01 January, 2011

Apple Quinoa Cake

Happy New Year to all of you!!!
I want to start this year's blog with a dessert, because this is how I started 2011. With dessert.
As far as I can remember (and things tend to get blurry after such a long time), I hadn't been out in the evening for 3 (yes, three) years, since my little daughter was born. For New Year's Eve, we were invited to the house of good friends. It felt good, really good to be out again after such a long time. We were treated to the most amazing food I have had in a long time. Joao and Carina, this one is for you:  you really excelled yourselves. We had a a fabulous time. Only downside was that, after 3 years of absence, our party endurance wasn't what it used to be.
As we were busy eating starters and entree until almost midnight, the hosts decided to serve dessert in the New Year. And what a great way to start the New Year: homemade ice creams, cakes, flans, ...... I rolled home after that.
I want to make this my motto of the year: we all deserve dessert. Here is my first contribution, not as fancy as what I got spoiled with last night, but nevertheless a dessert that is in tune with the spirit of this blog: a delicious, healthy, vegan and nutritious treat that has a quirky ingredient: cooked quinoa. I tend to think that once you turn a dessert into a healthier food that is tasty at the same time, everything else will fall into place by itself.


3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt

1 large apple, cored and coarsely grated
1/4 cup palm sugar
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup cooked quinoa (1/3 cup uncooked quinoa)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons sunflower seeds
1/4 cup raisins

Cinnamon Oat Topping
1/4 cup rolled oats
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon palm sugar
1 tablespoon olive oil

Serves 8 
Preheat oven to 180C/350F. Grease or line a loaf tin with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, sift together flour, palm sugar, baking powder, soda, ginger, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, mix the grated apple, oil, quinoa, vanilla, sunflower seeds and raisins. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until combined.

Pour into prepared pan and smooth the top. Combine all ingredients for the topping and sprinkle them on top of the cake batter. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until cake tester comes out clean. Let cool before cutting into slices.


  1. this looks delicious! i never thought about putting quinoa in a cake!

  2. Looks and sounds wonderful and healthy. I have to admit I didn't even know what quinoa was until I read this and googled it!

  3. Happy New Year--and thanks so much for reminding me of this cake! As I recall, I often ate it for breakfast. ;)

  4. What a great way to use quinoa. I'll have to make this in a couple of weeks when I re-introduce wheat/carbs. ;)

  5. what a delicious looking cake and a happy new year to you :)

  6. i have the best wife on the planet!

  7. I love your blog. I just stumbled upon it from Food Buzz. Check out mine at yummywithoutthetummy.blogspot.com

    Seems like we both like healthy DELICIOUS eating. Thanks for these recipes and ideas.

    Cheers, Georgette

  8. What a great healthy treat! I love your new motto for the year! Thanks for sharing this recipe! Happy new year!

  9. A) I love your motto :) and B) What a delicious sounding cake! I love how it has quinoa in it. I cook quinoa quite often but have never used it in baking, so now I'm inspired :) Happy 2011!

  10. Dear Anja,
    Happy 2011! (Once again):)
    Many thanks for your kind words, was a great pleasure having you on New Year’s Eve! Simply lovely!!
    Let’s do it again shortly, to keep improving the party endurance!!:)
    Loved the motto for 2011-Dessert...Dessert... Dessert!!!:)
    Big kiss,
    Carina e João

  11. @ CCB
    If I will always end up with a tub of homemade vanilla ice cream in my freezer after I say something nice about you guys, I will squeeze in as many niceties into this blog as I can :-)

  12. Wow, a sweet quinoa recipe...I love the grain and cook a lot of savory dishes with it. Cant wait to try this one!! Congrats on making Foodbuzz Top 9...well deserved!!

  13. I tried quinoa in muffin form, they were eh. I suspect it had a lot to do with the flavors added into them. I will definitely put this on the list of must try!

  14. Strawberry yogurt ice cream on it's way!!! .... ;)

  15. This looks amazing! I am definitely adding this to my followed blogs. Great recipe!

  16. I just discovered quinoa and never thought to add it to a cake...what a great idea!

  17. made this without the topping and with maple syrup instead of palm sugar- absolutely delicious!

  18. also used almonds instead of sesame seeds and no raisins!

  19. I've tried making this recipe but I change all the sunflower seeds and raisins into mixture of different nuts. The cake is soft, but the flavor suffers. I guess my recipe is a failure.

    Caterers In New York

  20. I made it today to finish off some quinoa and it tasted so good it disappeared in ten minutes!

  21. just made this cake using turbinado sugar instead of palm, and it's absolutely delicious! thank you so much for the wonderful recipe, it's a keeper for sure :)