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July 8, 2011

Chocolate Avocado Cake & Chocolate Frosting

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Who else doesn't like butter? (please, raise your hand!)

Unfortunately, with baking, the ingredient is seen so often--from cookies to cakes, and truffles to frostings. So, what can be used as a healthy substitute for butter?


They are moist, "buttery," and best of all, healthy! Avocados help lower your cholesterol, protect against cancer, and are full of vitamins and beneficial fat.  These fruits sound a lot better than butter, right?

     *nods head*

During my weekly (okay... dailyFoodGawker-forage for tasty recipes, I landed upon some sugary, chocolatey goodness...

     Chocolate Avocado Cakes!

Most of the recipes I found had 2 cups of sugar (and c'mon, is that really necessary? no) and only half an avocado. If the name of the recipe is "Chocolate Avocado Cake," then avocados should be the main ingredient. So, I decided to make my own recipe using a lot less sugar and a lot more avocado.  So the journey begins...

Trial #1:
     Ew. This was dry and not chocolatey at all. I used a chocolate protein powder made for protein shakes which provided no flavor whatsoever, along with a horrid texture.  It was very dry, too airy, and did not smell of chocolate. Even with one whole avocado, the cake had no moisture.

Trial #2:
     This was... surprisingly good! Well, I mean, it was texture-wise. I revised the recipe completely, adding more liquids like pureed tofu, one more avocado, an egg replacer and some applesauce (I tend to bake things that always end up dry, so I accidentally overcompensated on the moisture level). The middle was soggy and very chewy... not exactly something I look forward to in a cake. Along with that, this was unbelievably bland. It wasn't sweet at all, the avocado was overpowering, and the chocolate went unnoticed... on to the next batch!

Trial #3:
     Mmmm!!! :D This was sooo good. I omitted the silken tofu from the previous trial and increased the chocolate from 2oz to 4oz, doubled the honey and whey protein concentrate, added 1 more teaspoon of white vinegar and 1/2 tsp of baking powder. Unfortunately, the cake turned very dense and chewy the next day. It tasted a little more sweet and chocolatey the next day too, but the texture was just too fudgey for me. Maybe it was too much liquid? Or maybe the baking temperature was too low (I baked it for 35 minutes at 325).

Trial #4:
     Much better! I baked this at night, covered it with foil overnight, and ate it for breakfast (yes, chocolate cake for breakfast). This is moist, dense, still a little fudgey, but good! I increased the white vinegar to 1 tablespoon and honey to 1/2 cup for more sweetness. Yummmmy :)

Chocolate Avocado Cake:  [high fiber, high protein]
(makes one  9" cake)

     4oz 60% Cacao Chocolate
     40g (1/2 cup) Regular Cocoa Powder (unsweetened)
     14g (1 tbs) Coconut Oil
     210g Avocado (2 Medium, ripe)
     168g (1/2 cup) Honey
     62g (1/4 cup) Unsweetened Applesauce
     7g (1 tbs) Egg Replacer + 3 tbs Water (equivalent to 1 egg)
     1 tbs White Vinegar
     2 tsp Stevia Extract
     1 tsp Vanilla Extract

    150g (1+1/4 cups) Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
     48g (1/4 cup) Sucanat (or dry sweetener of choice)
     40g (1/2 cup) Whey Protein Concentrate
     1+1/4 tsp Baking Powder
     1 tsp Baking Soda
     1/4 tsp Sea Salt

     1/3 cup Boiling Water

Chocolate Frosting:

     2oz 60% Cacao Chocolate
     1 tbs Unsweetened Soymilk
     1 tbs Date Sugar (or dry sweetener of choice)
     1 tbs Honey
     10 drops Stevia Extract

Directions (for the cake):
1.  Preheat oven to 335 (yes, 335) degrees Fahrenheit and spray a 9" cake pan with cooking spray.
2.  Chop the chocolate and put into a medium bowl.  Add the cocoa powder and coconut oil.
3.  Put the avocado, honey, applesauce, egg replacer+water, vinegar and extracts into a blender and puree.
4.  In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sweetener, whey protein, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
5.  Pour the boiling water over the chocolate/cocoa/oil mixture and stir until smooth (it should look like thick ganache, pictured below).  Pour in the blender mixture and stir until smooth
6.  Slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet and stir. It will be somewhat thick.  Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake for 40-60 minutes, or when the center of the cake springs back when touched.

Directions (for the frosting):
1.  In a small, microwave-safe bowl, microwave the chocolate at 30-second intervals, stirring between each one, until melted.
2.  In another small bowl, stir together the soymilk, sweetener, honey and stevia.  Add to the melted chocolate and stir together.  Pour over the cake.

^^ See the little avocado chunk? :)

     I might be alone on this one, but to me, there is no better feeling than unwrapping a chocolate bar... especially these fancy shmancy Ghirardelli ones. Every time I open one I feel like Charlie from the Willy Wonka movies who is destined to find a golden ticket. Figuratively though, my "golden ticket" is just a successful, healthy and tasty recipe that will not give me a lifetime supply of chocolate, but give everybody a lifetime supply of fitness and well being.

     ... a lifetime supply of chocolate doesn't sound too bad though!

This cake is super chocolatey, naturally sweet, and nutritionally balanced--it has healthy fats, complex carbohydrates, and lots of fiber and protein.  Here are the nutrition facts for one large slice of cake (does not include frosting):

     The fat is made up of healthy fats only, coming from the coconut, avocado and chocolate. This recipe contains lots of fiber, low glycemic sweeteners and a fair amount of protein. This balance in nutritional components will keep you fuller for longer and provide a steady and sustained energy, not a sugar-high and sugar-crash.

Enjoy!  And I think you will  ;)


  1. Wooow ... this is such a fabulous idea of substituting Avocado's to Butter ..... guilt free eating if I may say so :) The chocolate cake looks delicious !


  2. Why use coconut oil and not a different vegetable oil which would be much lower in saturated fat?

  3. Allison,
    Coconut oil is a butter replacement, and it is much healthier. Saturated fat is still necessary in one's daily diet, just in moderation, and the type of fat in coconut oil is a healthier type than the fat you would find in a steak. Here are some links for more info:

    Personally, I just feel that I would rather consume saturated fat from a plant product rather than animal, because I also skip out on all the cholesterol.

  4. This cake sounds so cool! I've never tried avocado in a chocolate cake, but I can definitely see how it would work wonderfully. Plus it's healthy! Definitely a win-win. :D

  5. Can I order this from?

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  7. Jessica... My two favorite recipes so far have been this one (it will be my birthday cake this year) and the buckwheat personal protein cake. Any way you could think of a personal avocado cake? I think I'm not alone in saying it would be an awesome idea!!

    1. Thanks so much Colleen, I'm so glad you like the recipes!! And a personal avocado cake? Oh my goodness, that sounds amazing, I NEED to try that asap. But for now though, here's a recipe I found that you might like :)


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