cocoa quinoa cupcakes

These are, by far, the most delicious cupcakes I have ever made. Very chocolatey, but not too sweet. Gluten-and-flour-free. Very protein-y. Light/moist/spongyfluffy for days. Best of all worlds.

Everyone who has ever had one of these cupcakes - every. person. - has immediately requested (a) a second cupcake, (b) the recipe, or (c) both. 


This recipe makes 2 dozen. Trust me, you want 2 dozen.


  • 3 cups cooked, cooled quinoa (1 cup dry)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 6 eggs (room temperature is best)
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups sugar (you choose how sweet; 1 1/2 cups is pretty minimal)
  • 1 1/2 cups cocoa powder
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt

To be fanciful, you can also add any of the following. I usually add them all!

  • 2 Tbsp protein powder (I like hemp-based ones)
  • 2 Tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 2 tsp dried instant coffee
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom


Cook up your quinoa: 1 cup dry in 3 cups water plus a little butter. Bring to a boil; cover and reduce heat to medium-low; cook about 15-20 min or until water has evaporated. Fluff and let cool. This might make a little bit more than 3 cups, but you wanted some for lunch anyway.

In a blender, combine 3 cups quinoa plus the milk and wazz up a bit. Then add the eggs and the vanilla and wazz again. Add your melted butter and wazz one more time. This mixture will be frosting-consistency.

This is a good time to pre-heat the oven to 350 and put paper liners in your muffin tins.

In a large bowl, combine sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and any fanciful ingredients. 

Add the blended quinoa mixture to your dry ingredients, stirring until just combined. 

Fill each muffin cup about 3/4 full. (You can top them off, but your cupcakes will sink a little in the middle. They will still taste perfect).

Bake for 22-25 minutes. You'll know they're done when you tap the tops with your finger and they spring right back up.

Store these cupcakes on a pretty plate at room temperature (they're fine al fresco for a couple days), or in a sealed container in the fridge.