Chocolate Quinoa Muffins

March 16, 2015

in Breads, Muffins, Cookies, Gluten Free, Recipes, Snacks

Chocolate Quinoa Muffins_main copy

Muffins that taste like a decadent chocolate cake? Yep, these are it! Hard to believe these muffins are completely flourless and the main ingredient is cooked quinoa.  A great friend of mine made a version of these and they were amazing! So I knew I had to give them a try. You won’t be able to tell there are quinoa in these!  My 6 year old is Miss Picky, and she didn’t detect quinoa at all. They seriously just take like chocolate cake. Needless to say, these muffins aren’t lasting very long in our house.

Chocolate Quinoa Muffins_2

Quinoa is pretty easy to cook and the grain to water ratio is similar to brown rice which is about 2:1 (water to grain). Lately I’ve been using my rice cooker to cook everything from rice to quinoa. I’m notorious for forgetting about it on the stove, so with the rice cooker, it does all the work and flips to warm automatically when its done cooking.

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Once the quinoa is cooked and cooled, then its super simple…everything gets mixed in a bowl and poured into your muffin tins.  These muffins are also perfect for lunch boxes and are school friendly as they are nut-free (and also happen to be gluten-free and dairy-free)

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If you like a good slice of chocolate cake, I beg of you to make these. You won’t be sorry!

EDITED TO ADD: Alternatively, to lessen the appearance of quinoa in these muffins, blend all the ingredients in a higher powered blender or food processor rather than mixing it all in a bowl.

Chocolate Quinoa Muffins
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Snack
Yield: 24 muffins
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa (about a half cup dry will yield just over 2 cups)
  • 4 eggs
  • ⅓ cup milk (I used unsweetened almond milk)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ½ cup coconut oil, melted (or sub for butter, or another healthy oil)
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 cup stevia for baking (I used NuNaturals MoreFiber. Could also use xylitol) Or even coconut sugar, cane sugar or honey (nutrition will change)
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl or stand mixer (or a blender or food processor), put in all the ingredients and mix until well combined.
  3. Pour into muffin tins just over ½ full. Mist your muffin tin with oil, or line with silicone liners or foil liners to prevent sticking.
  4. Bake for 15-16 minutes until you press them and they spring back. The toothpick test doesn't work well on these as a bit of crumb will stick to the toothpick as they are so rich and moist.
Serving size: 1 muffin Calories: 96 Fat: 6.4 g Saturated fat: 4.2 g Carbs: 9.2 g Sugar: 0.7 g Sodium: 142 mg Fiber: 4.3 g Protein: 2.4 g

Recipe adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

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I'm Kristine Fretwell, busy mom of 2 little girls, author, blogger, and former pro fitness competitor. I love almost any kind of cookie, anything coconut or pumpkin flavored, and Thai food. A perfect day for me is enjoying my family, getting to the gym, and whipping up a new healthy recipe. I've got a collection of over 300 healthy recipes, and other tidbits like fitness and health tips. My recipes have been featured on websites such as Huffington Post, Savvy Mom, Shape and Skinny Scoop.
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  • Rita

    I baked these and they came out perfect, thanks a lot for the recipe. Can I add bananas in here?

    • Kristine Fretwell

      That’s great, so glad you like them! I haven’t tried with Banana myself but it could probably work. You might just need to take out a bit of the liquid.

  • Jess

    Sooo glad I stumbled across these. I just finished making them and they are amazing!!! Mine didnt rise considering how much baking soda and baking powder went in… any way they are delicious perfect snack size chocolate cake treats I had plenty of batter left over I decided to put it into a loaf tin yummmo. I cant wait to try your other recipies and check out your page 🙂

  • Grace

    Have you used avocado as a substitute for the oil and eggs?

  • Heidi

    I made these last night – super tasty! But they completely collapsed! Any suggestions to what I might have done wrong?

  • Naomi Macpherson

    Does the quinoa have to be completely cooled before you start mixing everything together?

    • Kristine Fretwell

      I would wait till its semi cool or you might risk scrambling the eggs.

  • Sarah

    Is the stevia granulated or powdered? 1 cup seems like a lot! Most of the recipes I’ve used only have a few tablespoons. Can I reduce the amount of stevia?

    • Kristine Fretwell

      If you’re using stevia extract not a stevia for baking you will probably only need 1 tsp to 1 tbsp. Brands vary, so I would just sweeten to taste.

  • Yembz A.

    just put these in the oven! could this recipe still be used for non-chocolate muffins, like maybe a vanilla or spiced flavor?

  • Michelle

    Hi, I just made these with Raw Stevia which for baking (I think) and they are very bitter with a terrible after taste. Is there a substitute baking ingredient you have used? What about coconut flour? Thanks!!

    • Kristine Fretwell

      Hi sorry, I wasn’t getting my comments emailed for some reason and just saw this. Make sure your raw stevia was specifically for baking and measured cup for cup with sugar. If not, that would explain the extreme bitterness. It would have been way to sweet I imagine. As for coconut flour, I don’t think it would work in this recipe. I find coconut flour very hard to work with and isn’t easily swapped out for other flours or grains. Hope that helps!

  • Renee

    Could I use splenda instead of stevia in this recipe, as that is what I have in the house?… and if so, should the amt be the same? Look forward to trying them!

    • Kristine Fretwell

      Hi sorry, I wasn’t getting my comments emailed for some reason and just saw this.Yes, you should be able to directly substitute the same amount of splenda. I hope you try them!

  • Sarah Costa

    These were so incredibly delicious!! Such an enjoyable texture. Definitely coming back to this recipe when I have another chocolate craving!

  • Vanessa Reynoso

    Baked these puppies tonight! I was craving something rich and chocolatey and these turned out exactly as you described! Rich, moist, great texture. I did however not have enough sweetener (and subbed lack of applesauce for butter). I used about 3/4 cup honey. Is there anything I can do now to fix these moist muffins?!

  • Jen

    Wowsers!!!! I cannot possibly describe how delicious these are! I gave up sugar four months ago and while I don’t really crave chocolate like I did before, I also forgot just how amazing it can truly be!!! These are fantastic! Thank you for this recipe.
    I used honey instead of stevia, a half cup and it’s super sweet!
    Dabbed a little homemade peanut butter in the middle of six of them…hopefully it turns out!

    • Kristine Fretwell

      I’m so happy you love them! I love your idea adding the peanut butter….awesome!

  • Reg @

    Great recipe, can’t wait to try! I’ve tried several versions of a chocolate quinoa cake/muffin but they always called for blending up the quinoa. Yours doesn’t which I love! Would that change the texture? Does not blending them in a blender mean I can taste the quinoa grains?

    • Kristine Fretwell

      Did the recipes before call for raw quinoa blended or cooked and then blended? No you don’t feel the grain texture with these.

      • Reg

        The recipe called for cooked grains. I would use my vitamix to blend but it’s a pain to scrape the batter out. I love that your recipe doesn’t require blending! I made your muffins yesterday and they turned out so yummy!

        • Kristine Fretwell

          Thanks for reporting back! Glad you like them 🙂

  • Blair @ The Seasoned Mom

    These look SO good! I can’t believe that they’re less than 100 calories! I need to remember to use my rice cooker for quinoa. Such a good idea. 🙂

  • Ingrid

    Looking forward to trying this recipe, have you (or anyone else) tried a vegan version? Chia or flax eggs?

    • Kristine Fretwell

      I haven’t tried a vegan version, but ground flax or chia seeds would probably work. If I were to guess you’d need about 3 eggs worth…so about 3 Tbsp of chia seeds to 6-8 Tbsp of water. Set it aside and let it gel up, then add to the recipe. This recipe really needs a binder as its flourless. Without it, I imagine they’d be really crumbly.

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