Mango Cake with Whipped Mascarpone Frosting

published May 12, 2022
Mango Cake Recipe

This delicate cake filled with fresh mango is perfect for any spring or summer celebration.

Serves12

Prep2 hours

Cook40 minutes to 50 minutes

Jump to Recipe
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a slice of white, layered cake with white frosting and chunks of mango inside.
Credit: Shilpa Uskokovic

Fresh mango is a sweet and floral fruit with a juicy, custardy texture when perfectly ripe. It would be a shame to cook or bake mango, so when adding it to cakes I prefer it in fresh form, lightly seasoned with citrus juice like lime or lemon. 

Mango goes well with lightly sweetened whipped cream, so using it as a frosting is a must. Whipped cream on its own is notoriously finicky, however, as it doesn’t hold shape and gets soft over time. Enter: my trusty friend and the best whipped cream stabilizer available in most refrigerator aisles: Mascarpone cheese. This ingredient, best known for tiramisu, adds body, creamy mouthfeel, and amps up that lactic dairy flavor of the cream.

What Is Mango Cake Made Of?

I wanted a light and tender cake for this mango cake that was easy to execute: No creaming or separating eggs. So I turned to my good friend and the Cake Prophet herself, Rose Levy Beranbaum, the author of Cake Bible. She recently came over for our annual lamb biryani dinner and brought the most exquisite whipped cream cake — light and feathery in texture yet tender and moist. This cake recipe was adapted from another one of her books, Rose’s Heavenly Cakes. Making the cake is as easy as whipping cream — literally.

Credit: Shilpa Uskokovic

How to Serve Mango Cake

This cake is best served chilled but not cold, straight out of the refrigerator. Take it out of the fridge 15 to 20 minutes before serving. Use a sharp knife to cut and run it under the hot water before each cut for clean slices.

How Long Does Mango Cake Last?

Cover the cut, exposed sides of the cake with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for up to four days. 

Mango Cake Recipe

This delicate cake filled with fresh mango is perfect for any spring or summer celebration.

Prep time 2 hours

Cook time 40 minutes to 50 minutes

Serves 12

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

For the cake:

  • Cooking spray

  • 1

    large or 2 medium limes

  • 2 1/4 cups

    cool but not cold heavy cream

  • 1 1/2 cups

    granulated sugar

  • 2 teaspoons

    kosher salt

  • 4

    large eggs

  • 1

    large egg yolk

  • 1 tablespoon

    baking powder

  • 3 cups

    sifted bleached cake flour

For the frosting:

  • 1

    large or 2 medium limes

  • 4 cups

    (1 quart) cold heavy cream

  • 1 (8-ounce) container

    mascarpone cheese

  • 3/4 cup

    powdered sugar

  • 1 teaspoon

    vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt

For assembly:

  • 4

    large champagne or ataulfo mangos

  • 1

    large or 2 medium limes

Instructions

For the cake:

  1. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Line the bottoms of 2 (9-inch wide, 2-inch high) round cake pans with parchment paper. Coat the paper and sides of the pans lightly with cooking spray. Finely grate the zest of 1 large or 2 medium limes until you have 1 teaspoon. Halve the lime(s) and juice until you have 2 tablespoons.

  2. Place the lime zest, lime juice, 2 1/4 cups cool heavy cream, 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, and 2 teaspoons kosher salt in the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large bowl if using an electric hand mixer). Beat with the whisk attachment on medium-high speed until thick and resembles whipped cream, about 3 minutes.

  3. Reduce the speed to medium. Add 4 large eggs and 1 large egg yolk one a time, beating well after each addition. The mixture will resemble mayonnaise. Add 1 tablespoon baking powder and beat on low speed until incorporated, about 10 seconds.

  4. With mixer still on low speed, add 3 cups sifted cake flour one cup at a time, stopping the mixer and scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl after each addition, then continue beating until the flour is fully incorporated, about 4 minutes.

  5. Divide the batter between the cake pans. Run the tip of an offset spatula through the batter in a figure-eight motion a few times to pop any air bubbles. Smooth the surface with the offset spatula.

  6. Place the pans on a large rimmed baking sheet or large roasting pan. Carefully pour enough hot water into the baking sheet or roasting pan to come 1 inch up the sides of the cake pans, making sure not to get any water into the pans.

  7. Bake until the cakes are pale golden-brown, spring back when lightly pressed in the center, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean with just a few crumbs, 40 to 50 minutes.

  8. Carefully transfer the cakes pans to a wire rack. Let the cakes cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Run an offset spatula around the cakes, then invert the cakes onto the wire rack. Let cool completely. Meanwhile, make the frosting.

For the frosting:

  1. Finely grate the zest of 1 large or 2 medium limes until you have 1 teaspoon. Halve the lime(s) and juice until you have 2 tablespoons.

  2. Place the lime zest, lime juice, 4 cups cold heavy cream, 1 (8-ounce) container mascarpone cheese, 3/4 cup powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract, and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted (or large bowl if using an electric hand mixer). Beat with the whisk attachment on medium-high speed until thick and fluffy, 6 to 8 minutes. Cover and refrigerate until ready to assemble the cake.

For assembly:

  1. Remove the parchment paper from the cakes and flip again. If the cakes are domed, trim the tops with a serrated knife to level them out. Cut each cake in half horizontally to make a total of 4 layers.

  2. Peel, pit and chop 4 large, ripe mangoes into 1/4-inch cubes (about 3 cups) and transfer to a medium bowl. Juice 1 large or 2 medium limes until you have 2 tablespoons. Drizzle the lime juice over the mangoes and mix gently until combined. Set aside a couple of tablespoons for garnish.

  3. Smear a tablespoon of the frosting onto a cake or serving plate. Center 1 cake layer on the plate. Evenly spread 1 1/2 cups of the frosting onto the cake. Spoon 1/3 of the chopped mango onto the cream and spread evenly across the surface. Repeat layering the cakes, frosting, and mango, ending with the last cake layer. Frost the top and sides of the cake with the remaining frosting. Refrigerate until the whipped cream is firm, at least 1 hour and up to 12 hours.

  4. Decorate the top of the cake with the reserved mango just before serving.

Recipe Notes

Bleached cake flour substitute: If you can’t find bleached cake flour, you can substitute it with 2 2/3 cups sifted bleached all-purpose flour.

Make ahead: The cake layers can be made up to 2 days ahead. Let cool, then wrap well in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 4 weeks. Let thaw at room temperature before leveling and assembling. The assembled cake can also be refrigerated for up to 4 days.