I hope you're not scared off by the idea of vegetables in baking, because this cake is too good for you not to try! If you've ever had carrot or zucchini cake/loaf before then you'll know that adding vegetables into baking makes for tasty, moist, and usually healthier baked goods, with no funny tastes or textures. I suppose I should note that avocados are actually a fruit and not a vegetable, but it isn't really that relevant here - unless of course it makes you more comfortable with this recipe, because you're really just adding fruit to cake! Since avocados are so high in (healthy!) fat, they make a great alternative to butter or oil, and their smooth texture and mild flavour makes them easy to incorporate in virtually any baked goods. They make this chocolate cake dense and moist, without being super heavy or overly sweet. The cake would be delicious enough on its own, but I would recommend topping it with the chocolate ganache to really take it to chocolate lover's heaven.
Chocolate Avocado Cake Ingredients:
3 cups all-purpose flour
6 Tbsp. cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
2 cups white sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup ripe avocado, well mashed (about 1 medium avocado) - Make sure the mashed avocado is as smooth as you can get it, with no lumps!
1 cup milk (dairy, almond, and soy all work fine)
1 cup hot water
2 Tbsp. white vinegar
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
1/2-3/4 cup chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9x11" rectangular cake pan or two 8" round cake pans with non-stick cooking spray. If using round cake pans, line the bottoms with circles of parchment paper for easy removal of the baked cakes. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.
In a separate large bowl, mix together the canola oil, mashed avocado, milk, hot water, vinegar, and vanilla. Stir in the sugar.
Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and beat with a whisk, by hand, until smooth. Stir in the chocolate chips.
Pour the batter into the prepared cake pans. Bake for about 30-40 minutes if using a rectangular cake pan, 25-30 if using round cake pans, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean with a few crumbs attached.
Let the cake cool in the pan for about 15 minutes, then turn out onto cooling racks to cool completely before frosting with chocolate ganache. I used a rectangular cake pan when I made this, so I didn't remove my cake from the pan and just spread about half of the prepared ganache (recipe below) evenly over the top.
*Cake recipe adapted from Joy The Baker
Chocolate Ganache Ingredients:
1 cup milk or heavy cream - You can also substitute with soy milk for a non-dairy alternative
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips or chopped chocolate
Pour the milk into a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Slowly bring to a boil. Place the chocolate in a medium, heatproof bowl (glass works the best). Once the milk is boiling, pour it over the chocolate and let sit for 2-3 minutes, until the chocolate softens. Whisk the chocolate and milk together vigorously with a wire whisk until all the chocolate is melted and a glossy sheen forms, about 2 minutes. Cover with plastic or a lid and refrigerate for 1.5-2 hours before using. Stir before use to loosen it up. Spread over cooled cake layers. It is very important that the cake is completely cooled before frosting, otherwise the ganache will melt.
*Chocolate ganache recipe adapted from You Won't Believe It's Vegan (Sher & Doherty, 2008).