Though we are already a third of the way through August, this month I am focused on the avocado. While looking into the avocado, I learned its pear-like shape and green skin earned it the nickname “Alligator Pear.” Similar avocado tidbits, along with some pretty good-looking recipes, can be found at the California Avocado Commission’s website.
After making these and tomato soup cupcakes, I have come to the conclusion that a spice cake base can accommodate nearly any non-traditional fruit as an ingredient. The cupcakes felt heavy, so my initial reaction was that they turned out like avocado cake rocks. Turns out, they were just avocado cakes that rocked. The crumb was not overly heavy, and as I mentioned, the cupcakes tasted like spice cake.
If pressed to identify the ingredients in this cupcake, I would not have been able to isolate the taste of the avocado. Perhaps a more highly trained or sophisticated palate would recognize its creamy taste, but I did not.
Would I make avocado cupcakes again? Upon request, yes. Otherwise, I just don’t see the need to add avocado to what amounts to a spice cake when it could be consumed in something like guacamole. Speaking of a guacamole, an different type of avocado-based dip is up next. Until then, enjoy!
- For the Avocado Cupcakes
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons cornmeal
- 1 tablespoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon allspice
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ cup buttermilk
- 1 cup avocado, chopped
- ½ cup butter
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup raisins or dates
- ½ cup chopped walnuts
- For the Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- ½ cup butter, softened
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
- Whisk together the flour, cornmeal, nutmeg, allspice and salts. Reserve three tablespoons of the dry mixture and set aside.
- In a separate bowl, stir the baking soda into the buttermilk, then add the avocado pieces. (This is the wet mixture).
- In a mixing bowl, beat the butter and the sugar together on medium speed until light and fluffy, one to two minutes.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until each is just combined.
- Turn the mixer to low and alternately add the dry mixture and the wet mixture, beginning and ending with the dry mixture.
- Scrape down the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl as needed to ensure the mixture is fully incorporated.
- Toss the raisins or dates and the walnuts in the reserved dry ingredients mixture, then fold them into the batter.
- Fill each well of a paper-lined cupcake pan nearly to the top with batter.
- Bake at 350 degrees F for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
- Allow to cool completely before frosting.
- To make the frosting, place the cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and ground cinnamon in mixing bowl and beat until combined.
- Slowly add the confectioner’s sugar one cup at a time, beating until the frosting is light and fluffy.