Thursday, February 16, 2012

I know I'm terribly behind on my blog and it's mostly just full of empty promises to update with loads of pictures, and I promise (wink) I'll do that someday. But today I have only one thing on my mind:


Valentines Day was pretty low key this year (every year?) but I thought I should at least whip up some baked good for us to enjoy to celebrate. Earlier in the day I picked up a bag of perfectly ripe avocados and I remembered a while back pinning a recipe for chocolate cupcakes that called for an avocado, so why not.

oh. my. goodnessssss.

I can't stop eating these. I woke up on February 15 wanting them for breakfast. And I justify it by reminding myself they have no eggs, refined oil, or refined sugar so they are good for me. I know I'm lying to myself, but how else can I explain 3 cupcakes a day?? As I was eating one today, I realized I must share this goodness. Mostly because I've always disliked chocolate cake because it was either too dry or too oily or too fakey-funky tasting. This is the chocolate cake I've been needing.

Chocolate-Avocado Cupcakes
(Recipe adapted from Vegetarian Times)

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 avocado, pitted and peeled
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 3/4 cup milk 
  • 1/3 cup applesauce (or oil, but why?)
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners. Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in bowl. Purée avocado in food processor until smooth. Add maple syrup, honey, milk, applesauce, and vanilla, and blend until creamy. Whisk avocado mixture into flour mixture.
2. Spoon batter into prepared cupcake cups. Bake 25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center comes out with some crumbs attached. Cool.

The original recipe then had you glaze them with some weird tofu glaze, which I didn't bother trying. Instead, I topped them with my favorite chocolate buttercream frosting. This is of course the unhealthy part of the cupcake, but they are still delish without it.

For the chocolate frosting
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter 
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 
1/4 cup milk 
2 cups confectioners’ sugar 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

To make the frosting, melt the butter with the cocoa powder in a small saucepan. Bring to a light simmer over medium-low heat and let it bubble for 1 minute. Whisk in the milk and cook for 3 more minutes, letting the mixture bubble up around the edges. Remove from the heat and beat in the confectioners’ sugar with a whisk or hand beater. When the mixture is smooth, beat in the vanilla.

You do have to work pretty quickly with this frosting as it sets up pretty fast and is difficult to spread once cool, but dang it's yummy.

So there you have it. You should really make these cupcakes. And there is something about secret ingredients-- they are secret for a reason. No one needs to know there is avocado in these babies. That's a little secret just you and the blender can keep. They can also be totally vegan by using 1 cup maple syrup instead of half honey and some non-dairy milk instead. And obviously you would skip the buttercream frosting and try something different. Here is the link to the original recipe if you are interested.