Coconut and mango form a partnership just meant to be. As with the classic pairings of peanut butter and chocolate, ice cream and cake, or caramel and sea salt, you know that when coconut and mango get together in one dish something delicious is going to happen. And something delicious definitely happens when you turn sweetish – sourish mango into curd to be spread between layers of rich, moist three-layer gluten-free coconut cake. Frost the entire cake with cajeta buttercream frosting and you have an amazingly delectable dessert flavors just perfect for Cinco de Mayo celebration (or any other special occasion, or just because).
I confess that I never use fresh mango when I cook with mango. I believe that pure, simple, fresh ingredients make food healthier and give it the best flavor possible. Mangos, however are very difficult to peel and chop. I’ve even read instructions and watched Youtube video demonstrations to find an easier way to peel and cut them. The task still seems too frustrating to me and takes the pleasure out of using this particular fresh fruit. For this reason, I use frozen mango when I cook and bake with it. I feel ok using frozen mango, though, since studies show little nutritional difference between fresh and frozen vegetables and fruit. I also use mango more often since using the frozen fruit makes using it more appealing to me. If you have peeling and cutting fresh mango down to an art, then by all means use fresh fruit for this curd!
A note about cajeta: if your local stores don’t carry it, you can order it online or make your own. If you buy it, try to find a brand that doesn’t use high fructose corn syrup. You can substitute caramel for the cajeta, but the goat milk in the cajeta adds a little complexity to the coconut cake and mango curd filling.
Another note: I make my own blend, but you can substitute three cups (or 375 grams) of any quality 1:1 all purpose gluten-free flour for this cake.
Gluten-Free Coconut - Mango Cake with Cajeta Buttercream Frosting
This cake's complementary flavors coconut and mango is accompanied with cajeta buttercream frosting; the combination of flavors is Heavenly!
- 150 grams superfine brown rice flour
- 125 grams cassava flour
- 75 grams arrowroot starch
- 25 grams coconut flour
- 1 cup butter
- 400 grams sugar
- 6 eggs
- 4 tablespoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla or coconut extract
- 1 cup coconut milk in a can, not the kind in a carton used as a milk substitute
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Oil or grease three eight inch round cake pans.
Whisk together the gluten-free flours, salt, and baking powder. Set aside.
Using a mixer or a food processor, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about three to five minutes).
Add the eggs one at a time to the creamed mixture, blending well after each addition.
Add the vanilla or coconut extract. Mix well.
Add the flour mixture all at once to the wet mixture. Mix until the dry ingredients are well incorporated into the wet ingredients.
Add the cup of coconut milk. Mix until the milk is well-blended into the batter.
Spoon the batter into a bowl on a digital scale with a tare feature. Weigh the batter, then divide the number by three. Spread an even third of the batter into each pan. Bake the cake layers at 350 degrees until a toothpick inserted into the cake layers comes out with only a crumb or two on it: 20 - 25 minutes.
Removed finished cake layers from the oven. Cool in pans for about ten minutes, then remove the cake layers from the pans and cool them on wire racks.
This slightly sweet, slightly sour mango curd works well as a cake filling, or simply topped with a little whipped cream and served as a dessert all by itself.
- 1 cup chopped frozen or fresh mango
- 100 grams sugar
- 2 tablespoon lemon or lime juice
- 4 egg yolks cut into small pieces
- 1/4 cup butter cut into small pieces
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
In a food processor, purée the 1 cup of mango and the 100 grams of sugar until smooth.
Add the lemon or lime juice, egg yolks, and salt to the mango purée, blending until smooth.
Place the curd mixture in pot or bowl over simmering water, without letting the water touch the bottom of the pot.
Whisk the mixture over the simmering water until it thickens and reaches about 170 degrees on an instant read thermometer (7 - 10 minutes).
When the curd has reached the proper temperature, remove the pot from the heat. Whisk the butter pieces, a few at a time, into the warm curd into all the butter has melted and the curd is smooth.
Strain the curd through a mesh strainer into a bowl, using a spoon or spatula to ease the mixture through the strainer.
Cover the surface of the curd with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming as it cools.
Place the curd in the refrigerator and chill at least two hours before spreading it between cake layers.
Cajeta Buttercream Frosting
The goat milk used to make cajeta gives this caramel sauce adds complexity to to the flavor of this buttercream frosting so that it's not just your mama's caramel buttercream frosting.
- 1 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 6 cups powdered sugar sifted
- 3/4 cup cajeta
- 1 teaspoon milk as needed
Using a mixture or food processor, cream the butter until smooth.
Add the sifted sugar and cajeta to the creamed butter; mix until smooth.
If the frosting is too thick for spreading and piping, add milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, blending after each addition, until frosting is of spreading consistency.
Spoon some of the frosting into a pastry bag fitted with a tip for piping. Spread the remaining frosting on the sides and top of the cake.
This recipe makes 1 1/2 batches of buttercream frosting, which is enough to frost and decorate the cake. If you don't plan to pipe buttercream for decoration, you can reduce the amount of ingredients and just make one batch.