Wednesday 30 March 2011

Vegan Chocolate Avocado Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

Firstly - disclaimer that the entire cupcake is not vegan - I used butter in the frosting, but you could easily make them vegan by using vegan spread/butter substitute instead.

I think that these definitely win the prize for the wierdest thing I've ever used as an ingredient for cupcakes. They definitely beat these sweet potato containing ginger cupcakes (after all, sweet potato almost looks like carrot once it's grated, and no-one thinks carrot cakes are wierd as a concept, even if they don't like eating them!) and as I'm not a particularly adventurous-with-new-ingredients baker I haven't really got anything else particularly odd on here. Which makes me wonder what inspired the use of avocado in these cupcakes?! I think it was serendipidy that caused me to come across this recipe for these cupcakes on Whisk Kid - I think it must have been quite far down the line of following interesting looking links from various blogs - I love whiling away a Saturday afternoon when it's dull and drizzly looking for interesting things to make! I even had the required ripe avocado sitting patiently on the kitchen counter. Well, when I say patiently I mean ripely - waiting to go off rapidly, needing using up.... and so on. So these cupcakes were perfect!

I didn't dare go the whole way though, and do the avocado frosting. I would have liked to try it, but fear of the lemon juice failing to prevent the browning that usually happens to exposed avocado and me having to scrape brown gunge off the cupcakes before taking them into work prevented me being bold and brave. One day I'll find my inner bravery! So I opted for my current favourite - vanilla buttercream - yum!

I adapted the recipe given to use one small avocado so my quantities are below:

Vegan chocolate avocado cupcakes


180g plain flour

16g cocoa powder

1/4 tsp salt

1tsp bicarbonate of soda

1tsp baking powder

200g caster sugar

30ml sunflower oil

60ml avocado, well mashed (my avocado flesh weighed about 60g)

1tbsp white vinegar (I used white wine vinegar)

1tsp vanilla extract

235ml water


- Preheat the oven to Gas 4/180C and put 12 cupcake liners into a muffin tin.

- Sift the flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda into a bowl.

- Whisk together the sugar, oil, avocado, vinegar and vanilla and then when combined add 235ml water.

- Mix the dry ingredients into the wet and mix until thoroughly combined. The batter will be quite sloppy.

- Pour into waiting cupcake cases and bake for 25 minutes until a cocktail stick inserted comes out clean.

- Allow to cool on a wire rack before decorating as desired.

Buttercream frosting

- Make in the usual way using 75g butter, 150g icing sugar and 1tsp vanilla extract

I have to admit that I was fully expecting these to be a complete failure and even when they came out of the oven looking pretty good I still thought they'd collapse into a mess. How wrong I was. You too should have faith that although the method and ingredients aren't the most orthodox, these cupcakes have to be baked to be believed!

These were just so, so delicious. I might even say surprisingly and unbelievably so - they were almost black in colour they were so dark, yet every mouthful was full of chocolately lightness and moist squidginess that it just seemed untrue! Aside from being astoundingly light and delicious these were also the most fabulous colour. It's quite hard to see from these photos but if you look at the cut surface they were almost red in tone - I think this is the reaction between the acidic vinegar in the mixture and the alkaline cocoa powder producing this gorgeous hue. I think it's also supposed to be the reaction that causes red velvet cake to have its name, before bakers started throwing tonnes of red food dye into it!

Make these, please! Put aside any preconceptions (misconceptions!) you may have, either about vegan baking or about using avocado in baking, these are the most delicious chocolate cupcakes I have made in a very long time. I just wish they hadn't been quite so popular with my colleagues....


Anne said...

I must admit when I saw 'avocado' and 'cupcake' in the same header I was a bit bemused, though I am open to new ideas, and the finished result looks so dark and delicious!

I try not to have preconceptions with baking, having successfully used parsnip before, so think I will have to reserve an avocado or two next time I buy some! :)

Anonymous said...

I've been using avocado in my chocolate goods (brownies, for one) with great success. It's a great way to incorporate good fats... and make desserts a bit less sinful. Thanks for sharing your recipe - it looks delectable!

Johanna GGG said...

Having made a similar cupcake I need no convincing that it is an excellent recipe but like you I wasn't quite brave enough to do the icing with avocado - I think I just ate mine plain and they were soooo good

Anonymous said...

It's wonderful to come across great recipes for people who don't eat dairy - it's often hard to bake for them! Thanks C, these look most fine...

mr. pineapple man said...

mmmmm~ that looks delicious!

Patti said...

OH YUMMY.... am definitely going to try these! Thank you for the post!

Patti said...

Umma Yummm! Thank you for posting! Cannot wait to try these as I LOVE avacados!!!

Alicia Foodycat said...

How absolutely fascinating! I will definitely give these a go. Sounds like a good "Guess what these are?" game.

Choclette said...

These sound lovely. I've seen avocado used in sweet recipes a few times now, including an avacado cream topping for cupcakes, but haven't made any myself. I can imagine it would work really well as avocados have such a buttery quality.


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