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When registered dietitian and nutritionist Cynthia Sass put together a list of avocado benefits as a baking substitution, I knew I had to try it. She recommended substituting half a tablespoon of avocado for 1 tablespoon of butter. Also Read - Easy Vegetable Pasta Recipe: With These Easy Steps, You Can Make This Mouth Watering Dish at Home
According to Health.com, avocado is the mother of all superfoods, a fruit (more specifically, a berry) that is packed with 20 different vitamins and minerals. It’s loaded with monounsaturated fats, which are the ones that help reduce LDL cholesterol levels in your blood. The American Heart Association cites avocado’s ability to help lower your risk of heart disease and stroke. Also Read - Crispy Fried Chicken Recipe: Check Out The Easy Steps on How to Make This Crunchy Non-Vegetarian Dish
Armed and ready with three mashed avocados, I was ready for the three-recipe bake-off and taste test to begin.
The Texture Test: Nutella Cupcakes
This is my ultimate guilty pleasure treat: nothing instantly satisfies my sweet tooth like this dense yellow cake and gooey chocolate-hazelnut filling. The cupcake is an amazing balance between rich, nutty decadence and crumbly cake texture.
There are no bells or whistles here—Nutella is the real star of this cupcake. The batter needs to have the perfect texture to be able to swirl in the Nutella. With my avocado skepticism aside, I put 4 heaping tablespoons of avocado in a bowl and hoped for the best.
Babble’s Self-frosting Nutella Cupcake
- 4 tbsp. of butter
- 1/4 cup canola or mild vegetable oil
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4-1/2 cup Nutella, at room temperature
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
In a medium bowl, beat the butter, oil and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until smooth.
In a small bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and salt; add to the butter mixture and beat on low speed just until combined. The batter will be thick. It needs to be in order to swirl in the Nutella!
Divide the batter between 12 paper-lined muffin cups. Drop a spoonful of Nutella on top of each and swirl through the batter with the tip of a bamboo skewer, knife or other pointy object. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until springy to the touch. Tilt them in the pan to help them cool. Makes a dozen cupcakes.
Prepare to exercise serious self-control when making this recipe. You will inexplicably be covered in Nutella and you will be prepared to lick it off. Just try to keep it sanitary, okay?
With the avocado substitution, the cupcakes cooked faster and took just 15 minutes compared to the usual 25 minutes. Not sure if this is just a coincidence or if there’s some unexplained Bill Nye science happening here. We will have to do some more investigating.
The batter still had the thick texture necessary to swirl the Nutella. Out of the oven though, the cupcakes were more moist than usual, which was a pleasant surprise.
There was no difference in taste, all in all the cupcakes came out better with avocados in the mix.
The Taste Test: Chocolate Chip Cookies
This easy chocolate chip cookie recipe is my go-to during the holiday season. It has a slight crunch on the outside and is extra melty on the inside with tons of chocolate chips.
During the holidays, most of the contents in my refrigerator contain butter or are made with butter, so I am game for anything that could cut down the use of butter.
This recipe only calls for the basics–no extra spices or flavors to complicate this classic. That being said, butter is a major ingredient in the recipe, enhancing the taste and acting as a natural leavening agent.
Food Network Kitchen’s Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 (12-ounce) bag semisweet chocolate chips, or chunks
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon fine salt
Evenly position two racks in the middle of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Use parchment paper or silicone sheets to line two baking sheets. If you only have 1 baking sheet, let it cool completely between batches.
Put the butter in a microwave safe bowl, then cover the bowl and microwave on medium until the butter is completely melted. Alternatively, you could also melt in a small saucepan. Cool slightly.
Whisk the sugars, eggs, butter and vanilla in a large bowl until smooth.
Whisk the flour, baking soda and salt in another bowl. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients with a wooden spoon (take care not to over mix). Stir in the chocolate chips or chunks.
Scoop heaping tablespoons of the dough onto the prepared pans. Wet hands slightly and roll the dough into balls. Space the cookies 2 inches apart on the pans. Bake for 12-16 minutes and remove the cookies from the oven when they are golden but still soft in the center. Transfer hot cookies with a spatula to a rack to cool. Serve.
Store cookies in a tightly sealed container for up to 5 days.
The cookies also cooked in less time than the recipe called for, reaching golden-brown perfection in 8 minutes. Make sure to keep an eye out on the cookies while they bake (mine were a little burnt on the bottoms).
The overall taste of the cookie was the same. The texture was a little different than usual and the cookies were lacking a melted buttery center, but the exterior was crunchy.
I would give this substitution another chance, but it definitely needs some work on the correct amount to substitute.
The Lazy Baker Test: Duncan Hines Brownies
Sometimes you have an inexplicable, undeniable craving for chocolate. These are the times that no Nutella cupcake, chocolate chip cookie or measly chocolate bar can suffice. These are also the times that you are so stricken with hunger that you cannot bear to follow a recipe. I call it the Snickers Hunger Effect.
When this happens, I head to my corner store and pick up a package of brownie mix: it is definitely that bad.
In these moments of desperation, I pick up the first available brownie mix: Duncan Hines Dark Chocolate Fudge brownie mix. Sounds reputable.
The box didn’t call for butter, so I substituted 3 tablespoons of mashed avocados for oil.
Surprisingly tasty! Mixing the avocado into the batter thoroughly proved to be a challenge, but it was worth it for the fudgey consistency. It was the perfect lazy baking treat with one healthy mix in. The craving was fulfilled, and I would definitely swap oil for avocado for future desperate times.
Tried out any good avocado baking recipes? Share them in the comments below.