Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Orange Apricot Quinoa Cake

For those of you who have read this blog before, you will understand that using quinoa flour can be quite beneficial, because of its high protein content and the fact that it is gluten-free. I have been able to create quinoa muffins successfully, but sadly, I haven't been able to use this flour much for anything else. (For my recipe for Protein-Packed Quinoa Muffins, click here.)

The difficulty lies with the slightly bitter taste of the quinoa flour. With the muffins, I tried to mask the flavour. This time, I decided to work with it in order to make an Orange Apricot Quinoa Cake. (Thank you L.M. for help with deciding the flavour combinations!)

To make the cake, gather the following dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl:
1 cup quinoa flour
1/2 cup white rice flour
1/4 cup fine corn flour (not cornmeal)
1/2 cup golden-brown sugar (packed)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Now it's time to work in the flavours. I decided to use cloves. You will only need four.

Simply use a mortar and pestle to grind them into a fine powder.

I also decided to use the zest of an orange. Make sure not to get any of the pith (the spongy, white section between the skin and the fruit), as it can add some unnecessary bitterness. Add the orange zest and ground cloves to the dry ingredients.

Complementary flavours can also be added when incorporating the wet ingredients. To do this, I decided to add the following:
1/4 cup Grand Marnier (an orange flavoured liquor)
2 heaping tablespoons of apricot jam

Dissolve the two together in a separate container before adding it to the mixture.

Now add the rest of the wet ingredients:
2 large eggs
1/3 cup olive oil
1 container PC "Just Apples" (100 mL crushed apples)

Combine the wet and dry ingredients together until it creates a smooth batter.

Place the cake batter into a greased cake tin and place it in a 350° F oven, for approximately 30 minutes, or until you can place a toothpick in the centre of cake and it comes out clean.

The cake should have risen and taken on a golden brown colour.

After letting it cool slightly, transfer it to a plate.

The combination of the colves, orange zest, Grand Marnier and apricot jam is incredible!

Next time, I hope to make two cakes, layer them on top of each other and  frost them with something equally as yummy. I just have to figure out a dairy-free topping that will work. I am open to suggestions!


  1. Asif; this sounds yummy; found a recipe for dairy free topping on net; have a look and adapt as you like; copied and pasted:

    reamy Berry Whipped Topping

    Recipe adapted from Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook by me.

    This recipe is Vegan, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Gluten-Free, Tree Nut-Free (not counting coconuts here, but use your own voice of reason if coconut is a problem for you), Peanut-Free, and Soy-Free.
    1/2 Cup Coconut Cream (see my notes above)
    2 Tablespoons Jam (I used raspberry)
    1 T Powdered Sugar, or more as desired (I used TJ's organic)
    2 Teaspoons Coconut Oil, melted (straight up, I have forgotten if I used 1 or 2 teaspoons, more will make it firmer, less for softer; you can also sub palm oil / shortening if that is what you keep on hand)
    Pinch Salt

    Whip all ingredients in a mixing bowl. I used a hand mixer, and whipped for about 1 minute. Taste test. If not sweet enough for you, blend in more powdered sugar to taste. Place the whip in the fridge for 30 minutes or more, allowing it to firm up a bit more. Whip just before serving (I just used a whisk).

    The end result dolloped nicely and stayed perfectly in place for pictures and as I was eating it. But, if it isn't firm enough for your desires, additional powdered sugar and/or additional coconut oil (add when melted, but it will solidify as it chills) will firm it up more.

    Note: As you can tell from my picture below, I was too lazy to sift the powdered sugar since it was such a small amount. For the absolute smoothest results, sift the powdered sugar and follow the directions in Go Dairy Free for whipping.

    Makes enough to dollop on about 12 cupcakes or to fill one cake

  2. Zia Cathy, This recipe sounds great! I am definitely going to give it a try!

    The last time I made the cake, I doubled the recipe and made two loaves. I layered them on top of each other and made a blood orange filling to go in between and on top. I took approximately 4 blood oranges and processed them in my Magic Bullet. I placed the masticated oranges into a sauce pan and brought it to a boil with the addition of quite a few tablespoons of sugar (to taste). I thickened and the mixture with approximately 2-2 1/2 tablespoons of agar agar (a seaweed-based gelling agent similar to gelatin). It was really tasty and it went well with the orange flavours in the cake!

    The cake recipe works great for making cupcakes, as I tried this past weekend. It cooks faster; in about 20 minutes. I think your berry topping recipe would work brilliantly!