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4.60 from 5 votes

Super Moist Chocolate Cake

Your guests will never know this is gluten-free and made with cooked quinoa instead of flour. This cake could be served simply with cocoa powder dusted on top or for more panache add the chocolate whipped cream and ganache frostings. Note: The step for cooking the quinoa will produce more than needed, so be sure to measure the 2 cups you need before adding to the other ingredients. To measure the cooked quinoa, loosely scoop it and level with the back of a knife. You don't want to pack it.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time1 hr 5 mins
Course: Dessert
Keyword: cake, chocolate, gluten-free
Servings: 14
Calories: 566kcal
Author: Sally Humeniuk


For the Cake

  • 2 cups cooked and cooled quinoa, I prefer golden but have used red and rainbow
  • cup milk
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 ½ cup sugar
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt

For the chocolate whipped cream frosting

  • 1 pint whipping cream
  • cup good semi-sweet chocolate chips

For the ganache

  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup good semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • ½ teaspoon instant coffee granules, optional


  • For the chocolate whipped cream frosting:
  • Melt ⅔ cup chocolate chips in microwave in 30 second increments. Once melted, stir into the pint of whipping cream. This may look "chipy" and not totally incorporated. That is fine. Refrigerate while cake is baking. Whip as you would for normal whipped cream. (see note below) Spread chocolate frosting over one layer and place the second layer on top of first layer, leaving cake on the cooling rack.
  • For the cake:
  • Preheat the oven to 350F. Lightly grease two 8-inch round cake pans. Line the bottoms of the pans with parchment paper.
  • Combine the milk, eggs and vanilla in a powerful blender or food processor. Process just until combined. Add the 2 cups of cooked quinoa and the butter. Blend well until smooth.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, sift in the cocoa, add the baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the contents from the blender and mix well. It will look kind of grainy but this is normal.
  • Divide the batter evenly between the two pans and bake on the center rack for 32 to 35 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven and cool for 15 minutes. (The top may crack. No problem.)
  • Invert the cakes onto cooling racks and remove parchment from what is now the top.
  • At this point, you could sprinkle powdered sugar or cocoa powder over the tops of each cake and serve for a simple dessert. But I highly recommend adding the next steps.
  • For the ganache:
  • While the cake is still on the cooling rack, heat 1 cup chocolate chips, ½ cup heavy cream and ½ teaspoon coffee granules over double boiler until smooth. Place a cookie sheet under the cake on the cooling rack. Pour ganache slowly over top of the cake and spread until it runs over edges. You can leave it like this or use a spatula to then smooth the ganache around the sides. Using two spatulas or pancake turners, gently slide under cake and transfer to a serving platter.
  • Store any left over cake covered in the refrigerator for up to one week or freeze for up to one month.


  1. Make sure to measure your quinoa after it's cooked. One cup of raw quinoa will make more than 2 cups cooked.
  2. I highly recommend making this cake the day before serving as the flavors just get better and more chocolatey overnight. Refrigerate the cake until serving if making ahead of time, then remove the cake 30 minutes before cutting to bring closer to room temperature.
  3. Note regarding chocolate whipped cream frosting layer: When you mix the melted chocolate chips with the whipping cream, it may clump up. Don't worry about if it looks spotted that is totally fine, too. I've made this before and had the chocolate stay kind of "chipy" and this result tastes just as good and some have told me it tastes even better then the smooth version. You can't get this wrong. It'll taste amazing and I highly recommend adding this layer. 
  4. If you melt the chocolate chips and the whipping cream together in the microwave, the mixture will be more uniform but you'll need to refrigerate this mixture for about an hour after it's melted together so it's cold enough to whip.


Calories: 566kcal | Carbohydrates: 53g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 37g | Saturated Fat: 21g | Cholesterol: 132mg | Sodium: 250mg | Potassium: 454mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 29g | Vitamin A: 1015IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 95mg | Iron: 3.6mg