A cake with avocado in it? Yep! This Chocolate Avocado Cake recipe is made with almond flour and uses avocado to add moisture to the batter, along with some healthy fats, but I pinky promise you can't taste it! This cake is rich, fudgy and will leave you wanting to go back for seconds.
This chocolate avocado cake might just be my new favorite cake recipe. Similar to these brownies, I made it more than once and gave some to my neighbors to try, and everyone gave it two thumbs up.
- It's fudgy, moist, rich, chocolatey, and you'll never believe that it's gluten free
- The cake AND the icing have avocado in it
- It's naked on the outside with icing on top and in between, making it faster to prep!
Almond flour: Bold statement, but almond flour might be my favorite gluten free flour (besides gluten free all purpose flour). It has a mild flavor and it doesn't alter the texture much, which can be tricky in gluten free baking.
Coconut sugar: You can sub cane sugar, but if you want to keep this a little bit healthier, I recommend coconut sugar. It adds the right amount of sweetness and you won't be able to tell the difference between this and regular sugar.
Cocoa powder: You can't make a chocolate cake without cocoa powder! Look for unsweetened cocoa powder, or better yet, raw cacao.
Eggs: The eggs are very important in this recipe. I tested it with flax eggs instead to try to make it vegan, and the texture just wasn't the same (i.e. not as good!).
Avocado: No, you can't taste the avocado, but it adds moisture to the cake similarly as to when you add banana/applesauce/pumpkin to recipes. The chocolate masks the taste of the avocado, but you're still getting a dose of healthy fats!
Maple syrup: I love adding syrup to cake recipes (like these apple cupcakes) because it keeps the cake moist while adding a bit of sweetness to the batter.
Almond milk: In an effort to not add too much syrup, I decided to add a little bit of milk as well. You can use any dairy free milk, but my go-to's tend to be almond, oat or coconut.
Step 1: Line your cake pans. Don't skip this step -- lining your cake pans with parchment rounds ensures that the cake won't stick to the bottom of the pan.
Step 2: Mix dry ingredients. In a large bowl, stir the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt together.
Step 3: Stir wet ingredients. Whisk the eggs, maple syrup and vanilla together, then add the mashed avocado to that same bowl and stir to combine.
Step 4: Combine. Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients, then gently fold them together. There WILL be some lumps and that's ok! Bake the cakes for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean, and wait for them to cool completely before icing them.
Chocolate avocado icing
As much as I love the cake, a cake is nothing without the icing! All you need to make this icing is:
- Avocado (make sure it's ripe!)
- Grass-fed butter
- Dark chocolate (I used 85% dark)
- Coconut oil
- Powdered sugar
Start by mashing the avocado really well in a bowl, then add the butter to that same bowl. You don't have to soften the butter--just grab it right from the refrigerator, slice it thinly and add it to the bowl.
Next, melt the chocolate and coconut oil together either over the stove or in a microwave-safe dish. If you go the stovetop route, make sure to whisk frequently so the chocolate doesn't burn. If you choose the microwave, stir the chocolate every 30 seconds. Then, pour the melted chocolate over the butter and avocado and let it rest for 3-5 minutes, which should allow the butter to soften. Use a spatula to stir the mixture until it's smooth and the butter has melted.
Note: the butter might not completely melt, and that's ok! You want it to be mostly melted, but it will smooth out once you add in the powdered sugar (see next step).
Last, add the powdered sugar and use an electric mixer to stir everything together. The icing should be *thick* but still spreadable. If it seems too thick, add 1 tablespoon of milk.
FAQs and Tips
- Use a ripe avocado. Finding the perfect avocado can be tricky, so I recommend purchasing 3-4 avocados just in case one of them is under or overripe.
- Mash the avocado really well. This might seem like a no-brainer, but the more you mash the avocado, the smoother it'll be, and therefore the less likely there is to be lumps in the batter.
- Line the cake pans with parchment paper. This is SO important--do not skip this step! There's nothing worse than putting in the effort to bake a cake only to realize that your cake is stuck to the bottom of the pan. You can often find parchment paper rounds at baking stores, or you can create your own. Simply place your cake pan on top of parchment paper, trace it with a pencil, then cut it out. It only takes a few minutes and it makes a huge difference.
What size cake pans should I use?
You have two size options for this cake. You can either make a 6" 3-tier cake like I did, or a 8" 2-tier cake.
How should I store this?
You should store this cake in a covered container or on a plate wrapped in foil at room temperature for up to 24 hours. After that, place it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Note: the texture of the icing will change when it's refrigerated, so you may want to let it come to room temperature before serving
More gluten free desserts
If you made this recipe, be sure to leave a comment and star rating below. Thanks!
Chocolate Avocado Cake (gluten free)
for the cake:
- 3 ½ cups almond flour
- ⅔ cup coconut sugar
- ½ cup cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 4 eggs
- 1 ripe avocado* mashed
- 1 cup maple syrup
- ¼ cup almond milk**
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
for the icing:
- ½ avocado mashed
- ½ cup butter
- 5 oz. dark chocolate chopped
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil
- 2 ½ cups powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 350°. Line three 6" cake pans with parchment paper and set aside. You can also use two 8" cake pans if you prefer.
- In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
- Scoop avocado out into a small bowl, then use a fork to mash it really well (mash for at least 30 seconds to remove as many lumps as possible). In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs together, then add the syrup, milk and vanilla. Last, add in the avocado.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, then use a spatula to fold everything together. There WILL be some avocado lumps, and that's ok! Make sure not to over-stir the batter.
- Once everything is combined, pour batter evenly into the prepared cake pans. Bake cakes for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Leave cakes in the cake pans for 10 minutes, then run a knife along the edges and carefully invert them onto a cooling rack. Allow cakes to cool before icing.
- For the icing: mash the avocado into the bottom of a large bowl. Then, thinly slice the butter and add it to the bowl. Next, melt chocolate and coconut oil together (over the stove or in the microwave) until smooth, then pour the melted chocolate over the butter and avocado and allow it to sit for 3-5 minutes, which should soften the butter. Use a spatula to stir everything together until the butter is smooth (this may take a minute). Don't worry if the butter isn't COMPLETELY melted--it will melt once everything is mixed together. Then, add the powdered sugar and use a hand mixer to combine everything. The icing should be thick but still spreadable.
- To assemble: You do NOT need to slice off the tops (the "dome") of the cakes. Instead, just place a dollop of icing over each layer and spread it a bit, then repeat that step, stacking the cakes as you go. Top the entire cake with extra chopped chocolate and enjoy!
Meredith B. says
This cake was delicious! I made it for a potluck and several people requested your wonderful recipe. I did use two 9-inch pans instead, and reduced the cooking time to just under 25 minutes. It turned out perfect.
I'm so glad this cake was a hit!
Michelle Thom says
What can I substitute for the maple syrup?
Honey or agave should work!
This is possibly the best chocolate cake I’ve ever had! And healthy-ish too! I made this for thanksgiving and it was a HUGE hit—everyone was raving about it! And thank you for answering my questions so quickly!!
This makes me so happy -- I'm glad everyone liked the cake, and I really appreciate the 5-star rating!
Hi, should the almond milk be sweetened or unsweetened or does it not matter? Thanks!
Thanks so much for your quick response! Can I make the cake layers a couple of days in advance and wrap and freeze? Or fridge? (Hoping to make today or tomorrow for thanksgiving)
Yep! I would make them either tomorrow or Wednesday; wait for them to cool completely, then wrap them tight in plastic wrap and store them in the refrigerator.
Hi there can this but turned into cupcakes? If so do you know how long you would bake them for? Thanks
Jon Martinez says
I love this recipe! I did not have maple syrup so I used date paste instead. It turned out amazing and the crumb is superb! So moist!
Thanks for the comment Jon, and I'm happy to hear date paste worked well!
Carol Woolcock says
This cake was disastrous! I only had 1 cup of almond flour so substituted with 2.5 cps of coconut flour. The mixture was extremely stiff and no way was there a batter that I could pour into the tins. I followed the remainder of the recipe exactly. Is there any oil in the cake recipe or is the avocado a substitute for oil? So where did I go wrong? Thanks in anticipation
Hi -- you can't ever use coconut flour in place almond flour. Though they're both gluten free, they're VERY different and therefore act differently in baking. I hope you give this another try using only almond flour. If you do need a substitute, cashew flour is probably your best best and the most similar to almond flour.
I know oftentimes (Avocado, Banana, Sweet Potato, & Mango) can be changed out with the other, but also comprising flavor. I can't have any of them. Can Greek Yogurt, Strained be used in place?
Hi! I'm sure you CAN use yogurt, but I've never tested it so I'm not sure of the exact amount you should use. Please let me know if you try it/how much you end up using!
I have baked a lot of gluten free things and I was really impressed with this cake.It was delicious! The texture turned out great.I baked it in 2 9" pans that were sloped a bit to be just over 8" on the bottom. I mention this because my cakes drooped a bit in the center. I really think the 6" pans would be the right way to go. More surface area/volume so the cake can crawl up the sides without gluten. I never tried a gluten free layer cake in these pans before, so I can't make a comparison with other GF recipes. I subbed regular sugar, did half agave syrup and 1 whole avocado in the frosting. The frosting was good too, but the cake was the best tasting chocolate cake ever! It was very filling. One slice does it!
Thanks for sharing all of this info -- I'm so happy you liked the cake!
Tonya baker says
Does each serving have 836 calories. How much is a serving
Hi! I adjusted slightly, but it ultimately depends how thin/thick you cut the slices. Before, I said the cake was 8 servings, but I just adjusted to 12, and honestly a lot of the calories come from the avocado (even though it's healthy fat!). Let me know if you try it.
Daniel Z says
When life gives us avocados... Erin shows us how to make absolutely delicious cake!
wow, recipes swaps all over the place to make this work, I'm so impressed, thank you, love the avocado and no cane refined sugar, don't miss it, but especially like the videos, what a wonderful way to present a recipe walk through without having to wait for a video to load, etc, appreciate all of this
Deborah Cortez says
This avocado cake was so good. I followed it exactly and the sweetness in the cake was perfect too.
I will make this again.