Fig and Ginger Olive Oil Quinoa Cake with Vegan Cashew Cream Sauce

There is a certain quinoa cake that has been in my repertoire for ages. It has taken many turns, almost always resulting in a slight variation on the theme. When I make it the conversation tends to go as follows:

“Mmm… this cake is good. What’s in it?”




Why it’s such a shocker to use a grain like quinoa in a cake I am not quite sure, but it’s the kind of ingredient that always gets a remark. Which is humorous when you think about it, because oats are a grain as well, and no one ever says, “you made cookies with oats???” Anyway, moving on.

As of late, I have been making an attempt at using olive oil in baking recipes, a move inspired by this book. And as such, the original quinoa cake needed a bit of a summer upgrade. I added in figs and ginger and although the cake is excellent on its own, decided to go completely over the top and drizzled the entire thing in an accompanying vegan cream sauce. Hint: vegan cream sauce is one of the easiest things to make ever, sweet or savory. Don’t like ginger? Go for cinnamon instead.

And no, the cake is not vegan because I had organic, free range, friendly chicken eggs on hand, and with their gorgeous yellowish orange color it’s impossible to bake without them. But if you want a completely vegan cake, switch out the eggs with the basic flaxseed egg replacement recipe: To replace 1 egg, mix 1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds with 3 tablespoon warm water, blend well and let sit for a couple of minutes before adding to batter. Double it up for this recipe as it contains 2 eggs.

Serve with coffee naturally. Or with a nice cup of tea for breakfast, it’s moderately healthy after all!

Fig and Ginger Olive Oil Quinoa Cake


1 cup uncooked quinoa

1 cup buckwheat flour

2 eggs

8 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup dried figs, chopped

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon powdered ginger

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

shredded coconut

optional icing: 2 tablespoons powdered sugar + a few drops lemon juice


Cook quinoa and set aside. To cook quinoa, bring two cups of water to a boil. Add quinoa and a dash of salt and let simmer for 12-15 minutes, or until water has cooked off.

Mix dry ingredients.

Whisk oil and eggs together and add to dry mixture.

Combine all ingredients, including quinoa, and stir in figs.

Grease a 9-inch round pan with olive oil, cover with a light layer of shredded coconut. Pour batter in and bake for 30-40 minutes at 350F or until knife inserted into center comes out clean.

If you are making this cake without the sauce, I recommend making it with a light lemon juice and powdered sugar icing. Adds just a little extra sweetness and bite.

Vegan Ginger Cream Sauce


1 cup cashews + 1 cup water for soaking

1 cup water

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon powdered ginger

1 teaspoon agave or maple syrup


Soak the cashews with 1 cup of water in a bowl for at least 1 hour.

Drain the cashews and place into a blender or food processor with rest of ingredients.

Blend until you get a smooth puree. Taste and add in a little extra ginger or sweetener depending on what flavor you are going for.

Comments 3

  1. Allison

    Sounds Amazing!! I just recently started using quinoa, and I find it has a incredible texture but is a bit weird as a porridge, as well a rice substitute. So I think using it in a tasty sounding recipe like this will really make it a winner for me, thanks!!

    • Anna Brones

      Glad to hear it! I also like to use it in salads :)

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