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This (Allrecipes Chocolate Avocado Pudding) is a great recipe for Chocolate Avocado pudding, which I use as a frosting for cakes. So, sticking away from normal basics for frostings such as butter, what could I substitute for the avocado in this recipe?

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Ingredients

2 large avocados - peeled, pitted, and cubed
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup coconut milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 pinch ground cinnamon

Directions

Blend avocados, cocoa powder, brown sugar, coconut milk, vanilla extract, and cinnamon in a blender until smooth. Refrigerate pudding until chilled, about 30 minutes.

  • Ok, thanks - I work on a big screen so didn't appreciate the issue for other users - thanks for the heads up for future posts. – dougal 5.0.0 Apr 18 '17 at 6:14
  • Do I get the question right - you need something that makes up the bulk of the pudding / frosting and takes on the role of the avocado, but is not butter. What else would you consider "normal frosting basics" to avoid? – Stephie Apr 18 '17 at 6:16
  • Yup you got it right, what can I substitute for the avocado - assuming I am not using butter/margarine. Happy for any other suggestions. – dougal 5.0.0 Apr 18 '17 at 6:20
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    Are you trying to find something that's in some way like avocado (how?) or are you pretty much okay with anything else that'd also be a substitute for butter/margarine in a normal frosting recipe? – Cascabel Apr 18 '17 at 7:19
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That looks like a vegan recipe to me, so depending on your audience, you should stick to vegan ingredients... Therefore, a mix of:

  • cocoa butter (can be replaced by coconut fat if too expensive)
  • grapeseed oil or any cold-pressed natural oil (pumpkin, flaxseed, cannabis, ...)

would be best under the circumstances.

Why?

Pureed avocados contain about 18% oil with the rest being moisture and solids, so a mixture without any butter:

  • aligning with the goal of the current ingredients
  • enhancing the taste of the cocoa powder
  • having the same kind of texture in the final product,

leads me to believe that above mix can come extremely close to what you're trying to accomplish.

How?

Cocoa butter is a solid at room temperature, so you'll have to heat the cocoa butter to body temperature (the melting point being in between 34–38 °C), so I would start off with 30% melted cocoa butter and 70% grapeseed oil (at the same T°) and use that.

If your dessert becomes too solid, replace 10% of the cocoa butter with grapeseed oil and if the reverse, replace 10% more grapeseed oil by cocoa butter and keep refining your recipe until it's just perfect for you.

A comment with the outcome of your experiments with the exact vegetable oil and the % of cocoa/vegetable oil would be appreciated

  • Ah now that is all very interesting. I am not vegan and hadn't really thought about it being suitable for vegans, but it is a great path to go down as far as alternatives are concerned. – dougal 5.0.0 Apr 18 '17 at 8:46
  • I'm confused... why are you making the oil liquid? If it's replacing avocado, which is not a liquid, the goal should be something with a similar texture... slightly mushy. – Catija Apr 18 '17 at 16:15
  • @Catija I don't think it's about making it liquid, just about making it a soft solid. – Cascabel Apr 18 '17 at 16:15
  • @Catija: Cocoa butter is a solid, so needs liquefying before being solidified again in the fridge afterwards. – Fabby Apr 18 '17 at 20:31
  • Just to point out, unless you sub the 1/3C milk with a non-dairy alternative, such as almond milk, this isn't a vegan recipe. – user61524 Feb 10 '18 at 4:09
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Pretty much any solid fat will work here. Since you're replacing something that's not just fat, you might prefer to whip the fat to lighten it up a bit, no matter which you choose.

Since your recipe already has coconut milk, coconut oil seems like a really obvious choice - it's common in recipes like this, especially vegan/paleo ones that want to avoid butter. Beyond that, you've excluded butter/margarine, but that still leaves shortening and palm oil. Shortening is one of the standard ways to make frosting (so maybe that means you're not interested?), but palm oil is pretty common too. (Some people may not like palm oil flavor-wise, though.)

There's also cream cheese, which again adds some flavor, but people like it in frostings, and you can find plenty of actual recipes using it, rather than trying to substitute in this one.

Cocoa butter, as Fabby suggested, is also an option, though along with having to add oil to get it soft enough, it's also pretty expensive. It's also maybe not worth it: you'll be adding cocoa powder and sugar to it, so why not just use actual chocolate? You can always use a combination of regular and white chocolate, if you don't want too much chocolate, and again you can find plenty of recipes for this kind of thing. But if you do want to try cocoa butter despite that, note that you'll want to try to test it at a reasonable temperature: just barely melt it so that you can add oil and mix well, then take a bit and cool it to see if it's soft but solid at room temperature. Borrowing a trick from jam-making, putting a small amount on a cold plate is an easy way to test.

The other main common solid fats are animal fats - lard, (beef) tallow, and so on. They'd work too, if you liked the flavor.

I could see peanut butter (or other nut butter) also working, if you like the flavor. For the firm, processed kind, you could probably use it directly, but for the softer kinds, you might have to combine with a more solid fat to keep your frosting from getting too runny.

Also, since your recipe already has coconut milk, increasing or decreasing the amount is another good way to adjust the texture, just as with basic frosting recipes you often add milk until it's right.

In that same vein, you could probably use pureed/mashed fruit to adjust, and even provide a little bulk if your fat is firm enough. Banana might be an obvious choice, since it mashes smoothly and easily.

Finally, if you really want to avoid "normal" solid fats, you might want to look away from normal fat-based frosting and toward things like bavarian cream, thickened with gelatin instead of just fat. That's more of a different recipe than a substitution, though.

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