Lucky Comestible II (5): Apple-Quinoa Cake

April 13, 2008


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As always, thanks for reading.  I look forward to seeing you at the shiny new Diet, Dessert and Dogs!

“Um, Mum, we are coming with you, aren’t we? Because (and sorry to have to tell you this), we actually have more fans than you do on this blog.”]

[I thought it would be fun to run a little series over here at DDD: I’ll profile one one of my favorite foods, or a food that I’ve recently discovered and enjoyed, over several days.  For this second entry, I’m focusing on Quinoa. The series is presented on an occasional (and entirely arbitrary) basis, before I move on to the next lucky comestible. This is the last entry on quinoa.]

The moment I decided to present a Lucky Comestible series about quinoa, I simultaneously decided I’d have to include at least one baked goodie.  I know what you’re thinking:  “Now, Ricki, haven’t you already included a recipe for said baked goodie?  After all, you did post about Almond-Quinoa Muffins before the involuntary GBR, didn’t you?” 

Why, yes! Yes, I did. However, technically speaking, muffins are a “baked good,” not a “baked goodie“–the latter term reserved for dessert-type treats, such as cakes, pies, cookies, tarts, or bars.  I wanted to see if I couldn’t turn quinoa into something at least quasi cake-like, despite its elevated whole grain status–something worthy of the term, “dessert”–something that even skeptics like Johanna or Wendy (who mentioned on Johanna’s blog that quinoa reminds her of worms!) could enjoy. 

So, even though personally, my favorite use of quinoa is as a base for salad (where its true essence can shine through), I let my mind wander back toward baking.  And while so doing, I remembered that, in actuality, quinoa is not really a grain–it’s a seed related to beets and leafy greens such as spinach or chard.  Well, okay, I’ve already used spinach in a previous baked goodie, so that didn’t deter me at all.  And even if my quinoa creation didn’t turn out as decadent as a molten chocolate cake, I figured I could still whip up something with both a great nutritional profile AND a sweetness rating high enough to please the kids as an after-school snack, or to serve unexpected guests, with a steaming cup of green tea.  (“And don’t forget, it’s also good enough as a special treat for your sweet and devoted Girls, Mum! We LOVE apple-quinoa cake. . .”)

Since we already had a bag of Macintosh apples withering away on the counter, I started there.  I imagined that a lightly spiced batter would work well with the sturdy taste of quinoa, which can sometimes be a bit domineering in a crowd. For some reason (perhaps because quinoa itself is gluten-free), I decided the bars should also be celiac-friendly. 

What I ended up with was a light and moist cake, studded with raisins and sunflower seeds alongside thin shreds of apple and grains of quinoa.  The cake is slightly chewy, slightly crunchy, with a tender crumb and pleasing spice.  And because it’s fashioned from leftovers of both quinoa and apple, I thought it would be a perfect submission to the Leftover Tuesdays event, hosted by Project Foodie

Mum, you disappoint us.  Raisins?  You know we can’t eat raisins.  But maybe you could pick them out for us. . . ”

 Apple-Quinoa Cake


Next time you cook up some quinoa and find yourself with leftovers, try this great snack cake. Without being excessively sweet and boasting sunflower seeds, two fruits and two whole grains, the cake is nutritious enough to eat for breakfast, though still light enough for dessert.  The subtle apple and trio of spices is a tantalizing combination–you may have to stop yourself from having more than one piece!



22 Responses to “Lucky Comestible II (5): Apple-Quinoa Cake”

  1. VeggieGirl Says:

    Ricki, I thought that your FIRST type of quinoa baked good was amazing; and now you came up with these bars!! You’re simply brilliant!!

  2. Em Says:

    Those bars look sensational! Wow!!

  3. Romina Says:

    I’m a sucker for quinoa, and I’m a sucker for convenience foods such as bars. You hit the jackpot in my books!! =)

  4. atxvegn Says:

    I will definitely be baking up this recipe! I’ve been meaning to tell you that I’m going to make my quinoa breakfast bars again and post the recipe to share.

  5. Johanna Says:

    what do you mean that muffins aren’t baked goodies! You might change your mind if you tasted some of the decadent chocolate flourless muffins I have had! Maybe I would get over my quinoa skepticism if I combined it with chocolate 🙂 Seriously, I think I could do these but with another fruit – like banana or apricots!

  6. you are fueling my quinoa obsession! but i like it

  7. Astra Libris Says:

    Ricki, I’m in heaven! Quinoa is one of my favorite foods of all times, and your recipes are incredible!! This cake looks positively heavenly – I have some apples waiting in the fridge that must have been made for your luscious cake… 🙂 I can’t wait to run home after class and fix this… Thank you for the incredible recipe, and the wealth of quinoa goodness!

  8. Cakespy Says:

    I love quinoa–love it plain with a little olive oil and salt–but making it a cookie bar just made it oh so much better! Yum! I love the detailed quinoa resource you’ve created here!

  9. Wendy Says:

    You know, I tried one of Lucy’s quinoa recipes at the weekend and really quite liked it. Also fancy these cakes. Perhaps I’m being converted. 🙂

  10. This looks beautiful and so tasty. I’ve copied down the recipe.

  11. Lisa Says:

    Yet another fine quinoa recipe. I’m just loving this series Ricki!

  12. Foodie Pam Says:

    Those look wonderful and a great use of leftovers! Yum!

  13. Ricki Says:

    Thanks–not sure about “brilliant,” but definitely on the trail for great quinoa recipes!! 😉

    Thanks! Let me know how you like them if you try them out.

    I think these would be a good way to get quinoa on the run–so yes, convenient AND chock full of your favorite grain!

    Glad it appeals! And I’m very much looking forward to seeing those bars (sounded like a perfect breakfast to me) 🙂


    Okay, I guess SOME muffins can be “goodIES” rather than “goodS” (well, yours sound decadent, anyway!). I’d love to hear how these come out with other fruit–though I think dried fruit wouldn’t work, as the moisture from the raw apple contributes to the texture of the bars here.

    Happy Herbivore,
    There are worse obsessions to fuel–so go for it!

    Astra Libris,
    Thanks so much! Do let me know how they turned out if you end up making them!

    Thanks so much! Your description of quinoa in its pure glory with olive oil and salt made my mouth water–that’s something I HAVEN’T tried yet (and thinking I must).

    Thanks for your comment! Yay–a quinoa convert (okay, almost). 😉 Hope you’ll give these a try.

    Thanks so much! Would love to hear how you like them if you end up trying them out.

    Thanks so much! Glad you’re enjoying it. 🙂

    Foodie Pam,
    Welcome to the blog–and thanks for your comment! Glad you like the look of this one. I had fun creating it for the event and look forward to the roundup!

  14. Foodeater Says:

    This sounds fantastic! I’ve been dreaming up a recipe like this in my head but wasn’t sure how to go about it… you’ve made my life much easier 🙂

  15. Ricki Says:

    Thanks for your comment, and welcome to the blog! I am happy to oblige. . . 🙂

  16. Cindy Says:

    This cake really appeals to me. Like you, I tend to use quinoa in savoury salads but I’m keen to diversify to baking with it. 🙂

    Ha, and I like your distinction between baked goods and baked goodies, I have a habit of thinking like that too!

  17. Ricki Says:

    Thanks so much, and welcome to the blog! And I do think we need both “goods” AND “goodies” in a balanced diet! 😉

  18. […] an intriguing looking recipe for a quinoa cake at Diet, Dessert and Dogs that I haven’t gotten to try yet, but it’s high on my […]

  19. Charles Hipser Says:

    Are quinoa and salba the same thing?

  20. […] shut like a toddler faced with cough syrup.  He wouldn’t even take one bite of my breakfast Apple-Quinoa Cake the other week (though he did seem to enjoy the baked […]

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