Healthy fats in your dessert? Yes, please! Cut yourself a slice of this rich, gluten-free cake with chocolate avocado frosting.
The Food: Gluten-Free Chocolate Avocado Cake with Chocolate Avocado Frosting
I don’t toss around superlatives like “game-changing” often, so believe me when I say this chocolate avocado frosting is worth trying. The almond-flour, avocado cake is so rich, creamy, moist, and chocolaty, I made it twice – once to celebrate my birthday in Florida and once to celebrate my birthday at a wintry cabin in Pennsylvania (I’m big on birthday celebrations). The cake, and especially the chocolate avocado frosting, was a hit at both, even for the folks who say they don’t like sweets.
The Personal: A Birthday Cake & A Birthday Wish
Echoes. Mirrors. Whispers. Synchronicity. Whatever you call it, there are messages trying to be heard. They repeat. They take shape in different forms. They come through subtly at first, then grow in volume until the message is clear.
As I find myself navigating my 37th year on this planet, I’ve discovered a theme emerging, one I am trying to receive. It came through a tarot reading, through a yoga practice, through a podcast, through a book – spiritual surround sound, if you will. “Trust yourself. Love yourself. Stand firmly and wholly as you are, and raise your voice.”
If 36 was a journey to a quiet retreat, to mother myself, to be reborn, then 37 is about toddling toward the first steps. It’s about standing tall, not hiding. Yet, with this new year, I’ve found myself critiquing my appearance more and more. I’ve found myself comparing my looks to someone nearly half my age instead of celebrating my uniqueness and where I am in life. I’ve found myself lamenting the lines that form around a wide smile instead of appreciating the joy that yields such a smile. Why?!?!?
Cue the message from Elizabeth Lesser in her book, Cassandra Speaks:
“As long as we want to trade in the bodies we have for the perfect girl on her pedestal, we will not recover our true beauty and sense of worth. As long as we attach our sense of power and value to the way we are seen from the outside, we keep the spell of Galatea alive.”
In an unguided yoga practice, the message whispered again. As the instructor invited viewers to trust their bodies and the tools they had learned on the 30-day journey, I caught a glimpse of myself on a pedestal. I saw my body lengthen with a gracefulness that moved me to tears. I saw the sharpness of my cheekbones and the glow of my eyes. I saw what my body can do, the strength I have fostered, the flexibility I have cultivated.
Cue this message from Brené Brown:
“Midlife is when the universe gently places her hands upon your shoulders, pulls you close, and whispers in your ear: I’m not screwing around. All of this pretending and performing – these coping mechanisms that you’ve developed to protect yourself from feeling inadequate and getting hurt – has to go. Your armor is preventing you from growing into your gifts. I understand that you needed these protections when you were small.
I understand that you believed your armor could help you secure all of the things you needed to feel worthy and lovable, but you’re still searching and you’re more lost than ever. Time is growing short. There are unexplored adventures ahead of you. You can’t live the rest of your life worried about what other people think. You were born worthy of love and belonging. Courage and daring are coursing through your veins. You were made to live and love with your whole heart. It’s time to show up and be seen.” [read more]
Here is to unraveling, to showing up, to being seen, to taking up space, to heeding the echoes, mirror, whispers, and synchronicity. I am so grateful to be here, to love, to be loved, and to celebrate. My birthday wish for myself (and for you) is to grow more fully into my gifts, to stop screwing around, to feel the courage in my veins, and to love the lines on my face.
The Fluff/Julep’s Corner:
As I am writing this post, I happen to be in Florida again – at foster puppy paradise! Don’t tell Julep, but her corner is currently occupied by three little squishes. My vocabulary has been reduced to a series of squeals and awwww’s.
You Might Also Like: Gluten-Free Chocolate Amaranth Cupcakes
If you’re still craving chocolate, you might like this idea from my book, The Gluten-Free Grains Cookbook. The recipe is for Creamy Chocolate Amaranth Cupcakes with a side of Bourbon-Whipped Crème Fraîche. Akin to a cheese or charcuterie board, the recipe includes tips and tricks to create this spread for DIY cupcake toppings. It’s delicious and interactive.
Gluten-Free Chocolate Avocado Cake with Chocolate Avocado Frosting
For the Cake:
- 3 1/2 cups almond flour
- 2/3 cup coconut sugar
- 1/2 cup raw cacao powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 ripe avocado
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup milk or non-dairy milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
For the Frosting:
- 1/2 avocado mashed
- 1/2 cup butter
- 5 oz. dark chocolate, chopped
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil
- 1 -1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
For the Garnish (optional)
- Fresh berries
- Fresh mint
For the Cake:
- Preheat oven to 350°F. If using springform pans, grease them, or line regular cake pans with parchment paper. Cake size options: two 9-inch cake pans, three 6-inch cake pans, or two 8-inch cake pans with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cacao, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
- Scoop the avocado into the bowl of a stand mixer, and use the whisk attachment to beat until it is mostly smooth and creamy.
- Add the eggs and whisk until combined. Add the maple syrup, milk, and vanilla.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in three increments, and beat to combine, scraping down the bowl with a spatula between additions.
- Pour the batter evenly into the prepared cake pans. Bake cakes for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Leave the cakes in the pans for 10 minutes, then run a knife or offset spatula along the edges and carefully invert them onto a cooling rack.
- Allow cakes to cool before icing.
For the Frosting:
- Scoop the avocado into the bowl of a stand mixer, and use the whisk to beat until it is mostly smooth and creamy. Add the butter slices to the mixing bowl.
- Meanwhile, use a double-broiler method to melt the chocolate and coconut oil together until smooth, then pour the melted chocolate over the butter and avocado. Allow the mixture to sit for 3-5 minutes to soften the butter, then beat to combine.
- 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 more as everything mixes together.
- Sift 1 cup powdered sugar over the mixing bowl, and whisk again to combine everything until smooth. The frosting will be thick but still spreadable. Add more powdered sugar if you want it to be thicker.
- Dollop, then evenly spread frosting over the top of a cake layer. Top with the next layer of cake and repeat. Use an offset spatula to smooth frosting thinly on the side of the cake. Top with fresh berries and mint, and enjoy!