little gluten-free mango cakes recipe

I have to say, I sometimes forget we are even living in Australia. As a mum you just get on with life, doing whatever has to be done to keep the kids fed, happy and healthy. So much so that there's not really a whole lot of time left in the day to actually just sit back, observe and really appreciate just how different Perth is to New Zealand. Sure I notice the odd aussie twang, although strangely not as often as I did when living on the East coast (I find the Perth accent very mild), I hear the crows and other random birds singing at 3.30am (our NZ birds are much more relaxed, starting at around 6am), and all the shops closing on Sunday make it pretty clear where we are now living. But it took coming home the other day holding two $10 boxes of Australian mangoes to make me finally, really seriously realise we are in Perth! Funny how it takes food to make me notice...

When we arrived earlier this year we just managed to catch the last few mangoes before the season ended. We gorged ourselves for a week or so and then that was it, straight into winter which felt exactly like New Zealand except for the shortness of it, off course. Being here right at the start of mango season has been such a treat, we feasted on green mangoes while they were briefly around last month and now we're onto the real deal; big, juicy, utterly gorgeous Australian mangoes. I swear I could eat them everyday of my life and still never tire of them. We've been buying boxes upon boxes; eating many, cooking some and freezing the rest in slices to eat later on in summer when the heat of Perth has us scrambling for anything even remotely cool and refreshing. 

These little mango cakes have been my favourite mango treat so far; a super-light sponge-type cake cooked atop thin slices of mango that soften and intensify during cooking, leaving them almost jelly-like in texture. A tangy lime syrup is poured over what becomes the base of the cakes, making sure both top and bottom are beautifully moist and moorish. I've opted to use finely grated pure palm sugar as the sweetener which also adds a lovely caramel note, but feel free to use equal amounts of regular or golden caster sugar if preferred. They are beautiful served with a little extra coconut milk/cream on the side if you like.

little gluten-free mango cakes
I like to use butter in my baking now that we tolerate it in small amounts, but if you prefer to keep these dairy-free, use dairy-free margarine instead. Look out for the solid blocks of pure palm sugar (golden in colour) at you local Asian grocery store and if you are wanting to make sure these cakes are cane sugar-free be sure to check the labels as some palm sugars contain cane sugar too. I just grate mine on the side of my grater with the finest holes, storing any excess in a glass jar for next time. You can also use regular or golden caster sugar in place of the palm sugar if preferred. And as always, please note that I use New Zealand tablespoons (15ml), Australian tablespoons are 20ml.
Makes 4

  • 1 large mango, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 90g softened butter or dairy-free margarine
  • 1/2 cup (120g) finely grated & firmly packed pure palm sugar
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup (60g) fine brown rice flour
  • 1 teaspoon gluten-free baking powder 
  • 3 tablespoons desiccated coconut* see head notes
  • zest of 1 lime
  • 3 tablespoons (45ml) coconut milk or cream, plus extra to serve (optional)

lime syrup

  • Juice of 1 lime (use the zested one from above)
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) water
  • 1/4 cup (65g) finely grated & firmly packed pure palm sugar

    Preheat oven to 180 C/350 F. Grease 4 mini bundt tins (250ml/1 cup capacity) or similar cake tins or even large muffin tins if that's what you have and lay mango slices in the bottom of each one, covering the base.

    Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add a little egg at a time, beating well between each addition. Stir in the flour, baking powder, coconut and zest and mix until combined. Then add the coconut milk or cream. Divide between cake tins and bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden and cooked through when a skewer is inserted into the centre and comes out clean.

    Place all the lime syrup ingredients into a small saucepan and bring slowly to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Boil for 5 minutes then set aside to cool slightly. Drizzle over the cakes as soon as they come out of the oven and leave to cool in the tins. Turn out carefully and serve with extra coconut milk/cream drizzled over the top if desired. 

    This is my entry for Sweet New Zealand, being hosted by Mairi from Toast
    Also linked to: Slightly indulgent Tuesdays @ Simply sugar gluten-free
                             Tasty Tuesdays @ 33 shades of green
                             Allergy friendly Fridays @ Cybele Pascal

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  • Reply
    November 7, 2011 at 12:36 am

    I've never seen anything like this- it looks incredible! Mango in baking = genius 🙂 Mangoes are so delicious at the moment, can't believe you got a box for $10! x

  • Reply
    paula @ podand3peas
    November 7, 2011 at 12:54 am

    i love getting all sticky eating mangos !! pretty little puddings 🙂

  • Reply
    Heavenly Ingredients
    November 7, 2011 at 12:55 am

    I hope you're enjoying Perth more and more now. It definitely has its benefits.
    I'm mango obsessed too, but they all seem to be eaten fresh. I might try these when I buy a box…

  • Reply
    Cass @foodmyfriend
    November 7, 2011 at 4:11 am

    🙂 I love that mangoes are affordable again. I made a mango sorbet last week using just mangoes!!

  • Reply
    November 7, 2011 at 5:40 am

    Yum, that's what we've been doing with some of our frozen ones too, so yum 🙂

  • Reply
    Jacquie in canada
    November 7, 2011 at 6:49 pm

    Mangos and sunshine,sigh,just got our first dust of snow on the prairies.I will definatly be coming here for my winter blues pick me up. YUM.

  • Reply
    November 8, 2011 at 3:53 am

    OMG I am so envious, do you know how much Australian mangos cost here? When we get them that is! My favourite fruit ever, I don't know if I could make your pudding with fresh mangos, they are such a luxury that I only eat them raw, but I can buy some very nice Indian mango pulp (canned) but it wouldn't be suitable (need slices). Must plan a holiday to Australia next year, and have lots of mangos then!


    you can enter this in Sweet New Zealand, the host this month is Mairi, info here

    bet all other Kiwis will be raving about it, and the price of mangos!!!

  • Reply
    November 8, 2011 at 5:14 am

    Ah yes Alessandra I do remember how expensive Aussie mangoes are back home in NZ 🙁 I can't say I'd ever cook with them either at that price! You could easily substitute the fresh with tinned ones, they are not so bad in baking. Or play around with using thinly sliced fresh pineapple for a variation? And yes you should time a trip to Aussie when mangoes are in season!

    Thanks for the reminder about sweet NZ. Will pop over to Mairi's blog now xx

  • Reply
    The InTolerant Chef
    November 8, 2011 at 5:18 am

    Oh my mangoey goodness! These must be the scrummiest cakes this season, yumm.. I will be making these this weekend, but I doubt I'll get a box of mangoes that cheap to make them with. I got a box of 20 mangoes for $22 dollars last week and I thought that was a bargin, but you've got me beat! 🙂

  • Reply
    November 8, 2011 at 6:15 am

    20 mangoes for $22 is still blimmen good! The trays started out at $20, then this last time were down to $10, the $20 ones tasted nicer, but the $10 ones are perfect for cooking with and freezing. I'm not complaining 😉

  • Reply
    Jennifer (Delicieux)
    November 8, 2011 at 9:36 am

    Mangos really signal summer don't they? Your cake looks so delicious and full of mango goodness. As much as I love mangos I've never thought of cooking or baking with them. They never go further than the chopping board when I chop them up and eat them straight from the board.

  • Reply
    November 8, 2011 at 9:46 am

    Beautiful – so shiny!
    I could eat a LOT of mangoes too – I think it's that their flavour is so delicate and elusive, you want to keep eating more to get a hold of it. If that makes sense. Can't wait for them to become more cheaper and in season here (lucky you, living in Aussie!)

  • Reply
    November 8, 2011 at 9:47 pm

    What a pretty little cake! Mangoes come to the top of my fav fruits list – this makes me very envious 😉

  • Reply
    November 9, 2011 at 2:58 am

    These look so good and mango is one of the only fruits Indi can eat right now! Thanks for the kind words yesterday! xx m.

  • Reply
    November 9, 2011 at 3:28 pm

    These look so good! I have to admit I haven't ever cooked with mangos but seeing this I might just have to give it an honest attempt 🙂 Visiting from Tasty Tuesdays.

  • Reply
    November 11, 2011 at 5:21 am

    We adore mangoes in any form – these are gorgeous cakes you've created! I can see why they're a favorite.

  • Reply
    November 15, 2011 at 4:25 am

    Thanks for this recipe Emma – perfect dessert for a girls night following pad thai for dinner. I did as you suggested and used canned mangoes – I am always wary of the imported ones here in kiwi land – and they just came out of the oven smelling incredible!

  • Reply
    November 15, 2011 at 6:35 am

    Yay! So glad you've made them Rach 🙂 Yum aye xx

  • Reply
    November 16, 2011 at 7:16 am

    Love mangoes & those little cakes look gorgeous.

  • Reply
    Gluten Free Mrs D
    November 25, 2011 at 9:58 pm

    Oh my gosh. These mango cakes look absolutely amazing. Living in London I can only dream just how delicious they taste!

    Australian mangoes have such a fabulous taste, I'm v envious you can pick them up for a $10 a box. Wow.

  • Reply
    Couscous & Consciousness
    December 6, 2011 at 8:51 am

    OMG – I am having serious mango envy. They are such a luxury here, and not always that good either as they've spent such a lot of time travelling and sitting around in cool stores. I'm thinking I could make this with peaches or nectarines though maybe which are in season now.
    Sue xo

  • Reply
    July 6, 2013 at 10:39 am

    My sister share your recipe. i have not tried it but i am so glad to have it. looking forward to trying it soon. thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    Olga Zaiter
    July 26, 2013 at 2:47 pm

    Can I use coconut or almond flour instead of brown rice flour?

    • Reply
      July 27, 2013 at 3:32 am

      I don't see why not, although that's just a guess as I haven't made these cakes without brown rice flour. I'd go for almond flour, unless you are familiar with coconut flour (you only need a little bit as it sucks up loads of liquid).

  • Reply
    July 26, 2013 at 2:49 pm

    Can I use honey instead of palm sugar?

    • Reply
      July 27, 2013 at 3:30 am

      I haven't made this using honey, so you'd just have to try it out yourself and see!

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