Chocolate Quinoa Cupcakes with Chocolate-Mint Frosting Gluten-Free Recipe

If you’ve tried these gluten free chocolate cupcakes by pastry chef Leslie Tellez of Mexico’s famed Flora Farms, you know that the only thing more shocking than the fact that they use cooked quinoa instead of flour in the batter is how incredibly moist, fluffy, and chocolaty the results are. Try them once, and you may never make chocolate cupcakes with flour again. Note: this recipe calls for cooked quinoa, so plan accordingly.

5 from 1 vote

Chocolate Quinoa Cupcakes with Chocolate-Mint Frosting Gluten-Free Recipe

Servings 18 cupcakes
Author Leslie Tellez


  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon instant-coffee granules
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 12 tablespoons (6 ounces/1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, very soft
  • 4 cups cooked quinoa at room temperature
  • 1-1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup unsweetened dark cocoa sifted
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt or kosher salt
  • 1 recipe Chocolate-Mint Frosting (below)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a food processor, combine the milk, coffee, eggs, vanilla, butter, and quinoa. Process until smooth, stopping to scrape down the bowl as needed.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the brown sugar, unsweetened dark cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. Add the pureed quinoa mixture to the bowl of dry ingredients and mix with a spoon until smooth.
  4. Line a cupcake pan with paper cups. Divide the batter among the cups, then bake until the tops spring back when pressed with a finger and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with crumbs, but no wet batter, 18 to 22 minutes. Let cool completely, frost with the frosting, then serve.
5 from 1 vote

Chocolate-Mint Frosting

MAKES ABOUT 2 CUPS A subtle mint finish rounds out this luscious frosting, which can be refrigerated for up to 5 days; bring it back to room temperature before using.


  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves chopped
  • 1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 16 tablespoons (8 ounces/2 sticks) unsalted butter, very soft
  • 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2-1/4 cups powdered sugar sifted
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt


  1. In a saucepan, bring the milk to a boil, add the mint, then turn off the heat and let rest for 15 minutes.

  2. Strain the milk, pressing the mint to release all the flavor. Let cool completely.
  3. Over a double boiler on medium heat, melt the chocolate chips with the brown sugar and cocoa powder, stirring occasionally, until smooth and combined with no residual sugar grit, 10 to 15 minutes. Let cool.
  4. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter with the vanilla, powdered sugar, and salt on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the cooled chocolate mixture and beat again for 2 minutes. Scrape down the bowl and mix again until combined. Add the cooled, mint-infused milk, mixing until fully incorporated.

Photography Mike Arce

6 Comments on “Chocolate Quinoa Cupcakes with Chocolate-Mint Frosting Gluten-Free Recipe”

  1. We haven’t tried that, but I’m betting you can. If you do, please let us know how it goes!

  2. Absolutely. The cooking time will change, so you’ll have to mind the oven. But yes! Let us know if you try it!~

  3. wow 12 T butter and four eggs not so healthy that way, I’d much rather the flour or almond flour 1.5 c sugar and chocolate chips and more butter that would kill me.

  4. 5 stars
    I loved these. I had about 1/4 cup less cooked quinoa than the recipe called for so used slightly smaller amounts of sugar and butter. They turned out great, a hit even w/o frosting. I did use a full tsp of instant coffee because I love the mocha flavor. Also used a stick blender because I haven’t a food processor. So mine were probably slightly coarser than the originals.

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