In her book, My Beloved World, Sonia Sotomayor (one of the Associate Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States) talks a lot about the summers she spent in Puerto Rico visiting her extended family during her childhood. On several occasions, she mentions that she remembers those days fondly, especially because of the amazing Puerto Rican food that she got to enjoy at her family’s house.
As someone who was diagnosed with type-1 diabetes at an early age, she speaks candidly about her challenges and the things that she needs to regularly do to keep her blood sugar levels under control. As you read through it, you can’t help but feel bad for her, realizing how hard it must have been for her as a kid to keep her hands off of sweets.
That is why I found it very cute when she said that even though she knew she needed to be very careful, she just couldn’t stop eating the sweet Caribbean mangos that were in abundance in those summer days in Puerto Rico.
If I hadn’t lived in the Caribbean myself, I probably wouldn’t have paid much attention to that part of the story. But it stuck with me, mostly because I feel the same way about the mangos we have here on Virgin Gorda. And it is funny, because I really do not know how to explain it. But they are just different. They are sweet and soft with just the right amount of tanginess.
Since we are in the middle of mango season, we get to enjoy all the mangos that Virgin Gorda has to offer. So much so that I don’t know what to do with all of them…
The other day, I literally peeled and chopped more than 20 mangos. I spent more than an hour carefully placing them in Ziploc bags so that I could freeze them for us to use throughout the year. Then, that very evening, my husband walked in the door with more mangos in his hands. Here I am thinking to myself, what the heck am I going to do with more mangos??!!?
I ended up making this Mango-Coconut Coffee Cake. And I am glad I did. On my first try, I cut the mangoes into small cubes and added them to the batter. However, I felt like the chunks of mangos did not blend into the cake very well. On my second try, I instead mashed them up and folded them into the batter. This time it was perfect. You could still taste the sweetness and smell the aroma coming from the mangoes, but they were blended into the cake perfectly. To balance the additional liquid and sweetness coming from the mangoes, I added a cup of unsweetened shredded coconut. The mango and coconut blend really brought in the true Caribbean flavors I was hoping for.
Mango-Coconut Coffee Cake
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
- Yield: 8
- For the Streusel:
- 1 3/4 cups (8.75 ounces) all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup + 1/4 cup packed (total of 7 ounces) brown sugar, divided
- 1+ 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, cold & cut into small pieces
- 1+ 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped & divided
- For the Cake:
- 2 cups (10 ounces) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 stick (4 ounces) +1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature – divided
- 1 cup (7 ounces) granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup sour cream, at room temperature
- 3 medium ripe mango, peeled and mashed
- 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- For the Glaze:
- 1 cup (4 ounces) powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons whole milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 F Degrees. Using 1 tablespoon of butter, generously butter a 9-inch tube pan.
- To make the streusel topping, mix the flour, 3/4 cup brown sugar, 1-teaspoon cinnamon, and salt in a medium size bowl. Add in the butter. Using a fork or with a pastry cutter, mash them all together until small clumps form. Stir in the 1/2-cup walnuts. Place it in the fridge until you are ready to use it.
- Continue with making the streusel for the center: Mix the remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1 cup walnuts. Set aside.
- To make the cake batter: Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.
- Using a standing mixer with the paddle attachment (or hand mixer), beat the butter and sugar in medium speed, until fluffy, 2 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, making sure each egg is fully incorporated into the batter. Add in the vanilla extract.
- Add in the flour in 3 batches, alternating with sour cream, beginning and ending with flour. Mix until just incorporated.
- Using a spatula, gently fold in the mashed mango and the shredded coconut into the batter.
- Pour half of the batter into the bottom of the tube pan. Use a rubber spatula to smooth out the surface. Evenly sprinkle the streusel you prepped earlier for the center and then cover with remaining batter spreading out evenly.
- Sprinkle the streusel topping mixture evenly over the batter.
- Bake until the top is golden brown or a skewer inserted into middle of cake comes out or with a few crumbs attached, about 60-65 minutes. Cool the cake in pan on wire rack for half an hour, then invert onto wire rack to cool completely before glazing, about 1 hour.
- To make the glaze, mix together the powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla extract in small bowl.
- Drizzle it over the cake allowing it to drip down the sides. Allow it to sit for 5 minutes and serve.
Recipe is adapted (with changes) from here.