Quinoa Chocolate Cake Recipe with Brown Sugar Streusel {Gluten Free Chocolate Zucchini Cake Recipe}

Quinoa Chocolate Cake Recipe with Brown Sugar Streusel {Gluten Free Chocolate Zucchini Cake Recipe}
Our house is full of huge zucchini.   Literally my husband checked on it one night and it was too small so he went out the next morning and it was huge!  So I figured the best thing to make with it would be a gluten free chocolate zucchini cake recipe.  I chose to use quinoa flour because it’s grain free and is great for baking because it lends a subtle, nutty flavor to the cake.  The blended zucchini is awesome in this quinoa chocolate cake recipe because it makes it moist and light – and a little healthy.  I love the brown sugar streusel because it was REALLY easy to do and it looks really fancy.  Everyone who has tried the cake has loved it!  Please let me know how it turns out for you.
Quinoa Chocolate Cake Recipe with Brown Sugar Streusel
Author: Rebecca
  • Cake:
  • 1/2 cup butter (can substitute applesauce)
  • 1/3 cup [url href=”http://www.amazon.com/Nutiva-Organic-Virgin-Coconut-15-Ounce/dp/B001EO5Q64/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1378780635&sr=8-1&keywords=nutiva+coconut+oil” title=”coconut oil”]coconut oil [/url](can substitute canola or vegetable oil)
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 cups [url href=”http://www.amazon.com/Bobs-Red-Mill-22-Ounce-Packages/dp/B000EDK6FM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1378780570&sr=8-1&keywords=quinoa+flour” title=”quinoa flour”]quinoa flour[/url]
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon [url href=”http://www.amazon.com/Bobs-Red-Mill-Non-Aluminum-Double/dp/B005P0I7T6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1378780668&sr=8-1&keywords=bob%27s+red+mill+baking+powder” ]baking powder[/url]
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups blended zucchini
  • Topping:
  • 1/2 cup sliced pecans
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9X13-inch pan with cold coconut oil and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl with an electric mixer (handheld or stand mixer), cream together the butter, oil and sugar. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix well. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients to the batter and mix. Add 1/2 of the milk; mix. Add another 1/3 of the flour mixture and mix until combined. Add the remaining milk and mix followed by the last of the dry ingredients and stir to combine. Stir in the shredded zucchini.
  3. Spread the batter in the prepared pan. Sprinkle with the pecans and chocolate chips. Sprinkle the brown sugar on top of everything.
  4. Bake for 35-40 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs (don’t overbake!).
  5. Let cool completely before serving. This cake tastes best at room temperature (and is great the next day, too!).

Adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe to make it a grain-free recipe and a gluten-free recipe.


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  1. Kate8 says

    Dear Rebecca,

    My daughter made me your quinoa chocolate cake for my birthday, and it was seriously the best cake I’ve EVER eaten! Instead of making the cake, she chose to make cupcakes, which were pure heaven in every bite! I froze the leftovers (mostly to prevent myself from inhaling them all myself in one sitting), and they defrosted beautifully.

    Thanks for this home-run of a recipe. I’ll be taking a closer look at all your recipes now.

    Your fellow doTERRA-ist — Kate8

  2. brenda says

    I just finished baking !!! my family is starting the transition from unhealthy food to clean, gluten free food. I made muffings instead of a cake and I add dark chocolate chips and coconut flakes to some of the muffins. You cannot even taste the zucchini. Thanks for the recipe :)

  3. says

    February 4, 2012 at 2:28 pmi tried this for my cousins faimly because they cant eat anything with gluten in it and they loved it and so did i can eat gluten but i think gluten free foods taste really better than gluten in food and thank you for helping me make a great dessert for my faimly!!!!

  4. Hannah D says

    This Quinoa chocolate cake recipe looks great!
    Thank you for sharing it with us.

    Do you ever cook dairy free as well as paleo?

  5. LyndaS says

    The last time I made a quinoa chocolate cake, it didn’t use quinoa flour, just the quinoa itself. It took forever to blend it. Now, I have a Vitamix, and I’m excited to make my own quinoa flour in it. It looks like it will be awesomely moist with the addition of zucchini. I have a houseguest coming tomorrow and I needed a gluten free recipe. This will be it!
    Thanks again for a tasty looking recipe!

  6. Leslie Ross says

    I think I am going to make these for the hubby, see if he notices that they are not his usual treats. He is totally against healthy.

  7. Lauren says

    Hi, this looks amazing! I was wondering, can you make this recipe without butter, maybe put more coconut oil?

  8. Nasima says

    I just made this with some edits.

    I used “No Egg” replacement for eggs
    Apple sauce for the butter as suggested
    Rapeseed oil
    1 cup of sugar instead of 1 1/2

    It is soooo good!

    Thanks for the recipe :-)

  9. Simmy says

    Thanks for this. I was looking for a Quinoa flour cake recipe. I bought some Quinoa flour ages ago and still haven’t got around to use it.

    Just curious – Does the cake work without the Zucchini? As it means I can try it now rather than go out to the shops :-)

  10. Courtney Iris says

    This sounds amazing! I found this recipe while searching for a quinoa flour recipe I can use for my daughter’s birthday dessert. I think I might have found my match! I’m going to pick up zucchini from the store tonight and make a test batch.

    Just one question though. Do you think I would be able to use a thicker style coconut milk in this recipe in place of cow’s milk?

  11. Alex says

    Hi! I want to try this! It looks sooo gooodd!! But I have a question, the zucchini is raw right?? Thank you! Greetings from Mexico!

  12. Valerie Carpenter says

    This sounds so yummy. I’m going to try this with some grated zucchini I have in my freezer.

  13. Lauren says

    After reading Wheat Belly…Im giving wheat free a shot. Cant wait to try this cake, looks wonderful! Thanks!!

  14. Melanie O says

    I’ve been trying to incorporate more quinoa into my family’s meals. What a yummy, unique way to do it! Thank you!

    • says

      I know it’s a little dry cause there isn’t gluten to hold it together, but I like it that way cause it’s so light. But if you would prefer it to be more moist, add a little extra coconut oil or even butter and don’t overcook it – that’s the most important thing. Every oven is different so check it often at the end.

  15. Nadya E says

    I love chocolate, and I love cake. This is a wonderful way for me to make it healthy – using quinoa flour. Thanks for the recipe!

  16. Jeannie Bennett says

    You mention cinnamon but do not list the amount. I am in the midst of making this cake so this time I will leave it out but hope you will let me know if I need it for the next time.

  17. Yvonne says

    This sounds amazing!
    I love quinoa! Why not put it into cake! Excellent!
    I have pinned it for later.
    Thanks for sharing an awesome recipe. :)

  18. Rosie says

    I didn’t realize there is quinoa flour! I use quinoa all the time, and like experimenting with different flours. This is a very delicious sounding recipe, I like the possible substitutions, too, for a change. Nice way to sneak in the veggies. I would like to try this, I’ll see if Whole Foods has the quinoa flour!

  19. stephanie says

    This looks really good. One of best friends can’t eat gluten but loves chocolate. I can’t wait to make this for her. Thanks for sharing!

  20. Maryann D. says

    I love Quinoa and I do know how healthy it is for you. I have never made a cake out of the flour yet, but I love chocolate and this would be fantastic to try.

  21. Britney W says

    This looks really good. My husband and I decided to go Gluten free Sugar free a month ago and I am always looking for recipes.

    • says

      It really is really good. I rarely eat desserts cause I’m really picky about them. I don’t want the sugar and calories unless it’s REALLY worth it. This is the most dessert I’ve eaten in like 10 years cause it is addicting!


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