started adding some ingredients: a little splash of almond milk, a dash of brown sugar, a little of this, a little of that. Then I popped it in the oven and prayed.


Not too bad folks! I got a little worried when it took FOREVER to cook, but it turned out well. See what can happen when you get a little brave? The best part was…you guessed it…the crunch of the chia seeds sprinkled on top.

I’m already excited to try and make this again using some different ingredients. Maybe some honey, some maple syrup. Mmm.

Now why don’t you go and get a little adventurous in your own kitchen, huh?

vanilla whoopie pie with butter cream frosting

No Day is Complete Without Vanilla Whoopie Pies (Especially Easter)

Hello friends. To those of you who celebrate, I hope you had a wonderful Easter. I’m currently enjoying a cup of coffee and leftover Italian anise cookies from yesterday’s celebration.

I love holidays for two reasons: 1) You get to spend the whole day with family and 2) you can eat anything you want without worrying about the calories or feeling guilty.

I might of gone a little overboard on number 2. There were jelly beans, dark chocolate bars, italian cookies, pineapple upside down muffins, homemade oreo ice cream cake. I mean how do you say no to any of those things?

We started Easter Sunday by attending church with my family. James and I brought out the blue blazers for this occasion!










Then we headed to my parents house for a light brunch. How pretty is this table? My mom doesn’t miss a beat!


I’m sorry I couldn’t wait to take a bite of this delicious pineapple upside down mufffin. Wait, I’m not sorry.


Brunch was followed by even more eating at my grandparents house. There was a whole spread of homemade italian goods – rolls, wedding soup, ravioli. We really stuffed ourselves good.

While all of these events were absolutely wonderful – you can’t go wrong with food and family, I mean family and food – I also had to celebrate Easter in my own kitchen. I couldn’t think of any better way than to whip up a batch of vanilla whoopie pies. OH. MY. GOSH. You guys, these whoopie pies were so moist, so creamy, so good. They were like bites of fluffy heaven, with a little sprinkle crunch ( you know how I can’t resist that crunch 😉 ).

The best part is they were super easy to make with this fantastic whoopie pie pan:


It’s kind of like a muffin tin, but each hole is much more shallow. Using a pan like this one ensures that all of the whoopie pies are the same size, so that you can easily match them up and fill them without creating a giant mess. Don’t worry if you don’t have one of these (although, I highly recommend one if baking is a love of yours). You can spoon your dough onto a regular baking sheet to create the pies – you’ll just have to be extra careful that you’re making them all relatively the same size.

As always I recommend adding your own personal touch to these – use your favorite color sprinkle, dust them with some cocoa powder, or even add a little liquor to the butter cream. Any way you choose to make them, I’m sure they’ll be delicious!

Vanilla Whoopie Pies with Buttercream Filling

Vanilla Whoopie Pies with Buttercream Filling


    Whoopie Pies
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 3/4 c sugar
  • 1 1/2 c flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 6 T unsalted butter, softened
  • 2/3 c almond milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Buttercream Filling
  • 10 T unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 c powdered sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 T heavy cream


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Whoopie Pies
  3. Beat egg yolks and sugar in a small bowl until the mixture is fluffy.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Cut in butter until the mixture resembles a course meal.
  5. Beat sugar and egg mixture into the dry ingredients.
  6. Add milk and vanilla and mix well.
  7. If you have a whoopie pie pan, now's the time to use it! If not, use a tablespoon to drop mounds of dough on a baking sheet. Keep at least two inches of space between each mound. Lightly pat the tops of the cakes to flatten and even them out.
  8. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes.
  9. Remove from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes. Then transfer to a cooling rack.
  10. Buttercream Filling
  11. In a large bowl, beat butter until smooth.
  12. Add powdered sugar and salt, and beat until smooth.
  13. Mix in vanilla and heavy cream.
  14. Once the whoopie pies have cooled completely, spread some filling onto the flat side of one whoopie. Then place another whoopie (flat side) on top to create a sandwich.
  15. Now, decorate as you see fit! Sprinkles add a nice touch of color, a hint of more sweetness and a little crunch.