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slice of mango coconut cake sitting on a plate with a fork taking a bite out of it

Mango Coconut Cake

Mango coconut cake is a delicious tropical twist on regular coconut cake and is sure to please all coconut lovers!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 36 minutes
Cooling time 3 hours
Total Time 4 hours 11 minutes
Servings 10
Author Kelsie

Ingredients

Mango curd

  • 3/4 cup to 1 cup chopped frozen mango defrosted and drained
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into cubes

Coconut cake layers

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup cream of coconut (do NOT use coconut cream**)
  • 4 large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 1 cup whole milk at room temperature

Coconut frosting

  • 1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons cream of coconut
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons whole milk or heavy cream as needed
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 1/2 to 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup toasted flaked coconut for garnish if desired+

Instructions

Mango curd

  1. Process 3/4 cup of the mango in a food processor until it’s as smooth as you can get it. Measure to ensure you have 1/2 cup of puree; if not, add more mango.
  2. Add the sugar and lemon juice and process until completely smooth.
  3. Whisk the puree and the eggs together in a heavy medium saucepan. Set the pan over medium-low heat and stir in the butter.
  4. Cook the mixture, stirring frequently, until the curd is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 6 to 8 minutes.
  5. Pour the curd through a fine mesh sieve into a medium mixing bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, pressing the wrap onto the top of the curd (this will prevent a skin from forming).
  6. Cool the curd to room temperature, then refrigerate until well chilled, at least 2 hours. (You can make the curd up to 2 days ahead.)

Coconut cake layers

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spray 3 8-inch round baking pans with cooking spray and line the bottoms with parchment paper. Spray the paper with cooking spray and set pans aside.
  2. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a medium mixing bowl.
  3. Combine the butter, sugar, and cream of coconut in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer set to medium until fluffy.
  4. Beat in the eggs, vanilla, and coconut extract. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and add the milk, then beat on medium until well combined.
  5. Turn mixer to low and slowly beat in the dry ingredients until just incorporated. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl again to ensure all of the flour is mixed in.
  6. Divide the batter between the prepared pans and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean.
  7. Cool cake layers in pans for 20 minutes, then run a knife around the edge of the cake and carefully invert onto wire racks to cool completely before filling and frosting.

Coconut frosting:

  1. In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the butter on medium until very smooth. (You can use an electric mixer and a large mixing bowl in place of the stand mixer, if desired.)
  2. Add the cream of coconut, 2 tablespoons of milk, the coconut extract, and the salt and beat 1 minute more.
  3. Add 4 1/2 cups of powdered sugar and mix on low speed until combined. Turn mixer to medium and beat until very smooth. If frosting is too thick, add additional milk or cream. If it’s too thin add additional powdered sugar.

Assembly

  1. If your cake layers have domed, use a long serrated knife to trim them.
  2. Place one layer on a cake stand or cardboard cake circle and spread a thin layer of frosting over the top.
  3. Top with a 1/4 cup of mango curd, spreading into an even layer—do NOT go all the way to the edge.
  4. Top with a second cake layer and repeat the frosting and filling process. Top with the final cake layer. Refrigerate cake for 20 minutes, or until frosting is set and the cake layers don’t jiggle when you tap the cake.
  5. Frost the cake with the remaining frosting and top with additional mango curd. Again, DON’T GO ALL THE WAY TO THE EDGE or your curd will spill down the sides.
  6. Press toasted coconut into the sides of the cake if desired.
  7. Alternatively, you can just cover the whole cake with toasted coconut and save the remaining mango curd to snack on. Refrigerate to set the frosting, then serve.

Recipe Notes

*You may need a little more mango to get a 1/2 cup of puree.

** Cream of coconut and coconut cream are not the same thing and one cannot be substituted for the other. Cream of coconut has added sugar; you can typically find it at liquors stores. I use the brand Coco Lopez.

+To toast the coconut, spread it into an even, thin, layer on a large rimmed baking sheet and toast at 350 degrees for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring a few times. If it isn’t sufficiently brown after 5 minutes, continue toasting it but WATCH CAREFULLY because coconut burns really quickly.