Because avocados are for life, not just for brunch
In case you hadn't already noticed, we're in the midst of an avocado apocalypse.
Global demand is driving up prices, but that hasn't stopped us eating the stones (yes, really), ordering them at McDonald's, sometimes turning them into mayonnaise, or even petitioning for an avocado emoji. And now we're using everyone's favourite lean, green toast topper to – yes ma'am – ice cakes.
Yep, you are looking at a chocolate cake with avocado buttercream. It might be enough to bring Mary Berry out in a cold sweat, but avo frosting is set to be the new tofu mousse (remember tofu mousse? Sure you do!). It's guaranteed to earn you foodie kudos and give your dinner guests something to talk about besides the weather.
Is it actually delicious, though, or is Pinterest trolling us all? Let's find out.
Is it JUST avocado on cake?
No, don't be daft. One day soon we might live in a world where people casually spread mashed avocado on to a slice of Victoria sponge, but for now you're going to want to sweeten things up a tad.
We used this entirely vegan chocolate avocado cake recipe from Joy the Baker, which keeps things simple with just lemon juice, vanilla extract and icing sugar, but you can also add paleo-friendly things like coffee, maple syrup, mint, peanut butter – and of course cocoa powder, for a cake experience that's more "death by chocolate" and less "death by mysterious green slime".
But why would I do this?
Well, no one's going to come round your house and make you. But avocado frosting is vegan, for one thing, which means dairy-dodgers can enjoy "buttercream" again. It's full of all the goodies that #eatclean devotees adore (OK, plus sugar), it's super easy, and it looks so green and pleasant on your cake that you'll want to whistle Jerusalem.
Does it taste … green?
Slightly. But it's nice, we promise! Close your eyes, forget the colour and you'll find it has a mellow, fruity tang not a million miles away from kiwis or bananas. Which when you remember that avocado is actually a fruit, shouldn't really be that surprising.
Plus the more ingredients you add to it, the less like salad it will taste. Unless you add spinach.
(Probably don't add spinach.)
Does it go brown?
Nope. Helpfully the sugar and lemon juice preserve the avocado and stop it turning murky – though the green does get slightly darker over time, so Instagram it post-haste.
What will I need?
As well as an open mind, you will need:
- Very ripe avocados. We used six small hass avocados, but four is probably sufficient for your average cake-icing needs.
- The juice of one lemon. Add this to taste.
- Icing sugar. We used 300g for a sweet but not tooth-achingly sweet result.
- 1 tsp vanilla extract. Use the good stuff, not vanilla essence. Your avos deserve it.
- A blender. Optional, but handy for a nice smooth finish.
What do I do?
Slice your avocados in half, remove the seed (you know how to do this bit) and scoop the flesh into a bowl. Add a few splashes of lemon juice to begin with, then mash it by hand, whizz it in a food processor or bash it with a stick blender until you have a lovely smooth green paste.
Next, add the vanilla extract and begin sieving in the icing sugar a little at a time. Keep mixing as you add, keeping an eye on the consistency and stopping to check the taste (if this doesn't sound like a precise art, that's because it isn't). You can use more icing sugar to give a stiff, buttercream-like result, but we liked ours a little softer – almost pourable.
Once you're satisfied with the texture and sweetness, add a dash more lemon juice and taste again. If you find yourself wanting to hide in a cupboard and eat the whole lot with a spoon, you're ready to ice your cake.
Dollop it on and spread it smoothly with a spatula, or use a piping bag if you want to be neat about it. Garnish however your heart desires (though we'd steer clear of cucumber slices) and feed it to your most adventurous or most polite friends.
The frosting should keep in the fridge for up to a week, although your memory of this bright green birthday cake will last much longer.