Avocado chocolate cupcakes with cherry icing

This delicious recipe is extracted from Kate Hackworthy’s Veggie Desserts + Cakes.

I know – avocado is a fruit. So, what’s it doing in a vegetable desserts book? Well, since, like the tomato, it’s mostly used in savoury dishes, I think it’s earned its place here. Avocado makes a wonderful replacement for butter in cakes, cookies and other desserts, reducing the calories somewhat and adding extra nutrients. I’ve topped these rich and fudgy cupcakes with a fresh cherry icing, in homage to that 1970s classic, Black Forest Gâteau.

Makes 12

For the cakes

1 ripe avocado, peeled and pitted

3 tbsp unsalted butter, softened

100g/3½oz/½ cup granulated sugar

2 large free-range eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

115g/4oz/generous ¾ cup plus 1 tbsp plain (all-purpose) flour

30g/1oz/¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1½ tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

For the cherry icing

5 cherries, pitted

75g/2½oz/1⁄3 cup unsalted butter, softened

150g/5¼oz/scant 1¼ cups icing (confectioners’) sugar

2–3 tsp milk (if necessary)


To decorate

12 cherries


To make the cakes

Preheat the oven to 170°C/150°C fan/325°F/gas 3. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper cases.

In a large bowl, beat the avocado flesh with an electric mixer for a few minutes until creamy. Add the butter and sugar and beat again until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, and beating each one in well, then beat in the vanilla.

Sift in the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt, and stir gently to combine.

Fill the muffin cups three-quarters full and bake for 15–20 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Leave to cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the cherry icing

Pulverize the cherries with a pestle and mortar until well smashed. Place them into a sieve (strainer) over a bowl and press to extract the juice. You should have at least 1 tablespoon of cherry juice.

In a large bowl, cream the butter with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add the cherry juice and beat until smooth. Sift in the icing sugar, then beat until thick. Add the milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, to make a thick frosting consistency. Spoon the icing into a piping bag and pipe over the cupcakes as desired, topping each one with a cherry.

The featured recipe is from Veggie Desserts + Cakes by Kate Hackworthy.

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