Mango Upside Down Cake

This recipe is a surefire success. I say that because it is one of the first cakes I tried out when I discovered my penchant for baking and it turned out beautifully – let’s be honest, a well rounded, spongy cake is any day better than an uncooked/sunken one when you are attempting to bake for the first time. Upside down cakes were better known among our parents and grandparents. It is very old fashioned – simple, store bought ingredients, uncomplicated method and a lovely looking cake based on an upside down theory; batter poured over fruits so that when you flip, you have a perfect cake. What a fabulous idea?

Upside downs are more common with pineapple – perfect circles of yellow sitting atop a fluffy cake with strategically strewn cherries. Though my first attempt was with pineapples, this time I thought I’d use something seasonal – the ubiquitous mango. I mean, why wouldn’t I? The flavour quotient is similar considering both fruits are tropical and it’s better to use a fruit that is available fresh and ripe in abundance than something that comes in cans right?

I made a few improvisations to the preparation this time and trust me, this is as complicated an upside down cake can get. The only thing which needs a little skill in this entire process is probably flipping your cake on to a plate before serving and even that I feel is a cake walk if you follow the instructions properly. First time bakers, this recipe is thy road to a 100% success. I mean, don’t be surprised if you give yourself a pat on the back – not just because the recipe is simple but may be because you truly deserve it 🙂


For the caramel topping
– 1 big mango (any sweet variety), peeled and diced
– 2 tbsp butter, unsalted
-1/2 lemon, juice and zest
– 2 tbsp dark brown sugar
For the cake
– 130 g self-raising flour, sifted
– 130 g butter, unsalted
– 120 g caster sugar
– 2 eggs, separated
– 1/2 tsp salt
– 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
– 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
-1/2 tsp vanilla essence
-1/4 tsp cream of tartar (optional)
– 10 tinned cherries


  • Preheat the oven at 220 C. Butter and flour an 8 inch round cake tin. Set aside.
  • Melt the butter and dark brown sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Swirl the pan gently but never stir. Once it starts frothing, add the lemon juice and zest. Swirl again gently. Take the pan off heat.


  • Pour the caramel sauce into the prepared cake tin. Arrange the diced mangoes over the caramel sauce.


  • For the cake, beat together the butter and sugar until pale and creamy. Add the egg yolks one by one and beat further. Add the vanilla essence and beat again.
  • Combine sifted flour, salt, cardamom and cinnamon powder. Add the butter mixture to the flour mixture. Set aside.
  • Beat the egg whites until they froth up. Add the cream of tarter powder. Beat again until they become stiff peaks (5-8 minutes).



  • Add half of the egg whites to the cake batter. Fold well scrapping the bottom of the bowl. Add the remaining egg whites and fold. Do not over fold the cake batter.
  • Pour the batter on the caramel-mango mixture and bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Once the cake is done, allow it to cool. Then cover the cake tin with a serving plate and flip it upside down in one quick motion. Place the cherries as you please.

Ps: Please serve the cake warm. Nothing more cruel than a cold upside down cake.


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