A light buttery batter studded with ripe mangoes, tasty pecans and sweet cinnamon sugar… Yum. This was incredibly quick and easy to make. Totally worth the minimal effort. We had an abundance of ripening mangoes and some leftover pecans from the holiday season so this was a perfect use of the ingredients on hand. I was leafing through a Barefoot Contessa cookbook, “how easy is that?” and spied a recipe for a fresh peach cake that I thought might work really well with some ripe mangoes. Ina Garten is an extremely well purchased cookbook author precisely because her recipes are so easy and approachable, and they taste good. Nothing complicated in the recipes she publishes, but they always seem to work and provide good results for the time and effort invested. So full credit for the recipe as it is used here goes to Ms. Garten, and the only thing I did was switch ripe Cebuano mangoes for the peaches, and put lots more fruit than was called for in the original recipe…
In a bowl of an electric mixer, cream 1/2 cup of butter (I used Plugra, which helped to make this extra special), 1 cup of sugar for some 3-5 minutes until light and fluffy. Add 2 extra large eggs, one at a time and wait for each egg to be fully incorporated into the batter before adding the next one. Add 1 cup of sour cream and a reaspoon of vanilla and mix until smooth. Prepare the dry ingredients in a separate bowl: sift together 2 cups of all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and mix until just incoporated. It is critical that you don’t overmix the batter. In another smaller bowl, mix 1/2 cup white sugar with 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon and set this aside. Chop a cup of unsalted and roasted pecans. Remove the flesh of 4-5 medium to large mangoes and cube the flesh. In retrospect, I suspect slightly under ripe (say a day shy of being at its peak) mangoes would be nice too, with a hint of sourness along with all of the sweetness, set this aside and assemble the cake for baking.
Lightly butter or grease a 9x9inch baking dish. Spread half of the batter on the bottom of the pan. Top this with half of the peeled and cubed mangoes, spreading them evenly over the batter. Sprinkle half of the chopped pecans and half of the sugar and cinnamon mixture over the fruit. Add the remaining half of the batter and spread evenly. Add the remaining mangoes, pecans and sugar mixture. Bake in a pre-heated 350F oven for roughly 45-50 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature. Perfect with either brewed coffee or a large pot of tea. It takes so little effort to make, you can start it just 1.5 hours before you have guests over for merienda and it will be freshly baked. Or make it at night and serve it for breakfast or brunch the next morning. This is a simple cake, but it has all the right notes of butter, sugar, fruit, nuttiness and sugar/cinnamon goodness. I suspect it would work nicely with other fruit as well.