Rich Carob Quinoa Cakes with Peppermint Frosting
These little delights are not as naughty as they look. Each cupcake contains the goodness of quinoa. Quinoa is a pseudo-grain because it is actually a seed and not a grain, making it gluten-free. In this recipe, the quinoa is cooked first and then pureed before adding in the rest of the ingredients. These cupcakes bake up fluffy with a small, moist crumb. If you’re thinking these cakes will end up tasting like a side-dish, don’t worry. The carob powder used in this recipe does a great job at covering up the quinoa taste. You can’t even tell they contain quinoa.
Carob powder is created from the dehydrated and roasted pulp found in the pods of the carob tree. Belonging in the pea family, this legume has a slightly sweet taste and is a great substitute to cocoa powder. These little cakes taste great on their own, but you’ll find that the sweet earthy taste of the carob powder pairs up fantastically with the peppermint used in the coconut whipped frosting.
These cupcakes hold up really well in the fridge and develop a rich fudgy texture, much like brownies.
Rich Carob Quinoa Cakes
Makes 12 standard size cupcakes.
- 2/3 cup – quinoa, golden, dry
- 1 1/3 cup – water
- 1/3 cup – coconut milk (or almond)
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 cup – coconut oil, melted
- 1/2 cup – unpasteurized honey
- 1 teaspoon – vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup – carob powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoon – baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon – baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon – ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon – sea salt
Preheat oven to 350˚F. Prep the cupcake tin with liners.
- In a small pot, bring quinoa and water to a boil. Reduce the heat and cook, covered for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave the pot on the burner for another 10 minutes. Fluff with fork, cover and allow quinoa to cool fully.
- In a big bowl, whisk together carob powder + baking powder + baking soda + ground cloves + salt.
- Once Quinoa has cooled to room temperature, place quinoa in a blender or food processor. Start blending, adding the milk in about half way until you have a relatively smooth paste (it’ll be a bit lumpy and that’s okay, as long as you don’t see any whole seeds).
- Add the eggs, one by one, blending in between.
- Add melted coconut oil + honey + vanilla and continue to blend until incorporated.
- Add the cocoa mixture to the blender/food processor. Blend, making sure to scrape down the bowl every so often to get an even mix.
- Divide batter in the tin. You can use a big ice cream scoop to get even amounts in each cup. Bake until wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out relatively clean, with a few moist crumbs.
Leave the cupcakes in the tin for 5 minutes until cool enough to handle. Remove the cakes out of the tin and place on a cooling rack. Cool fully before frosting.
Decadent Peppermint Coconut Whipped Frosting
Makes about 2 cups.
- 2 cans – coconut milk, refrigerated at least overnight
- 1 teaspoon – peppermint oil
- 4 tablespoons – unpasteurized honey
- pinch salt
* Make sure the cans of coconut milk are thoroughly chilled over night.
- Open the cans of coconut milk and pour out the separated coconut water. Use only the fat for this recipe.
- Place the fat into a big bowl and whip on medium until it no longer has big chunks.
- Add the peppermint oil + honey + salt.
- Whip on medium high – high until you have a fluffy frosting.
- Taste. If it needs anything extra, add it now and whip again.
Slather freely onto the cooled carob cakes. It’s very important that the cakes are fully cooled or even placed in the fridge beforehand because this frosting melts very easily! Top off your cakes with anything you fancy. A sprinkle of shredded coconut, cocoa nibs or a bit of sifted carob powder work deliciously. Eat right away or place in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.