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Avocado cake with Lifou vanilla and lemon zest

June 21, 2012

I have to start by saying that even though this cake sounds weird, it is truly delicious. Just ask Andy, Lærke and my mom who helped me eat (all of) this cake on one sunny afternoon in Bornholm. It is sort of like banana bread, but with avocado instead of banana and with a beautiful, pale green color and subtle taste of avocado.

The idea for this cake was literally brought to me one morning in Lifou, when my sweet neighbor Odile left a plate for me on the kitchen table while I was showering.

It was avocado cake, beautifully green, very spongy and not sweet at all. While it was very delicious as it was, I was excited to develop the cake further by adding lots of vanilla and lemon zest. Also I wanted to make it a bit sweeter and less dense. So a few days ago when I found some ripe avocados, I decided to go for it, and I am so happy I did. It came out just like I had imagined, and Andy is already asking me to make it again. Success!

Before I give you the recipe, I want to tell you why I was so keen on adding lots of vanilla to this cake. My other neighbor in Lifou, Vaie grows her own vanilla. Most people do in Lifou, and it gave me a much more intimate relationship with the vanilla bean, seeing how it grows and what care is put into each bean. I brought home lots of vanilla, for myself and for my friends and family, and I used a beautiful one for this recipe. So this cake really became the taste of Lifou for me. The mix of avocados (which I ate from the garden almost every day) and vanilla, is like a picture of the produce that grew right around me, and I was very happy to put them together in this cake.

What you need

150 g./5,5 oz. soft butter

190 g./6,5 oz. sugar

1 vanilla bean

3 eggs

The zest of one lemon

A pinch of salt

150 g./5,5 oz. flour

1 teaspoon baking soda (natron)

1 teaspoon baking powder

3 ripe avocados (I used hass)


How to

Turn the oven to 180C/350F. Beat the soft butter with the sugar, the seeds from the vanilla pod and finely grated lemon zest until white. Add one egg at a time while beating. Add the flour, salt, baking powder and soda and mix until combined. Open up the avocados and mash them up in a bowl until pretty smooth. Add them to the batter and make sure it is thoroughly mixed. Grease a loaf tin and dump the batter in it. Bake it in the middle of the oven for 30 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean. If it takes color too quickly, cover it with some silver foil until it is done. Let it cool before eating, and have it with your afternoon coffee, preferably in the sun.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. June 21, 2012 12:44 pm

    This sounds delicious and how lovely to have your own vanilla…it’s one of my most used spices in baking but sadly I don’t think that I’ll ever be able to grow it here in England…

    Great colour too…I love the idea of unusual ingredients like beetroot in chocolate cake and courgettes in muffins…lovely…

    I love following your blog too…

    Happy cooking

    • June 25, 2012 2:35 pm

      Thank you so much for your nice words, Debby! Vanilla truly is wonderful, and I have fallen even more in love with it after staying in Lifou. I don’t think it could be done in England either (or Denmark for that matter), but I guess we are just lucky that we can buy really nice vanilla in the stores. Have a great summer!

  2. ihatechicken permalink
    November 27, 2012 4:28 am

    Hi Kristina, great blog by the way and this cake just looks heavenly. I just want to ask, did you use cake flour or all purpose flour in this recipe? Also, I’m planning to use pure vanilla extract rather than a vanilla pod. How much extract should I use to make this cake?

    Thanks and looking forward for more recipes.

    • November 27, 2012 9:48 am

      Hi. Thank you for the nice comment! Here in Denmark we don’t really use cake flour, so I would just use all purpose flour for the cake. I never use vanilla extract so I am not really sure how much to use. Maybe 1 tablespoon? It should have a pretty strong vanilla flavour. Good luck! Best, Kristina


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