Chocolate Quinoa Cupcakes

Posted by Donna on 7:16 AM with No comments
February 24, 2015 |

Honestly, I have been doing more than just cooking and baking since I’ve been home. Promise. But, the luxury of being home has afforded me the opportunity to give much needed exercise to both my body and my culinary muscles. Yes, I’ve done some sewing. I’m still stitching up my new 18th century stays and recently attended a great colonial clothing workshop with Burnley & Trowbridge in Williamsburg. Yes, I’ve done some crafting, and my latest altered art shadowboxes are featured on Etsy, but with all these great recipes pinned and waiting, I have had no choice but to momentarily indulge my inner Julia Child. So, I ask you to indulge me for a few more foodie posts.

One of my favorite new recipes has been a Chocolate Quinoa Cake with a coconut chocolate frosting. I know you’re grimacing at the idea of using quinoa as cake ingredient, but you need to trust me on this one. It’s flourless and super moist. When I made it for Jason’s birthday, he was halfway through his second piece before he asked if it was healthy.

I pondered - if the cake is chocolate heaven, why not Chocolate Qunioa Cupcakes? Using a recipe I modified from Making Thyme for Health and my brand new Hamilton Beach Texas Size silicone baking cups, I served up six delectable, wonderful proportions of (nearly) guilt-free chocolate goodness.

The decision to make these cupcakes can’t be spontaneous, unless you’re like me and always have a spare can of coconut milk in the fridge; your coconut milk needs to hang out in the coldest part of your refrigerator overnight so the cream separates.


  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 4 whole eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup Earth Balance, melted (or use 3/4 c. coconut oil only)
  • 1 cup organic palm sugar
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I used a half and half mix of Hershey’s Special Dark and Ghiardelli Unsweetened Cocoa)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2- to 1 cup shredded coconut (optional)

Whipped Chocolate Coconut Cream Frosting

  • 1 (13.5 ounce) can of full fat coconut milk, refrigerated overnight
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil


  1. Cook the quinoa according to package directions (about 3/4c. quinoa will yield enough for your cupcakes).
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F and prepare your baking cups with a non-stick spray. (I use Pam).
  3. Wisk together the eggs, almond milk and vanilla extract for ten seconds to combine.
  4. Add the cooked and cooled quinoa along with the melted and cooled Earth Balance and coconut oil (could also use all regular butter) then blend until completely smooth, about 30 seconds to one minute.
  5. Sift together the dry ingredients in a large bowl (cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and sea salt).
  6. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and blend together with a hand mixer until well-combined.
  7. Divide the batter between the baking cups and bake for 28-30 minutes (until a toothpick in the center comes out clean).
  8. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.


  1. Grab your refrigerated coconut milk and open the can. DO NOT shake or turn the can upside down before opening. (Save the remaining coconut milk. You can use it to lighten the frosting later.)
  2. Scoop out the solid parts with a spoon, placing them into a bowl. With a hand mixer, beat the coconut milk until it is the consistency of whipped cream.
  3. In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the chocolate and coconut oil together. When melted, fold in the coconut milk and mix thoroughly. Transfer the melted chocolate/coconut mix to a bowl and let it cool on the counter. Cover and refrigerate the mix for about an hour (longer is better, but I know you can’t wait to get your hands on these babies!).
  4. When your ready to frost the cupcakes, remove the chocolate/coconut from the refrigerator and beat on high for thirty seconds to one minute, until a fluffy icing has formed. If you’d like the frosting to be lighter in color or texture, add a tablespoon or two of the saved coconut milk.
  5. Roll the cupcakes out of the silicone cups, frost and enjoy!

These cupcakes may not be haute French cuisine, but I’m fairly certain Miss Julia would be proud.