Thursday, May 6, 2010

Mango Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

One of my favorite summer fruits is mango because it captures the essence of summer with it's golden yellow orange flesh and it's refreshing, sweet flavor. I knew I would incorporate mango somehow when I came up with desserts for my friend's bridal shower. As a result, I mashed up some fresh mangos and swirled them into a buttery yellow cake batter and made these Mango Cupcakes topped with Cream Cheese Frosting. I got so many compliments from the bridal shower guests on these. Little did they know how I cheated!...

I have no shame in admitting that I like the convenience of boxed cake mixes. But more importantly, after folks have had my cupcakes made with a box mix, they swear up and down that it couldn't be from a box. Believe it or not, these cupcakes they don't taste like the same boxed mix cupcakes you had growing up. I found the secret in the book, Hello Cupcake!

Boxed cake mix is made with buttermilk in place of water called for on the box, adding canola oil and a few eggs. That's it! Once you have that down, you can get in tune with your creative side and add in fresh fruit, flavored extracts, stir in baking chips and/or nuts, really, whatever you'd like. For these cupcakes, I added fresh mango to the batter before baking. Once cooled, they were topped with a simple cream cheese frosting and garnished with some dried sweetened mango. You can find dried sweetened mango at most grocery stores where the dried fruits are... otherwise you can also garnish with a slice of fresh mango too. Either way, it's a great cupcake treat for the summer months!

Mango Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
recipe adapted from Hello, Cupcake!

1 box (18.25 oz) yellow butter cake mix
1 cup mashed fresh mango
3/4 cup buttermilk (in place of the water called for on the box)
1/3 cup canola oil
4 large eggs (in place of the number called for on the box)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners.

Follow the box instructions, putting all the ingredients in a large bowl and using the buttermilk in place of the water specified (the box will call for more water than the amount of buttermilk that you are using), using the amount of canola oil that is called for (usually 1/3 cup), and adding the eggs. Beat with an electric mixer (or in your stand mixer if you prefer) until moistened, about 30 seconds. Increase the speed to high and beat until think, 2 minutes longer.

Fill each muffin cup two-thirds full. Bake in the preheated oven for about 12-15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove the cupcakes from the baking pans, place on a wire rack and allow to cool completely. Frost with cream cheese frosting (recipe follows) and garnish with a piece of dried mango.

Cream Cheese Frosting
original Joelen recipe

1/4 cup unsalted butter
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
4-6 cups confectioners or powdered sugar
1-2 tablespoons half & half
dried mango for garnish (optional)

In a large mixing bowl, beat the softened butter and cream cheese together until fluffy; and beat until fully incorporated.

Slowly add confectioners or powdered sugar into the bowl, 1/2 cup at a time and beating after each addition. Continue adding the sugar until you have a thick frosting of your preferred consistency. Garnish with a piece of dried mango (if using).