December 2021 Indy Style: Celebrating the Holidays with Apples and Tropical Fruit

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The holidays are here, and we’re thrilled to start making some of our favorite festive recipes to celebrate the season! Get creative this year using plant-based recipes, tropical fruit, and in-season apples. In our December 2021 Indy Style segment, we’ll show you how to make a plant-based Tropical Avocado Cake, whip up a dessert board using tropical fruit, and use Envy™ apples in some recipes you’ll love. Watch below and read on to find all the recipes we presented on Indy Style.

Tropical Avocado Cake

Plant-based foods are popular right now, but they’re more than just a trend! People have all kinds of reasons for choosing plant-based foods: allergies, animal cruelty, and sustainability, just to name a few. But if you’re on a plant-based journey of your own, you’ll quickly find that there are animal products in all kinds of foods. Fortunately, there are creative ways to avoid those ingredients!

Tropical Avocado Cake with Avacado Icing

Enjoy one of your favorite desserts without using eggs or butter with this Tropical Avocado Cake! This rich chocolatey cake substitutes hefty Desbry Tropical Avocados from WP Produce for both eggs and butter. These avocados are up to twice the size of the Hass avocados you may be used to, meaning you’ll get more out of each one! They’re also easy to peel, slow to oxidize, and a bit firm in texture, making them great for sandwiches, snack boards, and all kinds of other recipes.

This cake may ditch the animal products, but it doesn’t lose any flavor. When you blend a tropical avocado and combine it with the rest of the ingredients, you’ll be amazed at how much it looks like a traditional cake mix. The chocolate frosting is made with avocados, too, and has all the sweet, creamy flavor and consistency of buttercream frosting.

Tropical Avocado Cake


For the cake:

  • 3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 6 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 ripe Tropical Avocado, mashed until very smooth
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cup granulated sugar

For the frosting:

  • 1 Tropical avocado, peeled and pitted
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 6 Tbsp. dark chocolate cocoa powder


For cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and grease and flour a cake tube pan.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mix  together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set to the side.
  3. In a blender, blend the vegetable oil, avocado, water, vinegar and vanilla until combined. Once smooth, mix in the sugar.
  4. Add the blended mixture to the dried ingredient mixing bowl. By hand, beat with a whisk until smooth.
  5. Pour batter into cake pan and bake for 45 to 50 minutes.
  6. Let cake cool in pan for 15 – 20 minutes. Turn the cake out onto a cooling rack so that it can cool completely before frosting.

For buttercream frosting:

  1. Scoop Tropical Avocado out into a food processor. Process until smooth, appx. 2 minutes (you may have to stop and scrape down avocado with spatula).
  2. Add powdered sugar and dark chocolate cocoa powder to the pureed avocado. Process for another minute or until creamy and combined (you may have to stop and scrape down mixture with spatula).
  3. After cake has cooled, frost cake. Let the cake sit for a few hours before serving.

Tropical Fruit Dessert Board

Dessert boards are an easy and fun way to prepare for any kind of gathering. When the meal is over, simply let your guests graze on tasty fruits, dips, and other delights! With colorful tropical fruit, it’s easy to put together an appealing dessert board that will catch your guests’ attention.

Get creative with your tropical fruit dessert board Stawberries, kiwis, avocados, and more!

Our board uses tropical avocado slices, orange slices, strawberries, pineapple chunks, nuts, and several different fruity dips. We ordered these delectable fruits from our partners at Tropical Fruit Box, which makes it easy for you to find both exotic and familiar fruits from all over the world. Best of all, they’re delivered right to your doorstep!

Celebrating the holidays with yummy tropical fruit Delicious dips and delectable fruits

One of our favorite parts of this dessert board is the unique, spiky kiwi slices. We simply cut a kiwi in half, but we did it with style! It’s easy to do yourself, too: simply cut a zig-zag line around the middle of the kiwi by pushing the knife tip straight toward the center of the fruit. When you’ve cut all the way around, take the kiwi in both hands and pull the halves apart. They should separate easily and leave you with two eye-catching pieces of fruit!

Envy™ For the Holidays

Make something different this holiday season using Envy™ Apples. December is prime apple season for these Washington-grown apples. They boast a sophisticated flavor perfect for using in your holiday meals. Your guests will love their crunchy texture, sweet taste, and uplifting aroma.

But you don’t have to come up with all the recipes yourself. Get some inspiration from our free eBook, Envy™ For the Holidays! Inside you’ll find creative recipes based on this one-of-a-kind apple. Here are a few that we think you’ll love:

Envy™ Wreath Salad

Salads are a great way to start any meal (except perhaps breakfast, but we’ll leave that up to you). And with so much versatility, there’s a salad for every season! Make your next salad a little festive with this Envy™ Wreath Salad.

A festive and flavorful wreath saladThis salad is easy to assemble using a round serving platter, but you can also use a square or rectangular board if you don’t have a circular one. The important thing is to shape your salad base of baby arugula into a round wreath shape. Next, decorate your wreath by sprinkling it with goat cheese, pomegranate seeds, pecans, and the main attraction, Envy™ Apples. Finish it up by placing a bowl of balsamic dressing in the center of the wreath. Envy apples, pomegranate seeds, and a tasty Balsamic dressing

Envy™ Wreath Salad


For the salad:

  • 10 oz Baby Arugula
  • 3 Envy™ apples, sliced
  • 9 oz goat cheese, crumbled
  • 3 oz pomegranate seeds
  • 3 oz pecans

For the balsamic dressing

  • 1 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly crushed black pepper finely ground
  • 1 large garlic clove minced
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil


  1. In a small serving bowl, whisk the dressing ingredients with some salt and freshly ground black pepper. Set aside.
  2. On a large board or platter, arrange salad leaves in a round wreath shape. Dot over apple slices and goat cheese. Scatter over the pomegranate seeds and pecans
  3. Place bowl of dressing in middle of wreath and serve with sliced baguette, if you like.
  4. Serve and enjoy!

DIY Envy™ Caramel Apple Gift

You don’t have to buy a lot of things at the store to give to your loved ones this holiday season. Show them you care by making a special gift out of things you already have in your kitchen!

One of the highlights of our 2021 gift guide is this easy-to-make mason jar, filled with caramel and chocolate sweets and topped with a delicious Envy™ apple. We used wrapped caramel candies and festive M&M’s to fill the jar with holiday cheer, then secured the apple to the top of the jar using some twine.

DIY Envy™Caramel Apple Gift


  • 8-12 oz Wide-mouth Mason jar (or similar jar)
  • 1 Envy™ apple
  • Twine
  • ½ cup Red & Green M&M’s
  • 12-16 Caramel Candies
  • Gift Tag


  1. Pour the M&M’s into the bottom of the mason jar.
  2. Add the wrapped caramel candies on top of the M&M’s and seal the jar.
  3. Place Envy™ apple on top and secure with twine.
  4. Fill out gift tag, and add it at the top of the twine or on the mason jar.

Starlight Chocolate Apple Bites

Did you make sure Santa has enough cookies for his stop by your house this year? Leave a unique treat by the chimney this year with these Starlight Chocolate Apple Bites. These snacks have the look and feel of cookies, but are made with apple slices instead!

Using a cookie cutter, create some holiday star shapes out of thin slices of Envy™ apples. Dip them in melted chocolate and top them with pistachios, coconut, edible glitter, and any other garnishes you’re craving. When the chocolate hardens, you’ll have some fruity cookie alternatives that Santa (and your family) will love.

Starlight Chocolate Apple Bites


  • 2 Envy™ Apples
  • ½ cup dark chocolate chunks
  • ¼ cup finely shredded coconut
  • ¼ cup pistachio nuts
  • Edible glitter garnish
  • Star-shaped cookie cutter
  • Parchment paper


  1. Cut Envy apple horizontally into thick round slices.
  2. Using a star shaped cookie cutter, shape slices into stars.
  3. Microwave chocolate chunks in a small bowl for 30 seconds at a time until chocolate is melted.
  4. Set out a long sheet of parchment paper.
  5. Dip each Envy apple star into melted chocolate.
  6. Place on parchment paper and sprinkle with desired toppings.
  7. Wait for chocolate to harden prior to serving.

What are your favorite dishes and drinks to make in the fall? Do you have any special recipes to celebrate National Apple Month? Tell us about them in the comments below!

The Produce Moms on Indy Style December 2021

Watch all of The Produce Moms’ December 2021 Indy Style segments here!

About Lori

Lori Taylor is the Founder & CEO of The Produce Moms. For ten years she sold fresh produce to over 300 grocery stores throughout the United States, and today she is fully focused on working with the produce supply chain, media, and government to increase fresh produce access & consumption in the US and around the globe. Connect with Lori on LinkedIn.

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