If you know anything about me as a baker, you know that unusual flavors and non-traditional pairings are kinda my jam. From beer, sparkling wine and liqueurs to fresh herbs, beets and even mushrooms (yes, I said mushrooms...get that recipe here), creating new flavors that are surprising, memorable and most importantly, really delicious, is what's its all about for me.
That said, I'm not going to start peddling this recipe to my wedding cake clients, unless they ask;), but I did think this one was worth sharing for all the natural mamas out there looking for a colorful smash cake idea and for curious foodies in search of something a little different, healthyish, and appealing (or at least non-offensive) to taste buds of all ages. Oh, and it's vegan, too!
Using my sweet baby's third monthly milestone as my excuse for this new pint-sized creation (see month one here and month two here, in case you missed them), I created a sweet little chocolate cake baked with fresh avocado and frosted with the pretttiest, all-natural green buttercream using a cake recipe I adapted from Joy the Baker and a frosting recipe adapted from Alton Brown.
I halved Joy's cake recipe for my baby caking purposes, and tinkered with the flavors a bit, upping the chocolate notes by doubling the cocoa powder and substituted white granulated sugar for an all natural coconut sugar in the cake layers to balance the sweetness of the frosting for the finished product. Since I was making two little cakes I only reduced the frosting quantity slightly, by using a little less avocado meat, shooting for a stiffer consistency and a bit leftover for taste-testing purposes:)
The mellow flavor, super moist texture and pretty color can't be beat, but please note that the frosting is more like a heavy glaze than a true buttercream; thus, it doesn't hold it's shape quite as well. To help keep things in place, I recommend using a smaller piping tip and leaving about a half inch of the cake's outer edge unfrosted so there's room for the frosting to settle without it all dripping over the edges. Also, popping the cake in the freezer for about five minutes between frosting each layer helps things set more quickly.
VEGAN CHOCOLATE AVOCADO CAKE WITH AVOCADO BUTTERCREAM
makes three 4" rounds (for two 3-layer baby cakes)
recipe adapted from Joy the Baker
1 1/2 C AP flour
6 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 C Sweet Revenge coconut sugar
1/8 C vegetable oil
1/4 C soft avocado, well mashed, about 1/2 medium avocado or 1 whole small
1 C water
1 Tbsp white vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour three 4" round cake pans and set aside.
Next, sift together all of the dry ingredients, except the sugar, in a medium bowl. Set that aside, too.
Using a food processor, blend mashed avocado with oil until smooth. Pour avocado puree into a small bowl and add remaining wet ingredients. Stir until thoroughly combined, and then add coconut sugar.
Finally, pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients all at once, and whisk until smooth.
Divide batter evenly among three prepped cake pans and bake ~ 25-30 or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Let cakes cool in pan for 15 minutes, then turn out onto cooling racks to cool completely before frosting with avocado buttercream.
AVOCADO BUTTERCREAM INGREDIENTS
recipe adapted from Alton Brown
6 ounces of frehs avocado meat, about 1-2 small to medium, ripe avocados
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 pound powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
AVOCADO BUTTERCREAM METHOD
Peel and pit the soft avocados. It’s important to use the ripest avocados you can get your hands on that are at the stage just before browning. If the avocados have brown spots in the meat, avoid those spots when you scoop the meat into the bowl.
Place the avocado meat into the bowl of a food processor. Add lemon juice and pulse to combine, until slightly lightened in color and smooth.
If the puree isn't perfectly smooth, using a fine mesh sieve set over a medium bowl. press the puree through the sieve to remove any lumps.
Next put the puree in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment and add the powdered sugar a little at a time. Add vanilla extract and continue whisking until frosting and smooth and sugar is fully incorporated.
If not using right away, store frosting in the refrigerator. Don’t worry. It won’t turn brown!