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Paleo Chocolate Avocado Layer Cake

Grain free, dairy free, and full of rich chocolate flavor!

Cranberry-Chipotle Steak Sauce

For the printable recipe PDF click here.


My friend Janice helms an amazing baking blog called Out of the Box Baking. She recently posted a round up of 42 of her best Southern desserts, which got me thinking: how fun would it be to use her post as inspiration to paleo-fy some of the greatest Southern desserts?

The monsters gave me a list of the ones they think I should prioritize, so we'll see how far down the list I can get!


For today, my inspo is The Best Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake (With Chocolate Mayonnaise Frosting). My first twist is that instead of mayo I'm subbing in another unusual cake ingredient: avocados!



I realize that there are paleo mayos out there, and maybe one day I'll go for the real thing, but this time I thought it would be fun to adapt Janice's recipe to keep up with the avocado craze. Part of the appeal of a mayo cake is convenience--the refrigerator staple stands in for both oil and eggs, and the cake batter is a cinch to mix up, no electric mixer, high speed blender, or food processor required. I happened to have some convenience-cups of pre-mashed avocado I wasn't enjoying on their own, and they worked perfectly in this recipe. True to the ease of the mayo cake, this chocolate avocado cake is one of the easiest cake recipes you will make.


This layer cake is full of chocolate flavor, complete with delicious chocolate avocado frosting. I do use an electric mixer for the frosting, just to make sure it is as smooth and fluffy as can be.


Between the batter and the frosting, I used 4 Wholly Avocado Smashed Minis, which are 1/4 cup each. If you opt not to use pre-mashed avocados, make sure to use ripe avocados so that they will mash very easily. You will need at least one large ripe avocado, but two is probably a better bet.



Lovely inside and out


If you're concerned about an overwhelming avocado flavor, don't fret. Avocados bring a pretty mild flavor and a whole lot of nutrition to the party, making this a relatively healthy cake compared to traditional chocolate cake recipes, even with all the added sugar. According to Harvard School of Public Health, avocados contain healthy fats (mostly monounsaturated like olive oil), dietary fiber, B vitamins, the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, Vitamin C, magnesium, folate, potassium, and more.

The avocado is the primary source of fat in the cake, along with a little bit from the eggs, almond flour, and either coconut milk or almond milk. This avocado chocolate cake recipe relies on coconut sugar to sweeten the cake and organic powdered sugar to sweeten the frosting. According to Peta, coconut sugar is superior to traditional beet or cane sugar because of its heart-healthy short-chain fatty acids, blood-sugar-balancing inulin fiber, and reduced sucrose content. While you could rely on maple syrup or another liquid sweetener in the frosting--which might be more paleo friendly--organic powdered sugar is processed in a relatively acceptable manner compared to traditional powdered sugar, and I feel like it's necessary to get the right texture.

The frosting gets its richness mostly from avocado, with just a tiny boost from palm shortening. I like palm shortening better than coconut oil here because the quicker-melting coconut oil tends to lend a wetter consistency. With the palm shortening, the frosting stays thicker without having to add so much powdered sugar. Without butter, eggs, dairy, or honey, the frosting recipe is perfectly vegan. Unfortunately, however, this is not a vegan chocolate cake, as there are eggs in the batter. That will have to be something to try another day!

As far as paleo cakes go, this is a simple recipe, perfect for your first time making a layer cake, but decadent enough for a special occasion. In fact, I know some monsters who want this rich cake to be their birthday cake from now on.



Here's what you'll need:

For the Cake:

  • 1 cup coconut sugar

  • 1 cup cassava flour

  • ½ cup almond flour

  • ½ cup potato starch

  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

  • ½ tsp fine sea salt

  • 2 tsp baking soda

  • ½ cup mashed avocado

  • 1 cup almond or coconut milk

  • 2 tsp lemon juice

  • 2 tsp instant coffee granules

  • 1 T vanilla extract

  • ¼ tsp almond extract

  • 2 eggs, room temperature

For the frosting:

  • ½ cup mashed avocado

  • 2 T palm shortening

  • ¼ tsp fine sea salt

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • ¼ tsp almond extract

  • ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 2 cups organic powdered sugar

  • 2 T almond or coconut milk


Here's what you'll do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, grease 3 (9-inch) round cake pans and line with parchment paper, just so that it fits the entire bottom of the pan, but not extending up the sides. The sides should be well-greased.

  2. In a small-medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (coconut sugar-baking soda). Set aside.

  3. In a large bowl, thoroughly whisk together the remaining cake ingredients.

  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk until smooth.

  5. Evenly divide the batter among the prepared cake pans. It should seem like there is “just enough” batter.

  6. Bake the three pans at 350 for 15 minutes, or just until the cake starts to pull away from the edges of the pan. Allow the cakes to cool completely.

  7. Meanwhile, beat the avocado and palm shortening for the frosting with an electric mixer. Beat in the salt, almond extract, and vanilla extract. Sift in the cocoa powder and powdered sugar–I like to press it through a fine mesh sieve. Beat on low speed to incorporate slowly, then increase speed to high and beat till very well incorporated, about 2 minutes.

  8. With the mixer on, slowly stream in the almond or coconut milk, beating till thick and fluffy.

  9. To assemble the cake, flip one layer out onto a cardboard cake round or serving platter. Top with one third of the frosting, spreading the frosting out evenly. Repeat with remaining layers and frosting. This cake is best served the day it is prepared. Leftovers should be stored in the fridge.


For the printable recipe, click here.



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Hey Y'all!

I'm the Monster Momma.

I'm a Christ-follower, wife, mother to five sweet paleo monsters, writer, and

paleo food fiend.

Join me and my family on our paleo journey!

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