If you’re avo-obsessed, chances are, you’ve already taken the fruit into dessert territory with avocado mousse. But Veggie Desserts + Cakes author Kate Hackworthy says there’s anther genius way to use the healthy fat: as a clutch substitute for butter when baking sweet treats. But there is, of course, an art to it. (Otherwise, your dessert is just going to taste like guac.)
“I use half avocado and half butter to strike just the right balance,” Hackworthy says. “The avocado adds moisture and structure, and makes it a slightly more virtuous treat.” She recommends using a perfectly ripe avocado so that it’s easier to beat into the batter. Plus, it creates a nice, creamy texture. Topping the cupcake with icing starring freshly-squeezed cherry juice makes it a tasty (and healthyish) take on a classic, 1970s Black Forest cake—delish!
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
For the cupcakes
- 1 ripe avocado, peeled and pitted
- 3 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
For the icing
- 5 cherries pitted
- 1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1/4 cups coconut sugar
- 2-3 tsp milk (if necessary)
To make the cupcakes
Preheat oven to 325°. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners.
In a large bowl, beat the avocado flesh with an electric mixer for a few minutes until creamy. Add the butter and sugar and beat again until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Beat in the vanilla.
Sift in the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt, and stir gently to combine.
Fill the muffin cups three-quarters full. Bake for 15–20 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Allow to cool in pans for ten minutes, then place on a wire rack to cool completely.
To make the icing
Using a pestle and mortar, pulverize the cherries until well smashed. Place them into a sieve (strainer) over a bowl and press to extract the juice, until you have at least one tablespoon.
In a large bowl, beat the butter with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add the cherry juice and beat until smooth.
Sift in the coconut sugar, then beat until thick. Add the milk, one teaspoon at a time, to thicken.
Spoon the icing into a piping bag and pipe over the cupcakes as desired; top each one with a cherry.
Recipe from Veggie Desserts + Cakes © Kate Hackworthy, 2018. Photographs copyright © Clare Winfield. Reprinted by permission of the publisher, Pavilion Books. Available wherever books are sold. If you're on the hunt for more healthy desserts, check out these sweet potato blondies and this vegan carrot cake.
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