…and now for something completely different

Avocado. Mmmmm. Silky. Luscious. Cooling. Cake… Huh??? If the words avocado and cake make you want to have a Corona with lime to help soften the blow of having those two words appear in the same sentence, then this cake is probably not for you. You can leave now. There is a nice sunny beach somewhere with fish tacos and beer and guacamole. You are excused. If avocado and cake made you perk up and be curious, stick around with me for a minute, you won’t be disappointed.

I first became intrigued with the idea of avocado in a baked good after stumbling onto the recipe for avocado bread on the avocado.org site a couple of years ago. People use zucchini, carrots and bananas in baked goods. With it’s high fat content and creamy flesh, why not avocado too? My only problem: although I live in the middle of avocado country and I can get huge Hass avocados for a buck a piece, I am very miserly with them. I didn’t want to waste a good avocado or two on something that might suck.

This week, we managed to buy too many of these wonderful fruits, and like bananas, the window of yummy goodness is very short indeed. I had two avocados that were quickly heading past their prime. Today was the day to experiment.

The experiment went well. I have to admit that I was a little too bold with my experiment and the addition of chocolate chips, while well intentioned was possibly a mistake. They made the cake a little too rich. We tried a nibble of cake that somehow didn’t get polluted with chocolate and the dates and walnuts alone were just perfect. If you just have to have chocolate, it was pretty tasty but the cake would have been somehow more pure and elegant without the chocolate.

Why is this cake a surprise you ask? It surprised me with it’s super moist texture. Avocados are high in oil. If you look at the recipe, there is no added fat besides the flesh of the avocado. I used whole wheat pastry flour and yet, this cake was as moist as a cake made from cake mix. Just fabulous and yet another reason to drop the chocolate from the recipe so that you can enjoy the texture with just a little fruit and nuts to compliment it.

Avocado surprise cake

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour

Zest from 1 large orange, chopped

1 tsp baking soda

½ tsp baking powder

½ tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp salt

½ cup bittersweet chocolate chips, roughly chopped (optional)

½ cup fresh dates, chopped

½ cup walnuts

½ cup honey

¼ cup orange juice (about 1 large orange, juiced)

1 cup avocado (2 large), mashed until smooth

1 egg, lightly beaten

½ cup plain yogurt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, F. Oil and flour a bundt pan.

In a large bowl mix together, pastry flour, orange zest, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, chocolate chips (if using), dates and walnuts.

In another large bowl combine honey, orange juice, avocado, egg and yogurt. Mix until well combined.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined. Pour batter into the prepared bundt pan. Bake for 35 – 40 minutes until the cake is browned and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

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14 Comments

  1. Esme said,

    June 7, 2010 at 9:32 pm

    I have never thought of making avocado cake-I recently discovered a recipe for beet root cake.

  2. Jeannie said,

    June 7, 2010 at 10:54 pm

    That cake looks so good! But avocados are very expensive here!

  3. Jeanne said,

    June 8, 2010 at 8:00 am

    I love avocado cake! I was a little wary at first but pleasantly surprised after tasting it. The one that I made was a chocolate cake that used avocado for the fat, and it was certainly very moist. I love your fruit and nut variation, I’ll give it a try next time I have extra avocados. Unfortunately that doesn’t happen very often for me either. 😉

  4. June 8, 2010 at 8:42 am

    Ah, there are somethings that can strike many as totally off the wall and then there are others of us that can recognize glorious in an odd package. This cake looks like one to me. Have to file this for a future use.
    Like this very much. I’m sure I won’t need chocolate with it.

  5. Andreas said,

    June 8, 2010 at 1:00 pm

    I must confess I haven’t tried avocado before.
    But slightly rustic, moist cakes are my kind of thing.

  6. Lauren said,

    June 8, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    What a fantastic idea to sub avocado for oil/butter! I’ve used unsweetened applesauce for baked goods with positive results, but I can imagine avocado would be even better thanks to the healthy fats. I will definitely have to make this cake.

  7. Chai Chai said,

    June 8, 2010 at 7:02 pm

    Oh my gosh, I so want this – but I have such poor cooking skills. I wonder if the Commander will make this for me?

    • Mimi said,

      June 8, 2010 at 7:05 pm

      You should try it. It was a pretty easy cake to make. Just make sure you mash the avocados until they are very smooth. Use a potato masher. You don’t want lumpy green things in your cake. 😀

  8. chelsl said,

    June 8, 2010 at 7:19 pm

    unfortunately here in New England we NEVER have an overabundance of avocados… rather they are something to be hoarded and treasured! but this is so interesting, great job finally trying it out and if I ever (improbably) find myself with an avocado to spare, maybe I’ll give the cake a try!

  9. Joanne said,

    June 9, 2010 at 4:32 am

    I’ve seen avocado bread on Joy the Baker’s blog before and ever since have been DYING to make it. This looks absolutely amazing! I’ll be sure to make two versions. One with chocolate chips and one without. For “quality control” purposes 😛

  10. drfugawe said,

    June 9, 2010 at 8:01 am

    Why don’t you just plant an avocado tree in your backyard, Mimi? If I lived in CA, I sure as hell would. A dollar apiece? A legal theft. I’ll bet the profit take on avocados scores just below mary-ja-wana.

    I spent 30 years growing up in Florida, and in those days (sorry, it’s an old man’s province) I remember mangos were a dime and avocados, a quarter! When I moved out west, I thought there had been some kind of avocado tree blight or something.

    However true the public avocado rape going on in CA is -and it is true- this does not detract from your splendid cake – it looks luscious, so good in fact, that I just may ignore my own common sense and make this undoubtedly delicious creation. (maybe I’ll look for some reasonably priced ones from Mexico or Chile – yeah)

  11. June 9, 2010 at 2:10 pm

    Wow! That’s intense. I can see how the avocados would keep the cake really moist.

    That’s a great idea!

  12. hobbybaker said,

    June 11, 2010 at 9:26 am

    Cool! I’ve seen tomato soup cake and it didn’t really appeal. This one however, is intriguing. I may just have to try this. Thanks for the inspiration!

  13. Amanda said,

    June 14, 2010 at 6:03 am

    How cool! I’ll have to try this! 🙂


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