Espresso Glazed Avocado Brownies

Espresso glazed avocado brownies combine bold coffee, rich chocolate, and heart-healthy avocado for a delicious and nutritious dessert.

10 persons
Cooks In
2 hours, including cooling time

For the brownies:

1/2 medium ripe avocado (about 1/2 cup mashed)

1 cup + 2 tablespoons coconut milk

1/4 cup pure maple syrup

1 shot espresso

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup unpacked brown sugar

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips


For the glaze:

1 cup confectioner’s sugar

2 tbsp coconut milk

1 tsp Vanilla extract

1 shot espresso

½ cup coconut flakes

Sea salt

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F then lightly grease an 8 x 8″ baking dish.
  2. In a blender or food processor, combine the avocado, coconut milk, espresso, maple syrup, and brown sugar. Pulse until smooth, scraping down the sides of the container to ensure thorough mixing. 
  3. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into a separate bowl. Whisk together until well combined. 
  4. Pour the wet ingredients from the blender into the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chips. Scoop the batter into the baking dish and spread evenly. 
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick stuck into the center comes out clean. Leave the oven on for toasting the coconut flakes. Allow the brownies to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before turning out onto a drying rack to cool completely before icing. 
  6. Spread the coconut flakes onto a baking sheet and place in the oven for 3 minutes, stir the flakes, and return the sheet to the oven for 1-3 more minutes until the flakes are golden brown. 
  7. When the brownies are cool, prepare the icing. Add the confectioner’s sugar, coconut milk, vanilla, and espresso shot to a bowl and whisk until smooth. You want a consistency that’s slightly thicker than maple syrup. If you start out with a mixture that’s too thick, add milk by the tablespoon while whisking until you reach the right thinness. If  your glaze is too thin, add more sugar and whisk. Drizzle the glaze over the brownies. Finish with a sprinkle of sea salt and a generous smattering of toasted coconut flakes.

About This Recipe

If you’ve been keeping up with our recipe blog, you know that I LOVE coffee. I’m completely hooked on it, and I drink it every day, multiple times a day. My passion for the rich, nutty taste of a hearty medium blend is rivaled only by dark chocolate. And what better way to enhance both of these flavors than to combine them? Let’s explore this dynamic pairing with a fresh batch of espresso glazed avocado brownies.

First, let’s address the elephant in the room: the avocado. At first glance, using avocado in a brownie recipe may seem outlandish. But you’d be surprised how well mashed avocado substitutes for more traditional fat sources in baked goods. Thanks to its buttery texture and healthy fat content, avocado can be substituted with butter or coconut oil in a one-to-one ratio. Note that to accommodate avocados’ higher water content versus butter or oil, you’ll need to decrease your oven temperature by 25 degrees Fahrenheit and increase the baking time by several minutes. And if you’re worried about the flavor, don’t: the cocoa powder, chocolate chips, and espresso mask any avocado notes. 

Given the fact that you can’t taste the avocado, it’s hard not to be impressed by this brownie’s nutritional profile. You’re likely familiar with avocado’s superfood status, thanks to its popularity on health food blogs and fitness Instagram accounts. But what exactly makes avocados so healthy? The green fruit is chock-full of unsaturated fat, B-vitamins, and potassium. And while it clocks in at just 9 grams of carbohydrates in a 100 gram serving,  it provides around 7 grams of dietary fiber. Together, these components can help reduce blood triglyceride and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels, while increasing HDL (“good”) cholesterol, making avocado a smart addition to a heart-healthy diet. 

If you’ve never added coffee to a brownie or chocolate cake recipe, you’re missing out. Tossing a shot of espresso, spoonful of coffee powder, or an ounce or two of bold black coffee into the batter won’t impart any bitterness or cause caffeine jitters. On the contrary, coffee adds depth to the chocolate, enhancing the richness of the cocoa. You only need a small amount of coffee to achieve this effect, so you won’t be able to taste (or feel) its presence. 

But what if we want a little bitterness to even out the sweetness of our brownie? That’s where the rich espresso glaze comes in. Made with espresso, confectioner’s sugar, and a splash of milk, it evokes the delightful smoothness of Vietnamese iced coffee. You can customize your glaze’s coffee-ness by fiddling with the coffee-to-milk ratio until it’s as bold or as creamy as you prefer. Sprinkling sea salt and toasted coconut flakes provides a finishing touch with caramel notes and subtle crunch. You can play around with the glaze toppings to capture the flavors of your favorite coffee drinks. Try crushed candy canes for peppermint latte brownies, a drizzle of Nutella if you love hazelnut, or chopped marshmallows like in hot cocoa.