This Gluten Free Chocolate Cake is honestly one of the best chocolate cakes I have ever eaten! I am not even a gluten free eater, but a sweet friend of mine Angie made it for me when I visited her in Las Vegas and I thought I had died and gone to heaven! Seriously! It’s that good! It’s very moist, dense & just the perfect amount of sweetness! The best part is that it’s packed with protein because it’s made from quinoa, which is a complete protein grain (seed). Quinoa is basically a super food that the Incan warriors used to get strong! Who wouldn’t want that in their cake? ha ha
My kids asked me if it was healthy because it was made with quinoa? So the answer to that is no. This cake is not necessarily a healthy cake, however, comparatively speaking, this cake is much healthier than most cakes because it is made with a whole grain (seed) so it has more protein. That’s it. That’s the truth behind whether it is healthy or not. But for those of you who know us, know that we love our sweets too. We preach moderation in all things, so when it’s time for a treat, this might be just the ticket I need for my 20% naughty side.
This quinoa gluten-free chocolate cake is very simple to make, but it does take time. There are a couple things you want to think ahead on. You will want to cook the quinoa probably the day before or the morning of. Quinoa will stay good in your refrigerator for about 5-7 days, so you can cook it whenever really.
The other thing you want to do ahead is to melt the chocolate chips into the cream because it has to chill before you whip it to make the frosting. The recipe calls for milk chocolate chips, but if you like the semi-sweet flavor, then go for those! It depends on your preference. My older boys don’t love things very sweet so they prefer the semi-sweet, but my younger ones like the milk chocolate better. Just try the cake two times and see which one you like best. You can’t go wrong with that!!
This bowl is what it looks like after you have melted the chocolate chips into the cream and chilled it before whipping. Once the cream has been chilled for at least 2-3 hours, whip on high until medium peaks are formed. Don’t leave the peaks too soft or it won’t hold up well enough as a frosting. This may take a little longer than usual because the chocolate in the frosting weighs it down, so be patient.
You can put frosting on the top of the cake or down the sides as well. I like it down the sides because this frosting is so light and fluffy! It’s so delicious. I usually don’t like frosting because it is too sweet, but this one is just right!!
I also like to add chocolate chips on top to make it look pretty, but you could also do chocolate shavings. You just take a chocolate bar and use a carrot peeler to shave off big shreds of chocolate. That’s what they would do at my moms restaurant to the chocolate pies. It was always pretty! Then slice the cake & enjoy!!
Gluten Free Chocolate Cake
This gluten free chocolate cake is truly one of the moist, decadent, delicious cakes I have ever made. I am not a huge fan of cake, but this one rocks my world! You have absolutely no clue that it’s made with quinoa, so don’t even worry about it! I promise no one will know unless you tell them!!
- 2 cups cooked and cooled quinoa (see note)
- 1/3 cup milk
- 4 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1 1/4 cups semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
- To make the cake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease two 8-inch round cake pans. Line the bottoms of the pans with parchment paper. You need to do this step so that the cakes come out clean. If not, you could risk it all falling apart when you turn them over onto your cooling rack.
- Combine the milk, eggs and vanilla in a blender. Process just until combined. Add the cooked quinoa and the butter. Blend well until smooth. You do not want a chunky batter.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the contents from the blender and mix with a wooden spoon or spatula until combined.
- Divide the batter evenly between the two pans and bake on a rack in the middle position for 28-30 minutes or until a knife or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven and cool for 10 minutes. Don’t forget to cook them or they will fall apart. After ten minutes, invert the cakes onto cooling racks (remove the parchment paper stuck to the bottom of the cakes).
- For the frosting, place the chocolate chips in a medium bowl. Heat the whipping cream in a saucepan until it gently simmers. Do not let it boil, so watch it closely! Pour the hot cream over the chocolate chips and let the mixture sit for five minutes. Whisk to combine until it is glossy and smooth. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate until completely chilled and cold (2-3 hours). You can speed up this process by placing the bottom of the bowl in an ice water bath and stirring until cool.
- When the cream mixture is fully chilled, use an electric mixer (stand mixer or handheld) to whip the mixture to soft peaks. This may take a little longer than normal because the chocolate in the cream weighs it down. Keep whipping until soft to medium peaks form. You don’t want it too soft or it will run off the cake.
- Place one cake layer upside down on a serving platter or plate. Top with a generous portion of the whipped frosting, spreading to within 1/2-inch of the edge of the cake (it will press to the edge when the top cake layer is put on).
- Gently put the other cake layer upside down on top of the frosted layer. Spread the remaining frosting over the top of the cake and the sides as well if you would like.
- Chill the frosted cake in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before serving to let the frosting set up a bit.
- Make sure to cook quinoa ahead of time. It will stay good for 5-7 days in the refrigerator so cook it whenever you have time. Do not add broth or anything to it. Just cook it with water, cover & chill.
- Make sure to melt the chocolate chips & cream together ahead of time so you have several hours for it to chill. It will not whip if it is not chilled properly. You can even make it the night before. See instructions on recipe for details.
- I love the cake cold, so if you want, you could frost it a couple hours before serving and keep it in the refrigerator. You can also eat it at room temperature if you would like.
- You will want to store all the leftovers in the refrigerator because it has fresh cream for the frosting. It will go bad if left out for more than a couple hours.
If you love chocolate, check out our post about how to make your brownies just a tad bit healthier! Click here 🙂