serves an adventurous crowd
3 cups flour
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 cups mango puree (see below)
3/4 cup almond milk (or other kind of non-dairy milk)
1/4 cup rum
2/3 cup canola oil
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 tsp vanilla
12-oz package frozen raspberries
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tbsp lemon juice
3 Tbsp cornstarch dissolved in 1/4 cup water
1/2 to 1 cup mango puree (see below)
1/4 cup softened Earth Balance
1/4 cup softened Tofutti cream cheese
2 cups confectioner's sugar (more as needed)
1 tsp vanilla extract
dash or so rum
raspberries and blueberries for garnish (optional)
Mango Puree (3 cups)
7 or 8 champagne mangoes
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
Let's start with the puree, as you'll need it for both the cake and the frosting.
Peel the mangoes, then slice them. This is rather tricky with champagne mangoes, but you should be able to get off most of the flesh.
Put the sliced mango in a food processor. Add the sugar and lemon juice.
Puree until smooth. You may have to do this in batches.
You can make the puree ahead of time and keep it in the refrigerator, tightly covered.
Preheat oven to 350.
Oil two round cake pans.
Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cardamom into a large bowl.
In another bowl, mix the mango puree, almond milk, rum, oil, sugar, and vanilla.
Tip the wet ingredients into the dry. With bold strokes, mix until batter is smooth. Don't overmix, lest you want the crumb to turn from silky to rubbery.
Pour equal amounts of batter into the two cake pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until an inserted knife comes out clean. You may find a few golden crumbs clinging to your utensil. This is fine.
Let cakes cool for 10 minutes before turning them onto a wire rack.
Meanwhile, make the. . .
Pour raspberries, water, sugar, and lemon juice into a small saucepan.
Bring to a boil and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until raspberry globules have freed themselves from the raspberry unit and mixed with all the other globules in a communal slurry.
Strain the mixture using a fine sieve. Pour the seedless communal slurry into the saucepan and return the saucepan to the stove.
Pour in the dissolved cornstarch solution and mix.
Bring the slurry back to a boil and simmer for 5 more minutes.
Remove from the heat to let it cool completely, stirring now and then. If the slurry becomes a gob of unspreadable raspberry goo, add a little water to thin it out.
When both cakes and filling are completely cool, spread the filling on one cake and place the other cake on top. We're nearly there!
Cream vegan cream cheese and Earth Balance.
Add confectioner's sugar, whipping the two together all the while. If this takes too much coordination, alternate adding sugar and whipping.
Mix in the vanilla and rum. Take a swig of rum. You deserve it!
Stir in half a cup of mango puree. How's the consistency? Add more mango and/or confectioner's sugar as needed, tasting the frosting to make sure it's the tropical topping of your dreams.
When all is to your liking, spread the frosting along the sides and top of the cake until cake is completely covered. Only lick the spatula when you're suuuuuuuuure you're satisfied.
When the cake looks like a snowy mango bride, dot the frosting with raspberries and blueberries. Refrigerate until serving so that the frosting doesn't slump.
- I used champagne mangoes, which are small and have a tart flavor that I like. If you go for a sweeter mango, such as Haitian or the larger, orange variety with the greenish skin, you'll probably need fewer mangoes for the puree.
- When I made this cake, I did not believe that the frosting would be enough, and doubled the recipe (keeping the one cup of mango puree). This produced way too much. I then felt compelled to bake vegan chocolate cupcakes from Isa Chandra Moskowitz's Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, spread them with the frosting, and top each with a strawberry slice. Not a bad way to use any leftovers.
- You don't NEED rum. But it's a nice addition, especially if you use the tarter mangoes.
- It will take you at least half a day to bake and assemble this cake if you complete all the steps in one day. If you want, you can make the puree, frosting, and filling ahead of time.
It's exhausting just to write about this cake, but it truly is worth it if you have a friend or loved one who requires some vegan cake magic. Especially nice during early spring, when everyone starts craving fruit.
"I am the mango cake monster who eats up all your time and resources. . . but everyone else will love me. Muhuhahahaha!"