How to make a fudgy avocado chocolate cake with (an optional) rich and creamy refined sugar-free ganache. This vegan chocolate cake is moist and flavorful – yet not only healthier than regular chocolate cake but also gluten-free, and egg-free!
Moist and Fudgy Gluten-Free Avocado Chocolate Cake
Yes, you read that right – chocolate cake with avocado in it. But before you click off this page in disgust, believe me when I say that this avocado chocolate cake is the fudgy, moist, flavorful chocolate cake you never knew you needed in your life. Plus, after three rounds of recipe tweaks, I’ve perfected it – now, with the right combination of ingredients, even dairy, and gluten-eating guests will be wanting seconds of this healthy chocolate cake!
I’m definitely no stranger to hiding ‘vegetables’ in my baked goods. In fact, I’ve stuffed brownies with zucchini, chickpeas, black beans, sweet potato, silken tofu, and even peas. I’ve even made a gluten-free chocolate cake with tons of hidden zucchini. However, this time I have used creamy, rich avocado to create a healthy chocolate cake – and the results are wonderfully moist, slightly dense, fudgy, and chocolatey. Even better, though, this chocolate cake is also egg-free, dairy-free, oil-free, and gluten-free!
Why Add Avocado to this Healthy Chocolate Cake?
Baking with avocado certainly isn’t new and actually makes perfect sense. Avocados contain high levels of heart-healthy fats, have a rich flavor, and smooth and creamy consistency. That makes them an excellent replacement for unhealthier fats like butter (or even shortening). In addition, in some cases, avocado can substitute with other dairy and even as an egg replacement.
Unlike many oils and butter, avocados are also packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants – for more nourishing calories. However, the results are wonderful –slightly lighter than regular chocolate cake, while still wonderfully fudgy. Best of all, you can’t even tell it’s there!
After eating this decadent dairy-free chocolate cake, If you’re in the mood for more vegan chocolate treats, you might also like these delicious vegan chocolate muffins, creamy chocolate pie, double chocolate chip fudge cookies, or two-ingredient condensed milk truffles!
Vegan Chocolate Cake Ingredients
The Dry Ingredients
- Flour: I used a homemade gluten-free flour blend with rice flour, oat flour, and cornstarch (exact amounts in the recipe card). However, you could use a store-bought 1:1 GF flour blend or all-purpose flour.
- Sugar: I used organic cane sugar; however, any granulated sugar is fine. Use coconut sugar for an unrefined sugar version. You may also be able to use date paste (for a sugar-free chocolate cake), though I haven’t tried.
- Vegan chocolate: I used unsweetened, high-quality vegan chocolate.
- Cocoa powder: You can use unsweetened cacao or cocoa powder (I used Dutch-processed).
- Leavening agents: This gluten-free chocolate cake uses baking powder AND baking soda to provide lift and texture.
- Salt: Salt will enhance and add depth to the cocoa flavor.
- Ground coffee: Optional, but a little coffee will help to enhance the chocolate flavor even further in the avocado chocolate cake.
The Wet Ingredients
- Chia Eggs: To replace eggs in this vegan chocolate cake. You may alternatively be able to use flax eggs, though I haven’t tried.
- Avocado: Rice, soft avocados will work best. Please don’t use under-ripe avocados, as they won’t blend creamy enough.
- Coconut milk: Use canned full-fat coconut milk (not carton coconut milk). If you use any other vegan milk lower in fat, you’ll need to add 2-3 tablespoons of neutral oil to the dairy-free chocolate cake.
- Vanilla extract: Use natural vanilla for the best flavor.
Chocolate ganache (optional)
- Nut butter: Use the nut butter of your choice (almond, cashew, peanut, etc.) or seed butter for a nut-free alternative (like sunflower seed butter)
- Dairy-free chocolate
Optional add-ins and recipe variations
- Mocha: we’re already adding a little coffee (optional) to the avocado cake to enhance the chocolate flavor. However, if you want to go one step further, you can increase the amount (use espresso powder for a stronger flavor). You could also add some ground coffee/espresso powder to the ganache.
- Orange zest: For a subtle chocolate orange flavor, add orange zest to the avocado cake batter.
- Frosting: If you want to add a creamy frosting to the avocado cake, you can combine avocado with cocoa powder and maple syrup to the desired texture/flavor (chill for 20-30 minutes to thicken up before using). Alternatively, you could make the sweet potato frosting used here or even peanut butter frosting.
- Toppings: There are several toppings you could add to the vegan chocolate cake, including shaved chocolate, dusted cacao powder, fresh berries, crushed nuts, shredded coconut, etc.
Please read the recipe card below for the full ingredients list, measurements, complete recipe method, and nutritional information.
How to Make Avocado Chocolate Cake
- First, prepare the chia eggs by combining two tablespoons of ground chia seeds with ¼ cup water, mixing well, then set aside.
- Next, add all the dry ingredients to a large bowl. Then, preheat the oven to 360F/180C, line the bottom of a 7-inch (18 cm) round springform pan with parchment paper, and grease the sides with a little oil.
- Add all the wet ingredients (minus the chia eggs) to a food processor and process until smooth. Then add the chia eggs and pulse just three times to combine.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ones and stir with a spatula until just combined. Be careful not to overmix.
There may be some lumps still in the batter, but don’t worry – this is normal.
- Then, transfer the vegan chocolate cake batter to the springform and bake for around 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Then move to a cooling rack and allow to cool.
- To prepare the ganache, combine the chocolate and nut butter over a double boiler (a medium heat-proof bowl placed over a pan with simmering water. Don’t let the water touch the bottom of the bowl). Stir occasionally until it’s melted. Then pour the ganache over the avocado cake. Finally, allow it to chill in the fridge for 25-30 minutes, then slice and enjoy!
You can enjoy a slice of this chocolate cake alone, with a cup of coffee/tea, or enjoy it as a dessert (warm or not) with a scoop of ice cream or vegan custard.
How to Make Ahead and Store
Make ahead: You can prepare the cake batter up to a day in advance (minus the leavening agents) and store, covered, in the fridge. Then, before baking, allow it to rest at room temperature for 10-15 minutes, stir in the leavening agents, pour it into the springform, and bake.
Store: Once baked and topped, you can store the gluten-free chocolate cake at room temperature for a couple of days or in the refrigerator for 5-7 days.
Freeze: You can also freeze the baked cake. I recommend slicing and separating the pieces to freeze until solid. Then transfer to a freezer-safe container and store for up to 4 months. When you want a slice, remove it, and allow it to thaw in the fridge or at room temperature.
Recipe Notes and FAQs
- Adapt to cupcakes: Divide the mixture between a greased muffin tin and bake for around 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Use ripe avocados: Baking with avocado is simple, as long as you’re using creamy, soft avocados that will blend easily!
- Make sure to allow the cake to cool: Gluten-free bakes have a reputation for remaining crumbly until well cooled, and this gluten-free chocolate cake is no different. So don’t be tempted to slice it before it cooled (in case you make the gluten-free version).
- Don’t forget to line the pan: This recipe can (and likely will) stick to your pan if it isn’t lined.
- For a sandwich cake: Feel free to double the recipe and bake it in two pans. Then fill with a chocolate frosting and/or layer of fruit jam (cherry, raspberry, and blackberry work particularly well with this healthy chocolate cake).
- Can you taste the avocado? No – you shouldn’t be able to tell it’s there at all. If using an avocado frosting, it can taste slightly avocado-ey for the first few hours. But then the flavors will blend and develop, and you won’t be able to tell.
More Vegan Baked Goods
- Puff Pastry Danish
- Pineapple Bread
- Blueberry Galette
- Vegan Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
- Poppyseed Yeast Rolls
- Vegan Blueberry Muffins
If you try this avocado chocolate cake recipe, I’d love a comment and ★★★★★ recipe rating below. Also, please don’t forget to tag me in re-creations on Instagram or Facebook with @elavegan and #elavegan – I love seeing them.
Avocado Chocolate Cake
- 2 chia eggs (2 tbsp ground chia seeds + 1/4 cup water)
- 1 (150 g) avocado (weight without skin and seed)
- 1/2 cup (120 g) canned coconut milk (see notes)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
Chocolate ganache (optional)
- 3 tbsp (50 g) nut butter of choice (see notes)
- 1.7 oz (50 g) dairy-free chocolate
- You can watch the video in the post for visual instructions.Make the chia eggs by combining 2 tbsp ground chia seeds and 1/4 cup (60 ml) of water in a small bowl, then set aside.
- Add all dry ingredients to a large bowl. Preheat the oven to 360 F (180 C), line the bottom of a 7-inch (18 cm) springform with parchment paper and grease the inside with a little oil.
- Process the wet ingredients (avocado, coconut milk, vanilla extract) in a food processor until smooth. Add the chia egg mixture and pulse three times.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl of dry ingredients and stir with a spatula until just combined, don't overmix.
- Transfer the cake batter into the springform and bake in the oven for about 35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool, then optionally make the chocolate ganache.
- Combine the chocolate and nut butter in a medium bowl and place it over a saucepan filled with hot/boiling water. Let it melt, stirring occasionally. Pour the ganache over the chocolate cake and chill it in the fridge for about 25-30 minutes. Slice and enjoy!
- I used the following gluten-free flour blend: 1/2 cup (75 g) rice flour + 1 cup (90 g) oat flour + 2 tbsp (15 g) cornstarch. You can, however, use 1 1/2 cups (180 grams) of all-purpose flour instead, or use a store-bought 1:1 GF flour blend.
- Sugar: Any granulated sweetener is fine, you can also use regular organic sugar or try Erythritol for a sugar-free version.
- Milk: I used canned coconut milk because it's higher in fat. If you use any other (low-fat) milk, I recommend replacing 2-3 tablespoons with a neutral oil.
- The nutrition facts include the chocolate ganache and were calculated for the gluten-free version (my flour blend) using unsweetened chocolate.
Nutrition information is an estimate and has been calculated automatically