Dark Chocolate Quinoa Cupcakes with Hazelnut Buttercream

Dark Chocolate Quinoa Cupcakes with Hazelnut Buttercream


This was the first time experimenting with quinoa flour. So, of course, I went with dark chocolate quinoa cupcakes with hazelnut buttercream! I had read that quinoa has a nutty flavor. I have to agree, it does have a nutty, almost smoky flavor. It pairs well with the dark chocolate and hazelnut buttercream.

You know what else this quinoa flour has? A hefty price tag. Ah well, I couldn't find anything other than organic, but it definitely was a splurge item. I'm glad I gave it a try though. It was an unique, but delicious adventure!

Dark Chocolate Quinoa Cupcakes with Hazelnut Buttercream

brownie mix cookies
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Dark Chocolate Quinoa Cupcakes with Hazelnut Buttercream

I have to laugh at my son. He loves cupcakes so much. As soon as he sees a baked good being made, he's nagging for a taste or bite. He wanted one of these so bad, so I sat him down at his little table and took off his shirt to keep it half way stain-free. I went back to work in the kitchen. When my husband came home for lunch, he wanted to know what on earth had happened at Lucian's table. His description was,"it looks like a cupcake exploded." It was all true, very true. I'm still not quite sure how toddler's are capable of such messes in a matter of minutes, but it happens a lot in our house.

Dark Chocolate Quinoa Cupcakes with Hazelnut Buttercream

Dark Chocolate Quinoa Cupcakes with Hazelnut Buttercream

Dark chocolate hazelnut cupcakes with hazelnut buttercream.

Dark Chocolate Quinoa Cupcakes with Hazelnut Buttercream

Dark chocolate quinoa cupcakes with a roasted hazelnut buttercream are moist and have a rich dark chocolate flavor.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 18 servings
Calories 366 kcal


Chocolate Quinoa Cupcakes

  • ½ cup butter 1 stick, melted
  • 1 ¾ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • ¾ cup special dark cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 cups quinoa flour
  • ¾ cup hot water

Roasted Hazelnut Paste

  • ¾ cup chopped hazelnuts + 2 tablespoons, divided
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar

Roasted Hazelnut Buttercream

  • ½ cup hazelnut paste All that was made
  • ½ cup butter 1 stick, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 - 1 ½ tablespoons milk



  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cupcake tin with baking papers.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add in the butter and sugar. Mix on medium until light and fluffy. It should take about 2 minutes.
  • Add in the vanilla and eggs one at a time. Once the first egg is completely mixed in, add the second egg and mix until incorporated.
  • Mix in the buttermilk on low speed.
  • In a separate bowl, sift the cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and quinoa flour.
  • Mix half of the flour mixture into the butter and sugar. Beat on low until combined.
  • Add in all of the hot water and continue to mix on low until combined.
  • Add the remaining flour and beat on low until incorporated.
  • Fill the cupcake liners three-fourth full. Place in the oven for 27-29 minutes or until the cupcakes are done. Place a toothpick in the center of the cupcakes. If it comes out clean or with moist crumbs, the cupcakes are done.
  • Let cool completely and start roasting the hazelnuts.

Roasted Hazelnut Paste

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Place the ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons of chopped hazelnuts on a jelly roll pan or any pan with raised edges. Make sure they're spread out.
  • Let the hazelnuts roast for 10 - 13 minutes minutes until golden brown. Once you start smelling the nutty smells from the oven, they should be almost done or done. Let the hazelnuts cool.
  • Set aside the 2 tablespoons of roasted hazelnuts for the tops of the cupcakes.
  • Add the ¾ cup of hazelnuts in a food processor. Process on high until the hazelnuts are almost completely smooth.
  • Add in the powdered sugar and mix until the paste is smooth and the powdered sugar is incorporated.

Roasted Hazelnut Buttercream

  • In a large mixing bowl, add in all of the hazelnut paste. It should be about ½ cup. Mix until fluffy.
  • Add in the butter and continue to mix until incorporated.
  • Add in the vanilla, powdered sugar, and 1 tablespoon of milk. Mix on low until combined. Turn the mixer on high and mix for another 2 - 3 minutes until light and fluffy. If it needs more liquid, add the additional ½ tablespoon of milk.
  • Place the buttercream into a piping bag with a round tip or coupler. Pipe a nice dollop on top of each cupcake. Sprinkle the tops of the cupcakes with the remaining 2 tablespoons of hazelnuts.


With milk being in the buttercream you want to ensure that you store any leftovers in an air tight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.


Calories: 366kcalCarbohydrates: 53gProtein: 4gFat: 15gSaturated Fat: 7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0.4gCholesterol: 46mgSodium: 223mgPotassium: 134mgFiber: 3gSugar: 42gVitamin A: 356IUVitamin C: 0.3mgCalcium: 41mgIron: 1mg

(Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietitian for special diet advice.)

Have you ever tried quinoa flour or quinoa for that matter? I would love to know if you have and what your experience was with it!

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  1. Hello!

    I just stumbled across this recipe and am super excited to try it! Actually I was looking for a buttercream to top a chocolate brownie and am going to try this one! Does it refrigerate well, or is it a pipe and go kinda recipe?

    Thanks so much for any input!!

    1. Hi Stacy- The buttercream is best when used right after you make it. However, you can keep it at room temperature for about 4 days. Otherwise, refrigerate it but let it sit at room temp again for about an hour before you are ready to use it. Enjoy!

  2. I have a bag on quinoa that I've been meaning to find use for, and I heard you can grind your own quinoa flour. I've been afraid my baked goods would turn out with a weird texture without wheat flour, but your cupcakes look moist and fluffy! I'm going to have to give it a try 🙂

  3. The first time I made a quinoa cake my family was totally skeptical. I think everyone was surprised at just how moist and yummy it is. These cupcakes look absolutely heavenly and I'm a total sucker for hazelnut!

5 from 2 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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