When mangoes went on sale this time around, I chose the cupcakes over the hot sauce. I can confidently say they (the mango cupcakes and the mango hot sauce) are equally unique. In fact, I was surprised by just how much I liked these cupcakes. Yet I also know this is not a cupcake for everyone. The mango is subtle and works well with the ginger that really shines through, but it is certainly not destined to become a classic like yellow cake with chocolate frosting.
I was skeptical about the ginger both in the cupcakes and in the frosting. Even though I have developed a taste for it, I thought that was a lot of ginger. The two worked well together though, and each had enough flavor to stand on its own. Nothing bums me out more than a bite of tasteless cake that relies on its frosting for flavor or a dollop of frosting that tastes like airy wax.
I think this cupcake could pair well with quite a few different frostings. I substituted coconut for the macadamia nuts called for in the original recipe, so I also thinned my icing with a bit of coconut milk. To up the coconut flavor, one could easily omit the ginger and add a teaspoon of coconut flavor extract.
The original recipe actually called for 1/4 cup of rum in the frosting, which I omitted. With one to two tablespoons of liquid, the recipe below creates a fairly thick frosting that can stand when piped into a fairly tall top. When thinning frosting, I highly recommend adding any liquid just one tablespoon at a time, or the next thing you know you, will have a glaze.
As you have likely deduced by now, I messed around with this recipe a fair amount. The first thing I did was halve the ingredients. The original recipe called for a yield of 14 cupcakes, and the last thing I need is more than a dozen cupcakes sitting around. I didn’t really need the seven I anticipated, much less the 10 I actually got. I see a future for them as cake balls…
To make your baking life a bit less frustrating, take note that these cupcakes do not rise all that much and they bake with flat tops. I filled my cupcake liners just over 3/4 of the way full, and I probably could have taken them a bit closer to the edge given the baked cupcakes also seemed to shrink a bit.
They are incredibly moist – to be expected, I suppose, given pureed fruit and canola oil are main ingredients – so they do not like to keep their cupcake liners on once they cool. For this reason, I think this cupcake recipe would bake especially well in a mini muffin tin. Just pop them out and ice for a nice addition to a dessert platter. The moist cake is so densely rich with flavor, one or two bites is really all you need. The next time you find yourself with a ripe mango and you feel like making something sweet, these are definitely worth a try. Enjoy!
- For the Cupcakes
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ⅓ cup coconut
- 1 ripe mango, peeled and chopped
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup canola oil
- ½ teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
- For the Frosting
- ½ cup cream cheese, softened
- 3 tablespoons butter, softened
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- 4 cups confectioners' sugar
- 2 tablespoons (coconut) milk, as needed
- Optional Garnish
- mango slices
- toasted coconut
- Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, ginger, salt and coconut; set aside.
- Use a blender or food processor to puree the mango until smooth.
- Transfer the mango to a large bowl and add the oil, sugar, apple cider vinegar and almond extract.
- Fold in the flour mixture and mix until just combined.
- Line a muffin tin with paper liners and fill nearly to the top with batter.
- Bake at 350 degrees F for 16-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- While the cupcakes cool, prepare the frosting.
- Mix the butter, cream cheese and ginger until smooth.
- Add the confectioners’ sugar,1/2 cup to 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Add the (coconut) milk one tablespoon at a time to thin the icing as needed.
- Continue to beat at high speed until light and smooth.
- Frost the cooled cupcakes and garnish with mango or toasted coconut if desired.