Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Sweet Potato Quinoa Chocolate Cake (vegan)

This cake may just look like a slice of chocolate cake to you. But let me tell you, that there is sweet potatoes, quinoa, avocado and cocoa hidden inside there to make it a nutritious bite of heaven. No sugar, no nuts (or tree nuts), or any gluten, dairy, soy and pretty much fits the bill for being the most nutritious CAKE I have ever made! :) And, it was delicious too. I do not know why it took me so long to make frosting out of avocado puree. It is so easy and so delicious... seriously plants and real food are AMAZING!
I started experimenting with this cake a few weeks ago because I started feeding my baby solid foods (CRAZY!) and one of our first food was sweet potato puree. My baby loved the sweet potatoes (as I thought he would). And I made a huge batch of sweet potatoes puree to freeze for my baby food in the future. I still had more sweet potato puree in the fridge though, and wanted to experiment with some leftover quinoa as well. So, I made my sweet potato quinoa patties (and made some revisions), and then decided on making something a little special too. Here is my first attempt at making a cake that may be good enough to feed a baby on their first birthday that does not contain any allergens or toxic sugar. I am VERY happy with the results and probably will make it again for myself (forget about baby food!) and will also probably brag about it more than I should :)

Sweet Potato Quinoa Chocolate Cake Recipe (vegan, gluten, nut, dairy and sugar-free)
2/3 cup of quinoa flour (or make quinoa-meal yourself from dry quinoa in your blender/food processor) ***other sub flours to use: GF oat, sorghum or brown rice***
1/3 cup of millet flour
1/3 cup of tapioca flour
1 1/2 cup pre-cooked quinoa
1 cup of sweet potato puree
1/4 cup of coconut palm sugar
1/4 cup of pure maple syrup
1/4 cup of light olive oil
1/2 cup of non-dairy milk 
3 TB of real cocoa powder or carob powder
1 TB of flax or chia meal
1 1/2 ts. of baking powder
1 ts. of baking soda
1/2 ts. of sea salt
1 ts. of ground ginger
Mix all of the above ingredients together for 1-2 minutes to create a smooth and creamy cake batter. Then pour into a 9x9 circle pan that has been greased with oil/organic palm shortening. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 50-55 minutes, until you can stick a toothpick through the middle of the cake and no gooey-ness comes out. It should be pretty crispy and brown on top and stiff when shaken just a bit. Let cool for 10-15 minutes and then transfer from pan to a plate using the flip-plate method. Continue to let cool before you put on cooled frosting...

If you prefer to make this recipe into cupcakes, then by all means, pour batter into lined a lined cupcake tin and cook in 20-25 minutes and check with a toothpick as well to check if fully cooked and done. Pull cupcakes from pan to cool best.

Avocado Chocolate Frosting Recipe
In a small blender, food processor, magic bullet or vitamix mix the following:

1 small RIPE avocado (about 3/4-1 cup of chopped avocado)
2 ts. of pure raw cocoa
3 TB of pure maple syrup
3 TB of hemp milk (or non-dairy milk of choice)

Blend in a blender and you should get a mouse looking substance. Taste and see if you want to add more syrup, or if it is too thick, then add a touch more milk and blend again. Blend and add liquid according to your liking.

Then spread the mouse/frosting on the cake in a one inch layer. If you are frosting cupcakes, then top with as much or as little as you desire. Then serve right away! The avocado mouse tastes best to serve fresh, but if you are keeping the leftovers you defiantly need to keep this cake in the fridge for best results.

---My sweet potato puree was a mix of about 4 cups of soft (boiled) potatoes with about 1-1/2 cups of water that was blended in a blender to get a thick but pureed consistency. You can add your sweet potatoes however you like, just know that this factor may affect your cake batter consistency and you may or may not want to add a touch more liquid if your batter seems too thick.

---If you do not want to use sweetener in this recipe at all, then I suggest you omit it and add 1/4 cup of really ripe banana puree to add sweetness or experiment with stevia.

---You can make this recipe without the cocoa if you desire. An orange cake with green frosting may be the look you are going for ;) Or I would suggest using carob as a perfect sub for the cocoa as well.

---Some optional ingredients to either cake or frosting: touch of pure vanilla or cinnamon

Now, friends, I suggest you run, not walk, to the store and get some avocados so that you can make this delicious recipe (especially the frosting-even if you want to wait on the cake recipe). Together this cake and frosting are a masterpiece and a perfect disguise to any person that may or may not think they are eating chocolate cake. I hope you enjoy!

Much love to you!


  1. I love this idea...is there a substitute I could use for the Tapioca flour?

  2. you could use potato or corn starch as a sub for tapioca flour- hope that helps :)

  3. YIPPPEEE! Was just thinking today about what to do for Eliana...we're under the Dr. denBoer regimen currently for the both of us and, thus are extremely limited in what to do for a 1st birthday. I was going to start to play around, but since you've done the dirty work for me, I may just run with it!!!! Question, is agave considered a "no-no" sweetener like honey or maple syrup or is it more like stevia? Am thinking a berry glaze or sauce would accent this nicely as well...can't wait to give it a go...maybe I'll do a few trial runs before June 4th! Thanks Steph for your passion to live so whole...it's encouraging and inspiring, and helpful too! :)

  4. Sounds amazing!! All my favorite ingredients in one place. . . heaven. :)

  5. Hey Megan- Not sure what denBoer regimen you are on.... When I was on one with him, he only allowed agave. So not sure if that changed and you can use stevia as well or if it is different with a babe. I keep meaning to ask them for the baby foods list too... maybe next time I am there. A berry glaze would be YUMMY! let me know what experimenting you do! Much love!

  6. This cake is delicious! I was nervous at first because of the strange ingredients but it is very rich and satisfying while being quite nutritious. Perfect for my sugar-free diet this month.

    I used white whole wheat flour instead of gluten-free, millet instead of quinoa, honey instead of agave, and took your advice on adding a pureed banana and cinnamon.

  7. You are my hero! Seriously! I loved the patties, and what better way to use delicious/healthy foods like quinoa and sweet potato than in a CAKE?!?! I can't wait to try this!