… because what is life without good food?

Chocolate Almond Quinoa Cake

Adapted just very slightly from The Daring Gourmet

Chocolate Almond Quinoa Cake ~ Sumptuous Spoonfuls #flourless #cake #recipe

As soon as I saw the photos of this gorgeous cake from The Daring Gourmet, I wanted it. I decided this would be my birthday cake this year. Since I was sick on my birthday, it was a week later before I finally had enough energy to bake it.

The way she makes this cake is a bit different than other baked quinoa recipes I’ve seen … I really loved the idea of blending the cooked quinoa into the batter … I’ve baked with quinoa before and wasn’t thrilled about the texture of the finished product. Blending the quinoa makes SUCH a difference! This cake was rich and dense and moist and soooo perfectly chocolatey. I think it may be the best cake I have ever made. That’s not really a fair comparison as the memories of the past chocolate cakes have faded, but this quinoa cake is SO definitely on my “keep” list!

I didn’t do the glaze that The Daring Gourmet used on her cake … I wanted a dark chocolate ganache. So I melted some of my darkest and best chocolate chips, stirred in some fat free half and half till I had a nice creamy ganache, then added more cream till the ganache was ready to drizzle and drip a bit. As the ganache cooled, those amazing chocolaty drips solidified on the sides of the cake, making it look just as decadent and inviting on the outside as it is on the inside. Topped with a sprinkle of toasted almonds and fresh raspberries, it was just the thing this birthday girl needed to remind her that she DESERVES a beautiful birthday cake.

The other thing I love about this cake is it didn’t make my body feel “sugar sick” like most desserts do. I actually felt energized and healthy after eating this cake! I think it must be the protein and fiber from the quinoa. (And all those super-healthy antioxidants from the dark chocolate too, right?)

Chocolate Almond Quinoa Cake

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Chocolate Almond Quinoa Cake


  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa, loosely packed
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated white sugar
  • 3/4 cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup ground almonds (or almond meal)
  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray a large 9-inch springform pan (or three small ones like this cutie heart-shaped one) with cooking spray.
  2. Separate the eggs, putting the whites into a small bowl and the yolks into the cup of your blender or food processor.
  3. To the yolks in the blender, add the quinoa, milk, extracts, butter and coconut oil. Blend until smooth. Be careful about stopping the blender ... if you have a fussy blender like mine, it might not want to "go" again because the mixture thickens as it blends.
  4. Dump the blended mixture into a large mixing bowl and add the sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt and almonds. Stir to mix it all up well.
  5. Now, take the egg whites and beat them until soft peaks form. Sprinkle the cream of tartar on top and beat some more until the egg whites form stiff peaks.
  6. Carefully fold the eggs whites into the chocolate batter in the mixing bowl. Pour the batter into the prepared pan(s). Bake a large cake for 45 - 50 minutes or the smaller ones for roughly 35 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool, then remove the side of the springform pan, set it on a serving plate and drizzle with your choice of topping (her Chocolate Almond Glaze or my ganache). Garnish with toasted almonds and raspberries if you so desire.


If you want to make this cake completely gluten-free, make sure to use gluten-free certified quinoa and substitute xanthan gum for the baking powder. Depending on how gluten-sensitive your eaters are, you may be able to get away with using baking powder, but it may contain traces of gluten.

For the ganache: melt 3/4 cup quality dark chocolate chips, then stir in 2 Tablespoons of half & half (I used fat free) and add more cream until the ganache is thin enough to drizzle down the sides of the cake. Cover the top of the cake, then gently push the ganache over the edges so it drips down the sides of the cake. Sprinkle with almonds (if desired), then let the cake set until the ganache is no longer wet and starts to set.

RECIPE SOURCE: http://www.sumptuousspoonfuls.com/

© Copyright 2013, Sumptuous Spoonfuls. All images & content are copyright protected. I love it when you share, but please do not use my images on your own site/page without prior permission. If you want to publish any of my images, please ask first. Sharing, pinning, and tweeting is always appreciated as long as the shares and pins link back to here for the recipe. If you want to republish this recipe as your own, please re-write the recipe in your own words or link back to this post for the recipe.


Chocolate Almond Quinoa Cake ~ Sumptuous Spoonfuls #flourless #cake #recipe

This recipe was shared at Foodie Friends FridayGluten Free Friday, Weekend PotluckWhat to Do Weekends, Foodie Friends Friday Valentines Day Sweets and Hearth & Soul Bloghop.

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12 Responses

  1. This recipe looks amazing. You did an awesome job. I wonder how it would turn out with Coconut Palm Sugar. So far my results when baking with it have turned out very tender.

    January 23, 2014 at 9:58 pm

    • Ann

      That sounds like a marvelous idea Marjie! Let me know how it goes if you try it.

      January 23, 2014 at 11:14 pm

  2. Ann, this is absolutely GORGEOUS!!!!!! And you’re a sweetheart for having tagged me on FB – thank you so much! Best, Kimberly

    January 23, 2014 at 11:18 pm

    • Ann

      Thank you so much for the awesome recipe, Kimberly! It’s SO good!

      January 25, 2014 at 6:53 pm

  3. Wow! Sounds awesome. Pinned to try after my sugar fast!
    Thanks for sharing at Real Food Friday.

    January 24, 2014 at 10:55 pm

  4. MagnoliaLite

    Hi there, I made your recipe first. Loved it and then lightened it up by substituting eggwhites for the first three eggs, 1/3 less fat cream cheese for the butter, peanut oil for the coconut oil, and coconut flavor for the almond (mostly because I was out). I thought the substitutions were a good match. I don’t use the icing and make cupcakes from the batter and freeze them. They are just wonderful with a cup of coffee.

    February 7, 2014 at 11:07 am

    • Ann

      Nice substitutions! I will have to try them 🙂

      February 7, 2014 at 10:43 pm

  5. Magnolia lite

    You only need to thimk about the subs if you are fat and love to eat like me!

    February 8, 2014 at 9:37 pm

    • Ann

      I always like to lighten things up if I can … but didn’t want to mess with this recipe too much on the first try.

      February 8, 2014 at 10:15 pm

  6. G’day! Another gorgeous photo and recipe!
    Thanks for sharing!
    Viewed as part of the Foodie Friends Friday Valentine’s Day Party!
    Cheers! Joanne

    February 9, 2014 at 12:17 am

  7. This sounds yummy and looks fantastic. Thanks for sharing on Foodie Friends Friday Valentine’s Party and I hope that you will join us this week for our Snack Foods theme party.

    February 10, 2014 at 1:02 pm

  8. Pingback: » 20+ Romantic Valentine’s Day Desserts Sumptuous Spoonfuls