Gluten-Free Coconut Chai Cake


While searching for something to bake when I had the munchies one afternoon, I stumbled upon Susan V’s Fat-Free Vegan Blog and a lovely recipe for Coconut Chai Breakfast Cake.  The recipe called for whole wheat flour and oatmeal, so I thought ok, I’ll just use brown rice flour and quinoa flakes.  I went to my pantry and noticed I was almost out of brown rice flour.  I managed to measure a half a cup of brown rice flour and then scrounged up whatever gluten-free flours I could find on my shelves to experiment.  I ground up some millet and combined that will quinoa and teff flours to make 1 cup, hoping that their flavors would balance each other.  It ended up tasting great and was very hearty.  Instead of using sugar and applesauce, I used 1/3 cup agave nectar, but the sweetness was not quite to my liking – so I drizzled more on top and it soaked into the cake making it perfectly moist and sweet. 




1 cup caffeine-free chai tea, double strength

1/2 cup brown rice flour

1/3 cup millet flour

1/3 cup teff flour

1/3 cup quinoa flour 

1/3 cup quinoa flakes

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp ginger

1/3 cup agave nectar, plus more for drizzling

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

1 tsp gluten-free vanilla

1/2 cup flaked coconut, 2 tbsp reserved


Start by steeping the tea in boiling water and allowing to cool until almost room temperature (about 45 minutes or so).  I use Up N’ Atom brand caffeine-free chai tea.  It’s made from whole spices – cardamon, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, allspice and black pepper, packaged and sold in bulk (you can find it at Whole Foods).  Use a double-strength scoop for this cup.


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease an 8-inch round or square baking/pie pan and set aside.  Mix all of the dry ingredients first, but reserve 1 or 2 tablespoons of coconut for the top.  Add in the agave, cider vinegar, vanilla and chai tea; stir.  Pour into the greased baking dish and sprinkle with the remaining coconut.  Bake for 25 minutes. 


If you have favorite gluten-free flours or would prefer to use only brown rice flour, feel free to experiment – the amount of flour should add up to 1 and 1/2 cups total.  But I liked the balance of the brown rice with the heartier teff and millet flours, and since I was using quinoa flakes already the quinoa flour worked perfectly.  Drizzle with agave nectar and serve warm with a steaming cup of chai tea!


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