Vegan Dark Chocolate-Avocado Cake

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This decadent, fudgy, and dense cake quickly became “the favorite” out of all my vegan baking recipes. Perhaps it’s the use of cocoa powder or delicious, creamy, and good-for-you avocados and coconut oil. Whatever the reasons (probably the chemical endorphins that are released after eating chocolate!), we all went mad for it. If you’re making this cake for a special occasion, you can double the recipe and make a two- layer cake. 

Vegan Dark Chocolate-Avocado Cake
Serves 12; makes one 8- or 9- inch round cake

Coconut oil or olive oil cooking spray, for the cake pan
1¾ cups gluten-free flour (look for Bob’s Red Mill brand)
1 cup almond meal
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon aluminum- free baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 ripe avocado, pitted, peeled, and mashed until smooth
½ cup organic granulated sugar
1½ cups water
1/3 cup unrefined coconut oil, melted
1 teaspoon organic vanilla extract
1 tablespoon raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon baking soda

Icing (if making a low-sugar cake, omit icing and lightly dust with cocoa powder)

5 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 to 4 teaspoons almond or coconut milk
½ cup chocolate-hazelnut butter
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Cut a round parchment paper base for the bottom of the cake pan(s). Grease an 8- inch cake pan with coconut oil or olive oil spray, place the parchment paper round inside, and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, almond meal, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt.

In a separate large bowl, combine the fully mashed avocado and granulated sugar. Slowly stir in the water, coconut oil, and vanilla extract.

Slowly incorporate the flour mixture into the wet ingredients, stirring until the avocado is completely smooth. In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine the baking soda and apple cider vinegar and let them fizz. Add to the final cake batter. Batter will be thick.

Pour the cake batter into the prepared cake pan, and bake on the middle rack for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan, then transfer to a plate or cake stand.

While the cake is baking, make the icing. Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, beat together the confectioners’ sugar, chocolate-hazelnut butter, and cocoa powder until smooth. Slowly add the almond milk and continue beating until combined.

When the cake is completely cool, spread the icing evenly across the top and sides using an offset spatula.

When baking with cocoa, remember this smart tip: Baking powder helps to retain flavanols otherwise lost in baking.

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