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Quinoa Brownie Cake (Gluten Free, Dairy Free)

This Quinoa Brownie Cake is the solution to any chocolate craving. Made with cooked quinoa, cocoa, eggs and a handful of pantry items, this cake is gluten free, dairy free and never turns out dry. Keep it in your fridge for a quick, better-for-you treat throughout the week!

If you’re looking for other gluten free treat ideas, check out my Gluten Free Banana Mini Muffins!

a slice of quinoa brownie cake turned on its side to see the texture of the cake

Quinoa Brownie Cake

I’m beyond excited to share this recipe, mainly because I tested it four times and got to eat all the yummy results. Win-win for both of us, because I love chocolate and now you get a well tested, perfectly textured gluten-free recipe. I call it a brownie cake, because I find the texture falls somewhere between a cake and a brownie. When it’s warm out of the oven, it’s more like a cake with pockets of melty chocolate chips. Once refrigerated, it has a more dense, chewy texture similar to a brownie (but cold…in a good way!).

This brownie cake can be modified to your taste. Most of my testers preferred the sweeter version (as written below), but I also created a version with half the coconut sugar (1/2 cup instead of 1 cup) and some preferred that version. Note that even the sweeter version isn’t that sweet, so I recommend starting with the recipe as given and adjust it to suit your taste the next time you make it.

Ingredients in Quinoa Brownie Cake

  • Eggs – 3 large
  • Applesauce – I used unsweetened
  • Vanilla
  • Cooked quinoa – make extra when prepping another recipe that uses quinoa (like this one or this one!)
  • Coconut oil – melted
  • Maple syrup – the real stuff
  • Cocoa – I tested with both Camino and Hershey brands and both were great!
  • Coconut sugar
  • Coconut flour
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Fine-grain sea salt
  • Chocolate chips – your favourite variety and dairy free if necessary (see tip 3 below)

How to make quinoa brownie cake

Step one: Prep your pan and combine the first three wet ingredients

  • Preheat oven to 350 °F. Grease an 8×8-inch baking pan and line the bottom with parchment (cut the parchment to the right size).
  • In a food processor or blender, add applesauce, eggs and vanilla and blend for 10 seconds.
Egg, vanilla and apple sauce mixed together in a food processor

Step two: Add the quinoa, coconut oil & maple syrup

  • Add the cooked quinoa, melted coconut oil and maple syrup and blend until smooth.
Quinoa, egg, apple sauce, vanilla, coconut oil and maple syrup mixed together in a food processor

Step three: combine the dry ingredients

  • In a large bowl, mix the cocoa powder, coconut sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt, until ingredients are evenly distributed.
Cocoa mixed with sugar and coconut flour in a glass bowl

Step four: Add the wet ingredients to the dry

  • Transfer the wet ingredients to the large bowl with the dry ingredients and stir until well combined. Fold in chocolate chips, if desired.
quinoa brownie cake batter in a glass bowl

Step five: Scoop batter into the prepared pan & Bake

  • Scoop the batter into the baking pan and spread it evenly, pressing it toward the corners of the pan. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick in the center comes out mostly clean (note that it won’t look “clean” if you happen to poke through a chocolate chip!).
  • Cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes. Carefully transfer cake to wire rack and let it cool completely before slicing. Store any uneaten slices in an airtight container in the refrigerator and consume within 4 days.
quinoa brownie cake batter in a metal brownie pan

Tips for making quinoa brownie cake

  1. Make the quinoa ahead of time. I like to make extra quinoa when I’m prepping another dish that uses it, so I have cooked quinoa on hand for this recipe. If you’re starting from uncooked quinoa, you need about 2/3 cup dry quinoa (made with 1 1/3 cups water) to make 2 cups cooked. (Quinoa triples when it cooks i.e. 1 cup uncooked is approximately 3 cups cooked.) To be sure you have enough, I suggested making 1 cup uncooked and measure out 2 cups of cooked quinoa. I’ve had varying results with different quinoa brands and the right amount of cooked quinoa is important for this recipe.
  2. Use your favourite high quality cocoa. I tested this recipe with both Camino and Hershey brands of cocoa. Both were great!
  3. Adjust the sweetness using chocolate chips. The type of chocolate chip you use impacts the sweetness – I used dark chocolate (50%). To go sweeter you could use semi sweet (sweeter) or milk chocolate chips (sweetest).

Can you freeze quinoa brownie cake?

Yes! Store slices in tightly sealed container (be sure to slice before freezing!). If you’re stacking slices, separate them with a row of parchment paper. For best taste, consume within 2-3 months. To defrost, move to the refrigerator and thaw overnight.

slices of quinoa brownie cake on a black wire cooling rack
a slice of quinoa brownie cake turned on its side to see the texture of the cake

Quinoa Brownie Cake

Laura Lawless, BASc
This Quinoa Brownie Cake is the solution to any chocolate craving. Made with cooked quinoa, cocoa, eggs and a handful of pantry items, this cake is gluten free, dairy free and never turns out dry. Keep it in your fridge for a quick treat throughout the week!
5 from 2 votes
Servings 16
Calories 161
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Total Time 55 mins

Ingredients

  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (melted)
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup (the real stuff!)
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips (optional & use a dairy-free variety, if necessary)

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350 °F. Grease an 8×8-inch baking pan and line the bottom with parchment (cut the parchment to the right size).
  • In a food processor or blender, add applesauce, eggs and vanilla and blend for 10 seconds.
  • Add the cooked quinoa, melted coconut oil and maple syrup and blend until smooth.
  • In a large bowl, mix the cocoa powder, coconut sugar, coconut flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt, until ingredients are evenly distributed.
  • Transfer the wet ingredients to the large bowl with the dry ingredients and stir until well combined. Fold in chocolate chips, if desired.
  • Scoop the batter into the baking pan and spread it evenly, pressing it toward the corners of the pan. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick in the center comes out mostly clean (it won't look "clean" if you happen to poke through a chocolate chip!).
  • Cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes. Carefully transfer cake to wire rack and let it cool completely before slicing. Store any uneaten slices in an airtight container in the refrigerator and consume within 4 days.

Notes

  1. I like to make extra quinoa when I’m prepping another dish that uses it, so I have cooked quinoa on hand for this recipe. If you’re starting from uncooked quinoa, you need about 2/3 cup dry quinoa (made with 1 1/3 cups water) to make 2 cups cooked. (Quinoa triples when it cooks i.e. 1 cup uncooked is approximately 3 cups cooked.) To be sure you have enough, I suggested making 1 cup uncooked and measure out 2 cups of cooked quinoa. I’ve had varying results with different quinoa brands and the right amount of quinoa is important for this recipe.
  2. I tested this recipe with both Camino and Hershey brands of cocoa. Both were great!
  3. The type of chocolate chip you use impacts the sweetness – I used dark chocolate (50%). To go sweeter you could use semi sweet (sweeter) or milk chocolate chips (sweetest).

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Equipment

Food Processor
Liquid Measure
Measuring Spoons
Brownie Pan

Nutrition Estimate

Calories: 161kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 31mg | Sodium: 117mg | Potassium: 183mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 53IU | Calcium: 41mg | Iron: 1mg
Share your creations!Tag @therecipewell or use #therecipewell on Instagram so we can see!
head shot of Laura

Hey, I’m Laura!

Creator of The Recipe Well


I love food and cooking, but hate doing the dishes. I use my nutrition degree to create easy, approachable recipes that will help you find your happy place in the kitchen.

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Recipe Rating




3 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Oh my goodness these brownies look amazing! Super chocolatey!

  2. Arly Del Brocco says:

    5 stars
    These brownies/cake are delicious! Easy to make and so light!

    1. Laura Lawless says:

      So glad you liked them, Arly!