April 29, 2012

by Alyssa

Vegan “Peanut Butter” Quinoa Chocolate Cake

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A sinfully delicious chocolate cake.

Chocolate. Oh, chocolate. How I love and adore you so. You are the peanut butter to my jelly. The vegan butter to my gluten-free bread. You light up my day and bring joy to my life. There really isn't much better.

Are you a chocolate lover like me? Care to admit that you might even be obsessed? Don't be shy…let it out and share your passion with the world. Chocolate is amazing. It's worthy of our love and should be celebrated.

Moist, rich, and totally decadent.

In my mind, there are few things better than chocolate and peanut butter. The combination is flawless, effortless, and delicious. It's like heaven in a spoonful. If I could eat some form of chocolate and peanut butter everyday and never get sick of it, I would.  It's that good.

So when I set out to make this cake, I knew I wanted to incorporate that peanut butter flavor. But I didn't feel like adding the extra fat and calories that peanut butter brings to the table. I needed an alternative. Little did I know that alternative would be quinoa.

Did you know that when you toast quinoa and then grind it to make a flour it takes on the smell and flavor of peanut butter? I didn't either, but when I heard this rumor, I had to try it out for myself.

Let me tell you, the rumors are true. Toasted quinoa flour brings an amazing, nutty quality to baked goods that is unparalleled. It has the flavor of peanut butter without the added calories and fat. It's astonishing. It's just another reason why this little seed is the most amazing food on earth.

Vegan “Peanut Butter” Quinoa Chocolate Cake

This cake is a total winner in my book. It's super easy to make, is fairly low in calories, it's vegan and gluten-free, and still has that rich, moist texture that you crave in a chocolate cake. It's totally worthy of any chocolate celebration.

Vegan “Peanut Butter” Quinoa Chocolate Cake

adapted from Veggie Grettie
serves 4 small pieces


  • 1/4 cup raw carob chips (or chocolate chips if you prefer)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut palm sugar
  • 3 tablespoons coconut milk (or any other kind of milk)
  • 2 tablespoons organic unsweetened Vermont applesauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 6 tablespoons toasted quinoa flour (see notes below)
  • 1 tablespoon raw cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon stevia (more if you like sweeter cakes)
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon guar gum
  • Unsweetened shredded coconut for dusting

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Grease the inside of a small, round springform pan (I used a 4″ pan) with cooking spray and set aside.

Whisk together all the dry ingredients in small bowl and set aside.

Melt the carob chips and coconut sugar together in a double boiler. Once the chocolate is melted, remove it from the heat and add the remaining wet ingredients, whisking them all together until you have a uniform chocolatey liquid.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and whisk until you have a brownie batter-like consistency. It will be thick and kind of fluffy.

Pour the chocolate batter into the greased springform pan and bake in the center of a warm oven for 11 minutes. The less cook time, the more gooey the center of the cake will be. If you're looking for a molten type cake, try baking this for 9 – 10 minutes.

Let the cake cool for about 5 minutes, release from the pan, cut into quarters, sprinkle with coconut and enjoy with a delicious side of ice cream!

how to make toasted quinoa flour:

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Add 1 or 2 cups (depending how much flour you would like) onto a baking sheet and roast in the oven for about 20 minutes. Continue to check the quinoa throughout the process, moving it around the sheet so it doesn't burn. You want it to be nice and golden brown when you're done.

Once the quinoa is nicely toasted, grind it in a spice grinder, blender or food processor, until you have a fine flour. If you notice that the flour still seems kind of gritty and not all the quinoa was ground, put it through a fine mesh strainer. Keep the extra quinoa grits – I'm planning to experiment using them like cornmeal!

Store in an air tight container in the fridge for up to two months.


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About Alyssa

Hey there, I’m Alyssa Rimmer, a certified Holistic Nutritionist, yoga-lover, dog mom, and founder of Simply Quinoa. It’s nice to meet you! I created SQ as a way to provide solutions for women just like me, who were struggling to find helpful information about how to live a healthy and fulfilled life. My hope is that you will find inspiration here on SQ – in my story, in my recipes, in the hundreds of wellness articles, and in our amazing community. Welcome!

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  1. This looks super yum! Think this would work well as a cupcake recipe? I don’t have a springform pan, and she has birthday #4 coming up…

    • I’m not sure if this would work in cupcakes. I think maybe mini cupcakes might be better. I guess now that I’m thinking about it more, I don’t know why it wouldn’t. My mini springform pan is just slightly larger than a cupcake. I think just watch your baking times. They might only need 10 minutes in the oven. Let me know if you try them 🙂 xo!

  2. Hey,
    Smell of roasted quinoa was magic! We were so enthusiastic about this recipe, and I end up with almost dry crumbs of some sort, that taste good, and smell good but nothing of the crazy decadent moist thing that from the pics. First the batter was such small quantity, like four spoons, it was supposed to puff to bigger size for 11 minutes? What could I have done wrong?

    • Hi Renka,

      Hmm…what size pan did you use? Mine is very small – only 4″ – so the amount of batter fills up the pan quite nicely. I would suggest trying to double the batter if you have a larger pan and then only cooking for 11 – 12 minutes. And if you don’t want to double the recipe, I would keep the cooking time to around 8 minutes since the cake will be much thinner than the one in my picture.

      Let me know if you have any more questions. I hope this helps!

      xx Alyssa

  3. Very cool! I definitely want to start baking with quinoa.

    Do you cook & boil the quinoa first, or just toss the pre-cooked grains in the oven?

  4. For the stevia in this recipe, is this the liquid stuff or powdered? Is there a particular brand you’d recommend? Thanks so much!

  5. […] 1/2 cup (64 grams) toasted quinoa flour (see the preparation here) […]

  6. This is currently in my oven. I made do with what I have, which means there are some quinoa bits that didn’t get ground. However, I’ve found that it gives the batter a consistency like chunky peanut butter! It’ll be interesting to see how the cake turns out.

    Thanks for this recipe!

  7. This recipe is absolutely amazing – thank you for posting it! I made a trial one this past week and plan to make it again next month for my husband’a birthday. I’m thrilled to have found a reliable vegan-GF cake — your adaptation makes it super moist!

    It was even better the next day after spending the night in the fridge wrapped in aluminum foil and a paper bag.


  8. […] Vegan “Peanut Butter” Quinoa Chocolate Cake […]

  9. Lemon Rosemary Quinoa with Fiddleheads & Mushrooms | The Queen of Quinoa | Gluten-free + Quinoa Recipes says:

    […] I’ve been all about the light and healthy quinoa recipes lately. Not only is quinoa insanely versatile, but it’s also loaded with nutrients and is perfect when you just need a little snack or are feeling completely famished. It provides the protein you need to stay fuller longer, is awesome as a post workout bite, and of course, it tastes delicious. […]

  10. I used a 4" springform pan, but you could go as small as a 3" – there was room to play around a little bit! xo Alyssa

  11. oh my goodness so happy you like the sounds of this! seriously it's so good and amazingly peanut buttery – the best! It's my new favorite flour to use 🙂

  12. Thanks so much for visiting! Glad I could help you convert to a gluten-free diet 🙂 xo

  13. oooh this looks so YUM! I love chocolate peanut butter from PB & co. I never heard of Quinoa taking on a PB flavor when ground- that is pretty amazing!

  14. I didn't know that about the quinoa !! I have a thermomix, so making the flour will be very easy. Thanks for the recipe! Sonia


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