Thursday, January 3, 2013

Mini Puffed Quinoa Cakes with Avocado Frosting

I picked up a bag of NatureCrops quinoa puffs recently, but wasn't sure if I was supposed to eat it like cereal or what.  I suppose that could be one of its uses, but I love adding interesting ingredients like this to baked goods.  They're super light and not bitter at all.  The other day, I used them to make silver dollar quinoa pancakes.  Since the quinoa is already puffed, they didn't really have a bite to them after being enveloped by pancake batter.  But that's a good thing!  It meant that the pancakes stayed nice and fluffy, but with some added whole-grain goodness.  Since my pancake flipping skills are horrific, I baked the pancakes in a whoopie pie pan.  This yielded perfectly circular pancakes.  No messy flipping...yay! 

So, what to do with the leftovers?  Since the pancakes were so cake-like (duh, pan-CAKE), I thought I'd transform them into this fabulous little dessert!

Makes 3-4 mini cakes

For the cake:
  • I used the pancake recipe from the Joy of Vegan Baking cookbook (posted here) and added 1 cup of quinoa puffs to the batter.  You can also use 1 cup of cooked quinoa, but it may make the pancakes more dense.
  • If you have a whoopie pan, fill each well halfway with batter and bake in a pre-heated oven at 425°F for 5-8 minutes.  If you don't have one, then just make the pancakes as you normally would using a pan or griddle. 
  • You can also just use your favorite vanilla or chocolate cupcake recipe and slice each cupcake into layers.
For the frosting:
  • I used the avocado buttercream frosting from the Food Network website (posted here).  I left out the lemon extract because I didn't have any.
I'd probably stick with fewer layers than this, but I did this for purely aesthetic purposes.  :)   I was also tempted to cover the whole thing in frosting, but thought it looked more interesting this way.  And those are some of the quinoa puffs on top, which shows you how tiny these cakes are.  What a great way to use up leftovers!

Enjoy!  :)