You don’t have to have a gluten-intolerance to enjoy these cupcakes, adapted from the “Quinoa 365” cookbook. A tasty, nutritious alternative to wheat-based recipes. I actually like these better than regular chocolate cake.
I’ve made these the hard way (creaming the butter, sugar and eggs first), but then found that I could add ingredients one at a time to the blender (or food processor) and save steps. The cocoa powder doesn’t even need sifting. Yay!
A simple “buttercream” frosting, flavored with almond extract, is optional. Makes 36 mini-cupcakes, or 12 standard-size, or two 8” layer cakes.
2/3 c. black quinoa (or substitute red, beige, or mixed)*
1/3 c. yogurt (or substitute milk)
1/2 c. butter, room temperature
1/4 c. olive oil
3/4 c. lightly-packed brown sugar (or palm sugar)
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
3/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 stick butter
1/2 tsp. almond extract
Scant 1 c. confectioner’s sugar
1. Quinoa contains a bitter element which can be rinsed off. It should always be rinsed, although some recipes don’t mention that. One can also presoak the quinoa overnight. The night before, in quart-sized container, soak: > 2/3 c. quinoa (black or other) > cold water to cover
2. Prepare pans for baking. For cupcakes, use cupcake liners; if those aren’t available, butter the cupcake/tart pans. For cake, butter two round layer pans, adding wax paper rounds to bottom of pans; butter again.
3. After soaking overnight, drain quinoa and cook in saucepan. (*See note below recipe if not pre-soaking quinoa.) Start on high heat, but turn to simmer, cooking for 12-15 minutes: > 2/3 c. quinoa, soaked and drained > 2/3 c. boiling water
4. Let quinoa cool some, then process it until somewhat pureed, in food processor or blender. Add and process again with the yogurt: > The cooked, processed quinoa > 1/3 c. yogurt (or substitute milk)
5. To the processed quinoa/yogurt mixture, add and process until smooth: > 1/2 c. butter, room temperature > 1/4 c. olive oil > 3/4 c. brown sugar (or palm sugar) > 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
6. Add the eggs to the processor/blender, pulsing just until mixed: > 4 eggs
7. Last, add the dry ingredients to the mixture, again pulsing just until smooth: > 3/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder > 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder > 1/2 tsp. baking soda > 1/4 tsp. salt
8. Divide the batter into one prepared standard-size cupcake tin (making 12), or into three tart-sized (making 36 mini cupcakes). (Or use 2 8” round pans.) Bake in preheated 350 degree oven. Standard-size cupcakes should take 22 minutes; bake minis for about 17 minutes or so (until a tester comes out clean.) (Alternatively, two 8” round layers should bake for 40 minutes or so.)
9. Let cool before unmolding.
1. For frosting, whip together for quite some time in the mixer, until light and fluffy: > 1 stick butter, room temperature > 1/2 tsp. almond extract > Scant 1 c. confectioner’s sugar
2. Frosting can be put into a quart-sized zip-lock bag until ready to frost. To decorate, snip the tip off one of the frosting bag’s corners, squeezing frosting in dollops onto each cupcake. Serve, or freeze for up to several weeks.
* Alternatively, quinoa can be rinsed instead of pre-soaking. In that case, cook in (almost) double the water—1 1/4 c. boiling water to 2/3 c. quinoa
** 2/3 c. uncooked equals 2 c. cooked quinoa, if using pre-cooked quinoa