the taste space

Chocolate Avocado Cake with Chocolate Peanut Butter Frosting

Posted in Desserts by janet @ the taste space on November 8, 2012

Not only am a I bad vegan who missed World Vegan Day, I am also a bad blogger.

October slipped by without me realizing I had an anniversary. October marked my fourth year as a blogger.

I can’t believe it has been 3 years since I posted a Wild Rice and Wheat Berry Salad with Apples, Cranberries and Almonds in a Citrus Dressing.

One can see why it was easy for me to switch to a whole foods vegan diet with an inaugural salad such as that. Just swap the honey for your preferred sweetener, or omit it entirely, and it would be a recipe I could see myself munching on today.

I am going to joke a bit about Hurricane Sandy, but truly, my heart goes out to everyone who was affected. Toronto wasn’t hit nearly as bad. There was at least one fatality but trees suffered the most of the storm’s brunt. Although some people lost power, we fared very well. A few days of a light rain with some higher winds. Other than leaving my bike at home, I wasn’t affected.

Except I somehow made not one, but two desserts that week. This was the second dessert.

I blame the hurricane.

My excuse for making the chocolate chip blondies was to thank my co-workers. I gobbled down more than a few pieces in the “taste-testing” phase. While they were delicious, I felt shy bringing them to work. Even though Rob agreed they tasted great, they were non-traditional (never mind eating chocolate chip blondies, but they were filled with chickpeas!). They also were only 1-cm thick or so, and not as visually appealing as I had hoped. Since the whole plan was to thank my co-workers, I decided to make something else.

A vegan chocolate cake.

I actually wanted to make cupcakes, but I had no muffin wrappers.

I actually wanted to make a mint avocado cream frosting but did not want to brave the storm to get more avocados.

Even before my vegan days, I had a favourite quick and easy chocolate cake. It just so happened to be vegan. Pantry-friendly with staples such as sugar, oil, cocoa, and vinegar, my grandmother dubbed it “Wartime Cake” since the ingredients were reminiscent of cakes she made during the war when there were rations on milk, eggs and butter. While it would have been a fool-proof and easy cake to make, I wanted to try something new, something  healthier.

Thankfully I had one avocado to make Joy’s Chocolate Avocado Cake. Oil is easily replaced with avocado. You would never know the difference. I only had whole wheat pastry flour, so I used that instead of white flour. If you could guess anything was up, you might have been able to tell there was whole wheat flour in the cake. Although nothing seemed to be suspected by others.

Instead of topping it with a green avocado frosting, I busted out a simple peanut butter chocolate frosting.  I have not always been a fan of frosting (especially the ooky sweet ones), but since I didn’t use too much and it had peanut butter in it, this sealed this as a delicious cake.

My co-workers and Rob’s co-workers agreed. While Rob was sneaky, I disclosed to my gang this was a vegan cake and people were buzzing all day with compliments, at the same time marveling there were no eggs, butter or milk. They were impressed at how moist it was, which I ascribed to the avocado, my secret ingredient. :)

Baketivism. Sharing the love of veganism through baking.

I could get used to this.

This is my submission to this month’s Tea Time Treats for cake.

Chocolate Avocado Cake
Adapted from Joy the Baker

3 cups whole-wheat pastry flour (or spelt or all-purpose, etc)
6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 cup soft avocado, well mashed, about 1 medium avocado
1/4 cup vegetable oil (or your choice of oil)
2 cups water
2 Tablespoons white vinegar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups granulated sugar (or coconut sugar)

1. Preheat oven to 350 F.  Grease two 9-inch spring-form rounds or a 9×13 baking dish.  Set aside.

2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Stir to combine. Set aside.

3. In a small bowl, mash your avocado. Combine with oil, water, vinegar and vanilla until well combined. Stir in sugar and make sure it dissolves.

4. Pour wet mixture into dry mixture and stir to combine with a spatula or wooden spoon.

5. Pour batter evenly into the 2 greased containers. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

6. Let cakes cool in pan for 15 minutes, then turn out onto cooling racks to cool completely before frosting. Store at room temperature or freeze.

Makes 2 9-inch cakes, which could be stacked.. But I didn’t stack mine.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Frosting
Adapted from Chocolate Covered Katie

1/4 cup peanut butter (or other nut butter)
4 tsp pure maple syrup, or to taste
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1-2 tbsp milk of choice, or more for your desired consistency (I used coconut milk beverage and added a fair amount more milk)
3/4 tsp pure vanilla extract

1. Blend all ingredients in a blender.

Makes 1/2 cup. Frosts one cake. Need way more if you want to frost a stacked cake.

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36 Responses

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  1. gena said, on November 8, 2012 at 8:08 AM

    Chocolate avocado cupcakes were my birthday gift to myself this year. I did find that if I used too much avocado, I did taste it a little, but on the whole it was a resounding success. Lovely recipe!

    • janet @ the taste space said, on November 11, 2012 at 10:34 AM

      Thanks for the tip, Gena. My avocado was a bit scanty since I used some for a salad first but I’ll keep that in mind the next time I bake with avocados. :)

  2. Joanne said, on November 8, 2012 at 8:24 AM

    I can definitely see why this cake was a hit!! I’ve made joys recipe before and it is SOOO good. The frosting is surely the perfect accompaniment.

  3. Erica said, on November 8, 2012 at 8:31 AM

    Looks amazing! I’m dying to try baking with avocado.

  4. Gabby @ the veggie nook said, on November 8, 2012 at 9:18 AM

    Oh the cake turned out so well Janet! I love the ingredients you used and that frosting sounds perfect, despite the fact it was plan B. :)

  5. Emma said, on November 8, 2012 at 10:40 AM

    Happy Blogiversary! I haven’t been following you since the very beginning, although I’m sure it’s been at least 2 or 3 years :) That first post salad looks delicious, right up my street, as does that beautiful cake. Your blog’s one of my favourites so I hope you keep posting…

  6. sprint2thetable said, on November 8, 2012 at 10:42 AM

    i’ve had Joy’s cake marked for a while too. i love avocado and imagine this cake would be amazing . and of course your icing… chocolate and PB is the nectar of the gods.

  7. Cara said, on November 8, 2012 at 1:37 PM

    Happy blogiversary to you! I confess I missed my 5th… and, I’m going to be very pregnant around my 6th so might miss that one too!

    • janet @ the taste space said, on November 11, 2012 at 10:32 AM

      Thanks Cara! Wow, 5 years and you are still going stronger than ever! I am sure a baby won’t keep you away from your culinary creations. :)

  8. shuhan said, on November 8, 2012 at 2:27 PM

    Wow this sounds and looks and I bet tastes amazing. Sharing this with a blogger friend who’s decided to go vegan for the month. This looks like it will cheer her up proper.

  9. narf77 said, on November 8, 2012 at 3:35 PM

    You also need WAY more frosting if you plan on eating a cup full of it on your fingers while you ice this magnificent creation…EMMMM! :)

  10. Karen @ Lavender and Lovage said, on November 8, 2012 at 4:34 PM

    Happy blog birthday Janet, and thanks so much for entering this lush cake into our first birthday Tea Time Treats, it is a prefect entry! Karen

  11. Ellen Lederman said, on November 12, 2012 at 8:32 AM

    Made it and thought it was excellent. Moist and flavorful. Especially liked the frosting. Thought it was pretty whole-foodish, except for all the sugar…..
    Much more successful than when I attempted raw chocolate ice “cream” with avocado—that really tasted of the avocado.

    • janet @ the taste space said, on November 12, 2012 at 9:38 AM

      Hey Ellen, Awesome! Yeah, except for the sugar it is a pretty wholesome recipe, and so happy to hear it worked out for you. :)

  12. Ana Cooks said, on November 12, 2012 at 10:45 AM

    More than your wonderful recipes, i’m even more in love with your shots. Great photography!
    Thanks for the inspiration!

  13. [...] have been blogging for over 3 years (and cooking for myself for the past decade), so you’d think I’d have figured [...]

  14. Kristy said, on November 14, 2012 at 5:50 PM

    Oh my gosh, this cake looks so luscious and decadent! And with chocolate pb frosting- be still my heart! :-)

  15. [...] never really thought much about blogging and my life, 3 years – has it really been that long?, until I tried to stop [...]

  16. Mich - Piece of Cake said, on November 19, 2012 at 11:57 PM

    Avocadoes are my favourite and I just had to come and see a chocolate avocado cake! That looks like one superbly delicious cake.

  17. [...] all the recent sweets, it was probably no shock that I’d jump on the chance to try a sweetener-free challenge. [...]

  18. silver price said, on November 30, 2012 at 4:49 PM

    I am thinking of making this cake for thanksgiving (every year I like to make dessert in hopes of finding a “signature” dish. Hopefully this one will be it). I have fallen in love with your peanut butter frosting recipe (who knew that peanut butter and tofu could taste so good together? So I’m thinking of making this cake with the tofu peanut butter frosting and adding mini chocolate chips on top so it’s more like a reese’s peanut butter cup cake. I can’t wait to try it!

  19. [...] 27.  Chocolate Avocado Cake with Chocolate Peanut Butter Frosting [...]

  20. [...] coconut oil or coconut butter. Want something even more decadent? Omit the mint and top it with my chocolate peanut butter frosting or cashew date frosting! Or make this avocado buttercream frosting and tell me how it [...]

  21. [...] So that’s my rambly preamble…. but I should not be keeping you in suspense because these cupcakes were winners. We shunned the desserts at the resto in lieu of cupcakes. Not just any cupcakes. Mango cupcakes with a mango buttercream frosting. Booyah! Vegan cupcakes, of course. Whole wheat, no problem (actually you wouldn’t know it, unlike my chocolate avocado cake). [...]

  22. Jennifer said, on July 31, 2013 at 7:41 AM

    How is the frosting recipe “adapted”? Isn’t that her exact recipe from her site?

  23. […] want to share this cookbook with you, especially as the holiday treat season gears up (share the vegan baketivism this season!). Thankfully the publisher is letting me give a cookbook to one reader living in the […]


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