the taste space

Mango Cupcakes with Mango Buttercream Frosting (Vegan)

Posted in Desserts by janet @ the taste space on February 28, 2013

Mango Cupcakes with Mango Buttercream Frosting (Vegan)

If coconut doesn’t bring you out of a winter rut, how about mango? Mango cupcakes with a mango coconut oil buttercream frosting, anyone?

February is a busy month for me and Rob.

Valentine’s Day, followed by Rob’s birthday and also our anniversary. We tend to go all out for Rob’s birthday, but this year, we kept it simple by meeting with friends at Rob’s favourite resto in our neighbourhood. No jackfruit “pulled pork” wraps or pineapple and cucumber guacamole this year. While The Beet has possibly my favourite desserts in the city (the best raw cheesecakes), I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to make Rob a birthday treat.

The trick? Keeping it a surprise.

At least I knew Rob wouldn’t be privy to my dessert brainstorm on Pinterest. (ChefTap totally wins in that regard). One benefit of his birthday being after Valentine’s Day is that I could peruse all the lovely Valentine’s Day-inspired treats. Raw chocolate cheesecake with zucchini? If I was going to take over a resto, I figured it would be easier to eat something with our hands and plus, I had no zucchini. Raw coconut cardamom cheesecakes? They could melt before we made it to dessert at the resto. Raw chocolate tartelettes with chocolate ganache? No tartelette containers here.. Mango Cupcakes with a Coconut Chocolate Ganache? No chocolate nor full-fat coconut milk here. Chloe’s winning Ginger Nutmeg Spice Cupcakes? I really think I was onto something with the mango and this calls for full-fat coconut milk, too…. Mango Cupcakes with a Mango Buttercream Frosting? We have a winner… with just a few (minor) substitutions. :)

I made the cupcakes the night before, as Rob was out late for a work gathering. I had an hour before he came home so I whipped together the cupcakes. No baking expert at all, I called my mom to ask how long I had to let the cupcakes cool before I could frost them. At least half an hour, she told me. How long have they been out of the oven? Uh, I still have 15 minutes left in the oven and he’s due back in 45 minutes. She laughed. No frosting tonight. I hid the cupcakes.. and ran the dishwasher with all the dirty dishes.

As I went to bed, I determined the perfect time to make the frosting: the next morning while Rob went to the gym. For some reason, Rob picks his gym day the same day as my rest day. Thursdays. However, this Thursday he decided NOT to go to the gym. GAH!! So, I rushed off to work early so I could leave earlier, too. To frost my cupcakes before dinner. ;)

Mango Cupcakes with Mango Buttercream Frosting (Vegan)

So that’s my rambly preamble…. but I should not be keeping you in suspense because these cupcakes were winners. We shunned the desserts at the resto in lieu of cupcakes. Not just any cupcakes. Mango cupcakes with a mango buttercream frosting. Booyah! Vegan cupcakes, of course. Whole wheat, no problem (actually you wouldn’t know it, unlike my chocolate avocado cake).

Mango cupcakes sound revolutionary but it isn’t unusual to substitute apple or banana into baked goods. Here, I used mango puree. You could blend your own, or pick up a can of puree of Alphonso mangoes (the sweetest King of Mangoes) to make them moist and sweet. The cupcake base is also spiced with cardamom for an Indian twist. For the frosting, I will admit that I cracked and bought some icing sugar (everything else was from our pantry, including the mango puree). I contemplated making my own icing sugar from coconut sugar but decided against it at the last moment. My substitutions were mainly by using coconut oil. Because if there is one thing that I have a lot of (after beans and kelp noodles), it is coconut oil. Making coconut oil frosting is no new feat, but this was heightened by adding mango puree to it. The solid nature of coconut oil means that you don’t need to add as much icing sugar to achieve a stiff consistency. It was also super easy to pipe. Way easier than when my Mom and I made the royal icing for my bathbomb cupcakes.

A few notes about the recipe: my cupcakes were flat-topped. Nothing the frosting couldn’t fixhide, but I am not sure if that was because I used coconut oil in the batter. Or the spelt? Or the bit of whole wheat pastry flour I finished off? Or the supplemental brown sugar I needed to top off the sugar? (Yes, it was a great pantry emptying cupcake). Who knows but I think it could be the coconut oil. Just thought I’d let you know.  Not that anyone noticed. They were definitely a resounding success. I heard them say Best. Cupcakes. Ever. (Thanks, Matt). The magic ingredient wasn’t mango, it was love. :)

Mango Cupcakes with Mango Buttercream Frosting (Vegan)

This is my submission to this month’s Tea Time Treats for cupcakes, to this week’s Healthy Vegan Fridays, to this month’s Credit Crunch Munch and this month’s Bookmarked Recipes.

Mango Cupcakes
Adapted from Holy Cow Vegan

1 1/2 cups spelt flour (could substitute all-purpose but you honestly couldn’t tell this was whole wheat)
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cardamom powder
1 1/2 cups mango puree
1/3 cup melted coconut oil (or your favourite oil, canola may be better)
2/3 cup granulated sugar (you could use less, depending on the sweetness of your mangoes)
1 tsp vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 350F.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cardamom powder.

3. In a medium bowl, mix together the mango puree, melted coconut oil, sugar and vanilla. Stir until the sugar is dissolved.

4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until just combined and the lumps are gone. Do not overbeat.

5. Place batter into paper-lined muffin pan (mine filled 12).

6. Bake for 25-27 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

7. Allow to cool completely before frosting (at least half an hour).

Makes 12.

Mango Buttercream Coconut Oil Frosting

1 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup mango puree
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups icing sugar

1. With a mixer, using the K-bar, beat coconut oil on high until light and fluffy, around 2 minutes.

2. While the mixer is on low, add the mango puree, vanilla and slowly add in the sugar. Scrape down the sides as needed and whip on high until light and fluffy.

3. Frost the cupcakes after they’ve cooled completely. Be careful of heat after frosting them. Our last cupcake’s frosting melted by the end of the night. Although I wasn’t chaperoning it so I can’t comment on what went wrong.

Frosts 12 cupcakes.

46 Responses

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  1. Matt said, on February 28, 2013 at 10:06 AM

    These were delicious! I didn’t know you used cardamom, but in retrospect I think that is what elevated them from awesome to best ever. :)

  2. sprint2thetable said, on February 28, 2013 at 10:21 AM

    After that giant list of dessert deliciousness I’m going to have to beg you to send me a birthday treat this year!

  3. Playful and Hungry said, on February 28, 2013 at 10:32 AM

    Yummy! I love the frosting – did you use canned mango puree? Or fresh one?

  4. Joanne said, on February 28, 2013 at 11:35 AM

    Mango definitely gets me in a tropical kinda mood! These look awesome!

  5. Chef Amber Shea said, on February 28, 2013 at 12:35 PM

    Oh my WOW, Janet. I am bookmarking this for when Champagne mangoes come into season and I begin buying them by the case at the Asian market like I am wont to do. These look incredible!

    • janet @ the taste space said, on March 1, 2013 at 11:38 AM

      Thanks Amber! Yes, when the Alphonso mangoes come in season, we usually pick up a few cases.. I don’t even think they sell anything less. ;)

  6. Kristy said, on February 28, 2013 at 12:50 PM

    Man, these look good, Janet! Mango is one of my favorite fruits so I will for sure be giving these a try sometime soon! :-)

  7. Hannah said, on February 28, 2013 at 2:34 PM

    You must be secretly Australia. People be obsessed with mangoes down there.

    • Hannah said, on February 28, 2013 at 2:34 PM

      Ugh, Australian*

      • janet @ the taste space said, on March 1, 2013 at 11:36 AM

        Haha, Rob loves Australia and he is definitely the mango-lover between the two of us. Does Australia grow mangoes? We prefer the Indian Alphonso ones during their short-lived season.

      • rszumlak said, on March 1, 2013 at 2:10 PM

        There are indeed lots of high quality mangoes grown in Australia! I remember some great ones with very little stinginess.

  8. Priya Yallapantula said, on February 28, 2013 at 3:42 PM

    Love the “vegan” part of it :)

  9. Eileen said, on February 28, 2013 at 3:44 PM

    Hooray! These cupcakes sound wonderful, flat top notwithstanding. :) Cakes bursting with lots of fruit are my favorite. Never tried mango, though! We’ll have to fix that.

  10. Colette from JFF! said, on February 28, 2013 at 6:23 PM

    I’ll bet they’re as tasty as they are cute!

  11. veghotpot said, on February 28, 2013 at 7:04 PM

    My mouth is watering looking at those! Yummy!!

  12. rszumlak said, on February 28, 2013 at 7:45 PM

    Janet: I could definitely taste the love in the cupcakes! It’s the best seasoning!

    Hannah: although I enjoyed the mango in Australia it was Thailand that put me over the top!

  13. Gabby @ the veggie nook said, on February 28, 2013 at 10:43 PM

    Wow those are soooo pretty and the photography is great :) Rob sure is a lucky guy! Love the idea of mango cupcakes- they sound so summery! Perfect for getting us through this terrible weather.

    I had to laugh about your issues with timing the baking and frosting. I have experienced that soo many times! I usually end up making desserts in a least 2 stages.

  14. Kayla Hoffman said, on March 1, 2013 at 12:54 AM

    Oh I will have to make these for my Rob!!

  15. Johanna GGG said, on March 1, 2013 at 7:00 AM

    these cupcakes look fantastic – great birthday treat – I have always made flat cupcakes so that just seems normal to me – after all they are so much easier to ice if flat. I love your secret squirrell baking – I usually spend quite a bit of time consulting my birthday guests when baking for them – probably because my mum always asked what we wanted to eat on our birthday. I hope rob was suitably surprised :-)

    • janet @ the taste space said, on March 1, 2013 at 11:33 AM

      Thanks Johanna. While we are both pretty particular about gifts, for meals we like the element of surprise. I actually asked everyone to guess the flavour before I told them what they were and it took a few guesses before they picked mango. Not because it didn’t taste like mango (it does in retrospect) but it just wasn’t what anyone was expecting. I had a lot of gueeses for citrus, actually. ;)

  16. Allysia Kerney said, on March 1, 2013 at 11:54 AM

    Oh man, I’ve never thought to make mango cupcakes…for shame. And it’s pretty groovy that they’re a little bit healthified! I had no idea you could make such a nice buttercream with coconut oil, though I guess it would be a little more moody about melting than butter. So many kitchen things to try!

    • janet @ the taste space said, on March 1, 2013 at 11:56 AM

      Thanks! I don’t think coconut butter frosting would work well in the tropics but here in wintry Canada, it seems perfectly fine. :)

  17. Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl said, on March 1, 2013 at 3:53 PM

    I have a serious appreciation for any dessert recipe that is made vegan. These sound so delicious and they look so pretty! Thanks for sharing :).

  18. Katherine Natalia @ Green Thickies said, on March 7, 2013 at 5:09 PM

    Mmm, Mango anything gets my vote but these have got me drooling! Thank you for sharing this with Healthy Vegan Fridays. Check back on Friday to see if you were one of the Top 3! We hope to see you again this week. You can submit a post from Friday to end of Tuesday:
    http://www.greenthickies.com/healthy-vegan-friday

  19. [...] my weakness is beans and greens, Rob’s weakness is [...]

  20. Fuss Free Helen said, on March 19, 2013 at 2:27 PM

    Janet, I am so sorry, as I was sure that I had commented on these, but it seems not. I love the idea of these cupcakes, especially the coconut oil frosting. Certainly one to try.

    Thank you so much for sending to Credit Crunch Munch!

  21. [...] Undeterred by my recent dessert flops experiments (more on that in a later post), I decided to work with Katie’s recipe for Lemon Squares.  I’ve had a baked tofu cheesecake on my recipe to-do list for a while. However, I usually get distracted by other dessert options. [...]

  22. whatkatebaked said, on April 15, 2013 at 2:41 PM

    Thank you for your yummy entry into Teat Time Treats! Kate

  23. [...] was Janet from the Taste Space with vegan mango cupcakes.   Vegan baking can often call for lots of expensive specialist ingredients, but not with these [...]

  24. Anna said, on May 27, 2013 at 8:46 PM

    Good attempt but you should have given credit to HOLyCow vegan website of Vaishali from which you have lifted this recipe. Not a single place you had mentioned. This is plagiarism, we are not made creative but we can attempt to be honest …..this is the website you have taken this recipe
    http://www.holycowvegan.net/2009/11/mango-cupcakes-with-mango-buttercream.html#more

    • janet @ the taste space said, on May 27, 2013 at 8:57 PM

      Hi Anna,

      Underneath the title, I wrote: Adapted from Holy Cow Vegan and linked to the recipe. This is how I credited the original source and I used the same link you provided.

      Since I rewrote the directions and credited the source, I trust that is ok?

  25. Anna said, on May 27, 2013 at 8:47 PM

    I do know you will not publish…lets see how honest you are

  26. […] 10. Mango Cupcakes with Mango Buttercream Frosting […]


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