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I love a good chocolate cake like the next person, so when I received a copy of The Healthy Jewish Kitchen by Paula Shoyer, and saw a decadent chocolate cake inside, I decided I had to make it and with great results!
This cake is perfect on so many levels. Let me gush a bit:
- It’s rich and chocolatey. You will feel like you’re indulging on a forbidden cake.
- It’s flourless – the only “grain” you’ll find is cooked quinoa blended into the batter.
- It’s 100% gluten free, so you can enjoy it if you have celiac disease or a gluten sensitivity.
- It’s perfect for Passover, a Jewish holiday where you cannot eat leavened bread. Along the same lines, it doesn’t taste like a Passover cake. This cake defies all odds.
A lot of you have found this cake in your search for a good Passover chocolate cake, but I’m hoping you’ll realize this cake is so much more than a Passover cake. It’s an amazing cake that deserves to be served year-round!
How to Make Gluten-Free Chocolate Quinoa Cake
The gluten-free chocolate quinoa cake recipe is surprising simple to make – and so much of it can be made ahead of time too. In fact, if you plan right, you can make the quinoa ahead of time and have it ready to go when you’re ready to assemble the cake.
The first step is to assemble your ingredients, and of course, cook your quinoa. You can use any style of quinoa you like. I used this ancient grain blend of quinoa (it adds a little more texture to the cake). For a smoother texture, use a milled white quinoa.
You’ll combine orange juice, eggs, vanilla, oil, sugar, cocoa, baking powder and salt in a food processor. Pulse 5-6 times and then add quinoa and process mixture until smooth, about 45-60 seconds.
If you don’t have a food processor, you can use a high-speed blender.
You’ll then add the melted chocolate and pulse a few more times until well blended. It should look like a smooth, chocolate cake batter.
You’ll then add the batter to a well-greased and floured bundt pan and place it in the oven to bake for 50 minutes. The cake can stick so make sure you spray the bundt pan well!
Here is what the cake looks like baked. After it’s cooled for 10-20 minutes, you’ll want to flip it out of the cake pan onto a wire rack to fully cook.
Now for the glaze!
In the original recipe, you melt bittersweet chocolate, oil and a little vanilla and then slather it on the cake. I, however, have come to love frosting it instead with a chocolate glaze made from cocoa powder, powdered sugar, and dairy-free milk. It tastes more like a chocolate cake donut when I glaze it that way.
Both toppings are featured in the recipe below – so take your pick!
A Bit More About the Cake
Here are a few things you need to know about this gluten-free chocolate quinoa cake recipe:
Texture: This cake has an awesome texture. Depending on the brand of quinoa you use, you might be able to feel the quinoa in your mouth as you chew the cake.
You can make the quinoa more smooth in texture by blending the quinoa well into the cake batter. The more blended it becomes, the more cake-like the texture.
Moist: This cake is extremely moist, much more moist than other chocolate cakes I’ve made in the past. If you like a moist chocolate cake, this cake is for you. I think the quinoa helps it hold in the moisture. Yum!
Flavor: You do not taste the quinoa at all, which some people don’t like because of its nutty flavor and scent. This cake tastes rich and chocolatey. While it does have sugar in it, it’s not that sweet. It’s just right.
Appearance: Well, it looks amazing, right? Your eyes do not deceive you. This cake is as good as it looks.
Kosher for Passover: All ingredients in this cake are Kosher for Passover (make sure to use Kosher for Passover baking powder and vanilla). Quinoa is totally fine to use during Passover, and you just just a little potato starch for dusting the pan (other starches, like corn starch, are okay as well if not served on Passover).
Protein-Rich: Quinoa contains 4 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber per serving. While many people consider quinoa a grain, it’s technically a seed and one of the healthier “grains” you can consume. Keep in mind, however, that while quinoa is gluten free, it still contains 17 net carbs per serving so it is not considered a low-carb food.
Chocolate Quinoa Cake
- 3/4 cup uncooked quinoa*
- 1.5 cups water
- 2 Tbsp potato starch
- 1/3 cup Orange juice (or even better, the juice of one orange)
- 4 large eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1.5 cups sugar
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate
To Make Glaze:
- 5 ounces bittersweet chocolate
- 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Place quinoa and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Once boiling, reduce heat to low, cover and allow quinoa to cook for about 15 minutes until all the liquid has been absorbed by the quinoa. Set aside to cool.
- Preheat oven to 350º F.
- Lightly grease a 12-cup bundt pan and then dust the pan with potato starch. Shake off excess starch.
- Place orange juice, eggs, vanilla, oil, sugar, cocoa, baking powder and salt in a food processor. Pulse 5-6 times. Add quinoa and process mixture until smooth, about 45-60 seconds.
- Melt 2 ounces of chocolate in a microwave safe dish for 45 seconds, mix, then microwave for another 30 seconds until melted through. Add chocolate to the quinoa mixture and process for another 30 seconds until well mixed.
- Pour batter into bundt pan and bake for 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.
- Allow cake 10 minutes to cool, then gently flip it onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- To make the glaze, melt 5 ounces of chocolate in microwave (see above melting instructions) then add oil and vanilla to mixture and mix well. (Also, for an optional chocolate frosting topping, see Notes below*).
- Using a frosting spatula, gently spread the chocolate frosting over the cake before serving.
- 3 Tbsp milk substitute
- 3 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1.5 cups powdered sugar