California Avocado Cupcakes with Key Lime Buttercream Frosting

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Total Time: 25 min

Cook Time:

With the addition of Fresh California Avocados, these moist, light buttermilk cupcakes are a great alternative to traditional cupcakes. The avocado in the Key Lime Buttercream recipe not only replaces some of the butter with good fat, it also makes for an amazingly creamy texture that is wonderful for decorating.

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Serves: 18

2 1/4 cups sifted cake flour (sifted before measuring) 1 tsp. baking powder 1 tsp. baking soda 1/2 tsp. salt 2 Tbsp. butter, at room temperature 1 ipe, Fresh California Avocado, seeded, peeled, and pureed till smooth with a food processor or blender (do not simply mash) 1 cup sugar 1 tsp. vanilla extract 2 large eggs 1 cup low-fat buttermilk As needed Key Lime Buttercream Frosting (recipe follows) Key Lime Buttercream Frosting 3 cups confectioner’s sugar 1/2 ripe, Fresh California Avocados, seeded and peeled 2 oz. butter, at room temperature 2 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature 1 lime, zest only, very finely zested 2 Tbsp. key lime juice (If key limes are unavailable regular fresh lime juice will work fine) 1 Tbsp. milk, or more as needed 1 tsp. vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Line cupcake pans with 18 paper liners. If you are using the standard 12-cup pans you will have 6 unlined cups. Set aside.
  3. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the pureed avocado with the sugar until completely combined. Beat in vanilla. Beat in eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. With the mixer on low speed, beat in all of the buttermilk until just combined. Add the flour mixture in 3 additions, mixing each addition until just combined. Once all flour is incorporated, increase mixing speed to medium and beat for 20 seconds longer. Be careful to not over mix.
  5. Divide batter among the prepared cupcake liners. Bake until golden on top and a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, about 18-20 minutes.  Cool cupcakes in pans on racks for 10 minutes then remove from pans and cool completely before frosting.

Key Lime Buttercream Frosting:

  1. While the cupcakes are cooling, prepare the buttercream.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, with speed set on medium high, cream butter with avocado, cream cheese and lime zest for 3 minutes, stopping several times to scrape the sides of the bowl. (Beating for this length of time is important to ensure a very creamy icing.)
  3. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add confectioner’s sugar. Once all the confectioner’s sugar is incorporated, add lime juice and mix well. Add vanilla and then milk, a few drops at a time until frosting is soft and fluffy. Increase speed to medium high and beat for another 5 minutes. If frosting is too thin add a little more confectioner’s sugar, if too thick add a little more milk. Add food coloring, if desired.
  4. Frost cupcakes with a knife or a decorating bag. Any extra frosting can be stored in refrigerator for up to a week. Store in an airtight container. Bring to room temperature before using.

Serving Suggestion: For the cupcakes pictured, a decorating bag and a 2D Wilton tip (also called a large drop flower tip) was used to swirl the buttercream onto the cupcakes. Add candy decorations if desired.

*Large avocados are recommended for this recipe. A large avocado averages about 8 ounces. If using smaller or larger size avocados adjust the quantity accordingly.

Did You Know?

In addition to using avocados in baking as a smart substitution for butter and shortening, California Avocados are wonderful in other desserts like avocado pie, avocado mousse and avocado ice cream.

As with all fruits and vegetables, wash avocados before cutting. Check out our tips for how to choose and use California Avocados


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