Like many recipe ideas, this one started on Pinterest, but it was so hard to find a recipe that was based on “normal” ingredients, which led to an early-morning investigation into what America’s oft-used cake flour actually contained (answer here). Just when I thought I’d have to modify a chocolate avocado cake and hope for the best, I found Joy the Baker’s avocado pound cake. It wasn’t quite right, but close enough to work with – I reduced the sugar content, swapped out buttermilk for yoghurt and milk, and translated the recipe from cups to grams, before topping it with a sweet honey buttercream that perfectly compliments the subtle avocado taste.
Morrison’s supermarket currently has avocados for sale for 4 for £1, proving that they’re not always too expensive to justify (just avoid Waitrose!). They’re for ripening at home, but nestling them in a fruit bowl with some bananas will decrease the ripening time.
Unsurprisingly, people look a little dubious when they see a slightly green cake, and that look of distrust doesn’t always go away when you explain it’s an avocado cake…but the taste is a pleasant surprise. It tastes like cake, not guacamole.
Go on, be brave.
Makes one loaf
The original recipe calls for cornmeal, which, as it turns out, is the same thing as polenta. You learn something new every day!
The milk/Greek yoghurt mixture doesn’t have to be completely precise – I used a 1/3 cup measure which I filled roughly halfway with yoghurt then topped up with milk.
The recipe states 100g honey because that’s how much I used – but really it’s down to your taste. Start at 50g and add more to your liking.
175g plain flour
1/2tsp baking powder
1/2tsp bicarbonate of soda
85g unsalted butter, room temperature
1 medium avocado, mashed
2 large eggs, room temperature
1tsp vanilla extract
1/6 cup Greek yoghurt, mixed with 1/6 cup milk (or 1/3 cup buttermilk)
150g butter, room temperature
Pinch of salt
270g icing sugar
1) Preheat the oven to 160C and line/grease a loaf tin. In a medium-sized bowl, mix together the flour, polenta, salt, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda.
2) In a separate bowl, beat the butter until soft, then add the sugar, and beat for about 2 minutes (for the first minute it’ll look like a sugary paste that may never come together. Stick with it.)
3) Add the avocado and beat until fully incorporated. Add the eggs one at a time, beating between them, and then the vanilla extract.
4) Add half the flour mixture and beat on a low speed until incorporated, before adding the yoghurt & milk mixture, followed by the rest of the flour. When fully mixed together, pour into your tin and bake on the middle shelf for 40 minutes to an hour, until a skewer or cocktail stick inserted into the centre comes out clean. (I checked mine every 5 minutes after 40, but it took the full hour.) Cool on a wire rack.
5) While the cake cools, make the buttercream. Beat together the butter, 50g honey, and salt, and then gradually add the icing sugar, beating on a low speed. Add more honey according to your taste. Spread on top of the cake.