April 26th, 2011

Mango Tango: mango filled white butter cake


Last fall, when I was in the midst of massive preparations for my daughter’s wedding, Gigi called me with a request. ” I know that you’re REALLY busy right now, and this is still a LONG way away, but I was looking ahead, and our April potluck happens to fall on my 50th birthday.”

It was clear where she was headed with the request—mostly. She continued, ” I love white wedding cake, and since I don’t think that I’ll ever get married, would you make me a white wedding cake for my 50th?”

Without hesitation, I agreed. As time drew near, I checked back with her about the cake. “White cake, white icing, but don’t you want a something else as a filling? Strawberry? Lemon?”

She shook her head. “No, just vanilla. White White White. Give this sugar junkie her fix.”

“Okay,” I said. But it stuck in my mind that the cake might need something else Defining. Oh, I would make her white-white cake, à la wedding, but this was, after all, her significant Zero Birthday. This called for something all its own. I would just have to wait and see what might inspire me.


There are numerous recipes for white wedding cake, which gets its color and oomph from copious egg whites. In some recipes, they are whipped separately, and folded into the batter. The recipe that I used eliminates that step. It comes off the box of King Arthur Cake Flour, where the egg whites are simply beaten into the batter.


Cake flour is key to this cake—its soft fine grain builds a lovely texture. I also pulsed my sugar in the food processor to make the crystals more like the “superfine” sugar that the recipe recommends. Aerating the dry ingredients in the mixing bowl before adding softened butter is another important procedure in insuring a good structure to the crumb.


When it came time for me to assemble the cake, I found a very large, very ripe mango in that back of my produce bin. Ah–mango puree for filling in this white wedding cake, a glisten of yellow-orange glaze, that line of tropical tang running alongside vanilla cream. Yes!


This was the inspiration that I was seeking, the defining ingredient to Gigi’s special birthday non-wedding wedding cake. Gigi, I’m happy to report, agreed.

Who knows that she’ll never get married? To say Never just limits the possibilities of the universe.

As they say, Never say never.


WHITE BUTTER CAKE adapted from King Arthur Flour
5 1/2 cups Unbleached Cake Flour
3 1/3 cups Sugar: superfine is best (can make it finer in the food processor)
2 Tablespoons Baking Powder
1 1/2 teaspoons Salt
3 sticks Unsalted Butter, softened
8 Egg Whites, 2 whole Eggs
1 cup non-fat Greek Yogurt
1 cup Cream
4 teaspoons Vanilla
2 teaspoons Almond Extract

2 10″ cake pans, greased and lined with parchment

Place flour into mixing bowl and mix on low speed to aerate. If using regular sugar, put it in the food processor fitted with the swivel blade and process for 2 minutes, to make the crystals finer.
Add fine sugar, baking powder and salt to the flour and mix well.

Beat in soft butter, then egg whites, then eggs, scraping the sides well between additions, to build the cake’s structure. Continue the process, adding yogurt, then cream, then extracts.

Pour batter into prepared cake pans and place in preheated 350 degree oven.
Bake for 40-45 minutes.

Remove and allow to cool before splitting the layers to fill and frost.

Makes 2 10″ rounds, that can be split, making a grand 4 layer cake.

Note: Cut the recipe in half to make 2 8″ or 2 9″ rounds, or one 9″x13″ sheetcake.

1 lb. Unsalted Butter, softened
1 lb. Cream Cheese, softened
2 T. Vanilla (or more, to taste)
2 1/2 cups Confectioners Sugar

Using a stand (or electric) mixer, cream butter. Slowly add pieces of soft cream cheese, creaming it smoothly into the butter. Mix in vanilla, then confectioners sugar. Taste for sweetness, and vanilla, and add a tetch more, to your taste.

1 large, very ripe Mango
1 cup Water
1 1/2 cups Confectioners Sugar
1 Lemon, for juice

Peel the ripe mango and cut into pieces, placing them, (and the juices!) into a saucepan. Add 1 cup of water, and 1 1/2 cups of confectioners sugar. Stir well and bring to a simmer. Cook until mango pulp becomes dissolved, and incorporated into the liquid. Add lemon juice. Simmer until somewhat thick and glazy. Remove from heat, pour into a bowl, and allow to cool.


Gigi and her birthday cakes


Posted in Desserts, Recipes

32 Responses to “Mango Tango: mango filled white butter cake”
  1. Tracy Says:

    So beautiful. So beautiful.

  2. My Little Expat Kitchen Says:

    Never say never indeed! Beautiful cake Nancy, your idea about the mango was terrific.

  3. Teresa/foodonfifth.com Says:

    Now I am really sorry I missed this one! I, too, am blogging on mangoes this week, but nothing so elegant. I don’t suppose this “wedding cake” is like some I have known and pieces of it end up frozen to be eaten later?
    I can only dream. Lovely, lovely cake.

  4. Michelle Says:

    Oh, it’s been awhile since I’ve visited your blog and now I’m drooling. I had it in mind that I would make a tiered wedding cake for my 30th just to do it, but turns out I’m WAY too lazy in the high-heat of DC in July for that type of endeavor :)

  5. Maggie Says:

    Lucky Gigi!!! Sounds scrumptious and I’m sure it was!

  6. Nancy Says:

    Nancy, these cakes are absolutely breathtaking! The mango filling/glaze sounds fantastic. Happy Birthday to Gigi :)

  7. Kath Says:

    What a fabulous cake! Happy Birthday to Gigi and maybe you will be making it again in a few years when she gets married…

  8. heather Says:

    Happy Birthday Gigi! I’ve got to try this with passion fruit!
    Thanks Nancy.

  9. Michele Napoli Says:

    Gigi looks very happy, indeed. Gorgeous–the cake and Gigi!

  10. Tbentleymd Says:

    With friends like this baking gifts like this, who needs to get married? Happy birthday Gigi

  11. goodfoodmatters Says:

    Tracy and Magda—Thank you Thank you!

    Teresa–I do have one such piece, wrapped up in my freezer–and Gigi might, too….

    Michelle–welcome back!

    Maggie, Nancy, Kath, heather, and Michele–I know that Gigi will be overwhelmed by your nice birthday wishes!

  12. Faith Says:

    Happy Birthday to Gigi! She must have been absolutely thrilled with these cakes — they truly are masterpieces, Nancy! I love the addition of mango, what a brilliant touch!

  13. Wendy Says:

    I was lucky enough to see and taste this cake in person. It was BEAUTIFUL and DELICIOUS. Thanks to Gigi for the request and to Nancy for the execution—

  14. gg Says:

    Nancy you have outdone yourself here. So beautiful and it sings of the hope and promise of spring and happy birthdays.

  15. Karen Says:

    Wow, Nancy!! These two cakes are true show stoppers! The combination of vanilla butter cream and mango is divine. I love how you decorated the cakes, with beautiful flowers and all. Happy birthday to your friend Gigi – I hope she knows what a lucky girl she is. :-)

  16. Christine @ Fresh Local and Best Says:

    Oh this cake sounds so good and lofty! You are such a great friend to make such a special cake and give your touch of creativity with the mango glaze.

  17. Nancy Davidson Says:

    This cake looks amazing!! I wish I lived in Nashville and could be a regular at the Third Thursdays.

  18. Juliana Says:

    Beautiful cakes and I love mango in it…love how you decorated them…really looks like that was bought from a bakery…and happy birthday to your friend Gigi…lucky girl! Hope you are having a wonderful week Nancy :-)

  19. Kathy Henderson Says:

    What a beautiful cake this is!

  20. Paulette Says:

    Wow, Nance, you’re creating DREAMS. How I wish I could have been there. Gigi in the pic with the cakes is sooo beautiful. AMAZING all. I can’t BEGIN to imagine how you do it. Wow.

  21. Greedy Rosie Says:

    That *is* beautiful. Hope somebody bakes me a cake like that one day. Plus, mango AND cake? Mouthwatering – even before 7am.

  22. cakewhiz Says:

    mmmmm…mango filling. that just filled my mouth with water! lol

    the cakes look gorgeous…you did an awesome job decorating them. And gigi looks very happy with them :)

  23. gigi Says:

    thank you everyone for the birthday wishes!! and of course, thanks to my dear friend nancy for the most wonderful, gorgeous, tastiest birthday cake ever !! what fun to have a ready-made party on a potluck night.

  24. goodfoodmatters Says:

    Nancy, Paulette, gg,—we wish y’all could have been there! i think it’s been my prettiest cake, to date.

  25. FOODESSA Says:

    Nancy, you are incredibly dedicated and attentive to beautiful cakes as you are to your friends…a quality that is sometimes underappreciated. Gigi must have been elated to all this particular goodness. The mango tango is quite the delectable addition ;o)

    Ciao for now,

  26. Anna Johnston Says:

    Nancy (squeal) I HAVE TO MAKE THIS…, Love your icing tricks too., this is one beautiful cake girl. Love it.

  27. Denise | Chez Danisse Says:

    Lucky Gigi!

  28. Lyzbeth Says:

    Stands back from the keyboard in amazement! Thanks!

  29. Chelsa Says:

    Hello! I stumbled upon this blog while looking for a mango filling recipe for a cake I am baking for my 3rd wedding anniversary. This cake looks SO DELICIOUS!!! I am so so so excited to make this cake, especially because of the mangoes. I have a question though, having never made a mango filling/glaze before : Am I able to make the filling the night before and just put it in the fridge? Or do I have to make it the same day? I have a toddler, and anything that I can split up from one day to the next really helps me out a lot with my time managment lol. Thanks a ton, and I will let you know how it turns out!!

  30. goodfoodmatters Says:

    Hi Chelsa-I’m really glad that you stumbled upon my blog—especially concerning this cake, which turned out to be my prettiest one!
    You Absolutely can make the mango glaze ahead of time–the day before, even a couple of days in advance, and refrigerate. You might want to let the glaze sit out for 30 minutes to an hour before you spoon it onto cake. You can also make the cake layers ahead of time too. Wrap them separately, and tightly—then refrigerate, or even freeze.
    good luck and hope you’ll enjoy this luscious cake. Nancy

  31. Michelle Says:

    Hi I loved your Idea of Mango glaze. I didn’t have a fresh Mango however I had a bag of frozen mango’s in the freezer. I put them in a sauce pan with a cup of water and a 3/4 cup of contention sugar. I cooked it down for about an hour on low. Then I processed it in a food processes until smooth. I put it back in the sauce pan and it became thick on its own.( with no heat) I used that as the glaze.( More like a fruit filling. It was thick and delicious! Thank you for the inspiration. Sincerely, Michelle

  32. goodfoodmatters Says:

    Hi Michelle–That’s great news—I’m so glad you tried it with the frozen mangoes and had such good success. I bet it tasted incredible—thanks for sharing this story and tip with us—as we can’t always find fresh ripe mangoes.

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