1/4teaspoonpure almond extractoptional but delicious
FOR THE FROSTING:
1/2cupunsweetened cocoa powdersifted if lumpy
Tiny pinch kosher salt
1/4cuppure maple syrup
1teaspoonpure vanilla extract
If you have a handled trivet: Place it in the bottom of a 6-quart or larger Instant Pot with the handles up so that you can lift the cake out later. Skip the foil sling in Step 2 and move on to Step 3. If you no longer have the trivet, use a small heatproof bowl turned upside down and placed in the center and proceed to Step 2. If your trivet does not have handles, place it in the bottom and proceed to Step 2.
Make a foil sling to lift the pan out of the Instant Pot: Take a long (about 18 inches) piece of foil and fold it over itself the long way (elementary school would call this "hot dog style") several times to create a long strip. Make sure it is long enough to reach all the way around the bottom of the pan and stick up several inches over the top of each side. Set aside.
In a medium mixing bowl or a large measuring cup, stir together the almond milk and vinegar. Let sit 5 minutes.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking soda, and salt until well combined.
To the bowl with the almond milk mixture, add the maple syrup, coconut oil, granulated sugar, vanilla extract, and almond extract. If the coconut oil solidifies, microwave the bowl in 10-second bursts until it reliquifies. Whisk until well combined. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients. By hand with a wooden spoon or spatula, stir just until the flour disappears. It will seem airy and could be a bit lumpy but will be delicious after it's baked.
Generously coat a 6-inch round cake pan with nonstick spray. Line the bottom with parchment. Coat with spray a second time. Pour the batter into the pan and smooth the top. Cover the top of the pan completely with a double layer of aluminum foil. Really pinch the foil around the top of the pan to create a seal and prevent moisture from creeping in while the cake bakes. Add 1/2 cup water to the Instant Pot (this will prevent it from registering a "Burn" warning).
If using the foil sling, place the cake pan in the center of the foil strip, then pull the strip ends up around the pan. Lower the cake into the Instant Pot, ensuring the ends of the foil poke up on either side of the pan. If the strips stick up out of the Instant Pot, fold them inward towards the center so that you can close the lid. If not using the sling, place the pan directly on the handled trivet.
Cover and seal the Instant Pot. Cook on high pressure (manual) for 35 minutes. When the cooking time is complete, immediately vent the Instant Pot to release any remaining pressure. Carefully open the lid.
Gently lift the cake from the Instant Pot by using the two ends of the foil sling or trivet handles. Place the pan on a wire cooling rack, then unwrap and discard the foil cover. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Run a dull knife, such as a butter knife, around the edge of the pan to loosen the cake, then gently invert it and transfer it to the rack. Let cool on the rack completely.
While the cake cools, prepare the frosting: In a food processor or blender, pulse the avocado, cocoa powder, and salt in 3- to 5-second bursts until mostly combined. Add the maple syrup and vanilla. Process until smooth and creamy, stopping to scrape down the processor a few times as needed. Try not to eat it all right then and there. Place the cooked cake on a serving plate. Frost, slice, and enjoy!
This yields enough frosting to frost the top and sides of the cake VERY generously. Depending upon how much frosting you like, you may only need two-thirds to three-quarters of it. The extra is delicious dipped with pretzels, on cookies, and/or eating by the spoonful!
Nutrition calculated with 3/4 of the frosting (see note above).
TO BAKE IN THE OVEN: Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare the cake as directed, skipping the foil sling and cover. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until a toothpick in the center comes out mostly clean with just a few moist crumbs (but no wet batter) clinging to it. Check a few minutes before the 25-minute mark for doneness, as all ovens bake differently.