19 Nov2007


A few weeks ago, I did a post entitled “What do you sell?” which was meant to give readers a chance to post products they sold from home, from small business, etc. for the benefit of all Marketmanila readers… That post got tremendous feedback with over 140+comments thus far. One of the items that created a buzz was this mangosteen cake, available for pick-up from the food court of St. Francis Square near Megamall, from a store called Gabbo’s. But you have to call a day or two in advance to order the cake. About a week or so ago, I ordered the cake. I have to first preface my comments by saying that I have a huge love affair with mangosteen, and this year I made over 100 bottles of my own mangosteen jam… I also fondly remember pairing this jam with coffee ice cream in the 1970’s and 80’s, so the mere mention of a mangosteen coffee cake almost certainly means I would order it… This dessert is great value for money, in my opinion. For PHP300, the introductory price, this 9x6x3 inch rectangular, two-layer cake was redolent with coffee flavor and has jam baked into the cake, as well as being incorporated into the frosting. It is an interesting option on to the growing list of home-baked goods on offer to Manila foodies…


I found the cake to be moist, on the dense side, yet not too heavy. It had a very strong coffee flavor, almost too strong for me (a non-coffee drinker), and I think it drowned out the mangosteen jam a bit. I would have loved to see a lot more mangosteen jam in the cake, but I understand it is a scarce and expensive ingredient. Perhaps if I paid PHP400 instead but got a lot more mangosteen jam in the cake I would be raving about this even more. The cake was not overly sweet and neither was the frosting, the latter studded with little bits of crushed or chopped mangosteen seeds. I love mangosteen seeds, so I found this an appealing feature of the cake. Mrs. MM dislikes the seeds of mangosteen, so she wasn’t thrilled with the icing… I found that this cake was a great afternoon snack with a hot cup of tea. I suspect it would pair nicely with vanilla ice cream and perhaps a tablespoon or two of my homemade jam. Because of the thickness of the layers, I think there is a tendency to develop a darker edge or crust on some cakes (as mentioned in some of the comments by other readers who ordered this), but with time and testing and varying oven temperatures, I am hopeful they will eliminate this issue in the weeks ahead. I am thrilled that someone has come up with a cake using these flavors and at PHP300, it’s a good deal. Imagine, that is the cost of just 3 hoity-toity cupcakes and with this cake, you can easily serve 12-15 people! To order, text Pito at 0920-913-1590. This cake may not thrill everyone, but for those who like coffee and mangosteen, it is a “must-try”! (P.S., Pito and Onie, if you read this, you better tell your mom to come up with a name for this cake, lest it be heretofore known as Pito’s Mom’s Mangosteen Cake…)



  1. DADD-F says:

    Ahh!! This is absolutely interesting. And to think that I was just going over in my mind how to make my own. I just finished my second trial (original recipe) of durian cake. Apart from a little more adjustment with the sugar, I believe I got it this time.

    I think I am going to try their mangosteen cake soon. Thanks for the info! Cheers!

    Nov 19, 2007 | 3:16 pm


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  3. Blaise says:

    I was just thinking of this over the weekend to give to our wonderful clients for the Christmas Season. I have been to Gabbo’s twice but to my dismay, there was always no mangosteen cake.. I was just about to ask MM if he could feature this cake on this blog, as I love coffee-mangosteen ice cream and would want to share the experience of combining both.. ;P

    Nov 19, 2007 | 3:38 pm

  4. Em Dy says:

    Would you believe I’ve never tasted fresh mangosteen?

    Magnolia used to have coffee mangosteen ice cream which I loved.

    Nov 19, 2007 | 3:57 pm

  5. Blaise says:

    Ms. Em Dy,

    You should, at least for once in your life, taste a fresh mangosteen.. It just tastes oh so good.. ;P

    Nov 19, 2007 | 4:11 pm

  6. chunky says:

    fresh mangosteen is on my to-try list. i used to enjoy the coffee mangosteen ice cream when i was young…it brings back fond memories of my late dad who was, unknown to me, a foodie himself. foodie was not a word yet, in my younger days, you see…i would love to try this cake as it looks and sounds yummy ( si MM ba naman ang mag-describe).

    Nov 19, 2007 | 4:42 pm

  7. dhanggit says:

    i’ve never tasted mangosteen (“yet”)neither…

    Nov 19, 2007 | 5:10 pm

  8. Rowi says:

    Thanks for featuring this, MM! I love mangosteen, especially if looks like the one in your logo.

    Could one order this cake with icing on the side? I prefer to eat cakes without the icing, especially as part an afternoon tea, but with this exotic combination, I could try both. I would like to freeze the cake and maybe take it back home (abroad) to see how well it keeps, if there are still some left.
    There are so many tempting sweet and savoury stuff this holiday season esp. in Manila, that I’d like to try to them all without feeling a kilo or two heavier.

    Nov 19, 2007 | 6:18 pm

  9. elaine says:

    Ooooh, I love coffee and mangosteen and with this coffee infused cake, I can still enjoy it with freshy ground coffee. The cake looks lovely although I never thought the seeds from the mangosteen are edible…hmm, the icing does look like it has pits and pieces… but still lovely! A commenter above, DADD-F mentioned something about durian cake(another fave)…maybe he too can take orders!!!

    Nov 19, 2007 | 7:34 pm

  10. solraya says:


    I did freeze part of the cake I got..still tastes great. Tried keeping some in the refrigerator, stayed well too. Oh well, maybe because the play of these flavours not commonly available, will always be good to my taste :)

    Nov 19, 2007 | 7:42 pm

  11. maybahay says:

    i can’t even remember the last time i had mangosteen. i am so intrigued by the idea of mangosteen jam.
    this cake looks delicious,though.

    Nov 19, 2007 | 8:02 pm

  12. zena says:

    I had this cake 2 weeks ago. I agree with MM that the coffee seemed to overpower the mangosteen. Then again, I am a mangosteen idiot and didn’t know what it tastes like. I guess this cake is not the best way to find out. Good thing i like coffee. I found the icing a tad too sweet but that’s my preference. At 300 pesos, it is value for money. Had the coffee cake with more coffee. =)

    Nov 19, 2007 | 8:45 pm

  13. T_rex says:

    Already got to order four of these cakes from Pito – the first two were as MM described them (although I find the coffee flavor just right for the occasional coffee drinker in me), but the latter ones were not as moist and even a bit dry near the crusts (methinks MM were refering to my comments in that “What Do You Sell” post). I agree though that inspite of these rather manageable setbacks, this cake is still quite a gem of a find.

    I noticed though that MM’s pics above shows the cake’s mocha frosting in a somewhate paler shade whereas the ones I got were decidedly darker, in a chocolatey hue even. I prefer to assume it has something to do with MM’s camera setting, unless Pito’s Mom tweaked the recipe a bit since my last order (which I most certainly hope not).

    By the way, Pito told me they can customize the cake by adding more mangosteen jam at minimal added cost. Just confer with him if you have certain preferences in mind (including the separate frosting bit).

    Onie and Pito, I am really happy for your charmingly unassuming mom. Without her really meaning to, her culinary claim to fame got featured in its very own post in MM’s blog, and this is inarguably a mean feat (knowing MM’s standards) which a lot of us readers of his can only wishfully dream of.

    Nov 19, 2007 | 8:57 pm

  14. corrine says:

    Nice to know that there are suppliers who can tweak their products to the customer’s request. I would want more jam if I were to order one. I can just imagine requesting the coffee to be toned down. Hmmm…yummy!

    Nov 19, 2007 | 11:37 pm

  15. Rowi says:

    Thanks, Solraya and T_rex for your responses and additional info.
    Now, all I have to do is contact Pito and request for a coffee-mangosteen cake with extra mangosteen jam and icing on the side. Mumms!
    Does Pito have an email address or did I miss taking it on the “what do you sell?” post?

    Nov 19, 2007 | 11:42 pm

  16. Dina says:

    Hi MM – what does it taste like? unfortunately, i’ve never had mangosteen fruit :(. Can you eat the fresh fruit? or is it better served as a jam? Please enlighten. I read your other posts on mangosteen but unable to get a clear description of the taste. Please enlighten…. thanks

    Nov 20, 2007 | 2:56 am

  17. Onie says:

    Who would think that at 70, my mom would find herself in the middle of a food hype?!! First of all, that her humble cake made its way to Market Man’s home is an honour in itself! More than (hopefully) making this cake a hit, it is the recognition of her steadfast dedication to the art of baking and tradition that overflows my heart with so much joy. This is priceless. I’ve been quietly following Market Man’s food blog (albeit not religiously) for more than a year now and I am very much aware of MM’s admirable principles in sampling and doing a review. So I totally agree with t_rex: Being featured here is a major feat in itself and we are deeply honoured. Speaking for the family, we highly respect MM’s opinion. Your comments are clear, highly objective and insightful. We will certainly digest every word and use them to better suit coffee mangosteen cake lovers’ taste and preference. As the cakes are baked only when ordered, there should be no problem customizing the proportion of coffee and mangosteen jam.

    Thanks to everyone (t_rex, solraya, myra p., et al) for the enthusiastic reception when I first mentioned the cake in “What Food Business…” post. Your suggestions and comments are very much appreciated.

    Market Man, I think your site is not just a food blog but an inspiration on how to live life. In every post that you do, be it on making tinapa or on one of your European sojourns, there is an underlying message that life is an adventure and that we should savour every experience with fun and gusto!

    Thank you very much, MM. More power to you and your family!

    And yes, we will have to christen this cake…I love my brother to pieces but I don’t think his name is altogether appealing, cake-wise that is…

    PS: I am too elated to work! This is the 2nd time MM’s blog is responsible for my ultra-low productivity at work (the first was the ultimate trivia contest). My boss is not happy with me right now…but who cares? My mom’s cake made it to MM’s blog! Woohoo!!!

    Nov 20, 2007 | 3:52 am

  18. Ebba Myra says:

    I drink 1 cup coffee (only) everyday and I like mine with not too much cream, but also not to heavy bitter taste. But any other coffee taste food or candies, I will devour it…. so this cake will be a sought after for me. As for the fresh mangosteen, first time I tasted them was this May on my trip to Philippines (Quezon Province), the fruits were still wrapped in banana leaves inside the “kaing”. It was ok for me but everybody else (my relatives) were crazy about it. They did not care how much it cost. Well, I will give it 1 more try the next time we come home. I will ask my hipag to text the number and let them order this cake for their Noche Buena.

    Nov 20, 2007 | 4:10 am

  19. solraya says:


    I noticed too the color of the icing, but then again might have been the camera.

    I hope the standard recipe wasn’t altered. But again :), tastebuds are all different. I found too much mangosteen jam, and slightly too sweet and sort of running after my coffee flavour there.

    As I am typing this…my frozen slice was brought out.

    Nov 20, 2007 | 7:54 am

  20. solraya says:

    Actually, it tasted better to me after it aged.

    Nov 20, 2007 | 7:56 am

  21. Mila says:

    I bought the cake a few weeks ago, and as I mentioned to a few friends, forgot to take it out of the fridge for 3 days. According to Pito, it should keep for up to 3 days in the fridge, so I yanked it out and shared it on it’s 3rd and 4th day. I can’t tell you what it tastes like fresh, but I have to say that the cake stands up to refrigeration; doesn’t go dry at all. Definitely not as much mangosteen to the coffee, so think of it more as a coffee cake with a bit of the fruit (and yes, the seeds – floss after). I’ve passed out Pito’s phone number to a few other people, so I hope Onie and Pito’s mom doesn’t tire of baking the cake (and please don’t let the cake lose it’s essential moistness). Hmmm, maybe a swirl of the jam in the cake batter would bring it to a new level of mangosteen-ness!

    Nov 20, 2007 | 9:11 am

  22. sister says:

    How about making thin layers of vanilla flavoured genoise or sponge cake and placing sieved mangosteen jam in between say 3-5 layers, then covering with a coffee and kahlua buttercream?

    Nov 20, 2007 | 10:45 am

  23. CecileJ says:

    My hubby, daughter and I totally enjoyed the cake and were so torn between finishing it in one fell swoop or making it last as long as we could! We like our one-a-day cup of coffee strong so we really enjoyed the coffee taste. The cake was dense yet moist and the icing was YUM!

    Like the others, we are going to make the cake our “secret” when we bring it to family get togethers.

    Just a thought, though: Pito and Pito’s Mom, people have varying tastes, likes and dislikes. You can’t please everyone and though it is really a nice gesture to “customize” your cakes to suit the individual buyers, your Mom might get too tired and frazzled making different mixes and frostings. Just try to aim for the happy medium and I am sure the customers will keep coming. It is a good, and unique, product, after all!

    Nov 20, 2007 | 11:18 am

  24. Marketman says:

    CecileJ, I agree, they will have to settle on the “ideal” version and stick with that consistently over the months to come… sister, that suggestion sounds terrific, and seeing as how we are flush with jam at the moment, will have to try that soon… Maybe even one with damson plum jam with a chocolate icing???

    Nov 20, 2007 | 12:05 pm

  25. Blaise says:

    Hello Onie,

    I actually was able to taste this wonderful cake last Wednesday. I think it tastes great.. although I have to agree with MarketMan that the coffee flavor has a tendency to drown out the mangosteen jam flavor.. But I still believe that it is a well – flavored cake. I also like the fact that it not too dry nor too moist.. just right.. The cake is thick but I do admire that the sides or edges are not burnt, as I’ve encountered cakes in the past of the same size that has a tendency to get those nasty burns..

    For what it’s worth, I’m gonna try this out again.. ;)

    Nov 23, 2007 | 5:37 pm

  26. Gigi says:

    I am eating the famed cake as I type this… and it is GOOOOOD. Good if you love the taste of coffee in cake which I so do. MM was spot on when he said that the cake is dense but light. It looks substantial and packed but I snorted a good slab in no time. From St. Francis, I crossed to Pollo Loco in Megamall for dinner with a box of this cake gem and nakupu, sinintensyahan ko na agad with my friends who bugged me to cut the stuff! YUMMY indeed. As sa totoo lang, parang masarap din their food which they were serving in the St. Francis food court like the rellenong bangus… I just don’t like that tiangge mall’s ambience. Yeah, I wish the jam was thicker. I’d ask for extra next time. Good stuff.

    Thanks for this cake tip, MM! :)

    Nov 24, 2007 | 9:03 pm

  27. sister says:

    Fill a coffee flavoured sponge cake or butter cake layers with Damson plum jam and use a buttercream with cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon as a frosting. Easy on the spices.
    You might also try filling linzer tarts with damson plum for an atrociously delicious cookie.

    Nov 27, 2007 | 7:54 am

  28. Onie says:

    Just want to let everyone know that we’ve added another pick-up point for the coffee mangosteen cakes. You can now also pick up your order at Market Market, G floor @ Kaliq stall/kiosk. Thanks.

    Dec 4, 2007 | 12:41 am


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