Sweet Inspiration. Mango and Coconut Upside-down Cake.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAround this time of year, I turn to my large magazine stash for sweet inspiration.  I pull out all the December Christmas editions of Delicious and Gourmet traveller and Donna Hay’s annual Celebration edition. Sticky notes flap from far too many pages. I’ll attempt some of these but make some old-time favourites too.

The following Upside down Mango and Coconut cake turned up on an SBS food site. Anneke Manning has a new segment devoted to baking.  As a food columnist for many a magazine, and cookbook author, her recipes are always very reliable. This recipe happily coincided with the arrival of mangoes from the annual mango box fundraiser. It’s a light textured summer cake to follow a Christmas Eve seafood BBQ.



  • melted butter, to grease
  • 270 ml coconut milk
  • 135 g (1½ cups) desiccated coconut
  • 200 g unsalted butter, softened
  • 220 g (1 cup) caster sugar
  • eggs
  • 150 g (1 cup) plain flour
  • 100 g (⅔ cup) self-raising flour
  • cream or ice-cream, to serve (optional)
  • shredded or flaked coconut, toasted, to serve (optional)

Mango topping

  • firm but ripe mangoes (about 400 g each)
  • 50 g unsalted butter
  • 60 g (¼ cup, firmly packed) brown sugar


Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced). Grease a 24 cm x 30 cm (base measurement) lamington tin with melted butter and line the base with non-stick baking paper.

To make the mango topping, cut the cheeks from the mangoes, remove the skin and then cut lengthways into 1 cm-thick slices (reserve the remaining flesh for another use, such as, a mango coulis to be used later on ice cream). Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, stir in the brown sugar and cook for about 1 minute until well combined. Transfer the mixture to the prepared tin and spread as evenly as possible over the base. Arrange the mango slices over the top of the brown sugar mixture. Set aside.

Combine the coconut milk and desiccated coconut in a bowl and set aside. Use an electric mixer to beat the butter and sugar until pale and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition until well combined.

Sift together the plain and self-raising flours. Add half the flour to the butter mixture and use a large metal spoon or spatula to fold until just combined. Fold in the coconut mixture and then the remaining flour until just combined.

Spoon the mixture into the tin over the mangoes and use the back of a metal spoon to spread evenly, being careful not to move the mango. Bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.

Stand the cake in the tin for 10 minutes. Run a palette knife around the outside of the cake and turn out onto a serving plate or large bread board. Serve warm or at room temperature with cream or ice-cream, or on its own, and sprinkled with the flaked coconut.

The cake will keep for two days in an airtight container in the fridge. Bring back to room temperature before serving.

Upside down mango slab cake emerges from it's tin.
Upside down mango slab cake emerges from its tin.


An Unadorned slice for the cook. Tomorrow the rest will be served with icecream.
An unadorned sample for Moi!

I can highly recommend Anneke’s New column, Bakeproof,  for sweet inspiration.


30 thoughts on “Sweet Inspiration. Mango and Coconut Upside-down Cake.”

    1. SBS is one thing that I enjoy landing in my email box. I am also rather partial to the SBS Feast mag and this has replaced the Gourmet Traveller Mag as an occasional buy, the latter being too dominated by advertising.
      This cake is light but oc course not on the calories!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. What a beautiful moist cake. I’m exactly the same as you when it comes to flicking through my Christmas foodie magazines at this time of year. About to go through them now to find a ham glaze recipe, a salad and a dessert for a Christmas Eve dinner tonight. Not sure why I’ve left it to the last minute! Wishing you a very Merry Christmas, Francesca xx


  2. mmm – I have never cooked with coconut milk – and my son LOVES mango =- so I might have to try this some day – mmmmm looks really good – thx for sharing


      1. well I made a few fun images for blogger friends from last year – and here is one I made for your “almost italian” blog – and in 2015 I am looking forward to dropping by a bit more… 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Hang on a minute! How come I missed this post? Actually, I haven’t seen any of yours lately, my friend! Must check if I am still a subscriber. This cake looks and sounds lovely… Anneka is a favourite of mine from way back… you’ve done good things with her recipe. Yum.


    1. I have also missed so many posts over the mad season Lizzie- and in the back of my mind, I know they came in but I have been so busy,that they all seem to blur. We all get overloaded at Christmas. I am only now catching up with my favourite bloggers.


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