Mango Sunburst Cake

Adapted from Mollie Katzen's Sunlight Café
Preparation time: 15 minutes, plus 35 to 40 minutes to bake
Yield: 6 to 8 servings (one 10-inch cake)

Baked in a tart pan, this little cake is downright elegant, with an impressive fluted edge. The mango looks as though it's bursting through the top of the cake! The buttery, tender crumb and fresh flavor are so evocative, you'll feel as though you went to bed at home and woke up on French-Caribbean island.

  • Unwrap the butter ahead of time and place it directly in the mixing bowl to soften.

  • Zest the lemon before juicing it, for easiest handling.
Nonstick spray
1 ripe mango (about 1 pound)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
Vanilla yogurt or crème fraîche (optional)

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly spray the bottom of a 9- or 10-inch tart pan with removable bottom with nonstick spray.
  2. Peel the mango, and cut the fruit off the pit. Measure 1/2 cup of the mango flesh, place it in a blender with the lemon juice, and purée until smooth. Cut the remaining mango into small slices or pieces the size of dice and set aside.
  3. In a medium to large bowl, beat the butter for several minutes with an electric mixer at high speed. Add the sugar and beat for several minutes longer. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each, and then beat in the vanilla.
  4. In a second bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking powder, and lemon zest, slowly mixing them together with a whisk.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture in 2 installments, alternating with the puréed mango (dry-wet-dry). After each addition, use a spoon or rubber spatula to stir from the bottom of the bowl just enough to blend. Don't overmix.
  6. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan, spreading it evenly into place. Arrange the mango pieces from step 2 on top of the batter .
  7. Put the pan on a baking tray, and place it in the middle of the oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the cake is golden and springy to the touch. Cool for at least 20 minutes before removing the rim of the pan. Without removing it from the bottom of the pan, place the cake on a serving plate and cool for another 10 minutes or so before slicing.
  8. Serve warm or at room temperature, with vanilla yogurt or crème fraîche. (It's also good plain.)
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