Mango Rum Cupcakes – Four Baking Lessons and One Life Lesson

Mango Rum Cupcakes – Four Baking Lessons and One Life Lesson

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I didn’t like these mango rum cupcakes. But, don’t stop reading here. This is a post of many lessons.

Baking Lesson 1:Even if you don’t love a cupcake, others may love it!

Like I said, I didn’t like these mango rum cupcakes at all – even the look of them bothered me (they look a bit like pee in the snow, don’t they?). But, when I gave them to a visiting taster, I was told that they were fantastic! “They get better with every bite. Love the chunks of mango! Wow!”

One thing that bothered me about the cupcakes was that even with mango in the frosting and chunks of mango in the cake batter, the cupcakes did not taste mango-y. Which brings me to lesson two…

Baking Lesson 2: Mango flavor disappears when you bake with it.

I should have learned this lesson the last time I made mango cupcakes and they ended up tasting like corn muffins. But, I thought I would try again. The chunks of mango in the batter definitely helped, but I still was not satisfied. If anyone has a really mango-y cake recipe, please share. Groom 3.0 would love a mango cupcake for the wedding.

Baking Lesson 3: Pieces of wet fruit cause the wrapper to separate from the cake.

While the chunks of fruit helped with the mango flavor, the wet fruit caused the wrapper to separate from the cake – not attractive.

Baking Lesson 4: Things may appear different in the morning. (This could also be a life lesson.)

I don’t have a before picture, so you are going to have to imagine a thick white meringue frosting on top of these cupcakes. When I returned to my cupcakes the next morning, all but a tiny layer of meringue had been absorbed into the cake. I think the culprit was the wet mangoes that I mixed into the meringue; they caused the meringue to deflate and dissolve.

Cupcakes changing overnight is nothing new in my house – see my Christmas cupcakes where my candy canes melted.

Life Lesson 1

Again and again, baking teaches me to roll with the punches (or the dough). Things don’t always work as planned; but I will experiment, experiment, experiment because when we stop trying new things, we stop really living.

Think you’d like these cupcakes? Here’s the recipe:

Mango Rum Cupcakes – Four Baking Lessons and One Life Lesson

Yield: 24 cupcakes

Mango Rum Cupcakes – Four Baking Lessons and One Life Lesson


    Cupcake Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 C unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 C sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 t vanilla extract
  • 1/4 C dark rum
  • 1/2 C pureed mango
  • 3 C all-purpose flour
  • 2 t baking powder
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1/8 t salt
  • 1 C sour cream
  • 2 mangoes, chopped into chunks
  • Mango Meringue Frosting Ingredients
  • 2 egg whites
  • ½ C sugar
  • 2 T pureed mango + extra mango as desired


    Cupcake Instructions
  1. Beat butter and sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy.
  2. Add eggs, egg yolk, and vanilla and beat until well-blended.
  3. Gradually add rum and mango puree. Beat well.
  4. In a separate bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  5. Add to batter alternately with sour cream, beating well after each addition.
  6. Mix in mango chunks.
  7. Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full.
  8. Bake at 350 F for 25 minutes.
  9. Mango Meringue Frosting Instructions
  10. Combine the egg whites and sugar in the mixing bowl of a stand mixer.
  11. Set mixing bowl on top of a pot of boiling water.
  12. Whisk until sugar has reached 110 F on a candy thermometer.
  13. Remove mixing bowl from the pot and place on mixer.
  14. Whisk for 10 minutes on medium speed using the whisk attachment.
  15. Whisk on high speed for another five minutes (you should see stiff glossy peaks).
  16. Whisk in mango until just integrated.
  17. Spoon onto cupcakes.
  18. If desired, add more mango on top of the meringue. (As noted above, all of this wet mango will make the meringue deflate and get absorbed into the cupcake.)


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22 comments on “Mango Rum Cupcakes – Four Baking Lessons and One Life Lesson”

  1. MP says:

    Some good baking–and life–lessons. And pretty cupcakes, even if they aren’t mango-y enough.

  2. Sandy says:

    Ohhh these look and sound sooo delicious!!! Too bad you can’t really taste the mango flavor that much… I HEART mango!!

  3. Amanda says:

    Aw… learning is good though. :)

    I feel your pain on the disaster cupcakes.

  4. kamailesfood says:

    The cupcakes looked fine to me until I read the yellow snow comment. Now that’s all I see when I look at them. :P They sound yummy though.

    Maybe using dried mangoes would make a more mango-y flavor.

  5. kamailesfood says:

    The cupcakes looked fine to me until I read the yellow snow comment. Now that’s all I see when I look at them. :P They sound yummy though.

    Maybe using dried mangoes would make a more mango-y flavor.

  6. Minko says:

    what about caramelising the mango beforr pureeing it

  7. MeLissa says:

    Love reading about all your cupcake adventures… I haven’t commented before, but as I was reading your post and your plea for some way to get mango flavor to stay, I was wondering if maybe adding one of the mango dessert sauce packets my company offers would work. It basically is a dried mixture that you add water to reconstitute and it is very mango-y.

    I may have to try that and get back to you – but we’re in the middle of moving, so please don’t expect it very soon. Of course, I also have to come up with something gluten free so I can actually taste it without being ill… If you want to chat with me about it offline, a link to my email is found by clicking on my picture at my blog (linked here).

    Always love your creations…even if I haven’t yet tried any (I need to modify them to be gluten free and it’s just never the same…). I will have to make that a priority.

    Sorry for the super long comment! :)

  8. It really is an excellent life lesson– just keep experimenting! Eventually, after a lot of experimenting, things start to turn out. I had to tweak quite a few things in my last attempted recipe when my Italian meringue frosting flopped and the key lime curd tasted awful!

    A friend of mine once made mango bars (like lemon bars, but with mango) and they were pretty awesome. So maybe you could take the concept of layering a mango bar-type element and layering it on top of the cupcake?

  9. Ivy says:

    Ohhh. I have had that paper separation thing before too and wondered what it was. it’s because you cake is too moist or wet? Thanks for sharing.

  10. Stef says:

    Such great ideas! Keep em coming!

    Kamaile – Dried mangoes would work really well.

    Minko – Interesting concept. Have you ever tried that?

    MeLissa – I’m going to drop you an email.

    SlightlyAwkward – I LOVE lemon bars. I’m going to have to think about that suggestion. It could be super tasty!

    Ivy – I don’t think that is the only reason it happens, but I think it plays a big role.

  11. Edana says:

    I was reading a recipe for an orange-flavored cake recently. In addition to mixing some orange zest into the batter, they juiced an orange, mixed the juice with sugar and poured that over the cake when it was done so it sunk in and absorbed. I haven’t tried it, but I imagine it would lead to a really great orange flavor, and I bet you could do the same thing with mango juice.

  12. EZSweets says:

    these cupcakes look so yummy!

  13. Liz says:

    Yes, I think a mango filling is the answer here, inside a complimentary flavored cupcake. Lemon or orange with a mango filling? Coconut?

  14. I made a mango cupcake recipe once that called for mango essence. I couldn’t find any in Australia (or at least not in my small part) but perhaps you could order it off the internet from India? (where the recipe came from)

    If you had mango essence, you could use pretty much any good orange or lemon recipe that called for essence.

  15. Minko says:

    How about redydrating a couple pieces of dried mango in the rum (or water) and pureeing that in your rocket blender and adding that to the batter? Or you could dice the dried mango and add that to the batter so you have mix of dried and fresh mango – double the mango.
    I will give it a go and let you know what the verdict is.

  16. Stef says:

    Thanks for keeping the ideas coming! If anyone tries one and gets it to work. Please share!

  17. Sommer says:

    for the mango meringue frosting, you could try using mango flavoring oil so it doesn’t lose it’s consistency. and maybe try a little of that in the batter to get a little more mango flavor. i bet using that along with the idea of soaking the cupcakes in the mango juice mixture above would make for a more “mangolicious” cupcake and you could probably even omit the chunks that made the cupcakes too wet :)

  18. Stef says:

    I tried the mango extract route and it worked!! Check it out!

  19. Have you ever tried an actual flavored rum?? I think they make a mango rum . . . . maybe that could make them more mango-y.

  20. Jaina says:

    Hmmm… I’m going to make some mango cupcakes for a friends birthday soon that calls for mango extract. Maybe that would help with your mango-y flavor!

    Here’s the recipe–

  21. Anonymous says:

    LOVING this blog! I’m a total newbie baker. How would I incorporate the mango essence into this recipe. I saw the mango recipe but I’m really interetsed in trying the mango rum, using the essence/extract.

  22. Stef says:

    Anon – You would just need to put a teaspoon or so of the extract in to kick the flavor up a notch. I’d taste the batter to see if that’s enough though, if not, you could always put in a bit more.

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