Monday, April 9, 2012

quinoa strawberry pistachio cake


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an experiment.
that is precisely what this cake was.
a gluten free baking experiment to be exact - oh boy.
this was my first full fledged gluten free baking adventure, all in all it went pretty well. there were a couple "uh - oh is that what it is suppose to look like?" moments - in the end everything worked out ...and tasted good!

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quinoa, gluten free oats (Bob's Red Mill), coconut milk and oil are a few of the ingredients you will find in this cake. a fresh strawberry puree is added to the frosting that is spread between the two layers of cake, the remaining frosting being used to frost the entire cake.
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i opted to bake my cake in 2 - 6inch cake rounds, a  1 - 8inch cake round would also work





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in addition to the strawberry frosting, finely chopped pistachios are added between the 2 cake layers as well as the top layer of the cake after the cake has been fully frosted.






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when baking your cakes - don't panic if they seem a little under done. i think Justin put it best when he described the cake to be more "pudding" like in texture - it is an extremely moist cake.






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it is very important that you allow the cake to fully cool before frosting - while the cakes are cooling throw in a load of laundry, paint your toe nails or crank up the tunes and
dance around the living room with your cat.
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freshly picked strawberries from last June that i froze are used in the frosting.
fresh would also work well - if you opt for fresh i would recommend whirling them in your food processor with the coconut milk.





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 so pretty - this cake reminds me of spring & makes me want to wear
 a pretty dress when eating a slice
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perfect with a cup of green tea. even better enjoyed with someone you love.





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the pistachios add a nice balance to the texturally soft cake - hazelnuts or walnuts (toasted) would make a nice substitution for the pistachios.
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the next time around i may sub in coconut flour for the oat flour - this may give the cake a bit more structure creating a more "cake" vs. "pudding" like dessert. 
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Quinoa Strawberry Pistachio Cake
serves 8
(1 double layer round 6 - inch cake or 1 round 8 -inch)

you will need:
for the cake

1/3 cup white or golden quinoa
1/2 cup water or coconut water
1/4 cup coconut milk
1/3 cup soy yogurt
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled
1/2 cup sugar or Agave
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup bobs red mill gluten free oats - finely ground

all vegetable shortening or vegan butter for greasing the cake pan(s)
parchment paper to line the pan(s)

 
for the frosting
2 tbsp vegan butter
2oz vegan cream cheese
1 1/2 - 2 cups powdered sugar
1 - 2 tbsp coconut milk
1 tbsp strawberry puree (jam would work too)
1/3  - 2/3 cup chopped pistachios (shelled)

assembly:
preheat oven to 350*


bring the quinoa and coconut water to a boil in a medium saucepan. cover, reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes
 turn off the heat and leave the covered saucepan on the burner for another 10 minute. fluff with a fork and allow the quinoa to cool
lightly grease two 6-inch round or 8 - inch round cake pan
 line the bottoms of the pans with parchment paper
combine the coconut milk, soy yogurt and vanilla in a blender or food processor
 add 2 cups cooked quinoa and the melted coconut oil and continue to blend until smooth
whisk together the sugar or agave, oat flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl
add the contents of the blender and mix well
divide the batter evenly between the 2 pans and bake on the center oven rack for 40 to 45 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean
remove the cake from the oven and cool completely in the pan before frosting

to make the frosting, mix vegan butter and vegan cream cheese in a stand mixer until thoroughly combined - on stir speed, slowly add in powdered sugar, mix until incorporated - mix in vanilla & strawberry puree

using on cake layer for the bottom spread a layer of frosting on the top - sprinkle with 1/2 of the chopped pistachios. top that layer with the remaining cake round - frost top and sides with remaining frosting and sprinkle with the rest of the pistachios.

store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or freeze unfrosted for up to 1 month

enjoy!

recipe inspired by
Quinoa 365, the Everyday Superfood By Patricia Green and Carolyn Hemming


 

41 comments:

  1. omigoodness, girl! this is such a magnificent looking cake! AND gluten-free! i *must* try this.

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    1. I was actually thinking of you, Cara and Richa when I was making this cake - you three are like the Gluten Free Vegan baking Queens!

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  2. wow. Pistachios and Strawberries...it loooks so delicious. I would also be in the mood to eat one piece with a nice little dress and some green tea! :)

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    1. We should totally put on cutes dresses and eat this cake with a cup of tea together :)

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  3. Lovely Cake.. Feels like grabbing one slice and eat right away

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    1. I know it, I felt like grabbing the entire cake at times and just going at it...but I practiced self control and only ate 1 piece in 3 hour intervals :0

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  4. Ooh, I'm so impressed with this. I actually think the pudding-like texture of it looks amazing. And the frosting with the nuts on top is so pretty!

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    1. I agree Heidi! Some people are just funny with textures ah em Justin...so I like to give fair warning to those that make this cake expecting a cakey cake - the frosting and nuts were my favorite part of the cake!

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  5. love that frosting. strawberries and pistachios.. i will probably eat all the frosting while the cake is cooling.. coz dancing with a cat is not an option.. i can borrow the neighbors cat.. but she doesnt like chewie and all people associated with him, hence me!:) i like that pudding texture!

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    1. You better make a double batch of frosting! ...wait I totally took Chewie as a dancing machine :)

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  6. Oh dear, we could totally be Best Friends Forever!!!!
    This is total eye-candy here ;) Yum!!!!
    Well done & Congrats on creating such a beautiful GFV cake!
    xo

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    1. Please, lets do be best friends for ever Ella; that would be awesome!

      I was pretty happy with my first gfv baking adventure - it wasn't nearly as scary as I thought it would be :)

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  7. This looks amazing and I bet it tastes amazing too! The colours of the icing and pistachios just gel! Awesome!

    The only thing I've ever baked with quinoa grain is pizza, which was fantastic, I've never thought to use it in a cake! I did have some quinoa flour once but the things I made with it tasted really bitter and nasty so I ended up throwing the rest of it in the bin!

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    1. It was so so tasty!

      I loved that the recipe uses actual quinoa vs. the quinoa flour, it is such a surprising element to the cake

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  8. Oh wow. Another great flavor combination. I love making quinoa puddings, so it doesn't surprise me that they make a great pudding like cake!

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    1. Quinoa pudding is next on my list! Do you have any favorite flavor combinations or tricks for a really outstanding quinoa pudding - please share!

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  9. I seriously just got butterflies in my stomach. Pistachios are a nostalgic nut for me. When I first started to bake (which was a mere year ago, really--now that I think about it), I made a berry and pistachio cake. It was the first thing that I was so proud of. And now seeing a cake reminisent of that, it makes me giddy inside. Maybe it is also the reminder that spring is finally here too that I feel. Whatever it it, I am loving this recipe! :)

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    1. Wow only a year ago you started baking! that is just craziness, you were BORN to bake, what in the world did you do with yourself pre-naking Cara?

      Did you post about your berry pistachio cake, it sounds like it would be amazing

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  10. A cake made from quinoa and no flour? So creative! This totally does remind me of spring dresses and pretty flowers! (psst. I've got a birthday coming up later this month, feel free to send a cake my way ;)

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    1. Oh gosh, I think the pretty cake would end up being pudding if I mailed you one!

      If you make it over to NH I will be sure to make you this cake and give you pretty flowers :)

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  11. So pretty! Love the thought of pastiachios and strawberries together, here. And I've been very interested in playing with quinoa in sweet baking... well done on your first gluten-free cake!

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    1. This is probably the prettiest cake I have ever made, love the colors, it just shouts spring right at you, doesn't it?

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  12. I'm completely intrigued with the use of quinoa in your recipe. This cake looks delicious!

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    1. Thanks Gerlinde! The quinoa was so much fun to use this way

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  13. This cake is exquisite - touched by spring itself, the flavours and presentation are stunning :D

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

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    1. I love when you use words like exquiste in your comments, it always makes me smile :)

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  14. The pink and green together is sooo pretty! And it sounds amazing- I love pistachios and I love strawberries!

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  15. Hey lady! Just thought I'd let you know I nominated you for a "Very Inspiring Blogger" Award. You can check it out here if you want :). You probably have no idea who I am but I think your blog is gorgeous and I just love reading it. Thanks for being so wonderful!

    http://veggienook.com/2012/04/15/very-inspiring-versatile-and-liebster/

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    1. You are the best Gabby -thank you so much, I amso happy you stopped by to say hello - you totally made my day!

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  16. Awesome recipe!! I can't wait to try this. Quinoa + strawberries? I don't think it could get much better then that! I might sub pistachios for almonds, but this cake seriously sounds delicious. I made a quinoa chocolate cake a while ago, but haven't experimented since. This is a must try!!

    http://queenofquinoa.blogspot.com/2011/11/alyssas-flourless-dark-chocolate-cake.html

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    1. Thank you so much- I bet the almonds would be delish with the strawberries! Heading over to check out your recipe :)

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  17. I made this cake yesterday and it was gorgeous. I loved the pudding texture as it was suprisingly light. I am not keen on vanilla so I used rose water, and strawberry jam instead of sugar. The flavours worked well together and it was a lovely way to end a sunny lunch. Thank you for this recipe !

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    1. I can't tell you how ahppy that makes me to hear that you loved the cake! I am LOVING the adjustments you made to the recipe, strawberry season is approaching which = homemade jam, so I will have to try your version :)

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  18. I love using quinoa in baking...do you think quinoa flakes would work in place of the blended up quinoa? I think coconut flour would be a great sub to soak up more liquid and give a different taste-I love the almost sweet taste of the coconut flour!

    This cake looks so good, I just want to jump through my computer and dig in!

    Thanks for sharing on HVF! I am loving all your link ups!

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    1. I defintely think cocomut flour would be an awesome sub in! I cannot GET enough of the smell of coconut flour - when I opened my first bag of coconut flour I think I did more inhaling than baking - it is my favorite gluten free flour! I am not sure how quinoa flakes would work as I have never baked with them but it is worth a shot :)

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    2. LOL! I think I did the same thing with the coconut flour...it's smell is amazing! Like I told you in my email, I am featuring this recipe on my blog as "most beautiful" for last week's HVF! I can't wait to see what you got next for us girl!

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  19. This is beautiful! Wow! :) My name is Cindy and I blog over at Vegetarianmamma.com I wanted to invite you to link up your recipe at our Gluten Free Fridays Recipe Link up party! It happens every Friday and we'd love to have you join us with some of your awesome recipes! You can find this week's link up here: http://vegetarianmamma.com/gluten-free-friday-recipe-link-up-1/
    Thanks, Cindy

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    1. Hi Cindy! It is so nice to meet yoy, thank you so much for the invite, I am going to have to check it out, sounds like such a great idea!

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  20. This sounds incredible. Just pinned it. Love your site!

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    1. Hi Trish! Thanks for stopping by, it makes me so happy to hear that you enjoy the site, hope to see you around SMBP more often :)

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Thanks for stopping by - your comments make my day!