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Despite our hot and humid weather, I recently found myself in the mood to bake.  I had about a quarter of a bag of cherries in the fridge and I knew I wanted to incorporate them into some kind of cake.  I was thinking about making something with cherries and cream cheese, like cherry cheesecake cupcakes or cherry and cheese Danishes.  Fate had other plans for me though.  My visions of cherries and cheese were quickly altered when I opened the fridge to take out the cherries.  There in the back of the fridge was a lonely (and kind-of sorry-looking) avocado.
Now, there are plenty of things you can do with an over-ripe avocado (like guacamole or a smoothie for starters) without incorporating it into cake.  But that’s no fun.  I wanted to make something fun and out of the ordinary.  So cake it was.  (Plus I’ve been dying to make avocado cake ever since I saw it on Lorraine’s lovely blog!)  My next question was how to incorporate both avocado and cherries into the same cake so that someone would actually want to eat it (admittedly, it is a strange combination, no?).  I thought about making separate layers to keep the pretty red color from the cherries separate from the green avocado layer, and that’s when the idea of Spumone Cake came to me.
Spumone is an Italian ice cream with different flavored layers.  It usually has three layers:  chocolate, pistachio, as well as some kind of fruit.  For this cake, I started out using my basic recipe for classic yellow cake and then divided the batter into three different layers – chocolate, pistachio, and cherry.  I thought that adding avocado to the pistachio-flavored layer of the cake would be a great way to naturally dye the cake green and also keep it moist. 

I had high expectations for this cake and it was everything I had hoped it would be.  After being fully baked it retained a moist, almost pudding-like consistency because of the avocado.  This made it very rich, so be forewarned – a small piece is filling!  The chocolate layer had a deep chocolate flavor; it was dense and reminded me of a brownie.  The cherry layer was tinted with just a little almond extract to highlight the cherry flavor (cherries and almonds are a match made in heaven…which is why when you eat raw, unsalted almonds you may notice their slightly sweet, cherry flavor).  The pistachio layer did not taste like avocado at all; it was full of pistachio flavor and because it was the middle layer, it kept the rest of the cake moist.  There was definitely no need to frost this cake; I just sprinkled on a dusting of powdered sugar. 

I think I just may have to put myself in the position again where I have a couple of cups of cherries and an over-ripe avocado lying around in my fridge.  ;)

Spumone Pudding Cake

(Yield:  1 cake, about 8-10 servings)

1 1/2 c white sugar

3/4 c canola oil

3 eggs

3/4 c milk

2 c all-purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1 1/2 c cherries, pitted and quartered (plus a few more cherries for garnish if desired)

1 Haas avocado

2 tsp pistachio extract

1 tsp almond extract

6 oz semisweet chocolate

2 TB cocoa powder

Butter and flour (to prepare the cake pan)

Powdered sugar (optional, to garnish)

Springform pan

In a small saucepan over medium heat, cook the cherries until they are slightly softened and starting to look glossy (about 5 minutes).  Set aside to cool to room temperature; stir in the almond extract.

Melt the chocolate in the microwave or a double boiler; cool slightly.

Preheat the oven to 350F; butter and flour a springform pan.  Beat together the sugar and oil, then cream in the eggs until light and fluffy; stir in the milk.  In a separate bowl mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt.  Gradually beat the dry ingredients into the wet; stir until just combined, making sure not to over-mix.  Divide the batter equally into 3 separate bowls.

Mash the avocado; stir in the pistachio extract.

To bowl #1, stir in the avocado/pistachio extract mixture.  To bowl #2, stir in the cherry/almond extract mixture.  To bowl #3, stir in the melted chocolate and cocoa powder.

Pour the chocolate batter into the springform pan and spread out in an even layer; pour the pistachio batter on top of the chocolate batter and spread out; lastly, pour the cherry batter on top of the pistachio batter and spread out.  Bake 45-55 minutes, until golden on top and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean or with just a couple crumbs. 

Cool completely, then dust with powdered sugar and a few cherries if desired.  Keep refrigerated.

Faith, author of An Edible Mosaic.
About Faith

I’m the writer, recipe developer, photographer, and food stylist behind this blog. I love finding the human connection through something we all do every day: eat! Food is a common ground that we can all relate to, and our tables tell a story. It’s my goal to inspire you to get in the kitchen, try something new, and find a favorite you didn’t know you had.

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  1. Wow! What a beautiful looking cake and so interesting using avocado. Nicely done!

  2. I agree with Michelle that is an interesting sounding cake. Still looks pretty good though.

  3. See, this is why I love the world of food blogs. I hear about all sorts of different foods I’dve never known of. Spumone is my latest example!

    Your cake is so beautiful and creative. Great job!

  4. Three layers for triple deliciousness! I can’t say that avocado would leap to mind immediately as a cake ingredient. But I bet that as with potato or zucchini, it adds wonderful moistness.

  5. I love how you named your cake! Very fitting. And the use of avocado combined with cherries is so tasteful; I had a Brazilian friend who told me that in Brazil it is eaten as a dessert so using it in a cake is not a stretch if you are from that neck of the woods!

  6. I baked an avocado cake myself before, and it was awesome. It had 3 whole avocados in it. But I LOVE how you blended two different kinds of cake…and the green hidden in there is so sensuous!

  7. What a special cake! It looks delicious and I’m sure it is tasty as well. I hope you are having a great day. Blessings…Mary

  8. Oh my goodness, that cake looks delicious. I never thought about using avocado in a cake. The picture is beautiful, too. Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment. I didn’t even think the comments were working. Glad you were able to leave one! I will be back to read again:)

  9. What a creative way to use up what you had on hand. I’ve been curious about using avocado in sweet baking as well and this is the most appealing recipe I’ve seen yet!

  10. This is so intriguing Faith! I am so curious as to what it tastes like…sweet + savory are always such a good combination.

    Your creativity really amazes me!

    PS – today is day 10 of Ramadan so we are almost 1/3 finished. Yay!

  11. Gorgeous and interesting flavor in a cake…never thought of adding avocados in cakes.

  12. I wish I were half as creative as you! I want to make this not only because it looks and sounds fabulous, but I think avocado makes things creamier and more delicious with the fat! YUM!

  13. Faith…just because you made this and also because I’m intrigued about the avocado…I shall have to make this very cake soon. The piece presentation is so alluringly interesting ;o)

    Ciao for now and flavourful wishes,

  14. Faith, this is one of the most creative cake recipes I have ever seen. It is so pretty too, love the green. I bet the texture & flavors are amazing. I have never had avocado in a cake, but I would love it. Beautiful photos! xo

  15. delightful! i proudly state that i’ll try anything involving avocados, and that’d be no struggle here. this cake is awesome, faith–bravo, bravo, and bravo!

  16. 5 Star Foodie says:

    A very unique cake, it sounds just wonderful with the three delicious layers, and a great idea to add the avocado into the pistachio layer!

  17. Wow! What a gorgeous cake! I love That last shot. The colors are so pretty. I would love to try this!

  18. BEAUTIFUL cake!! I love that you added avocado into the mix. :-) I’m collecting healthier recipes for my Mums, and this is perfect. :-)

  19. Wow! That looks wonderful. I am impressed by your creativity:)

  20. I wish that I had one zillionth of your creativity and talent! Your spumoni pudding cake looks incredible. Avocado – who knew?!

  21. Oh WOW! Loved the first pic of the cake already, then when I saw the last one with all the layers and the colour contrasts, I was just swooning. Am really jealous about the cherries, btw… when is summer coming to us?! :)

  22. Avocado … in cake?? Faith, you are a clever girl! Your Spumone Pudding cake is beautiful with its three layers, and I know that it has to be delicious. Hmm, wonder how I can wrangle an avocado into our shopping cart next week … :)

  23. On my list to make is a dessert with avocado! This looks so interesting. Love all of the flavors.

  24. That’s certainly something I would never have imagined but it looks so good! Very creative!

  25. Wow, this looks delightful. This post proves that avocado can be used in cake successfully. Awesome.

  26. I love how the idea for this came about – genius! The cake looks amazing! I think it would be cute to serve it with scoop of spumoni ice cream.

  27. That’s very creative and the cake looks really moist. Must be tasty too.

    BTW, thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment :)

  28. You are unbelievable. Who else would have come up with such a remarkable idea? This is such a pretty cake and to think it all started with an avocado.

  29. In live in an old avocado grove, and am always on the look out for new and unusual recipes using avocados. I’ve made cupcakes and ice cream and your cake will be nice to try.

  30. How creative!!! This sounds and looks absolutely fabulous, Faith!

  31. Such an unusual combination! I have never thought of that. It must be very unique in taste.

  32. What a cool idea! I never would have thought to incorporate both ingredients into the same dish… especially a cake!!

  33. I must say, I was suspicious that avocado would work in a cake. Even though I love chocolate cakes with beets, tomatoes and bananas (separately!) as they all add moisture without fat, avocados??? Well if anyone could do it, you could. I often have lonely avocados and always have chocolate… time to give the unusual a try!

  34. Oh Faith, this is absolutely decadent! I love the way you think…always so creative. I love the idea of avocado in baked goods. you should check out Joy the Baker’s avocado pound cake…healthy and delicious!

  35. That’s a beautiful pudding. Love the colour combination. Must be very delicious. I love avocado. I just had one yesterday made into a drink with coffee….yum.

  36. Great idea using up the avocado this way, I adore multi layered taste sensations in cakes too.

  37. I love the layers in this- they look so moist and delicious with those cherries and the avocado. You have such great ideas- thanks!

  38. Heavenly Housewife says:

    HOw completely fabulous that you incorporated your lonely avocado, and may I say, he looks fabulous in that cake, what a beautiful shot of green colour.
    *kisses* HH

  39. Faith,

    Avocado in pudding. I haven’t tried yet. Looks delicious. I also come up with ways to use the fruits in refrigerator.

  40. What an interesting concept, avocado in a cake! It looks utterly delicious and picturesque!

  41. Veronica M. says:

    Very creative–I love it!! Spamone cake–who’da thunk it?!

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