The Culinary Cyclist’s Quinoa Cake

Quinoa Cake with cheese knife

When I have a few minutes in the morning, I like to pop over to Kokblog – an illustrated cooking blog by Johanna Kindvall. Her line drawings accompany each recipe instead of photographs – an aesthetic choice that took my breath away the first time I stumbled upon her site. I melt for her simple style.

Pssst…is it just me, or does this image of cake make you think of Brie?


Recently, Johanna illustrated a cookbook, The Culinary Cyclist, with blogger Anna Brones. I read that it was published by a small cycle-centric outfit in Portland, called Taking the Lane, that specializes in “feminist nonfiction about bicycling.” Curious, I sent away for a copy.

Johanna and I ended up trading books — a happy exchange. She’s a Swede who loves cheese, and I’m a dairy fiend who seeks out quirky pairings. That’s probably why I was drawn to the recipe for quinoa spice cake.


I could picture pairing such a cake with hearty clothbounds – nutty quinoa and earthy rinds sounded lovely together.

As I stirred chopped apples into the batter, I pictured dropping spoonfuls of cinnamon-laced mascarpone on top of the finished cake.

While it baked, I snoozed on a settee and imagined serving thin slices of aged Gouda alongside it. Maybe even clove Gouda.

Quinoa Cake and Rocker

If ice hadn’t slicked the roads in Philadelphia, I might have been tempted to dig out my olive-green Phillips 3-speed and hand-deliver my quinoa cake to some hungry cheesemongers I know.

The cake looked like baked caviar – textured, yet fluffy. It was lovely for dinner and even better for breakfast with milky chai. It made me want to try more recipes from The Culinary Cyclist, like Cardamom Carrot Marmalade (to serve with soft goat cheese) and Homemade Ginger Ale (for a washed-rind chaser).


The Culinary Cyclist offers these suggestions for living and loving well:

Eat local and mostly plants.

Ride your bike, even on rainy days.

Invite people on picnics.

That’s advice I can get behind. With Johanna Kindvall’s crisp illustrations and Anna Brones’s pithy tips for food shopping on two wheels, The Culinary Cyclist is the must-have treatise on holy rolling and eating. Note: Most of the recipes are gluten-free.


In the meantime, check out Johanna Kindvall’s recipe for Pernod and Herb Risotto on Kokblog. As you can see, it’s perfect for using up that little meteorite of Parm that’s been winking at you from the back of the fridge.



Quinoa Apple Spice Cake

From The Culinary Cyclist: A Cookbook and Companion for the Good Life, written by Anna Brones and illustrate by Johanna Kindvall

(Taking the Lane Press, 2013)

1 cup uncooked quinoa

1 cup buckwheat flour

1 large organic apple, peeled and diced

3 eggs

8 tablespoons coconut oil, melted

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 cup organic sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon ginger

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon real vanilla extract

shredded coconut (I skipped this part)


1. 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.

2. Mix dry ingredients.

3. Melt coconut oil and whisk together with eggs. Add to dry mixture.

4. Combine all ingredients, including quinoa, and stir in apple pieces.

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

Note: Anna suggests adding chocolate chips, nuts, candied ginger, or chopped dried figs. I added walnuts and diced candied ginger. Gorgeous.

Culinary cyclist cake


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