Coconut Mango Cake

Okay.  I don’t want this post to be clouded by your self-loathing for never having thought of this yourself.  After a few days of major soul searching, I have come to terms with it myself, and suggest you do the same.  So let’s begin with a little self-affirmation.  Repeat after me:

“I can’t think of everything.  I am human, and humans are erred by nature.  Everyone has different talents, thinking of the most genius thing EVER is not one of mine, and that, is okay.  I forgive myself.”

Do not move on to the following sentence without having a full sense of peace.  Take a deep breath, and read the following GENIUS two words.

Mango.  Curd.

Let it sink in.  It’s okay.  You’ll be fine.

Now, in case I wasn’t clear before, I did not think up this amazing idea.  It was Julie at Willow Bird Baking…and thank God she did.  I just stumbled upon it and it happened to be Chris’s birthday, and you’ll never guess what his favourite thing in the world is.  Friend’s re-runs.  Noooo…mangoes.  I can’t believe you fell for that whole Friends’ re-runs thing.  Although he does stay up late watching tv at night.  They show those old syndicated shows at night.  And he keeps asking me to get my haircut like Rachel…wait a minute…he’s always humming that “So no one told you life was going to be this way….clap, clap, clap, clap” song!  O.M.G.  Okay, well THAT is another post entirely.

Anyway.  What goes better with a nice sour mango curd than sweet, sweet coconut?  Nothing I say!  So whipped up a little coconut cake (with a side of cheese).

And Heaven forbid Emma spend a little time with the cake on her own!

Thank you, Ruby.

You know, there is just something about a coconut cake, with its white icing, covered in white coconut…it just looks like a delicious cloud of coconut goodness.  But this cake’s not a superficial cake.  It’s not just what’s on the outside with this gal.  It’s what’s inside that counts.

Mango cuuuurd.  Coconut and mango?  It’s like Ross and Rachel.  Pure, sweet destiny.

Anyway.  When I first tried it, I thought it was verging on too sweet.  But, a second, third, fourth and fifth opinion all discounted that.  I have been really limiting my sugar lately, so I think that was all it was.  I should mention that the aforementioned “fifth opinion” was my own…I just needed a little coaxing in the sugar department.  Anyway, if you don’t have a sweet tooth, this cake would also be deLISH with a cream cheese frosting.  Send me a piece if you try it…for the sake of research only, of course.

Now, the good news:  if you’d like to make this cake, you totally can!  And here’s how.

For the cake part, I used Martha Stewart’s Coconut Cupcake recipe.  Please, if you haven’t already, see my note on Martha and her recipes.  Then of course I used the mango curd recipe from Willow Bird Baking. Oh, and don’t be tempted to look around on her site or you’ll never come back and look at this stupid blog ever again because it’s very boring.  And, well…I made up the icing recipe all by myself.  You’ll see how complicated it is when you get there.


To make the mango curd you’ll need (24-hours, you will want to make this a day or so ahead):

  • 1 ripe mango, peeled, cored and diced.
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3 tbsp lime juice
  • a pinch of salt
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup butter, cut into small pieces


  1. Puree mango, sugar, lime juice and salt in processor (read: Magic Bullet), scraping down sides of work bowl occasionally. Add yolks; puree 15 seconds longer. Strain through sieve set over large metal bowl, pressing on solids with back of spatula to release as much puree as possible. Discard solids in sieve.
  2. Set metal bowl over saucepan of simmering water (do not allow bottom of bowl to touch water); whisk puree until thickened and thermometer registers 170°F., about 10 minutes. Remove from over water. Whisk in butter 1 piece at a time. Cover with plastic wrap (directly on the curd to prevent a skin from forming) and refrigerate for several hours (or overnight).

To make the cake you’ll need:

  • 1-3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut (don’t tell Martha…I used flaked)
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1-1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 large whole eggs, plus 2 egg whites, room temperature
  • 1-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk


  1. Grease and flour three 8-inch pans, and line the bottom with parchment paper.
  2. Set oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.  Pulse the shredded coconut in a food processor (or Magic Bullet in Ghettoville a.k.a. my house) until finely ground, and whisk it into the flour mixture.
  4. Beat the butter and sugar until it’s light and fluffy.  Add the eggs and vanilla, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  5. Add the flour in three batches, alternating with two additions of coconut milk.
  6. Divide the batter evenly between the cake pans, and bake about 25 minutes, or until they’re done.  (Stick a toothpick in the middle…if it comes out clean…they’re done.)
  7. Set on racks to cool.  After about 10 minutes, remove the cakes from the pans by running a sharp knife around the edge then tipping the cake into your hand.  Pull off the parchment stuck to the bottom and place the cake back on the rack to cool completely.

To make the coconut icing you’ll need:

  • 3/4 cup butter, room temperature
  • 2-1/2 cup icing sugar
  • 1/2 tsp coconut extract
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2-3 tbsp unsweetened coconut milk (depending on consistency – make it fluffy!)


  1. Beat the butter on medium until it’s pale and fluffy.
  2. Add the icing sugar 1/4 cup at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.  Beat it on high for a couple of seconds after every three additions to keep it light.
  3. Beat in the coconut and vanilla extracts.
  4. Add the coconut milk a tablespoon at a time until you’ve achieved your ideal consistency.

To ASSEMBLE this cake (finally) you’ll need:

  • The fruits of your labour
  • About 1/2 cup of flaked, sweetened coconut


  1. Place one cake on a plate.
  2. Pipe a ring of icing around the outside edge of the cake.
  3. Fill with mango curd and spread evenly.
  4. Place second cake on top of the first.
  5. Repeat steps 2 and 3.
  6. Place third cake on top.  Smooth a VERY thin layer of icing over the entire outside.  Like scrape it on…this is called a “crumb coat” and is really just to hold the crumbs still while you do your last layer of icing.  Do the crumb coat then put the cake in the fridge for about 20 minutes or so.
  7. Take the cake out, and smooth the rest of the icing over the cake and make it look all smooth and purdy.  Using your hand, lightly smoosh the flaked coconut all around the sides and top of the cake.  Wipe the excess off the plate.
  8. Stare at it for a while, and really assess whether or not it was worth the three hours you just spent working on it, and the day or so you had to wait between steps.
  9. Enjoy!

Let me know how it goes!  Or just come by for a visit sometime and I’ll make you one.

Thanks kiddos!


One thought on “Coconut Mango Cake

  1. It. is. INSANE. She brought me a piece to my work on Tuesday. Had to use every ounce of my will to share a bit with my co-workers and as soon as they took a bite, I turned my back to them ate the rest so fast so I wouldn’t have to share any more. I have thought about it every day since.

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