I Cannot Tell a Lie

The title is because you will not believe what I made.

Chocolate Fudgy Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting.

Ok, maybe you will believe that, but you will not believe what they’re made out of. Let me tell you that the cupcakes weren’t particularly cake-like, but rather a nice smooth fudgy-like cake. They are good warm or cold-ish. Now, you might be weirded out, but it’s a recipe that is crazy enough to work. Don’t knock it til you try it!

These recipes are Vegan, Gluten-Free, Lactose/Casein-Free, Grain-Free, Soy-Free, Refined Sugar-Free and GOOD FOR YOU! And provided you make the almond milk and purée yourself, there is not one single item that gets thrown in the trash to make this. Dessert for breakfast is back!

Quinoa Chocolate Fudgy Cake Recipe
adapted from this recipe

  • 2/3 cup quinoa, uncooked (yields about 2 1/4 cups cooked)
  • 1 2/3 cup water
  • 1/2 cup almond milk**
  • 4 flax eggs – 4 T freshly ground flax mixed with 8 T boiling water
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 T raw unfliltered honey (or agave)
  • 3/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 cup cacao powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

**Be wary when buying almond milk as many of them contain “evaporated cane juice” (SUGAR) and other nonsense. Make your own for 2 batches of this recipe for about $1.50. Generally people soak raw organic almonds for 4 hours, drain, then for every 1 cup of almonds (presoaked) add 3 cups of water to your blender. Blend until smooth and then run through a nut milk bag (fine mesh bag) and squeeze. You’re left with almond meal to use for other stuff. It’s rewarding, economical and waste-reducing.


  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine quinoa and water. Cover, bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat (keep covered) and allow to sit for 10 minutes. Once complete, fluff with fork and set aside. (Or cook with the same measurements in a rice cooker).
  3. I used an 8×8 glass pan (16 pieces) for one batch and a muffin tin for the second (16-18 cupcakes). Original recipe: lightly grease two 9″ round pans – Line the bottoms with parchment paper [believe me, it’s worth the effort. Just DO it!]. Set aside.
  4. Make flax eggs by grinding 2 T flax seed in a coffee grinder. Measure out 4 T of the ground seed and mix in a bowl with 8 T boiling water. Mix well (gets goopy) and allow to cool for a few minutes.
  5. Combine almond milk, flax eggs, honey and vanilla in blender. Blend until smooth.
  6. Add the cooked quinoa and coconut oil. Blend until smooth – I used the tamper in my VitaMix (may be challenging to do, just blend it as best you can).
  7. In a large bowl, mix together sugar, cacao powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Pour the contents of the blender into the bowl and mix well with a hand mixer.
  8. Spoon into lined muffin pan (3/4 full), pour into glass pan OR divide the batter evenly between the two 9″ pans and bake on the middle rack of your oven.
    Cook Time: Muffins: 80 minutes; Cake: 50 minutes.
    The original recipe says for the 9″ cakes “bake for 40-50 minutes [my cake was perfectly cooked at 48 minutes]. You can test to determine if the cake is done by inserting a toothpick in the middle.” My cakes were never “perfectly done” as they were still a bit moist even after 80 mins. However, it’s not mushy in an uncooked-cake sense or gross. They are fudgy like brownies.
  9. Allow cakes to  cool for a couple of hours before removing from the pans and topping with frosting.

Chocolate Freak-Out Frosting
adapted from this recipe

  • 1 cup yam purée**
  • 3 T coconut sugar
  • 1/8 packet of stevia powder (less than 1/4 tsp)
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • pinch fine sea salt
  • 1/2 cup cacao powder
  • 1/4 cup raw tahini (for nut-free) or smooth natural cashew butter
  • 2 T coconut oil
  • Honey, agave or additional stevia (small bits at a time) for additional sweetness

**Make your own purée by baking 2 medium red garnet yams (a variety of sweet potato) rubbed with olive oil at 350° for 1 hour. The skin should peel off easily, then purée in a food processor or blender. It’s rewarding, economical and waste-reducing.

  1. Place yam purée, coconut sugar, stevia, vanilla and salt in food processor/blender blend.  Add the 1/2 of the cacao powder and process until combined. Set aside.
  2. In a small pot, place the other 1/2 of the cacao powder, tahini (or cashew butter) and coconut oil over low heat.  Stir constantly until blended; remove from heat.
  3. Pour the mixture into the food processor/blender and blend everything until smooth and creamy, scraping down sides as necessary.
  4. Adjust taste with cacao powder and/or honey or other sweetener.
Original Recipe Note (I didn’t encounter this problem): if the coconut oil begins to separate (the mixture will appear oily and a bit curdled), OR if you find that the mixture is too thick, add one tablespoon more of the purée at a time and blend again; it should come together in a silky, spreadable frosting.
May be used immediately as a fudgy frosting; or else refrigerate until firm, then beat with electric beaters until fluffy and lighter in color for a “buttercream” frosting. Makes about 1 1/2 cups. May be frozen; defrost overnight in the refrigerator, then bring to room temperature and beat with electric beaters before using. The frosting is also amazing with strawberries. The tahini imparted no flavor whatsoever on the final product.
That’s right. Yams. And for me, this was my very first time bringing a yam/sweet potato into my home. So this is good for you AND it’s delicious! I understand you are skeptical, (I WAS) but TRUST me.

This dessert is loaded with good stuff.
Omega-3s from the flax (read here about the need for grinding flax). Calcium, iron, protein and fiber from the almonds in the almond milk. Antioxidants from the cacao powder. More fiber and protein from the quinoa. Good fats from the coconut oil. Potassium and fiber from the yams.

Approximate Comparison to Betty Crocker Rich and Creamy Frosting

Yam Frosting: 9 g carbs | Betty: 21 g
Yam Frosting: 1.9 g sugar | Betty: 18 g
Yam Frosting: 70 calories | Betty: 130

The carbs in the Betty Crocker frosting is about the same as the quinoa cupcake with frosting! The frosted cupcake has half the sugar of the Betty Crocker frosting alone! Insane! Top some Pillsbury cake with the Betty frosting and you’re at 400 calories, 37 g sugar, and 55 g carbs (vs about 24 g carbs for the quinoa cake with yam frosting). Even if the cake isn’t feasible for you to make, the frosting is a tasty way to sneak veggies to kids or co-workers.

Did I just BLOW your mind???

Another similar Quinoa Chocolate Cake Recipe (I don’t see why flax eggs wouldn’t work here too).

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About Sarah Hiller

Eco-maniacal! I love learning about food and health, and then sharing! I'm also an aspiring photographer, lover of kale, dogs, yoga, anything fitness, sunshine, rainbows, unicorns and heavy metal. It is my goal to empower and support people through nutrition and attitude. I have an Etsy store you can check out as well www.etsy.com/shop/ironballoon

2 responses to “I Cannot Tell a Lie”

  1. Ricki says :

    Sounds delicious! And glad you liked the frosting–your version sounds great, too :)

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