vegan gluten free chocolate avocado cupcakes and frosting

Thank you for such an enormous and wonderful outpouring of love on my birthday! You all know how to make a gal feel special. Thank you so much, and I’m glad that the turning 30 theme struck a chord with many of you.

Yesterday, I showed you my absolutely scrumptious birthday gift to myself: chocolate avocado cupcakes with chocolate avocado frosting:

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Inspiration from this recipe comes from the lovely Nicole, who recently posted a smashing recipe for gluten-free chocolate avocado cupcakes on her blog. I thought they were beautiful and ingenious; it had never occurred to use avocado in a baked good, but what a wonderful way to add fat without excess oils or Earth Balance! In the end, I used a mix of avocado and avocado oil in my recipe (Nicole used avocado only), but I still loved the idea of adding a whole foods fat source to a cupcake, all the while keeping it light and fluffy.

I’ve made two iterations of this recipe. My first was a simple, straightforward chocolate avocado cupcake, made with whole wheat pastry flour. It’s totally easy to make, and it’ll be a guaranteed crowd pleaser. The second, a gluten free chocolate avocado cupcake, was a continuation of my vow to master and offer up more vegan and GF baking recipes to you all. This has been a process! Gluten free baking without eggs can be tricky, and it demands its own set of techniques. As you’ll see, my GF variation on this recipe is slightly more complex than my usual baking recipes, but for something delicate, like a cupcake, I can assure you that the extra steps and precision are well worth it.

My GF baking education has been greatly enhanced by this book:

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It was sent to me by Iris of Daily Dietribe, and I’ll be doing a more in-depth review soon. For now, I’ll simply say that, although the book is not vegan, and it is an excellent, general primer for people who are trying to master GF baking, getting to know the various flour mixes, and trying to figure out which flours will work best for which sorts of baked goods. The mix of GF flours I used for this recipe–a combination of sweet white sorghum flour, brown rice flour, and potato starch–was the result of having read this book, and being educated about what different GF flours and starches do.

Since I was using avocado in the cupcake, it felt perfectly reasonable to use avocado on the cupcake, too. I’ve made many a batch of vegan chocolate icing with confectioner’s sugar, Earth Balance or vegan shortening, and almond milk. Truth be told, however, I’d take my chocomole over traditional icing any day. It’s one of my favorite raw dishes, and it’s every bit as good on top of cupcakes as it is eaten with a spoon. You can use any icing you want for these cupcakes, naturally, but I’d encourage you to give the chocomole a shot!

For those of you who are making the traditional, simple version, here’s the recipe.

vegan gluten free chocolate avocado cupcakes and frosting

Chocolate Avocado Cupcakes with Chocomole Frosting (vegan, soy free)

Makes 8 cupcakes

1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup raw cacao or cocoa powder
3/4 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup coconut crystals or demerara sugar
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 avocado, peeled and flesh scooped out
1/4 cup avocado or coconut oil
1 cup warm water
2 tbsp agave syrup
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp Ener-G egg replacer mixed with 3 tbsp warm water

For the icing:

2 large avocados, pitted and flesh scooped out of peel
6 tbsp raw cacao or cocoa powder
1/3 cup agave syrup or 6 pitted dates, soaked for 2+ hours and drained
1 tsp vanilla extract
Dash sea salt
Dash cinnamon (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 8 muffin tins or line them with cupcake liners.

2. Mix together the flour, cacao, baking soda, baking powder, sugar, and sea salt.

3. Place your avocado, water, agave, ACV, and vanilla in a blender, and blend till smooth. Add this mixture, along with the egg replacer, to the dry batter. Beat with an electric hand mixer or with a whisk for about 2-3 minutes (if you use an electric mixer, use the high setting). Pour batter into a greased muffin tin. This recipe yields 8 cupcakes, so pour it into 8 of the tins! Bake for 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean (it may take a little more than 15).

4. While cupcakes cool, mix all icing ingredients in a food processor or a high speed blender. Ice the cupcakes and serve!

NB: I usually like dates for my chocomole. That said, I actually preferred the agave version for an icing. Either works, but use your own taste and intuition.

These cupcakes will last for about three days. The icing should be kept cool at all time, so do keep everything in the fridge!

vegan gluten free chocolate avocado cupcakes and frosting

And now,  the GF version:

Gluten Free Chocolate Avocado Cupcakes with Chocolate Avocado Frosting (vegan, gluten free, soy free)

Makes 8 cupcakes

1/2 cup sweet white sorghum powder
1/4 cup brown rice flour
3/4 cup potato starch
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1/4 cup raw cacao or cocoa powder
3/4 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup coconut crystals or demerara sugar
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 avocado, peeled and pitted
1/4 cup avocado or coconut oil
1 cup warm water
2 tbsp agave syrup
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp Ener-G egg replacer mixed with 3 tbsp warm water

For the icing:

2 large avocados, pitted and flesh scooped out of peel
6 tbsp raw cacao or cocoa powder
1/3 cup agave syrup or 6 pitted dates, soaked for 2+ hours and drained
1 tsp vanilla extract
Dash sea salt
Dash cinnamon (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 8 muffin tins or line them with cupcake liners.
2. Mix together the flours, the potato starch, the xanthan gum, the cacao, baking soda, baking powder, sugar, and sea salt.

3. Place your avocado, water, agave, ACV, and vanilla in a blender, and blend till smooth. Add this mixture, along with the egg replacer, to the dry batter. Beat with an electric hand mixer or with a whisk for about 2-3 minutes (if you use an electric mixer, use the high setting). Pour batter into a greased muffin tin. This recipe yields 8 cupcakes, so pour it into 8 of the tins! Bake for 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean (it may take a little more than 15).

4. While cupcakes cool, mix all icing ingredients in a food processor or a high speed blender. Ice the cupcakes and serve!

As you can see, the only big difference here is using a mix of GF flours, potato starch, and xanthan gum versus using whole wheat pastry flour. If you want, you can use 1 1/2 cups of an all purpose GF flour blend, such as the Bob’s Red Mill blend or the King Arthur blend. These will work just fine, but my personal feeling is that the Bob’s blend works best for denser baked goods, like quickbreads and muffins. I don’t love it for really delicate stuff, like cakes and cupcakes. If you’re accustomed to GF baking, you may have your own preferences, so please feel free to modify.

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I’m sure that many of you are wondering whether or not you can taste the avocado in here? Well, you can probably taste it in the icing. But not in the cake! You won’t taste a thing, but you will get the benefits of all those wonderful, polyunsaturated fats. Win, win.

These cupcakes epitomize the creativity that comes from using whole foods in your baking. I hope they make you (or someone close to you) as happy as they made me. I rarely bake anything fancy for myself, but I’m so glad I treated myself to these.
And if those weren’t enough, one of my post-bacc friends made me a raw, vegan birthday cake, all from scratch. He used this recipe!

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So incredibly sweet–literally and figuratively! I’m a lucky birthday girl!

Before I go, I have 6 winners to my giveaway to The Seed!

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As usual, I forgot to announce them in a timely fashion. My winners are:

Sara
Danielle
Julie
Fellow Hoya
Lexi
Libia
Gwen

Winners, please contact me so that I can get you guys set up, and don’t forget to find me and say hello at the conference!!

Have a great start to the weekend.

xo

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