Baking Woe turns into Baking Wow?

Baking Woe turns into Baking Wow?

I recently purchased a Nordic Ware Bundt Pan at Williams Sonoma and have been looking for an opportunity to create something yummy. I love that a simple cake can look so much prettier when it comes out of a designed Bundt pan.

I had a few ripe bananas lying around and decided to make my Quinoa Banana Chocolate cake. I just love how the house smells after baking, so I went right to smashing my bananas!

As I gathered all that I needed, I realized I was missing chocolate chips, the staple ingredient! (Side note: I have a huge chocolate tooth and I will eat ANY chocolate that comes my way, which doesn’t help me when I need to bake) I couldn’t turn back because I had already begun mixing a few ingredients and with Emilia showing signs for a feeding and knowing she had to sleep soon after, running to the grocery was not an option.

I began searching frantically for an alternative and came across a bag of Camino organic Cocoa Powder. Why not substitute chocolate chips for cocoa powder? I knew it wouldn’t be the same as the original recipe, but it was worth a try. Let me tell you, the cake turned out better than I imagined.

I know it’s not a crazy discovery that cocoa powder would be a good substitute for chocolate chips, but when it comes to baking every ingredient counts or the end result will not be the same, in this case it was even better!

This situation got me thinking, what staple ingredients are you unable to live without in your pantry? I’ve now made a point to ensure that I at least have the following ingredients at all times, that way I can whip up a quick dessert when needed.

Baking Staples

Organic eggs, flour, sugar, butter and milk are simply a must in my household on a daily basis.

But these items I will definitely make a habit to ensure they are around…

  • Cocoa Powder (I prefer Camino brand)
  • Baking Powder
  • Baking Soda (a staple for many reasons other than baking)
  • Vanilla Extract (I prefer Madagascar)
  • Cinnamon
  • Sunflower or Canola Oil
  • Icing Sugar (great to whip up a quick buttercream or a light dusting over a cake)

With these ingredients always in the refrigerator and the pantry, something can be whipped up real quick!

Nordic Ware Vintage Star Bundt Pan purchased at Williams Sonoma.


Banana Chocolate Cake made with Quinoa Flour.


Chocolate Banana Quinoa Cake

  • 2 eggs
  • ¾ cup of sugar (I usually use organic raw sugar)
  • ¾ cup of milk
  • ½ cup of oil (canola or sunflower is good)
  • 2 cups of Quinoa flour
  • 1 ½ tsp. of baking powder
  • 1 tsp. of baking soda
  • 1 tsp. of salt
  • 1 tsp. of ground cinnamon
  • 3 ripe bananas
  • ¼ cup of cacao (I like to use Camino organic cacao powder)


  • Preheat the oven at 350 degrees.
  • Mash the 3 bananas in a separate bowl and set aside.
  • Combine eggs, sugar, oil and milk into a mixing bowl.
  • Sift the baking powder, baking soda, and salt, ground cinnamon and flour to the wet mixture.
  • Sift the cacao powder into the mixture.
  • Add the bananas.
  • Place the cake in a fluted cake pan and bake for about 45 minutes.


Antonietta Ferretti
Antonietta Ferretti

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