I was still caught up in the amazing California citrus season when the strawberries began to show up at the Farmers Market. It started with one or two vendors offering a few containers. Now, they are everywhere – organic, conventional, big, small, full flats, or small pint baskets – you can get just about anything you want.
I’ll admit they aren’t quite as tasty, or as rewarding, as the buckets we used to pick from our own garden, but they will certainly do. I’ve been buying loads, eating some and freezing others to use in my oatmeal when the season is over.
With ataulfo mango season falling at the same time as the strawberries here, and with easy access to avocados, I felt compelled to combine all three.
I also can’t seem to get over the desire to play with avocados as a substitute for butter in my baked goods. First it was the Avocado Pound Cake with Blood Orange Glaze, and now cupcakes.
These cupcakes are soft and fruity, and the frosting? I think I may be making my frosting with avocado from here on out. I’ll admit, I tried it with just avocado and it was a little too green-tasting (for lack of a better term). The addition of strawberry puree did the trick. It sweetened it up and balanced the flavor of the avocado.
These don’t keep long. I’d suggest baking them just before you will need them, cool, frost and eat soon after. If you don’t plan to finish them off, keep unfrosted cupcakes in the refrigerator for only a day or two. The oils from the avocado tend to surface as they sit for over a day.
½ cup mashed avocado (about 1 Hass avocado)
1 cup raw sugar
½ cup pureed strawberries
½ cup pureed mango
1 tsp vanilla
3 ½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 ¼ cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
2 tbsp mashed avocado
5 ¼ cups powdered (confectioner’s) sugar
½ tsp vanilla
1 tbsp milk
½ tbsp fresh lime juice
2 tbsp pureed strawberry
Pinch of salt
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place cupcake liners in a 12-cupcake baking pan. Spray the liners with olive oil or non-stick cooking spray.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the avocado, eggs and sugar until blended, 60 to 90 seconds, scraping the bowl as needed. Add the strawberry and mango purees, mix just until all ingredients are combined. Add the vanilla.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the baking powder, salt and flour. Add the dry ingredients (a little at a time) to the wet ingredients, stirring gently, just until everything is combined.
Transfer the batter to the cupcake tins, filling each liner with an equal amount.
Bake 15 to 17 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcakes comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool.
For the frosting, add the avocado and powdered sugar to the bowl of a mixer. Using the whisk attachment, mix on medium-high until the two are combined to create a very thick paste.
With the mixer on low, add the milk, lime juice and strawberry puree. Continue to mix until all ingredients come together to form a spreadable frosting. Mix in the salt.
Use a small cookie dough or ice cream scoop to top each cupcake with about 1 tablespoon of frosting. Serve immediately. Makes 12 cupcakes.