Baking with Avocado: Cranberry Orange Muffins
It has been a year since I have been able to bake with eggs and butter and as much as I have enjoyed developing and experimenting with egg and dairy free recipes, I will admit that it is frustrating at times. Finding substitutes, especially for eggs, has proven to be a continuous challenge as I can also not have store bought egg replacers, flax seeds, tofu, potato, or yogurt… all of which are commonly recommended egg substitutes. I have been able to use grass fed gelatin with some success, but I have recently found a good bit of success in an unlikely source… the avocado.
Avocados are amazing for dairy-free baking and cooking of all sorts, because it provides a lot of healthy fat and a great creamy texture without a strong taste of its own. I have tried avocados as a base for chocolate mousse and even ice cream but up until this recipe I had never tried them in baked goods.
Here is what my research and experimentation taught me:
When baking with avocados as a substitute for butter, you can assume a one to one ratio, subbing 1 cup of avocado for 1 cup of butter for example.
When baking with avocados as a substitute for eggs, you may need to use anywhere from 2 TBS to 1/4 cup of mashed avocado per egg (depending on how much moisture you need and what flour you are using)
Baking with avocados causes your baked goods to brown more easily and puff up more quickly, even if they are not actually cooked through. This will result in your delicious treat caving in and becoming a wet mess (I say this from experience). To combat this, reduce your oven temperature by 25% and increase your baking time.
Finally, keeping mind that the avocado will turn light colored baked goods light green. If this is appropriate, then they will look fantastic. If you want to avoid this, consider adding in brown spices, chocolate or some other ingredient with a dark color to mask the green color.
I think that using avocado as a replacement could be especially helpful in recipes using coconut flour, as the recipe below does, because the avocado is very wet making it a great pairing with this highly absorbent flour.
All of this being said, I would recommend only using avocado in place of one to two eggs. I doubt it will perform as well in a recipe that calls for a large quantity of eggs, however as a binder or a wetting agent it is right on par!
The recipe below is one that has filled my heart with a lot of joy. Growing up, my mother made cranberry orange bread every Christmas as a treat for us and as a gift for our friends and neighbors. I looked forward to it all year long and I have really missed being able to enjoy it these past few years. The flavors of these muffins caused all of those happy holiday memories to come flooding back and I hope it will bring you all just as much joy this Christmas season!
(Makes 12 Muffins)
1 Ripe Avocado
1 Cup of Maple Syrup
1/3 Cup of Melted Coconut Oil
2 tsp Vanilla Extract
¾ Cup of Fresh Orange Juice
¾ Cup of Coconut Flour
1 tsp of Baking Soda
½ tsp of Cream of Tartar
½ tsp of Sea Salt
1 ½ Cups of Fresh Whole Cranberries
2 tsp Grated Orange Peel
½ tsp Ground Cinnamon
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a blender or food processor combine your avocado, maple syrup, coconut oil, vanilla extract and orange juice. Blend until completely combined. In a large bowl, mix together your coconut flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, sea salt, cranberries, orange peel, and cinnamon. Pour your wet ingredients into your dry ingredients and mix completely until a thick dough forms. Grease your muffin tins or line them with paper liners. Fill each muffin cup about three quarters of the way full. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean and the muffins are firm and not too wet. Allow them to cool completely before serving, store covered in the refrigerator.
Baking with Avocado: Cranberry Orange Muffins (AIP, Paleo)
- 1 Ripe Avocado
- 1 Cup of Maple Syrup
- 1/3 Cup of Melted Coconut Oil
- 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
- ¾ Cup of Fresh Orange Juice
- ¾ Cup of Coconut Flour
- 1 tsp of Baking Soda
- ½ tsp of Cream of Tartar
- ½ tsp of Sea Salt
- 1 ½ Cups of Fresh Whole Cranberries
- 2 tsp Grated Orange Peel
- ½ tsp Ground Cinnamon
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a blender or food processor combine your avocado, maple syrup, coconut oil, vanilla extract and orange juice. Blend until completely combined. In a large bowl, mix together your coconut flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, sea salt, cranberries, orange peel, and cinnamon.
Pour your wet ingredients into your dry ingredients and mix completely until a thick dough forms. Grease your muffin tins or line them with paper liners. Fill each muffin cup about three quarters of the way full. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean and the muffins are firm and not too wet. Allow them to cool completely before serving, store covered in the refrigerator.
Mine came out totally wet – more like a pudding than a bread. I followed the recipe to a tee, so I’m not sure what went wrong. I figured I could eat it as a pudding, but it was cloyingly sweet. I’m new to AIP-type diets and don’t know enough about the various ingredients to know what to tweak, but wish I did, as I love cranberry-orange.
Veronica L @ Sharktank says
These muffins are a real flavorful experience, bursting with that citrusy and sweet flavor these muffins won me over with the very first bite.
As the other comments, mine feel apart too! I questioned the recipe before baking due to the small amount of flour and lack of thickening agents. Most aip recipes need arrowroot starch or gelatin to firm up. The dough looks way too wet when cooked at the time listed…. extra cooking time didn’t help at all. Will not be making this again…. a shame given the great flavor.
Christine Mann says
My family has a Christmas tradition of Blueberry muffins after stockings and I made these for myself so I could partake. The flavor was great but it turned out to look more like a plate of dressing. Not sure what I did wrong. ?
The flavor on these is amazing & i love the avocado integration! Sadly, mine also have fallen apart otherwise I would have given 5 stars.
I’m so bummed! Good taste, but these wouldn’t stay together at all. Even after I cooled them.
Chrissa - Physical Kitchness says
Hi there! I featured this recipe on my healthy fall recipe round up today. Thanks for the great inspiration! http://physicalkitchness.com/healthy-paleo-fall-recipes/
I tried adding 1/4 cup applesauce when I made them Sunday afternoon. Still very crumbly. Hurts my teeth to have to eat them frozen, so that they don’t fall apart (and they’re still quite crumbly even then). Help?!
I give 4-5 stars for taste, but 2 for crumblies…
And why store in the fridge? Nothing in there will go bad on the counter? Or is it to help keep them together (ie the falling apart)? I couldn’t even easily get them out of the pan to store, without them falling apart. I had to be very careful and use a longer fork to help, but I did get the rest out of the pan. Our fridge is packed, but I’ll try to squeeze in there.
Samantha McClellan says
Yes it is to help keep them together. They firm up in the fridge whereas when they are warm they do get quite crumbly. Coconut oil solidifies when it is cold so putting them in the fridge allows that to happen which is what holds hem together.
I even put them in the freezer and they were crumbly. Grr… I’ve made them a 2nd time now. Really liking the flavor if I can just figure out what to add to keep them from being so crumbly…
Baked these yesterday. They’re delicious, but they fall apart and are a mess to eat! Any suggestions for next time? I did bake them much longer since they looked very wet after 30 mins. Thanks!
Mine also fell apart. I baked 30 min – didn’t look wet but are definitely crumbly. Taste is good though, so I’m willing to try again… I did blueberries and half a cup of maple syrup. Might even take that down to 1/3 cup maple syrup. Need more binder… I used a whole avocado (from Aldi). Maybe 1/2 cup applesauce? Anyone else care to chime in? I’d give it 5 stars if it didn’t fall apart!
Diane Cressy says
I am wondering what type of Avocado you used. I am used to eating Haas avocados and they are rather small compared to the Florida avocados I was gifted yesterday.. The FL ones are huge! They yield more than double the amount of avocado in a Haas. So how much avocado do I use?? I have a half of one I ate today and am thinking of making this recipe in the morning.. I think the 1/2 may be close to a cup of avocado… Wish me luck!
My avocado was an average Haas avocado if you are talking about one of those huge avocados I would say half should work ok.
These look so delicious and I’m so excited to try them!! I am planning to do some of my holiday baking ahead of time. Do you think it would be okay to freeze these? Or how long do you think they should last in the fridge? Thanks so much!
They will last about a week in the fridge. I am not sure how they will do in the freezer, but I assume they would probably do fine!
This recipe is awsome! Who would think of avocado while making muffins- so brilliant!!!Thanks for shering! it will change my Christmas xoxo
can the amount of maple syrup be reduced without affecting the texture too much?
Yes, it can probably be reduced slightly without too much of an issue
This use of avocado is original and innovative – and avocados contain “good” fats!
I like seeing a blog like this one where several aspects of natural living are being discussed. I see nutrition and hygiene as 2 of the 8 areas we should watch if we want to stay healthy the natural way. I wrote a report on this that is available for free here. I hope you will find it of value!