I can't believe that May is right around the corner, and it's barely 50 degrees around here. It's a little disheartening, but 50 degrees is way better than 20 degrees and snowing (which is what we woke up to last Wednesday!). Since the weather isn't getting me into a summer (or even spring) state of mind, I thought some mango cupcakes could get me there instead.
Growing up, summer meant mango season. Back in the day, when I was a kid, mangoes weren't as readily available as they are today. Now you can go to Costco or a local produce store and pick up a crate of fresh mangoes during the summer. When I was younger, my parents would go to the Indian/Pakistani neighborhood in Chicago, called Devon Street, and choose the best crate or two of mangoes to bring home.
Since it's not quite summer yet, fresh, ripe mangoes are still difficult to procure, so I went with the best alternative, frozen mangoes. There are some really high quality frozen fruits in the market. My favorite is the 365 Brand (Whole Foods Brand). I use them to make smoothies and a multitude of baked goods when particular fruits are out of season.
Wanting to amp up the mango flavor in these mango cupcakes, I used a secret mango ingredient that packs quite a mango punch. And here it is:
I crumbled these freeze-dried mangoes into the frosting. I bought them from Trader Joe's (as you can see). You can also find them here.
Since the fruit is dried, the flavor is super concentrated, so a little goes a long way. Not to mention that they are extraordinarily sweet. So I used them sparingly in the recipe, but they added a ton of mango flavor.
So, while the warm weather sadly eludes us in New England, sitting down with one of these mango cupcakes reminds me that warmer weather will eventually get here, even if it takes a bit more patience!
Mango Cupcakes with Mango Filling, Topped with Mango Frosting
Ingredients for the Mango Cupcakes
1 1/2 cups plus 2 tbs of all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 large egg plus 1 large egg yolk
1 cup plus 2 tbs mango puree (about 9 – 10 ounces)
1/2 cup plus 2 tbs milk (whole or low fat, not skim milk)
3/4 tbs vinegar
1/4 cup plus 1 tbs vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
Instructions for the Mango Cupcakes
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a standard muffin tin with paper liners.
Sift the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of a mixer. Place the bowl in the mixer, and using a paddle attachment, add the egg. Mix until just combined.
Add the mango puree, milk, vinegar, vanilla, and oil. Mix until combined.
Fill the cupcake liners 2/3 full. Bake for about 20 minutes, rotating the pan half way through the baking time. Remove from the oven, and allow the cupcakes to cool on a wire rack.
Ingredients for the Mango Filling
10 ounces of frozen mangos thawed and pureed
1 tbs granulated sugar
1/8 tsp lime zest
Instructions for the Mango Filling
Combine all the ingredients in a heavy-bottom saucepan. Heat on medium heat until it boils.
Once the mixture is boiling, turn the heat down to low. Allow the mixture to boil until it reduces by about half. It took me about 15 minutes.
Remove the filling from the pan, and place it in a bowl. Allow it to cool completely.
Ingredients for the Mango Frosting
3 sticks (1 1/2 cups) unsalted butter, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
3 tbs of the mango filling (recipe above)
1 1/2 tbs of crushed, dehydrated mangos
Instructions for the Mango Frosting
In the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter until light and fluffy.
On a low speed, add the powdered sugar.
Then add the mango filling and mango puree. Mix until well incorporated and fluffy.
Instructions for assembling the Mango Cupcakes
Once the cupcakes and filling are completely cooled, using a sharp paring knife, make a circular cut (about 1/2 inch in diameter) in the center of each cupcake.
Fill the cutout hole with about a teaspoon of the mango filling.
Place the mango frosting in a pastry bag fitted with the tip of your choice, and pipe a healthy portion of frosting on each cupcake.
Yields about 18 cupcakes.
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