Spiced Mango and Coconut Upside-down Cake.

I had been really looking forwards to the mangoes ripening, ever since I first arrived at the In-laws. While my friend Emily’s round the world bicycle trip was in final planning stages my courier work bike frame cracked. She offered me her old frame, for free (we settled on a swap  I gave her a bottle of wine and a head-torch in exchange) and when I arrived at her house she had baked a mango cake as another friend had come round for tea, bringing a bag of nicely ripe mangoes. You can find the recipe she used here, and while it was an awesome cake, light and fluffy and very tasty I wanted to add a little extra. My semi-tropical surrounds demanded a little spice and my taste for Scandinavian pastries provided the perfect combo. So here you have the updated recipe, A Spiced Mango and Coconut Upside-down cake.


  • 3 Medium Mangoes

For the Caramel:

  • 40g unsalted butter
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp water

For the Cake Batter

  • 175g unsalted butter ,at room temp
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 75g shredded dessicated coconut
  • 200g plain flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder
  • ½ tsp ground green cardamom
  • 75ml milk , at room temperature


Preheat the oven to 180C fan and grease a 20 or 22cm cake tin. Make sure it has a solid base so there is no precious caramel leakage.


Peel the mangoes, cut off the cheeks and and cut into 0.5cm thick slices and cut off the rest of the flesh around the stone. You can always put the scrappy pieces on the inside and keep the neat pieces for the top layer, so don’t worry too much!

Make your caramel; without stirring put the sugar and water in a small pan and heat over a medium heat allowing the sugar to dissolve. Watch carefully when boiling and when the sugar turns a caramel colour add the butter and swirl to mix. How much you let your sugar caramelise is up to you, the original recipe says a deep colour however I would stir the butter in at a lighter colour as the colour deepens in the oven as well.


Pour the caramel into the cake tin and after a few minutes cooling arrange the mango in a layer covering the bottom of the tin. I like a good thick layer 3 slices deep.

In a mixing bowl cream the butter and sugar together. Add the beaten eggs and mix well.

Sift the flour and baking powder and stir the cardamom, cinnamon and coconut into the flour. Mix this into the butter mixture using an electric beater, add the milk and continue to mix until everything in the batter is incorporated.

The batter turns out quite thick so spoon over the mango, trying not to create any air bubbles (or the caramel will fill these rather than spreading evenly) and spread to level the top. Give the tin a few “taps” on the counter to dislodge any bubbles.

Bake in the over for 40-45 minutes. After 30 minutes keep and eye on the cake and turn the temperature down 20 degree if the top is browning too much. It doesn’t matter if it does colour deeply as this will eventually be the bottom but you don’t want to burn the thing.


Once out of the oven let the cake cool for 5-10 minutes before turning out onto a plate.


Notes: The nature of the mangoes does mean that this cake doesn’t keep more than 3 days. If it is not going to be eaten the same day I would recommend keeping it in the fridge and giving individual slices a 20 second blast in the microwave before consuming.


In the hands of 3 couriers this cake was consumed immediately, the three of us revelling in the fact our bodies could deal with that much cake!


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