I’ve had a very important objective for awhile now. I think there comes a time in every baker’s life when they realize that they need perfect basics. I love to make new things, sweet things, and even the occasional odd thing, but you really need delicious bases on which to build. That’s why I’ve been determinedly scouring the internet for recipes, reviews, wives’ tales, photos, comparisons — you get the idea — for (drum roll, please) the PERFECT WHITE CAKE. Not a dry styrofoam white cake. Not a brick of white cakeness. I wanted a moist, tightly crumbed, perfectly dense white cake. It was my great fortune to find this very thorough white cake comparison on The Way the Cookie Crumbles during my search. I baked the author’s adaptation of Cooks Illustrated’s Classic White Cake, and I feel like I’ve hit the jackpot. I have a new perfect white cake base!
White cake does not a cupcake make, however, if you’ve got a hankering for experimenting and a reputation to uphold. For that reason, I decided to try a few new things along with my white cake: first, a sultry mango curd filling (the beautiful thing about filling a white cake with a curd is that white cakes typically use only egg whites, while curds use egg yolks — what a perfect pair). Second, buttercream roses.
My first brush with a mango occurred at an intimate table with friends in the curried, rosy air of Jaipur. I wish I meant the Indian city, but actually, I mean the small restaurant situated in an unassuming, bustling Charlotte strip mall. A group of college friends and I drove 45 minutes one night to South Boulevard for the delicious buffet. Mike and I were regulars, so the waiter already knew to bring me a diet coke. On this visit, though, at my friend’s suggestion, I also asked for a mango lassi — a cool, sweet mango yogurt drink. Perhaps they should rename it ambrosia and nectar, the fabled food of Greek gods, because it was definitely divine. Since that fateful meeting, I’ve had delicious mango pudding at another Indian restaurant and a refreshing frozen mango sorbet from the Indian grocery down the street. Mangoes make me think of sitar music, bright orange marigolds, and a beautiful love scene in the rain under an umbrella of flowers (if you haven’t seen Monsoon Wedding, you should!)
Monsoon Wedding: Dubey and his love in the rain under a marigold umbrella.
In short, I love mangoes. When I saw Smitten Kitchen’s version of mango curd, I immediately knew that I had to stuff it in a cupcake. Why is my reaction to beautiful things sticking them into baked goods? That’s probably a question for another day.
As for the buttercream roses, they answered my need for something pretty and simple on top of my cupcakes. I came across the beauties on Smitten Kitchen again, if it’s any indication of how much time I spent perusing her blog this week. I’d never tried to make an icing rose, but after watching millions (no, really, ask Mike how many I forced him to watch with me) of videos on the topic, I thought I’d give it a try. I whipped up a raspberry buttercream, bought a flower nail and some rose tips, and went to work. While my frosting was an imperfect consistency and it proved harder than it looked, I think the technique was a success. I can’t wait to try again with different frostings! I hope you’ll try it (and keep trying . . . and keep trying) if you haven’t already. If you want a great tutorial, I like this one and this one.
All of these delicious components — the perfect white cake, the tangy mango curd, and the raspberry buttercream — came together to form these Mango Raspberry Rosecakes.
Peekaboo! My mango curd is smiling.
The moist white cake envelopes the exotic and bright flavor of the mango and, topped with tart raspberry, forms a sweet, summery treat. The only thing I wonder, both because of my frosting rose difficulties and because the buttercream almost overpowered the mango, is if a raspberry cream cheese frosting might be a better choice. I’ll leave that up to you to decide. Either way, I know you’re going to enjoy these amazing flavors. Feel free to deconstruct these treats and use the perfect white cake base with other fillings and frostings, and the mango curd in other cakes (or even as a delicious spread for shortcake, shortbread cookies, or toast).
Mango Raspberry Rosecakes
–The Way the Cookie Crumbles (white cake, adapted to cupcakes)
–Smitten Kitchen (mango curd)
-Me (buttercream frosting)
Yields: 25-26 cupcakes, 1-1.5 cups of mango curd filling
Perfect White Cupcake Ingredients:
2¼ cups cake flour (9 ounces)
1 cup + 2 tablespoons whole milk, at room temperature
6 large egg whites (¾ cup), at room temperature
2 teaspoons almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or 1 inch vanilla bean seeds)
1½ cups + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar (11.35 ounces)
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon table salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1½ sticks), softened but still cool
Mango Curd Ingredients:
1 15-ounce ripe mango, peeled, pitted, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/3 – 1/2 cup sugar (depending on your preference for tart vs. sweet)
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Pinch of salt
4 large egg yolks
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
Raspberry Buttercream Ingredients:
(double this if you’re planning on attempting roses)
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup vegetable shortening (white)
4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla flavoring
1/2 teaspoon almond flavoring
1/2 teaspoon imitation butter flavoring
1/2 teaspoon raspberry extract
2-6 tablespoons sweet milk, depending on consistency
Food coloring as desired
Extra supplies needed to create buttercream roses:
Rose tips #104 (I used two, to create two-toned roses)
Make mango curd: This can be made a day in advance and refrigerated. Puree mango, sugar, lime juice and salt in processor, scraping down sides of work bowl occasionally. Add yolks; puree 15 seconds longer. Strain through sieve set over large metal bowl, pressing on solids with back of spatula to release as much puree as possible. Discard solids in sieve.
Set metal bowl over saucepan of simmering water (do not allow bottom of bowl to touch water); whisk puree until thickened and thermometer registers 170°F., about 10 minutes. Remove from over water. Whisk in butter 1 piece at a time. Cover with plastic wrap (directly on the curd to prevent a skin from forming) and refrigerate for several hours (or overnight). Note: I’m freezing my excess according to Fine Cooking’s instructions for lemon curd, that is, up to two months.
Make the perfect white cupcakes: Set oven rack in middle position. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray cupcake pans with nonstick cooking spray or line with cupcake papers.
Pour milk, egg whites, and extracts into 2-cup glass measure, and mix with fork until blended.
Mix cake flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in bowl of electric mixer at slow speed. Add butter; continue beating at slow speed until mixture resembles moist crumbs, with no powdery streaks remaining.
Add all but ½ cup of milk mixture to crumbs and beat at medium speed (or high speed if using handheld mixer) for 1½ minutes. Add remaining ½ cup of milk mixture and beat 30 seconds more. Stop mixer and scrape sides of bowl. Return mixer to medium (or high) speed and beat 20 seconds longer.
Divide batter evenly in cupcake pans and smooth tops of cupcakes. Arrange pans at least 3 inches from the oven walls and 3 inches apart. (If oven is small, place pans on separate racks in staggered fashion to allow for air circulation.) Bake until thin skewer or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 15-16 minutes.
Let cakes rest in pans for 3 minutes. Transfer to wire rack for cooling completely, about 1½ hours. To fill with mango curd, core the middle of the cupcake using something like the cone method (not easy with such a moist cake, but no worries — your frosting will cover any mess you make). Pipe or spoon in as much mango curd as you can fit. Replace your cupcake “cone” and frost.
Make raspberry buttercream: Cream all ingredients (except milk) together. Add milk slowly as needed to produce desired consistency. If you’re planning on making roses, you want a thick, stiff frosting (but still smooth). For the roses, frost cupcakes lightly with the back of a spoon or an offset spatula. Then create the roses on the flower nail and transfer to the top of the cupcake (use this tutorial or this one). Otherwise, frost as desired.
Mango curd finished.
Perfect white cakes fresh from the oven.
Stuffed with mango curd and ready for frosting.
First frosting layer finished.
23 responses to “Mango Raspberry Rosecakes”
What beautiful cupcakes! I love the roses on top and the fact that you’ve filled it with mango curd 🙂
Thank you, Lorraine! It was my first experience with the roses, and boy, it looks easier on YouTube! But it was a lot of fun, and I think I’m getting the hang of it 🙂
:O wow! those cupcakes look absolutely gorgeous! I don’t understand how you did the roses – they look so beautiful!
Really, really, really great job with those cupcakes! And they look really cute inside, with the mango curd! I like the “U” shape of the mango curd!
Thank you, Emma! The roses were tough, but I got 26 cupcakes worth of practice, so hopefully next time it’ll be easier! This is my favorite rose tutorial: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3lO8vn0prUI
These are almost too pretty to eat!
Thank you, Barbara!
The roses look absolutely perfect! I’ll definitely have to try this technique, though I doubt it’d come close to looking as pretty as yours. Thanks for sharing!
Aw, thank you!! I hope you’ll try it! I’d love to see pictures when you do. This was my first attempt and it was definitely tricky, but I feel like with a stiffer frosting I’d get the hang of it better. The folks in the video make it look like a piece of (cup)cake!
Mango is one of my favorite fruits! I would have never thought to do a curd with it.
I wouldn’t have either, Esi, until I saw it on Smitten Kitchen. I’m so glad I did. I love lemon curd, and mango curd is similarly fantastic!
those look delicious! i blogged about your poodles that you posted on my page, i hope you don’t mind! 🙂
I don’t mind at all! Glad you liked them. It was so sweet of my mom to make them for me.
newbie to your site…found it from *lovin from the oven* & i heart your poodle cookie- the cutest!
your photography is great…..
will have to try your cups with roses…they look fabulous! any tips for roses…i am a newbie to decorating as well! thanks!!
Welcome, Linda! My mom actually made those poodle cookies — she’s amazing! She made 60 of them, one for each of my students 🙂 Thanks so much for your kind words!
Honestly I was a newbie to the roses too! I think my biggest tip would be to get a great consistency for your frosting: stiff but smooth. I should’ve started over when I realized mine was too soft, but I’m stubborn. It’s worth remaking the frosting if it’s not going your way! I also recommend surfing around youtube and watching videos of different people making them. They were all so helpful to me. Hope to see you around some more!
hey julie…thanks for your reply…wow…your mom could give lessons…
& your rose advice…surfed youtube & found some good tutorials! see you around…for sure!! 🙂
These are beautiful and delicious looking. I love the way you write, and am certain I would love your baked goods, too. Yum!
Thanks so much, Othelia!
Hello Julie, your cupcakes are beautiful, adding the mango custard was wonderful. I can just imagine what a treat it would be to bite into those and taste that filling.I’d love to guide our readers to your site if you won’t mind.Just add your choice of foodista widget to this post and it’s all set to go, Thanks!
These were really great, Julie! I ate WAY too many of them!
Glad you liked them!! They were some of my favorite too 🙂 Thanks!
These sound absolutely amazing and those little buttercream roses are gorgeous!
Thank you, Karly! 🙂
Oh no! Everytime I wander around your site I find something I want to try. I need to hit the gym harder. I LOVE and adore mango. Especially the little yellow ones, but I never considered mango curd! Lemon curd is wonderful! You made me laugh with the comment about making your husband sit through rose videos with you! I do things like that to mine all the time too. I sometimes wonder if he is so patient only because he knows treats will soon follow!