Inspired by the sticky date pudding, this Sticky Mango Cake gives a local twist to the classic dessert by making use of dried Philippine mangoes.
This crazy situation the world is in right now feels like a bad dream. It would be nice if you woke up one morning and realized that was the case. The world as we knew it just a week ago has stopped being the same, and it has quite literally just stopped. Societies across the globe have shut down, governments are on overdrive, and many have turned to extreme measures such as lockdowns and “community quarantines”. To most people, the uncertainty of when this situation would end is even scarier than the virus itself. The feeling of helplessness is so thick, all you can do is stay at home and pray.
I thought about whether or not I should post or write anything on the blog until this time has passed, but then I figured, wouldn’t now be the perfect time to cheer people up with a delicious treat? Many of us suddenly found some extra time in our hands after all. This is just one aspect for me though.
To be honest, I lost a bit of energy to do anything when our country entered its lockdown phase. The anxiety was very real at first. Nonetheless, I sat in front of my computer to check my backlogs, and this Sticky Mango Cake practically jumped out at me. It’s a recipe that is appropriate for this moment in time, because it’s something that I feel shows my solidarity with my country during this difficult time. (I have a lot of complaints about how all this was handled by our government, but I do want us all to get through this in one piece.)
This Sticky Mango Cake recipe actually makes use of Philippine mangoes in three forms. Philippine mangoes are THE BEST mangoes IN THE WORLD. I honestly just have to put it out there. And I love that this recipe really tried to prove that point by using three different mango-derived products: dried mangoes, mango nectar/juice, and mango jam.
Now this Sticky Mango Cake is actually delightfully easy. You can see in my video below that this cake has only two main components: the Mango Cake itself, and the Mango-Butterscotch Sauce. Doesn’t the mention of this combo already sound like a dream to you?
This Sticky Mango Cake is pretty amazing. It’s the third mango-based dessert I’ve ever made, and I think I can say based on experience that Philippine mangoes have never failed me when it comes to mango desserts. While this cake doesn’t use fresh mangoes, I can’t help but find the ingenuity in how it put mangoes to good use.
Philippine mangoes are one of my favorite fruits in the world. That’s a big statement considering how much I love fruits of all kinds. I remember when my mom had a hard time feeding me as a kid (this was during the early 90’s in Manila), she would always cut up pieces of local mangoes and put it on my rice. I’d end up eating everything without knowing that it was my first exposure to the flavors of a California Maki lol. (Back then, Japanese food wasn’t as mainstream.)
In any case, I grew up loving Philippine mangoes in pretty much anything they put it on, so it surprises me not how much I actually love this cake. From the scent of the cake, to its fluffy texture, down to the sweet taste of mango in the cake and the sauce, this cake made a home for itself in my “Keepers” folder after the first bite.
I take no credit for creating this cake as it was a recipe from an old Yummy Magazine issue I found lying around the house, but as always, I want you guys to get to try stuff I am personally enthusiastic about. If you don’t have the complete ingredients in your pantry right now, I hope that once this community quarantine period is over, you’ll head to the grocery and think about buying the ingredients to make this.
This Sticky Mango Cake isn’t hard to make. However, you will need a lot of mango-ey things to make this recipe happen. First, the dried mangoes. Even if you do decide not to make the butterscotch and just eat the cake with slices of fresh mangoes on top, you will still need the dried mangoes in the cake. Since this cake is inspired by the Sticky Date Pudding famous in Australia, the dried mango is the direct replacement for the dates. Am I the only who thinks this a clever adaptation?
The Philippines is very famous for dried mangoes, and rightfully so. However I have been favoring dried GREEN mangoes the last couple of years and thought they would be an interesting tart addition to the cake. Turns out I was right. The cake becomes less sweet overall and has an interesting flavor dimension because of the dried green mangoes! It’s not exactly sour, but a bit sweet and a bit tart too.
If you’re using dried yellow mangoes, make sure to slice them into strips first before starting. I didn’t have to with the green ones since they already come in thin strips.
For the first step, you soak the dried mangoes in a bowl of very very hot water. You want to soften them so they meld into the cake more seamlessly. Set that aside for about 20 minutes while you combine your dry ingredients in a medium bowl.
In your bigger bowl (or bowl of the stand mixer, though it’s not necessary), you want to start creaming your butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
The eggs go in afterwards, one after the other. Make sure you combine the first egg fully into the fluffy butter mixture before adding the next. Once the eggs are fully incorporated, it’s time to add in the softened mangoes, PLUS the water they were soaked in. Then you add in your flour mixture, plus the vanilla.
At this point, you want to fold everything together using a spatula until your batter is uniform, BUT as always, make sure you DO NOT OVERMIX. Make sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl as you mix. You want to stop the moment you see the last bit of flour disappear. JUST STOP MIXING.
Pour that beautiful batter into your prepared pan. I used a tube pan for fun, but a normal 8-inch round cake pan is okay for this cake. Even out the cake batter in your pan and pop in the oven for 50 to 55 minutes.
When your cake has about 20 minutes left in the oven, start on your Mango Butterscotch Sauce. I always used to fail miserably when making caramel, until I realized I had been using the wrong pan all along! You want a heavy-bottomed saucepan that won’t burn your sugar easily. You will want to heat the brown sugar over medium-low heat until it melts and caramelizes into a deep amber hue.
After that you add the cream and listen to it sizzle for a little bit before adding in your other two mango components: mango jam, and mango nectar. Mix until dissolved and well-combined, then add in your butter. This should be the result once everything is mixed together:
Set it aside to cool slightly while your cake finishes baking. The cake should be left inside the pan for 5 minutes to set and cool down a bit before being poked with a stick. You can leave it in the pan or unmold, but make sure you make holes on the cake all over so that it can evenly soak in the butterscotch sauce.
Pour just HALF of that warm sauce over the warm cake, then leave it alone to soak for 30 minutes. The other half will be served with the cake, of course.
And now you can slice into this wonderful Sticky Mango Cake, and to take it all the way to mango-town, serve with fresh mangoes, as I’ve mentioned before. Feel free to decorate the top of the cake with thin mango slices. I forgot to do so because I was so focused on using the two leftover mangoes for the photos and the video lol.
Do you see how that sauce has permeated the top portion of the cake crumb? This Sticky Mango Cake is moist and fluffy at the same time, and if you pour on a bit more of that caramel sauce, it just turns downright indulgent! Move over, Sticky Date Pudding! (Although to be fair, I love that cake too!)
[READ ALSO: Sticky Date Pudding Recipe]
Before I leave you with the recipe instructions, I just wanted to say: I hope everyone is hanging in there. Be vigilant and responsible, and keep yourself safe and sane by only listening to verified sources of news. There’s so much unnecessary noise out there right now that makes everything harder, but the act of blocking them out or not is in your hands.
No matter where you are, or who you are, we will get through this!
Sticky Mango Cake
Makes one 8-inch cake
For the cake
- 1 cup dried mangoes, sliced into strips
- 1/2 cup freshly boiled water
- 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, plus more for greasing pan
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the mango-butterscotch sauce
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup canned mango juice
- 1/4 cup mango jam
- 1/2 cup butter
Make the cake
- Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease and flour an 8-inch round cake pan. (I used a tube pan.) Set aside.
- In a bowl, soak dried mangoes in the very hot water. Set aside for 15 to 20 minutes to soften. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In another larger bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. (You can also use a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. It will only take about 5 minutes.) Mix in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Add in the softened mangoes plus the liquid it was soaked in, followed by the flour mixture and vanilla. Mix until well-combined. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
Make the butterscotch sauce
- In a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-low heat, heat sugar until caramelized and deep amber in color. Add the cream, mango juice, mango jam. Mix until dissolved. Add the butter and mix until the sauce has a sticky consistency. Set aside to cool slightly and thicken further.
- Remove the cake from the oven and let cool in pan for 5 minutes. Poke holes on the cake with a barbecue stick, the pour half of the sauce over. Let it soak for at least 30 minutes. Serve with the remaining sauce on the side.