Quinoa-Chocolate Snacking Cake - 9 Grains Original

dark chocolate cake with pink glazw

Snacking cakes are one-bowl wonders, defying all the fussiness normally associated with cake-baking. More amazing than their minimal skill and time requirements is the taste: moist, rich, most assuredly cake-y. This one tops the surprise chart even further, building nuances of big flavor from a most unlikely flour, quinoa. It's a bit of a cheat because it uses two bowls - three if you opt for a blood orange glaze, which I highly recommend - but I doubt you'll care once you've had the first bite.


Yield: One circular 9" cake or two circular 6" cakes

Time to Make: 15 minutes active, 30 - 40 minutes oven dwell, 30 minute rest. Longer rest if glazing.

Equipment needed: 1 large and 1 or 2 medium bowls, including one that is microwave-proof (see instructions). Circular 9 inch or two circular 6 inch cake pans. Bakers parchment. Stirring spoon, or power mixer, or stand mixer. Measuring cups and spoons or kitchen scale.


2 Tablespoons unsalted butter to grease pan
1/3 cup dark chocolate chopped coarse (I used Dove candies)
1 cup (110 grams) quinoa flour
1/2 cup (50 grams) Black Dutch Process Cocoa (available at King Arthur Flour)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon (1 gram) decaffeinated instant espresso
1/3 cup canola oil
2 large eggs
1/3 cup full fat sour cream
1/2 cup whole milk
1/3 cup (155 grams) tightly packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Glaze Ingredients

3/4 cup confectioners sugar
2 Tablespoons blood orange juice
1 teaspoon lemon juice


1) Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease the inside of a 9" circular cake pan with butter, then line with bakers parchment.

2) Place the chopped chocolate into a microwave-proof medium bowl and "nuke" on high for about 2 minutes, or until well-softened. Set aside to cool. As chocolate cools, place cocoa, flour, salt, coffee crystals, soda and baking powder into a large bowl and whisk to combine. 

3) While stirring, add oil, sour cream, eggs, milk, brown sugar, vanilla and melted chocolate, then beat until mixture is well-blended. Note: you can mix by hand with a sturdy spoon, with a hand-held power mixer, or a stand mixer. 

4) Pour batter into prepared cake pan and place on a middle oven rack. Bake 35 minutes, rotating pan once, or until an inserted toothpick comes out with just a few small crumbs.

5) Remove to a cooling rack. Allow cake to cool at least 30 minutes before removing from the pan, peeling away the parchment, and serving. If frosting or glazing, allow to cool 2 hours or overnight.