10 Irresistible Quinoa Dessert Recipes

Chocolate Quinoa Cake - My Therapist Cooks

Do you tend to think of quinoa as just an alternative to oats at breakfast or a substitute for rice at supper? Think again! These seven delicious quinoa dessert recipes show you just how great this ancient grain is in sweet treats.

The information provided on this site is based on my personal experience living with alpha-gal syndrome. I consistently cite and link to expert sources, but nothing published on this site should be perceived as medical advice.

Alpha-gal sensitivities vary by person. You should understand your dietary restrictions and make any adjustments needed when using this site, directing any questions to your physician.

Although quinoa (pronounced as “KEEN-wah”) has been grown in the Andes Mountains for thousands of years, it was relatively unknown in the United States until a few years ago. Today, this plant-based protein that acts like a grain is a popular ingredient that’s naturally gluten free.

Related Article: Power Up with Quinoa, a Complete Protein for Alpha Gals

Bowl of Cooked Quinoa on a Wooden Table with Silverware


In This Article


Why Use Quinoa in Desserts?

Quinoa desserts are not only delicious, but they help make sweet treats a little more healthy. This naturally gluten-free superfood is incredibly versatile and can be used in a wide range of desserts.

High in Protein and Other Nutrients

Cup for cup, quinoa flour is lower in calories, lower in carbs, and higher in protein than all-purpose flour. It’s also higher in dietary fiber and calcium. So when you use quinoa flour in your baked goods, you add nutrients without sacrificing satisfaction. 

Gluten Free

Quinoa is naturally gluten free. So if you have celiac disease, a gluten intolerance, or otherwise follow a gluten-free diet, quinoa flour provides a way to continue to enjoy your favorite baked goods.

Unique Flavor

Quinoa has a slightly nutty flavor that can add depth to baked goods and help enhance the flavor of other ingredients like nuts, fruits, and spices. 

Three Types of Quinoa

Different Types of Quinoa for Dessert

Whether you’re baking muffins, crafting homemade granola bars, or whipping up a batch of cookies, there are several ways to incorporate quinoa into baked goods. But how you bake with quinoa often depends on the type that you’re using.

Cooked Quinoa

Whether it’s white, red, black, or tri-color, cooked quinoa adds extra texture to baked goods. It’s also a great way to use up leftover quinoa from another recipe. 

Quinoa Flour

Made from the ground seeds, quinoa flour is a great gluten-free substitute for wheat flour in breads, cookies, and cakes.

Quinoa Flakes

Quinoa flakes look a bit like rolled oats. They are a quick-cooking form of quinoa that can be used instead of oats in baked goods.

Quinoa Puffs

Quinoa puffs are a small, light, puffed version of quinoa. They look a lot like puffed rice and are typically used the same way in recipes.

Best Quinoa Dessert Recipes

From cookies to cakes, there are many delicious ways to incorporate quinoa into dessert. These are some of my favorite alpha-gal friendly quinoa dessert recipes.

Related Article: What is Alpha-Gal Syndrome? The ABCs of AGS

Please Note: Because the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology says that most people with alpha-gal can tolerate “moderate, lean dairy,” some of these quinoa dessert recipes include dairy products. If you are an alpha gal who avoids dairy, please make a dairy-free substitution. I recommend vegan butter instead of Greek yogurt and coconut milk instead of heavy cream.

coconut quinoa - Oh So Delicioso
Photo Credit: Oh So Delicioso

1. Coconut Quinoa with Fruit

By cooking the quinoa in coconut milk in an Instant Pot with a touch of coconut oil, this coconut quinoa dessert from Oh So Delicioso is both fast and delicious. When you top the cooked quinoa with fresh seasonal fruit, you can satisfy your sweet tooth without feeling guilty.

Quinoa Chocolate Chunk Cookies - I Heart Eating
Photo Credit: I Heart Eating

2. Quinoa Coconut Chocolate Chunk Cookies

By stirring one cup of cooked quinoa into the batter of these chocolate chunk cookies from I Heart Eating, you add texture and protein to this sweet treat. If you cannot tolerate Greek yogurt, replace it with ¼ cup vegan butter. And substitute flax eggs to make this alpha-gal friendly recipe vegan.

Quinoa Chocolate Chip Cookies - Strength and Sunshine
Photo Credit: Strength and Sunshine

3. Quinoa Chocolate Chip Cookies

Made with both quinoa flakes and quinoa flour, these chocolate chip cookies from Strength & Sunshine add a protein punch to the classic recipe. And no one will ever know (including your kiddos when you pack one of these tasty treats in their school lunch)!

Chocolate Quinoa Cake - My Therapist Cooks
Photo Credit: My Therapist Cooks

4. Chocolate Cake with Quinoa

This gluten-free dark chocolate cake from My Therapist Cooks is made in the blender. Yup, you read that right! Toss one cup of cooked quinoa and a few additional ingredients in a high-speed blender to make the batter. Then pour it into a pan, bake, and frost this decadent chocolate cake with a rich chocolate ganache frosting. 

Gluten-Free Orange Cake - Emily Leary

5. Gluten-Free Orange Cake

Using white quinoa and almond meal in lieu of wheat flour, this zesty orange cake from Emily Leary is a delicious, fruit-forward, gluten-free dessert.

Chocolate-quinoa-crisps-Cooking with Elo
Photo Credit: Cooking with Elo

6. White Chocolate Quinoa Crisps

These homemade treats made with puffed quinoa and covered in white chocolate from Cooking with Elo are a fast, easy quinoa dessert sure to satisfy any sweet tooth.

Chocolate-Almond-Quinoa-Cake - Sumptuous Spoonfuls
Photo Credit: Sumptuous Spoonfuls

7. Chocolate Almond Quinoa Cake

Have two cups of leftover quinoa that need a new home? This decadent chocolate almond quinoa cake from Sumptuous Spoonfuls is sure to delight! Rich and chocolatey but not sicky sweet, this decadent dessert will be your new favorite chocolate cake recipe!

Quinoa Yogurt Parfait
Photo Credit: Seasonal Cravings

8. Quinoa Yogurt Parfait

These quinoa coconut yogurt parfaits with fresh berries are a great way to use up leftover quinoa — either as a healthy breakfast, as an afternoon snack, or as a fruit-topped dessert.

Sage Advice: Take these parfaits to the next level by adding a layer of ripe banana slices.

Quinoa Apple Cake
Photo Credit: The Soccer Mom Blog

9. Gluten Free Apple Cake Made with Quinoa

If you’re looking for a delicious dessert that comes together in a snap, this apple cake recipe from The Soccer Mom blog uses one cup of cooked quinoa, an apple, almond milk, and a few other simple ingredients you likely have on hand in your alpha-gal friendly kitchen.

Quinoa Strawberry Cashew Bliss Balls - Whole Food Bellies
Photo Credit: Whole Food Bellies

10. Quinoa Strawberry Cashew Bliss Balls

With quinoa flakes, frozen strawberries, cashews, chia seeds, coconut flakes, and just a touch of maple syrup, these flavorful quinoa strawberry cashew bliss balls from Whole Food Bellies can satisfy any sweet tooth in one delectable bite.

Do You Like Quinoa Desserts?

How do you like to use quinoa in dessert recipes? Do you prefer to use cooked quinoa, quinoa flour, quinoa flakes, or quinoa puffs? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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